A BUSINESS consultant from Swindon has published a book which aims to 'redefine the art of persuasion'.

Bob Hayward, a business growth consultant at Be More Effective in north Swindon, mixed his experience of psychology with his business knowledge to co-write Persuade: How to Persuade Anyone About Anything.

The former mental health practitioner wrote it with close friend Nick Baldock, who died from a heart attack four years ago.

It sets out to debunk the misconception that persuasion is about manipulation when it comes to business.

Instead, Bob and Nick’s plan outlines a practical guide on how to change people’s views honestly through ideas and conversation.

Bob explained the purpose of the work to the Advertiser.

“Persuasion, negotiation, influence, is such a big part of everybody’s life,” he said.

“Whether you’re a mum trying to persuade the children to behave themselves, or a politician trying to persuade people to go for Brexit.

“We aim to set out the principles to inspire people to be more authentic in their negotiations and influence and persuasion efforts - but more ethical.

“Effective persuasion is done in the open,” he said. “If you’re being manipulative or devious and pulling people’s strings, you don’t end up with a person’s heart and mind on your side.

“You’ve got them won over and in a business.

“If you get head and heart you get discretionary effort and overt commitment and overtime.

“That’s worth about 200 per cent more.”

Bob developed an interest in psychology and worked as a mental health nurse before going into business consultancy.

“The fascination of human motivation and what makes people tick, that just grabbed me,” he added.

“The next thing is to run training programmes to get that message out there.

“Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, persuasion is about planning, understanding the other person, listening properly.”

The book was finished two years ago, but Bob found it too hard to proofread after Nick died.

“It was just after and I couldn’t look at it for a few years,” he said.

“We’d written half each. “This has been waiting to come out because I lost my soul mate and my running buddy. He was an amazing guy.”

Nick, a sales consultant and international speaker from Hertfordshire, died suddenly from a heart attack in 2014. He had previously cycled across America and completed John O’Groats to Land's End twice for the British Heart Foundation.

The seven-chapter book launched on September 24 and got to number one in its sales category on Amazon within 48 hours.