The National Convergence Technology Center’s (CTC) most recent “Brown Bag” webinar featured a look at the “art of persuasion.” The presenter was Ryan Bradshaw, who’s Department Chair for Business Education and Technology, part of the Business, Industry, Logistics, and Transportation division (B.I.L.T.) at Johnston Community College in North Carolina. The CTC’s annual grant review panel, which consists of both educators and employers, has long recommended that faculty be provided additional communications training to better advocate for their students and their programs.
First launched in 2020, the Brown Bag series offers special topic presentations via bite-sized, 30-minute segments on both technical and employability topics. To date, these 16 webinars have been attended “live” by over 500 people with another 1250 views of the recordings on YouTube.
Below are a few highlights of Ryan’s.
* It’s essential to find common ground with the other person. What do you have in common? What can you talk about and share? This can be a leisure activity or a favorite food or a popular TV show. Once you have common ground, then you have “a foundation to build upon.”
* Rather than asking a question with a “yes” or “no” answer, consider a question with a “this” or “that” answer. If a car salesman asks you if you want to buy a car today, more often than not the answer will be “no.” “No,” however, is a barrier to the relationship you’re trying to build. Instead, the salesman may ask if you prefer this red car or that blue car. Now you’re having a conversation.
* Conduct a “needs assessment” to understand what the other person needs. Your interactions can’t be just about what you need. If you put your needs first, you won’t find success because – Ryan noted – “most of the time the other person doesn’t care about your needs.” If you go to them looking to help, you will get their attention. That will engage them. Be someone who’s constantly helping and serving others.
* Schedule follow ups. If you meet a new contact that is valuable, plan for specific times to check in with that person. It’s about building relationships, which in turn creates trust. If you’re in a good relationship with someone built on trust and common ground, persuasion becomes easier.
To view the entire presentation, click here.
Next up, on Wednesday August 16 (12:30pm Central), will be a Brown Bag presentation on lean and agile concepts. You can register to attend here.