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Beware Of These 7 Common Traps! They Can Weaken Your Power Of Persuasion

Beware Of These 7 Common Traps! They Can Weaken Your Power Of Persuasion

The power of persuasion can be an extremely powerful tool when it is individually mastered to its fullest potential. It could affect whether you’re able to clinch that dream job after the interview or make that million dollar sale after hours of convincing a customer.

How to be more persuasive

Although you look dashingly smart and eloquent, unfortunately, focusing too much on how you present your pitch instead of whether what’s being said makes sense or not, will not be a boon for your power of persuasion. However, having said that, being presentable is still an important element to be persuasive but its importance is being superseded by having a clear, logical and irrefutable argument.

If you’re looking for concrete solutions on how to be more persuasive, here are 7 fallacies you should stop committing as they can weaken your power of persuasion.

1. Exaggerating Opposing Ideas

When debaters deploy this technique, what they’re actually trying to do is to undermine the credibility of the opposing idea by making the opponent seem extreme. For example in an everyday context, you might choose to omit certain facts of what’s actually been said in a heated argument between you and your partner. By saying that your partner hates kids when he or she merely just wants to shelve that plan to build a more secure future before the baby comes is a fine example.

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By exaggerating, not only would you undermine your own credibility in the argument, you are also jeopardising the strength of your future arguments in the debate.

2. Taking It Too Personal

Debates or arguments might sometimes get so heated up, you might think it’s fine to take a swing at something personal. For example, by calling someone a crafty and untrustable person just because they look like one, only presents a weak argument from your side.

As much as possible, refrain from getting too personal but instead, argue against the idea, not the person.

3. Using Fear Tactics Without Evidence

We’d like to believe that appealing to the sense of fear would get our arguments across easily. Yes, it is worth looking at how to be more persuasive because when our audience is struck with fear, they’re susceptible to believing extreme claims of what can happen if they’re not willing to accept the argument.But that is only if these claims are backed with evidence.

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Nothing would destroy your credibility faster than fabricating or exaggerating on facts and having your audience see through those lies.

4. Appeal To Ignorance

When you dismiss something to be untrue, it doesn’t mean that the opposite is true either. For example, you can’t say that the iPhone is the best smartphone in the world just because Samsung may not be considered the best since there have been instances where their phones exploded. There are other phones out there that are on par with the iPhone.

By choosing to ignore hard facts and going straight to validate a claim, not only are you showing people how shallow your depth of knowledge is, you’re also making yourself vulnerable to a strong counter-attack.

5. Using The Majority

By using the majority to back up a claim and to say that it is something “accepted” by many, is one of the fallacies we commonly use in our arguments. Like most of the argument fallacies we commit, laying claim to something that is accepted by the masses, when it clearly isn’t, would only spell trouble for your arguments.

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If you’re a computer salesman for example, and you convince the customer that the computer is well received by the masses, only for them to find out otherwise later, then your credibility will be tarnished and you definitely won’t have them coming back to you.

6. Using Flowery Anecdotes

Using anecdotes can definitely put a point across as it helps to put things into perspective. But when you replace hard data with flowery anecdotes that don’t even hold water then people will start to think that you’re just full of hogwash.

Anecdotes such as praising oneself have a weak argument to it. For example, coming back to being a salesperson; if you’re trying to convince a customer by telling him or her that you’ve been very honest and that many people have bought the product and believed in it, chances are, you’re not going to get far with that argument simply because you don’t have the evidence to back that claim up.

7. Overgeneralising

Overgeneralizing and stereotyping are keys to failure. By judging a person or something based on one bad experience, you are only showing how ignorant you are to omit the good that’s been experienced by others.

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For example, by saying that China makes sub-par products based on just one bad experience only makes for a lacklustre argument.

Featured photo credit: People via pexels.com

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Lim Kairen

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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