PERSUASION is not the monopoly of a few professional persuaders, such as advertisers and marketers. It is a quality which runs in everyone’s blood – right from a toddler to an elderly person. We all are born persuaders since childhood when we consciously or unconsciously begin to employ techniques of persuasion and enjoyed the fruits of its power. A child resorts to a smile, or crying, or throwing a tantrum, or by refusing to eat when he or she wants something and does not get it. He or she has it all figured out on how to adopt or revise the technique for getting the desire fulfilled.
In this book, the author talks about a successful manager for whom success to a large extent depends on his power of persuasion. He has to deal with his bosses, subordinates, peers, suppliers, customers and even the general public and to make them do what he wants, he has to possess or develop his persuasive power to climb the corporate ladder.
As a manager, he is endowed with three kinds of powers over his subordinates – coercive power, reward power and legitimate power. This has to be exercised at two levels to get the compliance of the employed – the first is to get the employee to do what he is supposed to do because if he does not play his role, the manager cannot perform either; the second level, which is tougher, is to make the employee change his ideas, concepts, attitudes and behaviour to help the organisation cope with competition and the changing times and environment.
Divided into three parts, the first part of the book, comprising the first two chapters, forms the basis of the entire reading material. It gives a concise account of the principles and techniques of persuasion. The second part deals with specific persuasion challenges relating to the subordinates, peers, bosses and customers.
In all, by reading this insightful book interspersed with interesting case studies, the manager can learn what his strengths and weaknesses are and accordingly plan his persuasion techniques while guarding against deception. Thus managers who fail to get compliance from people at different levels weaken their own and their organisation’s prospects.
Faced with the need to get people to change, the book shows how persuasion is a better tool as it helps to change others’ thinking, attitudes and eventually behaviour in a way that brings them to offer willing cooperation.
(Random House Group Limited, 20, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA; www.randomhouse.co.in)