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‘Persuasion, A Life Skill’

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What made you write the book now?

I have been teaching an elective course on commu-nication for second year students for four years now. I also conduct training courses for practising managers called "Taking the People Along". Thanks to teaching and research, I had developed quite a few insights into what makes a person more persuasive. Around that time, the idea of a series on business books also came up at IIMA, and I was asked whether I want to contribute.

Who do you think will benefit most from your book?

This targets managers with experience, but that does not mean they should have an MBA degree or long experience. An MBA in itself does not make any great difference to whether you are persuasive or not. The difference between persuasion and some other skills are that this is not a technical skill, it is a life skill.

One of the most persuasive persons I have come across is an illiterate fruit vendor who sells outside the campus. He makes each buyer feel special.

I also have bright students who make great presentations full of logic and facts, but still fail to persuade people. They fail to frame their arguments in a manner that appeals to the persuadee. This book attempts to help people look at their own persuasive style and see what they can do to take people along. As Gandhi said, you cannot reach out to a starving man unless you have bread.

(Excerpts From An Interview)

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 15-11-2010)