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Did you know that there are effective ways to enhance your ability to persuade others in both your work and personal life?

There are four "Ps" that will help you do this. They are power, positioning, performance, and politeness. And they are all based on perception.

Develop Personal Power

The first "P" is power. The more power and influence that a person perceives you to have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that that person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want them to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help you and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee.

Shape Their Thinking About You

The second "P" is positioning. This refers to the way that other people think about you and talk about you when you are not there. Your positioning in the mind and heart of other people largely determines how open they are to being influenced by you.

In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.

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Be Good At What You Do

The third "P" is performance. This refers to your level of competence and expertise in your area. A person who is highly respected for his or her ability to get results is far more persuasive and influential than a person who only does an average job.

Commit to Excellence

The perception that people have of your performance capabilities exerts an inordinate influence on how they think and feel about you. You should commit yourself to being the very best in your field. Sometimes, a reputation for being excellent at what you do can be so powerful that it alone can make you an extremely persuasive individual in all of your interactions with the people around you. They will accept your advice, be open to your influence and agree with your requests.

Treat People Politely

The fourth "P" of persuasion power is politeness. People do things for two reasons, because they want to and because they have to. When you treat people with kindness, courtesy and respect, you make them want to do things for you. They are motivated to go out of their way to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals.

Being nice to other people satisfies one of the deepest of all subconscious needs, the need to feel important and respected. Whenever you convey this to another person in your conversation, your attitude and your treatment of that person, he or she will be wide open to being persuaded and influenced by you in almost anything you need.

Perception Is Reality

Again, perception is everything. The perception of an individual is his or her reality. People act on the basis of their perceptions of you. If you change their perceptions, you change the way they think and feel about you, and you change the things that they will do for you.

Action Exercises

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, think continually about the impression you want to make on others and then make sure that everything you do or say is consistent with that perception.

Second, be nice to people. Practice the Golden Rule in your interactions with others. Always be polite and make others feel important.

The more people like you, the more open they are to being influenced by you.

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