Persuasion – How to Persuade Others that you’re Right!


How many times have you categorically known that you are right about something but haven’t been able to persuade others?   This has happened to me many times and it’s really frustrating. Why don’t people see what I’m seeing? Why aren’t they convinced when it’s so obvious that it’s the right thing to do?

Well, the first thing to realise is that ‘Being Right isn’t Persuasive’! No matter how right you are, that won’t persuade others on its own. You have to find another way of convincing them that you’re right.

So, how do you increase your chances of success when persuading others?


Imagine the situation……

Currently, the other person (your colleague) doesn’t see the need to do anything differently. As far as they’re concerned, the current situation is fine, so why change? They’re not going to be persuaded just because you say that you’re right (even though you might be)!

To have any chance of success, you need to think about how you can both get what you want, i.e. how you can achieve a win-win situation for both of you.

To do this, you need to ‘help’ them see that the current situation isn’t ’fine’ and that they need to do something to change it. Put another way, you need to grow the feeling that, from their perspective, the current situation may be a problem for them. Until you do that, they see no need to change anything. 

So, how do you do that? Well, you need to focus on four areas:

1. Develop the Need to do something different

The other person needs to see that the current situation isn’t a good one, for them. In other words, they need to recognise WIIFM (the What’s In It For Me); unless they see the Need to change, then nothing will! You will need to grow their sense of dissatisfaction with the current situation and how this may impact them.


2. Develop an awareness of the benefits of doing something different

Feeling dissatisfied may not be enough to persuade someone that you’re right. You also need to ‘help’ them see the benefits they will gain by doing something different. If these benefits address the dissatisfactions, so much the better.

3. Involve them in developing a possible solution

If you can involve the other person in deciding what to do instead, you are much more likely to get their commitment and buy in. They will feel that their concerns have been taken in to account, that they have some power in the situation and that they’re not being rail-roaded into a decision.

4. Ensure the solutions minimise the cost to the other person

You need to make this as easy as possible for them to accept, which means ensuring it doesn’t cost them much (or anything in an ideal world). Cost here could mean time, money, effort, hassle and / or energy. When working with them to develop a solution, address any possible costs to them and help them see how the benefits will outweigh potential costs.



To increase your chances of success when persuading others, use the four points above and remember to:

  • Develop the Need before the Solution to help others feel more positive about doing something different (and involve them in this)
  • Create an awareness of the benefits to them, before talking about costs, so that their perception of the benefits overrides their perception of costs. They are then more likely to get involved in finding ways to overcome the costs.             

I hope these tips help you to persuade others when you feel that you are right and you can use them to achieve a win-win outcome for both yourself and the other person.

In future blogs, we will look at the different strategies you can adopt for persuading others, along with a structure to help you manage these types of conversations.

Posted by Caroline Lewis

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