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Why Everyone Listens To Him When We Say The Same Thing: Tricks To Reverse The Situation

Why Everyone Listens To Him When We Say The Same Thing: Tricks To Reverse The Situation

You and your colleague are presenting your respective proposals to the director in the meeting room. You’re confident that your proposal will be accepted. Because you find many loopholes in what your colleague says.

But the strange thing is…

The director keeps nodding his head when your colleague presents his idea. He seems to feel entertained and intrigued by your colleague’s performance.

Finally, the proposal from your colleague, instead of yours, is accepted.

The director is a smart guy. He should be able to identify that your arguments are more solid, and accept your proposal for the sake of company’s development.

But why is he more convinced by what your colleague says?

Validity of Argument is Insufficient

We, as human beings, are always proud of being able to think logically. We weigh the cost and benefits carefully to make sure we make the most reasonable decision.

This is how our brain works, isn’t it? Oh, but wait…

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In reality, we are not as rational as we think.

Actually, our minds are full of biases. External factors such as rational arguments can hardly outweigh the influence of our deep-rooted biases.

A study showed that people who supported death penalty after learning about the anti-death penalty turned out to be surprisingly more supportive to death penalty. The same happened to the opposing side.[1]

The researcher concluded that an effect known as ‘biased assimilation effect’ was found – we only believe evidence that stands on our side. This effect is universal in every aspect.

In other words, our minds are made up. We are not easily swayed by arguments.

Validity of argument does not sufficiently win us a debate.

So what’s lacking?

3 Components of Effective Persuasion

Aristotle, an influential philosopher, suggested three components of effective persuasion in his work Rhetoric.

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Validity of arguments, listeners’ emotions and speakers’ personal images.

All the three collectively affect our persuasiveness. Missing any one of the components can render the persuasion ineffective.

Listeners’ emotions affect persuasiveness by their willingness to listen to arguments. In moody state, even the most convincing argument won’t be entertained. In delighted times, even an under-developed idea will be well supported.

Speakers’ personal images affect persuasiveness by the listeners’ tendency to entrust them with. It can be the impression ‘he/she has been responsible and diligent’ or ‘he/she looks trustworthy’. The validity of argument is irrelevant in this case.

Certainly, we still need a functioning argument for us to persuade others. Yet, validity alone is far from enough to persuade others.

How to Make Everyone Listen to Me?

After learning what might be lacking in our consideration during persuasion, we now have to know exactly what we can do to incorporate the tips in our daily usage.

Be aware of the listeners’ state of emotion

Pick an appropriate time to do the persuasion, when the listeners are calm and ready to listen.

It is never wise to start an argument with anyone who is emotionally unstable. It will always end badly. Either we get frustrating explaining or the listener is more triggered.

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Pay attention to the listeners’ body language and facial expressions. Sometimes their bodies give signals displaying unwillingness to listen or tiredness. Then it is improper to continue because it is effort-wasting.

Build up a positive image

From time to time, we categorize people as trustworthy or not. Building up a trustworthy impression makes persuasive work less harder. Be responsible for our words. Before making judgement or giving conclusion, test the validity ourselves.

Improve the delivery

Even if you have a strong argument, you need to properly convey the message in a neat and convincing manner.

Having sufficient eye contact during delivery boosts self-confidence and sound more convincing.

Avoid abrupt stops within sentences. It is difficult to grasp the gist in ‘broken’ sentence.

Properly segment your delivery in a point-to-point way. People can only buy your ideas if they can get your point.

Seek concrete arguments

Last but not least, the validity does matter. Though it alone is not adequate to convince others. Having a solid and fully developed argument is always important.

Look for adequate supporting evidence. Is your argument groundless or is it supported by trustworthy evidence?

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Sometimes one or two evidence is inadequate. Then you have to look for other way to strength your point.

Is there any similar arguments available? If yes, are they applicable to this situation? Fully develop your argument before presentation.

Personal virtue and catering to listeners’ emotions are complementary to validity. Given two persons with comparably convincing arguments, people will opt for the one who have better personal image, cater to their emotions and deliver their ideas more clearly.

Keep in mind that validity of the argument is never unimportant. It is just that mere validity is insufficient to be persuasive.

If we manage to balance all the three components of effective persuasion, soon we will find everyone listen to us.

Featured photo credit: Tim’s Free English Lesson Plans via maybusch.com

Reference

More by this author

Jeffrey Lau

Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

Think you have a boring life?

The definition of boring is dull or not interesting. Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list of 20 things can definitely make any day more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaning) one!

1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

What would he or she want to do right now? Color? Paint? Run around outside? Play dress up? Eat with your hands? Play that instrument hiding in the back of your closet that you haven’t touched in years?

Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play.

2. Go Play with Kids

Speaking of little kids, if you have your own or access to any (in a non-creepy way, like they’re your niece or your best friend’s kid, you get the idea) go play with them!

They didn’t create an entire show called Kids Say The Darndest Things because kids aren’t hilarious. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

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3. Order a Hot Dog

While you’re eating it, Google: “What’s in a hot dog?” You decide whether or not you want to finish it.

4. For the Ladies: Wear Your Sexiest Lingerie Under Your Work Clothes

Your “little secret” will leave you feeling anything but boring all day!

5. Play Cell Phone Roulette

You’ll need at least one buddy for this. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one and call the person.

You could spark an incredible catch up session or be incredibly awkward. Neither are boring.

6. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

Give them to random people who probably don’t get thanked too often for doing what they do ever day.

Ideas: police officers, librarians, servers, baristas, cab drivers, sanitation workers, teachers, people behind any check out counter, receptionists, your friends, the guy at the falafel stand, etc.

7. Sign up for a Class in Something You’ve “Always Wanted to Do”, or Something That Makes You Really Uncomfortable

Ideas: pole dancing, salsa lessons, improv, pottery, cooking, knitting (yup, there are classes for this, too!), karate, boxing, something techy like the workshops they run in Apple stores, get Rosetta Stone and learn that language you’ve always wanted to speak, etc.

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What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people!

8. Interview Your Grandparents About Their Lives

You can bet they’ve had some crazy experiences you probably never knew about.

9. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage and just talk funny. And if you’re not, memorize a few of your favorite jokes and tell those!

10. Do Something for Someone Else That You Wish Someone Would Do for You

We all have a few ideas on this list. I promise you will feel amazing after and anything but bored.

11. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

It doesn’t have to be super complicated. If you need ideas, there’re plenty on Pinterest. Or you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

12. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

This will give you something to look forward to.

Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is same fun and relaxing!

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13. People Watch

Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops and train stations are great for this!) and just observe.

People are infinitely interesting.

14. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

Bonus points if it’s a random fruit or veggie.

15. Dance

You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public and get other people involved.

16. Go to YOUTUBE and Search “Funny Pets” or “Funny Babies”

This is also a great quickie ab workout as you will be laughing hysterically.

17. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

Check out the NY Times Best Sellers lists and grab a new book you can get lost in.

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18. Step Away from the Computer and Go Get Some Time with People You Care About in Real Life

Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. You can even share this post with your friends and vote on which one you’d like to do together!

19. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to Before

OK, depending on your interests, this one might actually be boring. If you love learning, art or different cultures though, this one is for you!

20. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then start taking your first step to make what you want happen.

Now go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Kev Costello via unsplash.com

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