Tag Archives: Persuasion

The Soulful Art of Persuasion: The 11 Habits That Will Make Anyone a Master Influencer by Jason Harris


  1. Harris walks us through some key persuasion traits and habits 

Key Takeaways

  1. The 11 Habits
    1. Being your own weird self makes it difficult for others to see you as phony or manipulative, and allows them to recognize you as a unique individual.
    2. The power of storytelling will help you to reframe contentious issues and offer your point of view in a way that resonates on a human level.
    3. Never be closing and avoiding the “hard sell” will help demonstrate that you care about things other than your own immediate gain.
    4. Give yourself away by seeking to give something away in every interaction. You’ll be laying the groundwork for cooperation.
    5. The pull of positivity counteracts the negative emotions that separate us.
    6. Just a little respect can neutralize toxic “us versus them” thinking on the part of your audience.
    7. It’s not me, it’s us is the ability to see things from the perspective of others. Truly empathizing with someone else’s point of view will enable you to meet your audience on their own terms and guide them to a new point of view.
    8. Collaboration will lead others to see you as a member of their team, making them far more likely to take your side now and in the future.
    9. Finding common ground involves learning to see people as basically similar. This will combat tribal tendencies in your own thinking and will help move others to do the same.
    10. Skill-hunting brings a high level of proficiency to everything that you do, lending you an innate authority that carries real influence.
    11. Being a source of inspiration will help others to move past their normal limitations and join you in your positive pursuits.
  2. The 11 Habits fit into 4 core patterns
    1. First, persuasive people are original. When they speak, you sense they are coming from a place of authenticity and honesty and that you’re getting a glimpse of the real, unique them—not some prepackaged version designed to please you.
    2. Second, persuasive people are generous. They give habitually and without expecting things in return. I’m not just talking about money or physical gifts. Persuasive people also are generous with advice, opportunities, introductions, respect, and emotional positivity. You never get the impression that they are just looking out for themselves.
    3. Third, persuasive people are empathetic. They are naturally curious about other people and seek out engaging conversations that delve past small talk into topics that genuinely matter to others.
    4. Finally, persuasive people are soulful. They hold themselves to their own self-imposed ethical and personal standards, always strive to be better, and motivate others to push beyond their normal limits. They are sources of inspiration for those around them. As a result, they possess a personal authority that makes them naturally influential.
  3. Other
    1. Specifically, you should always be on the lookout for people you admire for their sincere, no-bullshit demeanor.
    2. The methods I’ve found to avoid this kind of insincerity are: Put your true self out there. Speak and act with confidence. Collect role models. Boldly follow your core values.
    3. If you can’t state your message in a single uncomplicated sentence, you haven’t got one. And if you’re trying to communicate more than one message with a single story, then you’re likely to lose your audience.
    4. Persuasion isn’t about coercing your audience to do what you want. Rather, it’s about attracting them to a particular conclusion, and letting them get there on their own. Being pulled is always preferable to being pushed.
    5. Transactions are about getting what you want; the long game is about forging relationships. “Always be closing” is about pushing people to do something; the long game is about pulling people toward your way of seeing things by engaging them on a human level.
      1. Rule 1: Never Sell Anything You Wouldn’t Buy Yourself
      2. Rule 2: The Simple Power of No
      3. Rule 3: Never Let Relationships Drop to Zero
        1. Pick four people a week to touch base with. It doesn’t need to be a long email or phone conversation—it could just be a quick “I was thinking about X and that reminded me of you” text message. It could also be a face-to-face meeting or scheduled phone call.
        2. Don’t force the interaction; just make the introduction and let them do the rest. Your goal is to value relationships for their own sake—and that includes other people’s relationships.
      4. Rule 4: Put Some Skin in the Game
    6. It’s long been thought that one of the best ways to wield influence is by engaging in reciprocal, give-and-take exchanges. But this is a paradigm example of the kind of transactional thinking that undermines one’s persuasiveness in the long run. Focus solely on the “give.” Simple as it may seem, habitually generous people are more persuasive. So get in the habit of giving things away in as many interactions as possible. Some of the latest science backs me up. Human beings evolved to be generous, it turns out, because it was a reliable way to get people to cooperate. And in a real-world environment where people aren’t always in a position to reciprocate, a default generosity is a proven way to earn people’s trust and appreciation. The more you look at your interactions with others as opportunities to give, the more you will recognize what’s being asked of you or what you have to contribute. Giving breaks down into four categories: Time and attention Advice and recommendations Compliments and recognition Stuff What’s crucial is that no matter what you’re giving away, it must be something you find valuable. Just as important, you can’t expect anything in return. Being generous will make you a happier person and will create stronger relationships and bonds with those in your life. If you become the kind of person who exhibits a generous character, persuasiveness will be a natural by-product. The returns that come from putting good things into the world will accrue with compound interest.
    7. That’s why a respectful disposition is an essential ingredient for a persuasive character. How to be respectful comes down to three elements: RESPECT OTHERS: Be reliable by doing what you say you will, no matter how small the commitment. RESPECT TIME: Remain present in conversation (and if you can’t, tell the audience why). RESPECT MISTAKES: Admit it when you do screw up or do the wrong thing, and use these moments to demonstrate your thorough respect, generosity, and honesty by handling the situation gracefully and taking responsibility. If you want to remain influential, you need to use these situations as opportunities to show people the real you.
    8. We can decide to be more empathetic. And we can do it by adopting two goals: Becoming naturally curious. Listening more, judging less
    9. There are four collaborative skills for you to consider that are particularly powerful: Ask for small favors. Ask for advice. Give honest encouragement. Think outside the silo.
    10. People who are skilled at seeing commonalities instead of differences also find it easier to relate to people of different backgrounds, experiences, ages, and seniority. Adopting a commonality-based point of view is easy, so long as you’re willing to make the effort. That process begins with these techniques: Make the choice to emphasize similarities. Practice seeing shared traits. Call out points of agreement. If your default position is to see other people as more or less the same as you, that will help bring people to your side.
    11. It follows, then, that from the standpoint of persuasion, the best way to approach any project, large or small, is to see it in terms of the skills required to perform it well—and to commit to developing and improving those skills. This is skill-hunting in a nutshell. And it strikes an important balance between life-hacking and the masochistic “more is more is more” work philosophy that many blindly subscribe to. You can make the shift to this skill-based approach by: Deliberate practice The two-year skill hunt Passions, not hobbies Quality over quantity Straight facts Over time, the high standards and commitment to quality you display will come to define you in the eyes of others.
    12. Of all the ways of persuading another person to action, inspiration is without a doubt the most profound, and in a lot of cases the most powerful. If you can be a source of inspiration for others, you’ll rarely struggle to have your opinions taken seriously. Your views will carry the weight of authority. And people will go out of their way to grant your requests. You will have achieved a kind of influence that goes far beyond salesmanship or rhetoric or bargaining. It is a persuasive power that comes directly from your soul. Becoming a source of inspiration is a challenging, lifelong project. It involves constantly striving to act in accordance with your principles. Perhaps most important, inspirational figures have a highly developed capacity to resist the bystander effect and break away from the pack when their values demand action. The most inspirational people: Preach less and practice more Use their powers for good Seek out causes that advance their values Reach out to their heroes

