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Ask Vicki: How can I be more persuasive at work?

In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains how to make your words carry more weight at work.

Ask Vicki: How can I be more persuasive at work?

Vicki Salemi

Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to

Vicki Salemi

Q. How can I be more persuasive at work?

A. There are a few ways to be more persuasive at work. The first one involves your communication style. Are you stating things like a question rather than matter of factly? Assertiveness and persuasiveness require speaking up with confidence. While it sounds like your suggestions were initially ignored, speaking with more authority and conviction can certainly help boost your persuasiveness.

The next strategy involves how you’re presenting your ideas—are you presenting an idea that’s out of the blue or does it have factual information supporting it? Start tweaking your presentation style by speaking authoritatively and providing facts and research to back it up. Perhaps you can show how something was done in the past and wasn’t done so well and how your idea reflects a much-needed improvement.

Since your coworkers are more assertive than you are, observe their behaviors. What are they doing differently to result in favorable results more quickly than you’re getting? How are they presenting their ideas, how are they getting people to rally behind them? You can learn a lot by observing and even by asking—sit down with a coworker and tap into their skill set. Tell them you’re focused on improving this skill and ask specific questions as to how they’ve managed to hone theirs—how do they get people on board with ideas upon their first suggestion? How are they communicating ideas? Maybe they simply have more people at work that rally behind them anyway as a respected leader so in turn, any idea they present will probably be welcome with open arms? Tap into what they’re doing right so you can improve your own game plan.

Read Vicki Salemi's answer to "How can I be more persuasive at work?" on Quora.

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