Influencing and Persuading Skills

Skills for Work employability videos

Have you ever had to persuade or influence your colleagues and show assertiveness to get what you want? How successful were you? Being able to influence and persuade are very difficult skills as they require tact to remain diplomatic.

Watch the video below from the Open Mind Skills for Work series which helps adult English learners improve their influencing and persuading skills.

More employability skills resources

Video Worksheet  Teacher's Notes


In this video, John is trying to persuade his boss Amanda to let him have Saturday off work as he has an important family commitment. He is supposed to be launching a new social media campaign at work on Saturday, and Amanda is reluctant to give him the day off, due to the important timing of the launch. John and Amanda role play two scenarios: one where John is not only unsuccessful in getting his day off, but also manages to offend his boss at the same time. Following commentary from the life coach in the second scene, John approaches the discussion differently and is much more successful. He also leaves Amanda feeling assured that the social media launch will take place without problems in his absence.

Tips for improving your influencing and persuading skills

  • Use positive and open body language that is assertive without being aggressive 
  • Be clear, concise and to the point
  • Offer solutions to ensure that your request doesn’t cause problems for anybody else
  • Be honest about your reasons
  • Be willing to negotiate