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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

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Jeffrey Lau

Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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