How to persuade someone

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to persuade someone

In my previous articles how to make someone believe you and how to convince anyone to believe in anything I explained how the main idea behind convincing someone is to shake his existing beliefs, answer his doubts then program his mind with your own beliefs.

In this article I will continue talking about the same topic while pointing out one of the most important techniques in persuading people.

The persuasion technique I am going to highlight this time is also based upon the same concepts I mentioned before but with the difference that it focuses more on preventing the other person from persuading you.

If you want to be able to persuade anyone then read this article.

Persuasion is like arm wrestling

Have you ever tried to persuade a friend to do something then ended up believing in his own opinion?

Have you tried to tell a group of friends about a new idea then within few minutes they managed to convince you that its not a good one?

Some people mistakenly believe that persuasion is one a directional process where they think that they can either persuade the other party or go home with their beliefs intact but the truth is that while trying to persuade someone there can only be two possible outcomes, persuading him or having your own beliefs shaken!!!

Even if your beliefs were solid enough and even if you didn’t notice any changes after failing to persuade someone there will be a slight crack in your beliefs that might not appear before something makes it grow. (see How to make people believe you).

Why do you sometimes fail to persuade people

After all, the main reason you believed in an idea is that you saw something that others didn't see, if you managed to let people see that thing you saw then the probability of persuading them will become much higher.

The mistake most of people do when trying to persuade someone is that they only present their ideas, support it by one or two reasons then start receiving feedback from the person they are trying to persuade without letting him see the full picture. This sometimes results in being persuaded by the other person and in even believing that the idea was not that good!!

In order to persuade someone to do something that you want you must do the following:

  • Let him see the full picture: Don’t just present your idea then hope that he will like it but instead let him see all the things that you are seeing and let him feel the emotions that you felt when you first liked the idea
  • Not agreeing doesn’t mean that it’s the end: if a person didn’t agree with you then you must let him talk so that you can know the exact opposing beliefs that prevented him from being persuaded. After you know about these beliefs you can then shake them one by one by providing answers, statistics and proofs.
  • If you sounded confident enough you will easily persuade anyone: Just like in arm wrestling where big muscled guys make their opponents psychologically prepared for a loss confident people shake the beliefs of anyone they are trying to persuade too

The moral of the article is to motivate you to use all the proofs, evidence and reasoning while trying to persuade someone else you might end up being persuaded yourself!!

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