Listening to others helps you to persuade them. Let me explain it with my work-life experiences that I put down here.
I was then heading Machine Shops of the IISCO Steel plant. Our company had decided to implement ERP in the coming months.
You know, ERP is Enterprise resource planning. It’s a software that manages day-to-day business activities. To make this happen, the employees in key positions should know how to run computers first and then the ERP system.
The problem I faced in my work-life
When you see the workflow of the machine shops, it starts with production planning. How the employees of the Planning Cell used to plan then? As there was no computer, they used to plan and write the jobs manually in the giant size registers. So they had to spend much of their time writing logs. The rest of their time left was much less. With no option left, they had to spend less time in planning and execution. As a result, the planning was ineffective and time taking.
Then I started planning how to do computerized planning. I knew it wasn’t easy. In the first place, I had to break their mental barrier so that they could accept the change gladly. So what to do? I held a series of informal meetings with them. The most crucial point was every session started with a new icebreaker. It helped them to open up. So they could express their opinions freely.
Let me tell you what did I do then?
Sometimes I used to give a piece of paper to each of them and then requested to write the positive qualities they had. Sometimes I wanted to know how they spent time after the office. Day by day, they opened up more. Then they started sharing the incidents of their personal life. After a few days, they used to speak out, and I used to listen to them with interest. Because I believed that if I showed interest in them, they would show interest in me too. You can read here how your interest interests others.
How did I do so? It’s by listening.
I allowed them to speak more, whereas I listened to them silently with full attention. Then I never moved my eyes away from their faces. After they finished, I asked them a lot of questions about what they told.
In this way, we could understand each other more. As a result, I could know what they liked and what they lacked. After a month, I could make them know that if they could use computers, they could avoid record-keeping in registers that they did not like.
Then I set up one desktop computer at once in their office with an internet facility. So they felt happy. Then I designed an excel sheet and asked them to computerize the plan in it. Day by day, they progressed. But I never stopped meeting them. I met them once a week and listened to what problems they were facing. After that, I took action to solve them. Thus I purchased one scanner-cum-printer and one Pendrive for their use. I sent two of them for training on computers. Finally, they became skilled enough to do their jobs on the computer. How could I persuade them? I have already mentioned it earlier. So I give below the action steps here.
Action steps what I followed for persuasion
- Make a rapport. I did it through a series of meetings and ice breakers.
- Allow them to speak.
- Listen to them with full attention.
- Please keep your eyes fixed directly on them.
- Ask questions after they finish.
- Develop them in what they lack.
- Solve their problems.
Simply put, I persuaded them by listening to them. Listening means active listening. It’s listening with all of your senses. I must stop here with this beautiful quote.
“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears by listening to them.”
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