Saturday, December 7, 2013

Persuasion - Target Characteristics

In the last byte, we began a discussion on persuasion to change the attitude of an individual. In today’s byte, we move ahead from looking at how the source characteristics can affect persuasion and look at the target characteristics to understand how it influences persuasion.

When a manager attempts to persuade his team members to change their attitude towards work, there are certain characteristics of the individual he would need to understand and consider significantly. One of the most important of these characteristics is the self-esteem of the individual. People with high self esteem are generally less likely to change their attitude compared to those with a lower self esteem, when persuaded.

It is also an observation that people who hold extreme attitudes are thought to persuade. A person who is a fanatic believer of a particular belief would be extremely hard to persuade to act against his belief. His attitude is less likely to change.

From our practical experience, we would have also noticed that people are ready to change when they are in a happier mood. It is commonly realized by kids, and they generally make requests to their parents when they are in a happy mood. It is also the logic that people take their friends out for a party to request some favor ;)

If you were to ask if there is a single definitely way to persuade an individual – the answer is simply no. Managers would need to realize that there is no universal accepted mechanism to persuade people to change attitude, the ability to change the attitude also depends on the state in which the target of persuasion is.

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