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Mental Fitness

How to Be More Persuasive: 5 Strategies to Increase Your Influence

Build mental fitness to sharpen your persuasion skills

Published April 30, 2024
by Positive Intelligence

Persuasion is an art that requires a delicate blend of insight, emotion, and strategy. Whether you’re persuading clients, colleagues, or loved ones, building mental fitness will equip you with the mental muscles you need to master the art of influence.

The Neuroscience of Persuasion

Persuasion is more than just convincing someone with words; it involves tapping into the intricate workings of the human brain.

Neuroscience indicates that persuasion isn’t just about what you say; it’s about how brains process information. When you activate the right-brain emotional space (also called the Sage), you tap into empathy, understanding, and clarity. This mode allows you to connect more deeply with others, making your messages more compelling and influential.

Understanding the neuroscience behind persuasion empowers you to use your brain more effectively in persuasive situations. It helps you tailor your messages to resonate with the brain’s natural processing mechanisms, making the messages more memorable and impactful. By unlocking the potential of the Sage, you harness the full power of your brain to persuade others.

Here are five strategies to increase your influence:

1. Build Mental Fitness for Persuasion

At the core of persuasion lies mental fitness — a concept that emphasizes the power of positivity.

Mental fitness refers to a state of wellbeing wherein you can effectively manage your emotions, handle stress, and maintain a positive mindset. It involves developing resilience, self-awareness, and focus amid life’s distractions. 

Mental fitness is about honing the cognitive and emotional abilities that enable peak performance in various aspects of life, including persuasion.

To increase your mental fitness, you must first identify the Saboteurs generating your negative emotions. Then, you can develop the ability to intercept and discredit the Saboteurs. Next, you must boost your ability to command your mind to shift from negative to positive, and lastly, you must strengthen your positive brain muscles to tap into their powers fully. Here’s how:

Intercept Your Saboteurs

The Saboteurs are the internal enemies. They are automatic and habitual mind patterns, each with its voice, beliefs, and assumptions that work against your best interests. They come in ten varieties, with names like Controller, Victim, Stickler, Pleaser, and Avoider. Take the Saboteur Assessment to find out which Saboteurs are holding you back so you can begin to intercept their lies and limiting beliefs.

Boost Your Self-Command

Your Sage’s great wisdom and strength are rooted in its perspective: any problem you face can be a gift and opportunity. Your Saboteurs mock that perspective and cause you instead to feel anxious, frustrated, disappointed, stressed, or guilty over “bad” outcomes. 

Quieting the Saboteur region of your brain and amplifying the Sage region gives you greater access to your valuable Sage powers. These powers allow you to meet any work or life challenge without the stress and anxiety caused by Saboteurs.

Simple daily exercises help you boost your ability to command your mind to quiet the Saboteur region and amplify the Sage region. Visit the PQ Gym to try a few of these exercises.

Strengthen Your Sage

Mental fitness gives rise to the Sage and its powers.

To strengthen your Sage, you can practice shifting into Sage mode when you feel stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, regret, shame, guilt, or unhappiness. In these moments, practice using your Sage Powers to respond rather than letting your Saboteurs take over.

  • Explore to discover things as they are and assess situations with an open mind.
  • Empathize with yourself and others to bring compassion and understanding.
  • Innovate to create outside-the-box solutions to a problem at hand.
  • Navigate to choose a path that aligns with your deeply held values.
  • Activate to move forward with decisive action without distraction.

Take the PQ Score Assessment to measure your mental fitness level.

2. Build Trust and Connection for Persuasion

Your Sage is central to effective persuasion. It serves as the conduit for building trust and connection with your audience. 

By activating this realm of the brain and empathizing with your audience’s needs and aspirations, you can establish a profound connection that forms the basis of persuasive communication.

The Sage is like a bridge that connects your intentions with your audience’s receptivity. When you communicate from a place of energy and emotion, you radiate authenticity, empathy, and credibility. This authenticity builds trust, which is essential for persuasion. People are more likely to be persuaded by someone they trust and connect with personally.

To leverage the power of the Sage effectively, you must understand your audience’s mindset and tailor your message accordingly. You can do this by empathizing with their needs, concerns, and aspirations to frame your message in a way that resonates deeply with them. This connection lays the foundation for successful persuasion and paves the way for positive outcomes.

3. Address Saboteur Objections to Overcome Barriers

One of the biggest obstacles to persuasion is internal resistance in the form of Saboteurs. Saboteurs are the internal voices that undermine your efforts and hinder effective communication. They manifest as self-doubt, fear, and negative self-talk, which can sabotage your persuasive efforts if left unchecked.

Preempt Saboteur objections from your audience by planning ahead and devising positive ways to address them. This involves identifying common Saboteurs, such as the Judge, Controller, Avoider, and Victim, and crafting responses that aren’t dismissive but that neutralize the Saboteur’s impact.

For example, if the Saboteur objection is rooted in the fear of change, you can address it by highlighting the benefits and positive outcomes of embracing change. By reframing objections as opportunities for growth and improvement, you can turn Saboteurs into allies in persuasion.

4. Create an Emotional Connection With Your Audience

A potent tool in persuasion is the ability to create emotional connections with the audience. This goes beyond just presenting facts and figures; it’s about tapping into the deeper, more personal aspects of human experience. When you can evoke emotions such as empathy, trust, excitement, or nostalgia, you pave the way for a much more impactful, persuasive message.

Understand Emotional Drivers

To create emotional connections, first seek to understand the emotional drivers that resonate with your audience. These drivers can vary widely based on demographics, psychographics, and past experiences. Conducting thorough audience research and empathy mapping can help uncover these drivers and guide your approach.

Use Storytelling for Emotional Impact

One of the most powerful ways to create emotional connections is through storytelling. Stories have a unique ability to engage our emotions, making the message more memorable and relatable. Incorporating personal anecdotes or testimonials can humanize your message to resonate with your audience more deeply.

5. Uncover the Audience’s Aspirations

Success in persuasion hinges on careful preparation and a deep understanding of your audience’s aspirations or their “bigger why.”

Try these steps for rooting out your audience’s aspirations:

First, ask, “Why is that important?” several times. You’ll eventually uncover the aspirations and the deeper desires that drive actions. The solution must resonate with these aspirations to be truly persuasive.

Next, consult the wiser elder self. Looking back at the end of life, what would the wiser elder self think is important in this situation?

Boost Your Powers of Persuasion

By incorporating these strategies into your persuasive approach, you can create deeper emotional connections with your audience, making your messages more compelling and influential.

Explore how the PQ Program for mental fitness can help you and your team improve your persuasion skills.

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Saboteur Intro

Discover Your Saboteurs

The first step to conquering your Saboteurs is to identify them and expose their lies and limiting beliefs.

Saboteur Assessment
Saboteur Assessment animation