Like any other managerial tool, persuasion is an important learning process that is required in negotiating for a solution in an organization. It is required when one wants certain things to be done by other people. To this end, leadership requires the ability to convince and make the undecided people change their minds and come to an agreement with the leader (Cialdini 8). To come up with an effective management strategy, the leader requires the skills necessary for persuasion.
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In this paper, the author will discuss various persuasion principles and concepts and how they can be applied in management. The author will start by reviewing the arguments made by four selected authors with regards to persuasion. The ideas gathered on persuasion will be used to write a memo to employees with the aim of persuading them to volunteer and work on a weekend. Finally, the application of the concepts from the readings to the memo will be reviewed.
The Art of Persuasion at the Workplace
The Most Convincing Author with Regards to Persuasion
Four texts from different authors were reviewed and analyzed to determine the one that provides the most convincing and useful information regarding persuasion at the workplace. The four texts are written by Cialdini, Conger, Fracaro, and Mortensen. Out of the selected texts, Cialdini’s article is the most convincing. Compared to the other three, the article provides the most useful information with regards to persuasion.
Persuasion is supposed to address four major elements. According to Conger, the person seeking to persuade others should establish credibility, strive to arrive at a common ground, and provide evidence to back their argument (9). Finally, the individual should seek to establish an emotional connection with their target. The article by Cialdini meets these criteria. During persuasion, a number of steps are followed in order to address the four elements identified above. Cialdini explains how each step works and how it can be applied in a practical situation (7). To this end, the information in the article is useful to a person wishing to persuade others. Cialdini goes further to talk about the principles of persuasion (10). To this end, the individual trying to persuade others should be likable, able to provide social proof, and willing to engage in reciprocity. In addition, consistency, authority, and scarcity are equally important (Cialdini 9).
With regard to the principle of consistency, Cialdini argues that people tend to identify with the commitment shown by their leader (8). According to Cialdini, it is not enough for the people to like the leader. On the contrary, they should be willing to follow the instructions provided by the person in charge. The simple ideas put forth by the managers should be progressive and consistent. When this happens, the leaders can nurture trust and reliance among their subjects. On their part, Fracaro provides principles that are almost similar to those highlighted by Cialdini (4). However, Fracaro fails to go into details compared to Cialdini, making their article less convincing. Mortensen also provides a shallow explanation of the principles that form the backbone of persuasion (201). Consequently, the article by Cialdini is more convincing.
A Memo Persuading Employees to Volunteer and Work on a Weekend
To: All Members of Staff
From: Human Resource Manager
Subject: Request to Volunteer to Work Next Weekend
Date: 20th March 2017.
Through this memo, a request is made to all members of staff to avail themselves next weekend, 25th to 26th March 2017. The company requires the presence of all the employees over the weekend. The objective of volunteering for the two days specified above is to meet the orders of the clients that were not met in the course of the week.
The management recognizes the fact that it is a weekend and that every employee has plans for the two days. However, it is important to note that the orders received from our clients this week exceeded the capacity of the organization. It was necessary to take these orders as they were placed by some of our most reliable customers. In light of this, all employees are requested to volunteer and work over the weekend. It is in the interests of the company and its employees to meet the expectations of the clients.
Your availability on the specified days will go a long way in promoting the commitment of the company to its customers. It will also uphold the mission of the organization. Any pressing issue should be channeled to the right department for consideration by the relevant line manager. It is the desire of the management to meet the expectations of both the employees and the customers.
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Persuasion Concepts Reflected in the Memo Above
A number of persuasion concepts are evident in the memo above. According to Cialdini and Martin, persuasion relies on the trust instilled in people (00:05:01). Trust can be established through honesty, confidentiality, and reliability. The Pearson tutorial was used to provide a general format of the memo. It was also used to show how persuasion can speak to the mind and emotions of the target audience (McIntosh and Luecke 119). The memo above highlights the importance of keeping promises to the clients and upholding the mission of the company. According to Gorman, making the employees feel part of the company will go a long way in persuading them (133). The employees are motivated if they are made to believe that they are part of the organization (Mortensen 33).
Another concept that is evident in the memo is the appeal to the mind of the people. The memo explains the importance of keeping promises to respect the value of all stakeholders, including the clients (Gorman 138). The memo also obeys the principle of consistency. To this end, the employees are encouraged to show their commitment to the company. The members of staff need to understand that their participation is necessary.
The last concept is an acknowledgment of alternative opinions (Conger 9). The manager acknowledges that the employees may have prior plans for the weekend. However, the manager explains why the employees are needed over the weekend. In this case, the orders placed by the customers were beyond the capacity of the company. However, it was necessary to take them in efforts to meet the business objectives of the firm.
Today, most businesses rely on the capabilities of their leaders to meet their targets and growth in the market. As a managerial tool, persuasion is essential when it comes to human resources and the promotion of a company and its products. A firm benefits from increased sales and satisfaction among the employees. Managers can use persuasion to achieve these objectives. The managers require insight to persuade their subjects. Planning and compromise are also required. As seen in the four articles analyzed in this paper, a leader who wishes to persuade their employees should be sensitive to their emotions.
Cialdini, Robert, and Steve Martin. Science of Persuasion. YouTube, 2012, Web.
Cialdini, Robert. “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion.” Harvard Business Review. 2001, Web.
Conger, Jay. “The Necessary Art of Persuasion.” Harvard Business Review. 1998, Web.
Fracaro, Ken. “Persuasion: A Modern Management Technique.” SuperVision, vol. 63, no. 6, 2002, pp. 3-5.
Gorman, Tom. Persuasion: Command Attention, Hold their Interest, Get What you Want. Adams Media, 2007.
McIntosh, Perry, and Richard Luecke. Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Workplace. 2nd ed., American Management Association, 2008.
Mortensen, Kurt. Maximum Influence: The 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion. 2nd ed., AMACOM, 2013.