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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

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          Last Updated on December 13, 2019

          7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

          7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

          Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

          Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

          Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

          Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

          1. Just Pick One Thing

          If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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          Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

          Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

          2. Plan Ahead

          To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

          Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

          Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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          3. Anticipate Problems

          There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

          4. Pick a Start Date

          You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

          Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

          5. Go for It

          On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

          Your commitment card will say something like:

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          • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
          • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
          • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
          • I meditate daily.

          6. Accept Failure

          If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

          If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

          Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

          7. Plan Rewards

          Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

          Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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          Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

          Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

          Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

          Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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