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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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          Published on April 16, 2019

          How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

          How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

          When was the last time you did something for yourself?

          Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

          Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

          However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

          And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

          So how can you make that happen?

          Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

          Listen to Yourself

          The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

          This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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          What is your purpose?

          Have you ever thought about this question?

          Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

          In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

          Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

          All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

          If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

          But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

          For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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          If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

          How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

          Seek Out Continuous Education

          Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

          It’s Super Practical

          Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

          You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

          When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

          Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

          You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

          You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

          You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

          Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

          With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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          In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

          Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

          People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

          We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

          “Knowledge is choice.”

          Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

          Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

          Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

          Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

          Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

          Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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          When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

          Habits Make Your Time a Priority

          How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

          It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

          This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

          Your Well Being Comes First

          We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

          If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

          The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

          Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

          Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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