A young elk buck challenges the herd leader with zest, conviction and passion. He knows that victory will mean many wives; failure is sure death as it is the proverbial fight to the end.

Persuasion is essential when presenting your case for a raise to your boss. No argument is properly delivered without conviction and passion. If you are not prepared or if you do not believe in what you are asking, it will be evident unless you are very, very fortunate. Don’t rely on luck to when the stakes are high.

Zest or zeal is the energy you bring into the room with you. It is contagious. It is a positive force. It shows that you are confident, focused, and passionate about what you are about to do; fight for your cause.

Develop ways to telegraph this personal attitude:

-Check your tiredness or personal problems at the door. Actually take a personal moment before entering the room to consciously do this. If you are with a team, step aside to make sure you are mentally ready to enter. If you are leading the group, you should do this before even meeting up with your teammates.
-Enter the room boldly. Make an entrance, don’t just enter.
-Make it a big deal to meet someone for the first time. Recognize, personally, each of the people in the room. Pause when shaking hands and mentally register the person’s name and facial features. Make good, firm, direct, in-control eye contact with each person observing how they react.
-Make it a point to see if everyone has everything they need, even if it is not your office. Take control of the environment. Be assertive in seeing to the needs of others.
-Start off with a positive statement. Something a simple as “Is Everyone ready to do this?” sends a very clear message across the table.

Practice how you enter a room, greet others and start a session. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day. By developing a natural manner to bring enthusiasm and passion into your persona you will become a more dynamic small group leader. By assuming an informal leadership role that may enable you to steer the discussion and formulate how the arguments will play out. A great negotiating tactic!

In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss various persuasion tactics and techniques.

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