The ability to persuade others is a valuable skill that can help you achieve your goals and advance your career.
The next edition of Beyond English Fluency is here.
If you are new, Beyond English Fluency dives into topics and shares strategies around communication that go beyond language.
Every other Wednesday (twice per month), I share a theme related to communication that goes in depth about one theme, strategy or idea. Whether you are a non-native English speaking Design, Tech or Creative professional or consider yourself a native looking to excel in your communication and leadership, you’ll find a strategy that you can apply to your own situation.
As a design or tech professional, you may find yourself in situations where you need to convince others to support your ideas, adopt a new approach, or invest in a new technology.
This is a topic that comes up again and again, especially for the UX/UI designers that I work with and The Fluent Club Community members.
It usually goes something like:
‘When I suggest that we need to carry out user research we get a lot of pushback. It seems that no matter how much we highlight the benefits or share the data to support our ideas, they still think it’s a waste of time’.
‘This week I shared my ideas with the product owner and he said “while these sound like good ideas, we won’t be using them…” ?’
‘This strategy might have worked for (insert big company name here) but we aren’t them. We don’t have the budget, time, resources etc.’
Have you experienced anything like this?
There are many reasons why people may say “no” to your proposal or ideas, even if you believe you’ve made a compelling case.
I won’t go into all the exact reasons today but it can be anything from a lack of alignment with their goals, priorities and values to their perception of the risk. The stakeholders may view your proposal as too risky, and they may be concerned about potential negative outcomes.
Sometimes no matter how convincing we are, you will receive a ‘no’ for reasons out of your control. They genuinely don’t have the budget or it isn’t aligned with their goals and values.
We can’t convince everyone, every single time.
But there is something we can control and that is how we interact and react to others.
No matter how amazing your idea or proposal is, if the stakeholders do not trust you or believe that you have their best interests at heart, they may be less likely to support your ideas.
People are more likely to support you if they like and trust you.
Spend time getting to know your team members and stakeholders, and look for opportunities to collaborate and build rapport.
Building trust takes time.
I’ve also seen it where a great solution has been presented but it is too much at once.
Whether you are trying to convince someone in your marketing efforts, in your business or in your team, you need to get what I call ‘a micro yes’.
Instead of implementing a full change, what is one part of the solution that they really need/want that can get the ball rolling.
If someone can see that your solution works and you can be trusted on what you say, you’ll be able to build trust and establish you as a reliable and knowledgeable designer and professional.
Once you get that buy-in for the first part of your suggestion, focus on delivering value to your stakeholders by creating designs that meet their needs and exceed their expectations.
This will help build a positive reputation and establish you as a valuable asset to the team.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to just have a great idea. To be an effective persuader, you need to build relationships, understand your audience, and make a compelling case.
By doing so, you’ll be able to convince others to support your ideas and bring your vision to life.
What has been the number one factor in helping you be more persuasive in your team or with stakeholders?
Want more resources and guidance on developing communication and professional skills as a Design or Tech professional?
Check out the following resources:
Communication Techniques to Build Professional Relationships
Dealing with Pushback
40 Ways to Say No as a UX/UI Design and Tech Professional