Strategic Persuasion Workshop: The Art and Science of Selling Ideas

Program Overview

Inside organizations, soft skills are the hardest skills. Relationships and credibility are on the line in every interaction, and your power to positively influence others is one of your most important assets. Even if you have brilliant ideas, they can’t change the world unless you can sell them to others.

The Strategic Persuasion Workshop is Wharton’s premier experience for enhancing these key skills. Based on Richard Shell’s co-authored book The Art of Woo, this program teaches a structured, actionable process for selling your ideas. You will learn easy-to-remember tools to guide you each step of the way. Join us for this intensive, interactive workshop and become a master of relationship-based persuasion.

Strategic Persuasion Workshop gives you tools to defend and advance your goals, says Academic Director G. Richard Shell.

Program Experience

Program Highlights & Benefits

In the Strategic Persuasion Workshop, you will gain:

  • 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
  • Communication skills for bringing just the right tool at just the right time to make the sale

Experience & Impact

The Strategic Persuasion Workshop is a highly customized experience. It begins before you arrive at Wharton with three personality-based assessments. This "inside-out" approach helps you recognize which persuasion styles come most naturally and better enables you to leverage your strengths. It also helps you to understand the steps you must take to gain greater influence and credibility in your organization.

Taught by G. Richard Shell and Cade Massey, the same award-winning team that leads Wharton’s Executive Negotiation Workshop: Negotiate with Confidence, this program shows you how to overcome influence barriers, improve credibility, and persuade others inside any organization, large or small. It features group work, feedback sessions, interactive lectures, and exercises to provide you with personalized feedback on your persuasion styles.

Rather than rely on lecture-based case studies, the program uses actual organizational challenges submitted by the participants, who work on them in teams. This approach means that in addition to learning new tools and techniques, you gain experience in applying them to real-world problems before you leave the program.

Session topics include:

  • Using Authority to Gain Cooperation, Not Just Compliance
  • Secrets of a Well-Structured Argument: Define the Problem, Discover the Causes, Present Your Preferred Answer, and Justify It as the Best Alternative
  • Corporate Culture: How to Understand and Cope with It
  • The Four Steps for Selling an Idea: Consider, Connect, Communicate, Commit
  • How to Master Organizational Politics Without Going Over to the "Dark Side"

Who Should Attend

Persuasion and influence inside organizations are core skills for everyone who has to get things done in a complex work environment. These include executives who are moving from a functional to a general management role, as well as managers at every level. This program also attracts participants who work in government, health care, international agencies, and nonprofit groups.

All candidates must be able to understand written and spoken English and participate actively in intensive discussions and teamwork in English.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Strategic Persuasion Workshop participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Strategic Persuasion Workshop participants by job function

Participants by Region

Strategic Persuasion Workshop participants by region

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Richard Shell

G. Richard Shell, JDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Thomas Gerrity Professor; Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics; Professor of Management; Chairperson, Legal Studies & Business Ethics Department, The Wharton School

Cade Massey

Cade Massey, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Practice Professor, Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School

Research Interests: People analytics, judgment under uncertainty, organizational behavior


Christopher QuinleyLiang & Quinley Wealth Management

Lee LatiniExecutive Director, National Retail, Comcast

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 that I acquired at Wharton saved this annual $5 million account, and kept a long relationship from going to my competition.”

Anthony SalduttiPrincipal Project Manager, MHR Inc.

Date, Location, & Fees

September 9 - 12, 2019Philadelphia, PA$9,100

June 1 - 4, 2020Philadelphia, PA$9,100

Download the program schedule, including session details.

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Hotel Information

Fees for this program includes accommodations and meals. Prices are subject to change.

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Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


The Strategic Persuasion Workshop is based on The Art of Woo by G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa. Each participant will receive a copy of the book.

The Art of WooVisit Wharton Digital Press to purchase the book

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