The art of persuasion


Take a few minutes for a quick, practical refresher on the art of persuasion. It is for audit leaders and auditors alike. We all find ourselves needing to persuade others: audit clients, managers - the list goes on. The techniques and tips to achieve your goal are the same even when the players change.

Persuasion gives ideas traction. It is a critical skill for auditors at all stages of their career, which is why it is part of the Institute’s competency framework.

Read on to see why it is important…

Why is this important to me?

The ability to convince others of your perspective is essential. The most insightful audit findings are worthless if no-one takes them on board.

Persuasion is a positive process. It is subtle and has nothing to do with coercion or manipulation. It is about finding the right combination of hooks to engage and encourage an open mind to willingly change direction, to see things differently.

The ability to persuade is powerful. It directs action. It facilitates change. It makes a difference.

Is this not the role of internal audit?

Can internal audit protect the organisation without being able to effect change in governance, risk management and internal control?

Top 10 tips

We have consolidated the tips most relevant for internal auditors from a range of coaches and psychology experts worldwide thanks to the internet.

  1. Make the topicbe involved in the detail. Find a way to engage your audit client with the issue and use their language and key phrases.
  2. Create a story: visualise the future change - logic itself is not always enoughPersonalise and build the story to explain the logic of your case aim to let the other person work it out for themselves.
  3. Demonstrate the benefits of the alternative…