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The One Concept You Need to Know to Strengthen Your Persuasion Skill

The One Concept You Need to Know to Strengthen Your Persuasion Skill

Have you noticed that certain people are more persuasive than others? Is it possible for us to improve our persuasion skills? Yes, you just need to master this technique: syllogistic reasoning. [1]

Let’s now take a look at how this technique works and how you can apply it in daily life.

What Exactly Is Syllogistic Reasoning?

Syllogistic reasoning is a form of deductive reasoning. If we look at the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning, we can see how the approach is flipped. Let’s compare this by way of an analogy. Inductive reasoning is much like an artistic painter who combines various colors together to form a painting. By contrast, deductive reasoning is like a sculptor removing material until the artist reveals what she wishes to portray.” [2]

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    So, what exactly is syllogistic reasoning?

    Syllogistic Reasoning means the use of syllogisms to deduce arguments that draw conclusions from two premises–a major one and a minor one. [3]

    Here’s an example of Aristotle’s Syllogism:

    • All humans are animals.
    • All animals are mortal.
    • Therefore, all humans are mortal.

    In this example, we have a logical argument in which a pair of sentences serve as the premises, where the third sentence is the conclusion. A syllogism can be labeled as valid if the premises are true, where it would follow that the conclusion is also true. [4]

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    How Mastering Syllogistic Reasoning Will Benefit You A Lot

    • Intelligence. In a 2011 study, researchers found a close association between syllogistic reasoning and intelligence. They found that syllogistic reasoning is key to our IQ. [5]
    • Objectivity. Researchers and mathematicians typically use syllogistic or deductive reasoning when testing whether a principle is true or not. The scientific method uses deduction to test hypotheses and theories. This provides them the advantage of objectivity and certainty. For example, when we say, “If X, then Y” demonstrates that Y is true if X is true. [6]
    • Not affected by new premises. In an inductive argument, when you find new evidence (premises) the argument is affected, where a deductive argument is not. Let’s look at an example. [7]
    • “Today, John said he likes Romona. So, John likes Romona today.” However, this statement is radically changed when we add a new premise. “John told Felipe today that he didn’t really like Romona.”

    But Beware of the Loopholes in Syllogistic Reasoning As Well…

    • Syllogistic fallacies. One of the advantages to syllogistic reasoning was objectivity. Recall the statement, “If X, then Y.” But what happens if X is not true? The following illustration demonstrates this perfectly.

      • Affirming the consequent. This is one of Aristotle’s 13 fallacies and is defined by assuming an “If Then” statement is commutative. Think in terms of mathematics, where one term operating on a second is equal to the second operating on the first (a x b = b x a). Here is an example: I am in London, England. I am in England, therefore I am in London. [8]

      3 More Techniques to Improve Your Persuasion Skills

      Use the Priming Technique

        Priming is described as a stimulus influencing a person’s future thoughts and actions. In essence, priming will either introduce something new or bring an old thought back to the surface of our subconscious. Here are three ways to use this technique: [9]

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        1. Be subtle with priming. Attempt to influence another person toward a desired outcome without them realizing it.
        2. When a thought pops into your mind out of nowhere during a conversation, try to think back to what triggered that thought. Did the other person use this technique against you?
        3. Use images if you have an implicit idea of what something should look like. Images can be used to help prime user actions. Essentially, we can draw something from nearly nothing because we have an idea of what it is. [10]

        Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic

        Typically, we will base our decisions on known anchors (familiar positions). Adjustments will then be made using the anchor as the starting point. You can use this in two ways. [11]

        1. When negotiating, suggest the condition (or price). The ‘other party’ will typically base their counter relative to this condition (your anchor). Make sure you list your top choice first if you have to offer alternatives.
        2. Don’t fall victim to this if you are the ‘other party’. When they suggest a price (or condition), do not simply assume it is close to their actual price.

        Understanding Theory of Mind (ToM)

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          We form theories about the beliefs, values, and motivations of other people when interacting with (or thinking about) them. Typically, we make conjectures as to what they are feeling and thinking. In essence, we attempt to predict the intent of others. This is the Theory of Mind. Let’s look at the following example from Dr. Ashutosh Ratnam. [12]

          • Misunderstanding (Glove). A burglar who has just robbed a shop is making his getaway. As he is running home, a policeman on his beat sees him drop his glove. Key point: He doesn’t know the man is a burglar, he just wants to tell him he dropped his glove. But when the policeman shouts out to the burglar, “Hey you, Stop!”, the burglar turns around, sees the policeman and gives himself up. He puts his hands up and admits that he did the break-in at the local shop.

          Let’s look at two ways to use this to our advantage. [13]

          1. Recognize that our thoughts about what other people are thinking are simply thoughts. We can never know for certain what another person is actually thinking. So, make sure to test your assumptions prior to reacting.
          2. If someone has falsely judged you or created a false impression of who you are, ask them to describe their impression of you. See if you can pinpoint where this false impression originated.

          The most important piece of advice for improving your persuasion skills is to remain calm and keep a proper perspective at all times. We become vulnerable when we are emotional. Conversely, you can use emotion to your advantage. Think of a pinball machine where the player becomes frustrated and physically starts tilting the machine attempting to guide the pinball toward the flippers. In essence, strive to use a poker term referred to as “Tilt” and confuse your adversary. You will notice they will start using less than optimal strategies when they are angry and emotional.

          In the end, always keep a proper perspective.

          “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

          Reference

          More by this author

          Dr. Jamie Schwandt

          Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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          Last Updated on December 7, 2018

          10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

          10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

          How big is the gap between you and your success?

          What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

          It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

          So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

          Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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          Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

          You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

          When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

          This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

          Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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          Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

          This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

          Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

          A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

          Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

          …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

          Step 4: Backwards planning

          See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

          Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

          Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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          Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

          See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

          Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

          Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

          Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

          Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

          Step 9: Relax your mind

          Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

          Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

          When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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          Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

          Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

          To your success!

          Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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