Posts Tagged ‘persuasion’

Getting people to really open to you is an art in itself. If you learn to do it well, you will be much more successful in representing clients, collaborating with colleagues and other partners, and earning the trust of everyone you work with. Different styles of listening apply to different contexts (e.g., an academic study, a police interrogation, a therapist), but when your goal is to make someone feel understood, and encourage their trust and openness, use a form of listening called reflexive listening: (1) Don’t criticize. Let the other person feel safe to talk without judgment. (2) Don’t sympathize either. Even sympathy is a type of judgment. Once you express a judgment, the other person feels like you have stopped listening with the intent to just understand. Give the other person a chance to fully explore their own thoughts, and fully express themselves to you, without cutting it short with an evaluation […]

Jane Austen’s Persuasion is about a pair of lovers, Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, who are thrown together eight years after Anne, under the influence of a family friend who thought the match financially imprudent, broke off their engagement. The book is about many forms of persuasion, not least of which is how Anne, regretting her decision not to marry Wentworth, slowly wins back his embittered heart,  by doing no more to actively persuade him than just being her good, loving self. We are always, every day, in subtle ways, convincing people that we know what we are doing, that they should hire us for the job, that they should keep us on for the job, that they should put their trust in us, build a collaboration with us, take a risk on us or with us, enter a relationship with us, maintain a relationship with us, etc. It is not […]

The basic psychological premise behind effective persuasion is that people only do things for emotional reasons. Logic is something they use to justify a decision they’ve already made or an action they’ve already taken. Effective persuasion therefore relies on appeals to emotion rather than appeals to reason. This is why Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People pairs the idea of influencing people with the idea of making them like you, and why one of the most popular quotes I have seen on the topic of persuasion is all about playing on people’s subconscious emotions: People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies. ~ Blair Warren, sales copy writer Encourage their dreams. This bypasses the other person’s conscious mind by tapping into her subconscious need or desire for respect, prestige, etc. Justify their […]