Not so obvious is that it is very important WHOM you are trying to persuade. Is it your boss, employee, customer, friend, date, spouse, offspring, stranger, team, or audience whom you are trying to persuade? Business persuasion is very different than trying to impress or persuade your date what a good potential mate you will be and persuading an audience has its own unique skill set. Google and find out what are the unique ways of persuading each category of humans. You will only find general principles covered in this blog.
WHAT you are trying to persuade a human of is also very important because there are factual persuasions and very subjective personal persuasions about politics, religion, sports odds, and aesthetics which are very frequently excursions into futility because the highly emotional beliefs or opinions are so strong and seldom subject to change or persuasion. Sometimes facts or statistics are coupled with strong emotional biases or feelings about what the facts really mean and a strictly logical approach to try and persuade may not be sufficient to reach a persuasive agreement. Realize that much persuasion is a waste of time and energy without benefits and should never be started in the first place.
Persuasion by someone whom you TRUST is more probable than being persuaded by a total stranger and if you are the lying type then you will never be believed once the lying has been uncovered and a trusting relationship ends.
In one on one persuasion it is very important to do most of the listening and only short and sweet head nods and brief responses showing respect for the others opinions. Asking probing questions to determine all the pros and cons of the situation and probing for possible objections to your point of view are also important because they will have to be addressed and in doing so you may uncover some flaws in your point of view which will need attention or change.
If your persuasion will lead to someone saving time, energy, and money and even feeling happy about the change then it is a worthwhile persuasion.
The art of persuasion is priming someone emotionally into wanting to be persuaded and if you first listen to and respect their opinions and agree with the ones that have some truth to them then they will begin to feel that you are on their side. If you find out what they really need or want then you may be able to give it to them and not just be feeding their ego and self-interest.
Use statistical consensus if it exists in what you are trying to persuade because many people are motivated by the herd instinct and want to be in the majority with their opinions very frequently.
Historical precedents are important because if something has worked before or is working well now then chances are frequently pretty good that it will work in the future too. Also appeal to experts or testimonials if you can to back up your persuasive powers.
Sometimes partial agreement is better than no agreement at all.
Finally, persuade in moderation or you will come off sounding too dogmatic by being in constant persuasion mode trying to change the world to only your way of thinking and doing.
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