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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However, having said that, being presentable is still an important element to be persuasive but its importance is being superseded by having a clear, logical and irrefutable argument.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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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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