Remember that your persuasion priority must be specific, significant and meaningful to you and your organization, and realistic enough to be attainable. It also must be set with others in mind, because if you can help them get what they want, you’ll ultimately get what you want.
If you pursue your persuasion priority, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- Will it improve your communication skills — such as writing a compelling email, facilitating a brainstorming session or making an executive presentation?
- Does achieving your persuasion priority add to your actual or abstract organizational abilities?
- Might it help you build relationships, hone your problem-solving talents or sharpen your decision-making abilities?
- Will it help you attain mental toughness to compartmentalize a challenge and put it off for later while you work on other more time-sensitive issues?
- Will it increase your negotiation skills?
- Does it require you to consider more carefully your proficiency at work-life balance?
All of these potential improvements can be considered more qualitative than quantitative financial gains.
Breaking Down Your Skills
Keep in mind that the fastest way to achieve competency in a skill is to break that skill down into its various components.
Far too many people think far too broadly when it comes to analyzing a skill. Take the ability to make an executive presentation, which some might categorize sweepingly as “presentation skills.” That’s a mistake.
Making a presentation involves researching your topic and your audience’s perspectives on the topic, as well as blending third-party expertise with your own insights. Then you need to develop your content: the opening, a middle section, examples, anticipation of questions, response preparation and even a recovery plan for gaffes or an unexpected comment. Then comes the creation of an effective closer that leaves your audience thinking, knowing or doing something different. Each of these components in and of themselves could be considered a skill set.
These skill sets might come easier to some people than others, but just because you struggle to achieve competency doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue a given skill — or a given persuasion priority.