The art of woo

When Napoleon was a young officer at the Siege of Toulon, he established an artillery battery in an extremely exposed, dangerous location. His superiors thought he would never get troops to man it. But instead of ordering or threatening his sol- diers, Napoleon created a large placard and placed it next to the cannons:“The Battery of Men Without Fear.”The position was manned night and day.

That’s Woo: the ability to win people over to your ideas without coercion, using relationship-based, emotionally intelligent persuasion. It’s the secret of success with colleagues, clients and customers.

Authors G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa know what it takes to deal with difficult bosses and drive new initiatives through complex organizations.They have advised thousands of executives and have studied the greatest persuaders in history –– from John D. Rockefeller Jr. to Andy Grove, to name only a few.Their four-step process, called Woo, is a systematic, repeatable strategy for putting your ideas across.

Emphasis falls on building relationships and communications techniques.The authors draw on their experiences while teaching seminars on negotiations to busi- ness and nonprofit executives and the problems they faced when needing to per- suade people in their work and personal lives.

The Art of Woo does not suggest high-level strategies to defeat opponents in a competitive world. It delivers a process to win people over rather than defeat them.