Use Rational Persuasion to Increase Your Influence


Part 2 of 5 on Increasing Influence

To complete his compliance reports, Gael needed data from Rochelle, an employee in another department.  Although Rochelle was very conscientious, Gael knew that she was immersed in a high-priority project for her boss.

“Rochelle, I will need data from you on Compliance Form 1049 by the tenth of the month.”

“Gael, I’m very busy right now.  Can I get it to you later?”

“I’ll need it by the tenth so that I can get all reports compiled and submitted by the twelfth.”

“Can someone else get what you need?”

“Not really.  The information is very sensitive and you are the gatekeeper.  As you may be aware, last year’s mishaps put us on probation.  Your data will ensure that we meet all of the auditors’ standards.   Compliance will allow us to continue providing our great service to the community without interruption.”

Gael’s communication to Rochelle illustrates an attempt to get another party to do something based on rational persuasion (sometimes called merit-based).  Rational persuasion connects the dots by explaining how a request serves departmental objectives, contributes to the company mission, and provides benefit to the community.

In everyday language, rational persuasion attempts meet the common-sense standard, “Explain what you need and why.”