Imagine you are seated at a conference table, pitching a new idea to the boss. She listens, pauses thoughtfully, and glances out the window.
"No," she says. "I am afraid we can't do that."
Now imagine you are seated at the same table facing the same person and making exactly the same proposal. Your boss sits there, pauses thoughtfully, and locks eyes with you for just a fraction of a second before gazing out of the same window.
"OK," she says. "Let's give it a try."
What is the difference between these two moments? What did you do right the second time that changed the outcome? What was the pivotal persuasion moment?
That is what you will discover in Strategic Persuasion Workshop: The Art and Science of Selling Ideas. Persuasion and other political skills are strong predictors of performance ratings of employees, often outstripping both intelligence and personality traits. Research has shown that people with strong social skills command higher fees and salaries than equally talented but less socially adept colleagues.
Persuasion is different from negotiation, although both are forms of influence. Negotiation focuses on coming to agreement in situations where at least one party sees a conflict of interest. Persuasion is designed to win the other person over, removing obstacles to create alignment. Both skills are critical to managers, but those who are skilled at persuasion can sometimes avoid or limit the need to negotiate.
Persuasion is particularly important in times of organizational change and uncertainty. Is your organization going through turmoil after a merger or reorganization? Are you having trouble getting the attention of a critical decision maker? Does the budget process always turn into a war—or a game of hide and seek? At the pivotal persuasion moment, when your career depends on the difference between “no” and “yes,” you need more than expertise in your functional area to effectively communicate your idea. You need answers to four key questions before you can sell it:
- Who are you and what is your natural persuasion style?
- Who, exactly, is the other party and what channel is he or she tuned to today?
- What is the communication culture in your organization?
- What, at this moment, is the optimal influence tool?
Strategic Persuasion Workshop: The Art and Science of Selling Ideas is an intensive, personalized, down-to-earth program that provides executives with critical tools to sell their ideas at work. The program is complementary to the book The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas (Portfolio/Penguin), co-authored by the academic directors, G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa.
The Art of Woo encourages a mastery of the following:
- Self awareness, including emotional intelligence
- Credibility, a critical personal quality that includes expertise, position, sincerity, and trustworthiness
- Organizational intelligence, including the mapping skills needed to assemble winning coalitions
- Attention to your specific audience, bringing just the right tool at just the right time to make the sale
Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change. Program Consultants are available to provide more information on course specifics and discuss how this program might meet your needs. Please contact them by e-mail or by telephone at +1 215.898.1776. Plan your stay.
You will apply your skills immediately to your organizational challenges — working in real time to develop a campaign to sell your idea.
We begin before you even arrive. You will complete a persuasion style assessment to help determine what influence tools your organization compels you to use most often — and in which of these you are strongest and weakest. The program features group work, coaching sessions, interactive lectures, and exercises to provide feedback on your persuasion styles. You will practice your new skills in real-time simulations as well as in role-plays using real problems. This interactive, intensive, and personalized program is designed to address your unique set of issues. You will leave with new skills to solve your immediate problems and tools for generating solutions to future problems.
Strategic Persuasion Workshop Session Topics
- Using Authority To Gain Cooperation, Not Just Compliance
- The Secret of a Well-Structured Argument
- Using Stories and Metaphors To Paint a Vision
- Differences Between One-on-One Persuasion and Public Persuasion
- Working Relationships and Reciprocity
- Negotiating Win-Win Deals at Work
- Politics: You Can't Avoid It, So Master It
- The Process for Selling Your Ideas
The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas
by G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa
Related Negotiation and Persuasion Articles
- "Authentic Persuasion — The Art of Woo" (October 2009)
The Pennsylvania Gazette
- "The Guru of Woo" Download article, 344KB. (April 2008)
- See It My Way: Learning the Art and Science of Persuasion (August 2011)
- People Who Need People: Senior Executives’ Relationships Can Deepen Their Influence (July 2011)
- Negotiating from a Position of Confidence (September 2009)
- High-Stakes Negotiations: Cooperation and Conflict in Fallujah (January 2009)
- "'The Art of Woo': Selling Your Ideas to the Entire Organization, One Person at a Time" (October 2007)
The program officially begins on Monday morning and will conclude with lunch on Thursday. Hotel accommodations are provided Sunday through Wednesday evenings.
Persuasion and influence inside organizations are core skills for everyone who has to get things done in a complex work environment. These include managers at every level, as well as people who work for government, international agencies, and nonprofit groups. One can never be too skilled at influencing others so that the right things get done more often and more efficiently.
It is imperative that all candidates be able to understand written and spoken English, and to participate actively in intensive discussions and teamwork in the English language. A pre-program English tutorial is available upon request from the University of Pennsylvania's English Language Programs (ELPs).
Persuasion and influence are learned skills, not mysterious talents. Once you gain perspective on your own tendencies, you will be able to identify how others tend to react — and adjust your approach to suit your audience. This program takes an "inside-out" approach to help you recognize which persuasion styles come most naturally and enables you to understand the steps you must take to gain influence, credibility, and confidence in your organization.
- Learn about the six channels of influence — authority, rationality, vision, relationships, interests, and politics — and use them better.
- Optimize each message so it appeals directly to your counterpart's style and interests.
- Identify and remove barriers to your influence and persuasion (beliefs, relationships, interests, credibility, and mismatched communication).
- Use stepping stones and the snowball effect to advance your cause in your organization.
- Assess your persuasion style and choice of channels using proprietary tools.
- Apply these insights directly to challenges in your office.
- Map the political landscape of your organization to see where the landmines are buried and where your allies can help you.
- Receive a copy of Richard Shell's and Mario Moussa's new book, The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas.
Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and Management
The Wharton School
Professor Shell is the academic director of Wharton's Executive Negotiation Workshop and Strategic Persuasion Workshop: The Art and Science of Selling Ideas. He teaches in a variety of open-enrollment and customized programs. A partial list of his consulting clients includes the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, Merck & Co., Citibank, Bank of America, and several of the largest labor unions in the United States.
Senior Fellow, Wharton Executive Education
University of Pennsylvania
“I have already used what I learned in the Strategic Persuasion program many times. A pharmaceutical account that was in question when I came to the program is now stronger than ever. The practice and technique of Woo I acquired at Wharton saved this annual $5 million dollar account, and kept a long relationship from going to my competition.”
— Anthony Saldutti, Executive Vice President, MDavis Inc.