One thing I’ve noticed in the workplace: people who can get others to buy into their vision are at the top of the food chain. We’re all in the business of influence and persuasion. Whether it’s an idea or a product, you won’t get far unless others buy into it.

Persuasion vs Manipulation

I want to start by highlighting the difference between persuasion and manipulation. There’s a fine line. Both of these behaviors seek to move another person to a desired action. But manipulation is like the ugly cousin that grew up in the locked basement that the family whispers about.

Manipulation aims at control, not cooperation. It doesn’t consider the good of the other party. The aim of manipulation is a win-lose situation. The problem with that: you can only use it so many times before resentment starts to build.

Persuasion, in contrast to manipulation, seeks to enhance the …