Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Let's say you are in a meeting. You want to persuade your team to see the beneifts of adopting a shared digital calendar. 

Your presentation seems to be gong well until one colleague says,  'It's not worth the hassle of changing'. 'My diary works well for me.'

Just nod and say, 'Thanks for that'.

Keep calm. Don't look the slightest bit defensive. If you are feeling defensive, tell yourself how lucky you are that your colleague has raised his objection so that you can answer it.

So what do I do next?

You might say something like, 'Let's see if I can persuade you on that Fred'. Do it with a smile.

Now, address the issues - in this case both the value of the shared digital calendar and how easy it will be to change.

Look around the whole team as you continue to present your case. Don't look at Fred more than any other member of the group.

Don't set out to show Fred how wrong he is.

Why do it that way?

Fred has declared his opposition publicly. The consistency principle says he is likely more likely than not to maintain that point of view. If you back him into a corner with an emotionally-charged response you can count on it.

Give him a reason to change.

Facts such as benefits may help and seeing his colleagues responding positively will give you the benefits of social proof - the persuasive power of others.

Should I ask if he is persuaded?

Maybe. It's a judgement call. If he's obviously persuaded, yes. 

If you are not sure, but you have the rest of the group with you, no. Let social proof continue to do its work as you introduce the shared calendar.


 Interested in a workshop on the science of persuasion? Call us on +64 3 3653164 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



We're indebted to many researchers and thousands of salespeople for this one. It's been extensively field-tested.

It can be used in dodgy, manipulative ways, but you can use it honourably. The ethics depend on the context, so I'll have to leave the ethical issues to you to mull over.

It's the consistency principle, known to salespeople as the 'foot-in-the door technique'.

Here's how it works.

About Ralph Brown

ralph brown blog3

Ralph is our founder and managing director. He has a background in psychology, television journalism and business.

Ralph's passions are psychology and writing. He leads workshops on both and speaks to conferences on the psychology of thriving at work.

In 2011  Professional Speakers Australia awarded him its top speaking accreditation, the CSP.

He has written six books and more than a hundred articles on psychology and writing. International research journals have published his articles reviewing the research on resilience.

Ralph enjoys trips to France. He lives in rural Canterbury.

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