Duration: 3 or 6 hours

Thinking critically is not only useful for analyzing incoming information, it is also crucial for structuring outgoing information when we try to convince someone. Whether trying to persuade a client to buy their service, the board to fund their project, or a peer to change a procedure, managers can use the principles and techniques described in this module(s) in order to prepare for a successful meeting or an effective pitch. One example would be to first address the other’s potential reasons to say no, before presenting the benefits of our offer. Another example is to structure every statement with focus on the other (it sounds easy, but we are naturally inclined to use for the other the arguments that have convinced us in the first place, and those might not work in their case).

A certain degree of constructive conflict has been documented to increase the quality of decisions taken by boards. Unfortunately, many times debates on ideas turn into ego fights and people take it personally. When facing an opposite opinion, we must present our point of view so that the other finds it easier to accept it. This includes techniques from formal debate, but also focus on empathy and fair play.

Methods. One-on-one exercises, case study discussions, personal examples, formal debating.

Outcome. Participants will be better equipped to understand the delicate mechanism of persuasion, to understand dispute as a learning process, to put themselves in the shoes of the other, and, eventually, to better convince peers, partners, or spouses.

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