Cletus, an event manager, has been losing top contracts, ditching huge amount alongside…

 

Bode, a biochemist with masters degree has had numerous job interviews without positive outcome, he remains unemployed…

 

Femi, a 35year old unemployed graduate, still believes women only love for money after many ladies have turned down his marriage proposal…

 

Dr Adamu is a friend of mine. After 6years of general practice, he now thinks he isn’t a born physician; most of his patients never went back to him…

 

Wumi is currently fighting in court for her product’s right. Her business partner stole her business idea after her unique product had struggled to gain market recognition…

 

Last time we spoke, Cletus told me he didn’t understand why he has been losing so many contracts, ‘they kept shoving me out of the way in such unfair manners’, he said. He couldn’t figure out why he has been unable to secure a major contract since he started his business. After much disappointment, he felt it was better to pour the ashes of blame on nepotism. Well, I shouldn’t blame him for blaming the system for his failures. It is not uncommon to hear the popular Nigerian saying, nah who know who o. Yes, ‘nepotism and cronyism’ is everywhere, but then how long was he going to ineffectively accuse everyone of favouring everyone without favouring someone like him?
The truth is, we cannot keep blaming someone or an entity or a group for our failures in life. Even though the more spontaneous response to failure after disappointment is to blame something, someone or even oneself—it is called the blame game, we often forget that failure is a process of learning. You remember the popular Pavlov’s experiment in Psychology where a dog’s response to food was used to explain classical learning. The normal response of a dog to the sight of food is to salivate. A bell was paired with the food and each time the food was to be presented to the dog, the bell was first rung then the food followed. Over a period of acquisition, the dog learns to salivate on hearing the sound of the bell. When an animal takes a little while before being conditioned to new behaviour, this ‘little while’ is what’s termed ‘acquisition period’ and I call it ‘failure period’, because the dog must have failed to salivate when the bell was rung initially, the dog then later realized that the sound of bell meant food was coming, or had come. The equivalent of this in Operant Learning is called ‘trial and error’.

 

So what am I saying in essence? A period of failure should not be seen as disastrous ending to a project or a process, instead, should be seen as a learning process!

 

INSTEAD OF BLAMING YOUR FAILURES ON OTHER PEOPLE’S CONNECTION, CREATE YOUR OWN CONNECTION.

 

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Yes! Let people say you are connected, whether in entrepreneurship, academics, or in the process of job hunting. A friend of my mine surprised everyone by reserving his internship placement before induction into the medical practice—we are told that in those days there was job assurance as long as you are a graduate. In my own case, I did about three interviews and applied to about five facilities before I got an internship placement, house job placement o, not even full employment! Okay that was my own case, another colleague did take up to ten interviews, travelling across the whole zones of the country before finally picking up a placement. Securing a full government employment is whole lot more challenging.

How did my friend get connected without a prior connection? He was in a ward round as a medical student one day when a consultant asked for his name, he answered and the next question was, ‘are you related to one Prof A.B? My friend truly didn’t know who Prof A.B was but he bears this popular professor’s name. After few other similar experiences in clinics and rounds, my friend decided to find out who this prof was. He started asking questions about this man and eventually realised he is a renown medical doctor at the University of Jos Teaching Hospital, as at then, he was schooling at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, about 900km apart. My friend took this man’s number and put a call through. He told the prof how everyone had asked him if he was his father, and would love to meet him one day. My friend kept the communication line, texted him and called him from time to time, until he decided he was going to visit this Professor in Jos, about few weeks to his induction into the medical profession. Before leaving prof’s office, my friend boldly requested, ‘Sir, I would need you to grant your son a favour… with your influence, please help seek a job in this hospital as a medical intern.’ And that was it, simple as it seemed, right? My friend’s C.V was taken immediately and he was asked to resume Job any time he was ready. What a divine encounter! He now has a permanent job as a result of Prof’s influence.

Note that, my friend’s attitude persuaded the professor’s admiration for him.

My friend’s market was his boldness, charisma and good meaning spirit, while his profits are the dividends of his new connection—employment.

In the second part of this title, I would talk about how you, your market, and your target audience could be driven by the power of persuasive communication.

 

YOU DON’T HAVE A CONNECTION? THEN I ASK YOU, WHAT IS YOUR OWN MARKET?

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If you think you don’t have someone’s influence or finance backing you up for a project, contract, or job interview, then you must have a market. Your market is your selling point! In a job interview, your dressing and confidence are two major selling points. Most job interviews are for white collar jobs, hence the least expected dressing is for you to be on a tucked in corporate shirt and well knotted tie, you would do well by adding a non contrasting jacket. Then comes compotation at answering questions; do you know that you necessarily don’t have to answer correctly all questions before you can turn the interviewer’s bias to your advantage? Your humility and confidence sandwiched in your appearance and way you talk can do it all for you.

Always remember these:

1. You have the product to be marketed, if your market is successful, you are picked, if not they snub you.

 

2. Do not try to think about the politician’s special letter you couldn’t get for the interview, also try not to think about the company’s chairman’s daughter who is also taking similar interview! Focus on yourself. No desperation…, but find inner peace.

 

3. Your walking gait matters, the way you walk in towards your interviewer tells a lot about your personality, you wouldn’t want to be misjudged based on the way you walk anyways.

 

4. The saying ‘first impression matters’ works real good in interviews. The interviewer may have never known you before and needed to have a subjective conclusion about you to see whether you are fit for the job, this is while you need to go conservative as much as possible with your makeups, hairstyle, beard style and other appearance that may portray extravagance.

 

5. Always smile, whether you like your interviewer’s face or not. All employers love to work with happy and stable employees.

 

6. A job interview is like an oral exam, it is forbidden to be rude! You can be vetoed without you knowing.

 

7. Every other candidate of a job interview is a potential candidate of a politician or an influential person, but… there would always be that person or persons to be employed without prior connection, this person can always be you. Be prayerful, positive and optimistic.

 

As a teacher, the product you are marketing is the knowledge in you. If poorly dissipated, your students lose confidence in you, hence there is loss of persuasive communication.

 

As a caregiver, the product you are marketing is the knowledge and skill you have. I mean how well would you convince your patient to take medications without proving to them that you know their problems and you have a proven solution. Dr Adamu’s patients probably never went back to him because of his weak power of persuasive communication. He couldn’t convince his patients he knew what he was doing. All he probably had written on his face was doubt.

 

A trainer markets his skills and knowledge. Before even saying a word, he already proven to you he is highly skilled in what he does by giving you a sumptuous cake to taste as a teacher of bakery or showing you how massive his biceps and chest are before telling you about the types of fitness exercises.

 

An event manager shows you a collection of top class events he or she has managed before doing much of oral persuasion.

 

In contemporary capitalist setting where competition is the order of the day, almost nothing gets accomplished without persuasive communication, and it has gone beyond the strength of one’s oratory; both the discreet and obvious play a great role. The body built, dressing, countenance, gesticulation, societal status, academic status, religious influence, political and financial status all play important roles in persuasive communication.

Thanks for reading.

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