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5 Minute Action Plan to Master the Art of Woo

Have you ever wondered why certain people have the ability to bring teams to their highest levels of performance, to turn confrontation into collaboration, and to push new ideas to success?

Joseph Quan     |     Nov 7, 2015



Have you ever wondered why certain people have the ability to bring teams to their highest levels of performance, to turn confrontation into collaboration, and to push new ideas to success?

They’ve mastered the art of “Woo” – an ability to win people over using emotionally aware, relationship-driven persuasion.

I spent this past weekend at a Wharton School workshop led by Art of Woo coauthor Mario Moussa, who broke down the process that some of the world’s best leaders use to influence others.

The process consists of 4 steps:

  1. Consider: Develop a holistic understanding of the current situation. Know your audience, key stakeholders (people who have interests or concerns regarding the decision at play), and the overall decision-making process your ideas will go through.
  2. Connect: There are two notable ways to foster a deep connection to your audience. First, practice empathy; as Roman philosopher Cicero noted, “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my language.” Second, be present. Focus entirely on the conversation at hand with no distractions (see AYA #5: Digital Detox for more details)
  3. Communicate: State your case in simple, clear language. Authors Moussa and Shell recommend the PCAN model (define the Problem, explain the Cause of the problem, state your Answer, and discuss the Net Benefits of your answer)
  4. Commit: Finally, get commitment from the people you speak to. This means anything from confirming your agreement over email to having them purchase your first product to having them advocate for your cause.

Some other takeaways from the book and workshop:

  • Preparation is critical; few people can “wing it”
  • Deliberate practice makes perfect
  • Engage in IF-THEN (scenario-based) thinking: consider potential reactions and scenarios that may occur in your conversations (the “IF” component) and then consider your own course of action (the “THEN” component)
See the 5-Minute Action Plan

Joseph writes for AYA, a weekly newsletter that curates the best professional development advice for 20somethings and makes it actionable. Every week AYA summarizes a book or piece of research and sends you an accompanying action plan to act on what you just learned.

Written by Joseph Quan - Please submit all responses to jackmara@10Thoughts.com

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