The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas, is a great read! Written by G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa, the book offers a new approach to idea selling. The word “woo” in the book is defined as the ability to “win others over” to your ideas without coercion, using relationship-based and emotionally intelligent persuasion.
The Art of Woo has a four-step approach to their idea-selling process. 1) Persuaders need to polish their ideas for the social networks that will lead them to decision makers. 2) Confront the most common obstacles that can sink ideas before they get started. 3) Pitch your idea in a compelling way. 4) Secure both individual and organizational commitments. Throughout the book the author reference historical business cases that helps bring this approach to life.
As you can imagine, individual personality plays a key role in how you influence others. The book includes two personalized “diagnostic” tests that readers can take to discover their persuasion strengths and weaknesses (I won’t share my results!) One of the diagnostics is the “Six Channels Survey,” designed to help people learn which of the key channels of influence they feel compelled to use most often at work, and which they would prefer to use if given a choice. These channels include Authority, Rationality, Vision, Relationships, Interests, and Politics. Throughout the book you learn how to better understand these six channels.
The Persuasion Styles Assessment is in the book, and helps readers determine the degrees of assertiveness and natural social intelligence they bring to the idea-selling process.
The Art of Woo goes on to describe five distinctive styles:
The Driver—a highly assertive person who gives only limited attention to the social environment
The Commander—a grove-like person who has a quieter demeanor
The Chess Player—a quieter person who attends strategically to the social environment
The Promoter—a gregarious type who uses high levels of social intelligence
The Advocate—who strikes the balance among all the others
Definitely an entertaining read, and certainly relevant to what we all do every day.
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