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Wednesday, September 9

How To Be Persuasive


This post is part 2 of a 3 part series on fighting fair. Yesterday I told you what not to do during a fight. I gave 5 helpful hints to keep arguments civil. Today I’m going to teach you some of the things you can do to “win” a debate. These tips will help you convince others to see things your way. All you need to do is D-E-B-A-T-E.

Drop the attitude. In addition to following the guidelines for fighting fair try to be cool during a debate. Don’t act like a know-it-all. Be personable and relaxed. People enjoy talking about their opinions with others but not when the conversation is making everybody uncomfortable or when they feel judged for their opinion.

Explain your point of view. Be clear and concise. And tell how and why you came to view the issue how you do. The person you’re trying to persuade will benefit from understanding where you’re coming from.

Be logical. Don’t use faulty arguments. They might work on people who don’t understand logic well, but if you want to persuade people as clever as you are (and if you want to avoid being fooled by bad logic yourself) you should know the basics.

Appeal to your opponent. Try listing the ways your opponent stands to benefit from seeing things your way or doing what you’re suggesting. If your debate involves negotiation offer fair incentives. For example, if you’re trying to convince your neighbor to let you pick the apples of their tree explain to them that it’ll make mowing their lawn easier, and you’ll even share the apple crisp you’re planning to make.

Thank your opponent. Saying thank you for shared time, and shared thoughts helps the debate end on a good note.

Even if you win, you might not win. You can do everything right. You can be cool, and logical, and be arguing that the earth is round. But there will sometimes be people still convinced it is flat. Don’t take it personally. And don’t try to “win” by pushing the debate to keep going. That isn’t persuasion. Try again some day if it’s worth debating. If not, let it go. You may have “planted a seed” that will grow in their mind. Eventually, even if you’re not there to see it, they might come to agree with you. And if not you did your best without being a jerk which is how you really “win.”

Any other tips? Leave ‘em in the comments!

Remember to check in tomorrow for my post on saying “sorry” {because, let’s face it, we all screw up}.


1 Stubborn Stains:

Anonymous said...

Loving the mini series!! :) Very helpful.

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