Academic journal article Manager

Friendly Persuasion

Academic journal article Manager

Friendly Persuasion

Article excerpt

There are always occasions when you need someone to do something in a certain way, or respond quickly to your request.

You can begin to lead your authence towards the outcome you want to achieve by carefully engineering your Action Commands. Here are a few basic tips.

1. Remove 'don't' from your instructions

The mind responds to words, both consciously and unconsciously. Verbs or action words are particularly powerful as they create mental activity In another person. Because we generally hear and act upon the verb first, the negative word "DON'T" Is only recognised after the action, if at all. By using the right words, you can create a mental rehearsal of what you want a person to do. This rehearsal familiarises the brain with the action and so increases the likelihood of the desired action actually taking place. The instruction to "Keep within the guidelines of the brief is more effective than "Don't stray from the brief. The mere introduction of the negative behaviour plants that negativity in the other person's brain so that it becomes a point of focus.

2. If you want to influence a person or a group to do as you want them to do, tell them with clear well designed action statements

For example, write "DO" rather than "undertake", "participate" or "implement" and "SEE" rather than "observe", "perceive" or "visualise". So, for example, "The smoking ban is now In effect" will not be as effective as "Stop smoking". Action commands ultimately lead people to do what you what them to do. With enough mental rehearsal, the final act will seem to come from them, rather than from any active "closing" on your part. An action command must be clear and so you must know what you want to happen. The best action commands are:

* Short - e.g. "Buy", "Decide" or "Recommend". Do not make the mind work as it invites resistance or inattention

* Limited to one or two key ideas or otherwise a person will get confused and ignore you

* Action orientated

* Repeated in different ways

* Have an outcome that is possible.

3. Send your message the correct way

Once you know how to 'send' an action command, the next stage is to find how to send it in a way that avoids resistance. …

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