Persuasion is defined as…

  • the act of persuading (or attempting to persuade);
  • communication intended to induce belief or action;
  • inducement to act by argument or reasoning or entreaty;
  • a conviction or belief.

Persuasion is generally the subject of marketing and advertising.  However positive use of persuasion could enhance our communications. A masterful positive persuader, Martin Luther King, used his powers of persuasion to inspire social justice and peace for all humankind. A masterful negative persuader, Hitler, used his powers to manipulate and con.


In relationships there is only win/win or lose/lose. In The Psychology of Persuasion Kevin Hogan says:

WIN/WIN is more than an idealistic philosophy.  WIN/WIN is an absolute necessity.  …If you do not fill the needs and wants of yourself and those with whom you are in relationship, both parties lose.  WIN/WIN is the only way to do business and the only way to maintain positive relationships.

Whether you are trying to persuade a friend, spouse, child, client, or to sell a product, to get to win/win it is important to discover what your needs are and what are the needs of your “target”.

Often we think of getting our point across, our needs met, achieving our goals.  Winning is valued in sports, as well as in many kinds of competitions. Games and competitions have clearly defined rules and boundaries, whereas rules and boundaries in relationships are negotiated.  Mastering our powers of persuasion to promote positive feelings, and create win/win situations will result in improved, more pleasurable relationships.

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