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How to have powerful conversations that will influence people

By | LaRae Quy |

The purpose of powerful conversations is to influence people and change mindsets. As an FBI agent, I needed to persuade people that it was in their best interest to cooperate with an FBI investigation.

You may need a powerful conversation to change the behavior of one of your colleagues. Or, to convince shareholders that you have a solution to the problem that faces your company. Even more common are powerful conversations where ideas are exchanged, breakthroughs produced, and people feel both challenged and supported.

Powerful conversations establish bonds between people, clarify intentions, and create a lasting impression. The words we use, and the way we use them, signal both our savviness and our mindset.

Whether you’re a member of a small team, the CEO of a large company, or the short end of the stick that sits next to a boring cousin at Thanksgiving dinner, the way you present yourself through conversation sends an important message and leaves a memorable presence.

This is how to have powerful conversations that will influence people:

1. Explore, Not Explain

Too often, conversations in the business world do nothing more than explain a point of view or justify a decision that’s been made. There are a couple of reasons for this:

One, the myth of the lone genius dies hard. We are bombarded with stories about how a few creative wonder-kinds transform a particular industry. We all know who they are, and quite frankly, most of us are sick and tired of hearing about their genius. Some of it was luck, some of it was talent, and some of it was simply being in the right place at the right time.

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