Want to get a raise, but you're afraid to ask for it? Or perhaps you're trying to grow your business? Maybe you're getting ready for a sales presentation? All of these scenarios have one common trait: they require strong persuasion skills.

In today's competitive world, persuasion is power. It can help you stand out from the crowd, secure new business, or reach your audience. Once you master this skill, you'll find it easier to convince others to understand your perspective and agree with you.

What Is Persuasion?

Nowadays, the term "persuasion" is overused and misunderstood. Some confuse it with manipulation. Others mistakenly believe it's the same thing as negotiation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

At the most basic level, persuasion is the ability to influence. This process or skill set involves changing a person's attitude or behavior toward an idea by using words to convey feelings or information. It has a wide range of applications in our personal, social, and professional life.

For example, you can persuade your children to join a particular activity. Or you can persuade your partner to buy a new house. You may also use this skill to convince your boss that you deserve a promotion or a raise.

Why Being Persuasive Matters

Persuasion is the only way to convince others to embrace our ideas without resorting to manipulation or coercion. What differentiates it from those two is that both parties gain something, even though not necessarily in equal proportions. People are more responsive to a persuasive act that promises to solve their problems or satisfy their needs.

The ability to persuade others gives you a competitive edge. It can also change people's lives for the better. Public organizations, for instance, use persuasion to urge people to stop smoking or driving under the influence. Parents employ this skill set to convince children that going to school will benefit them later in life.

When it comes to business, persuasion can make the difference between success and failure. No matter what you sell, you need this skill to attract and engage customers, attract potential partners, and raise funds. If you're an employee, you can persuade your superiors to assign you a new role or increase your salary.

Now that you know how important persuasion is you should take the steps needed to develop your skills in this area. It could exactly be what you need to get that well-deserved raise or climb the career ladder.