What I got out of it

  1. Win/Win, respect people, listen, others-focus, be deserving and trustworthy, 

Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter by Scott Adams

  1. Discusses how emotional rather than rational people really are and how to use this fact to persuade people. He uses the recent Trump presidential campaign to tie in real life examples of his persuasion tips
Key Takeaways
  1. Trump’s presidential victory “ripped a whole in the fabric of the universe” in the sense that people have had to alter their mental models to fit reality. Objectivity was believed to be synonymous with reality but Trump’s victory shows that we have to alter the “movie in our head” to model what is really happening. This was one of the biggest perceptual shifts to ever occur
  2. A good mental filter is one which helps you predict the future and makes you happy. Adams does not say that the persuasion filter is an accurate representation of reality
  3. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias are two phenomena which affects everyone.
    1. Adams’ blog and prediction of a Trump victory was partly motivated by him wanting to make sure people were looking at the situation through the right lens. Trump remade the Republican Party in his own image, destroyed the media’s credibility and crushed the Democrats.
    2. The tell for cognitive dissonance is not the quality of explanations but how many of them there are. Also, overly emotional or aggressive responses, the psychic psychiatrist (thinking you can know other people’s unspoken feelings or thoughts), retreating to analogy, extreme social or professional pressure to agree with the assumed answer, and attacking the messenger are other tells.
    3. Cognitive dissonance isn’t a bug in the operating system. It is the system. Mass delusions are the norm
  4. Always keep an eye out for leaders who have a “reality distortion field”
  5. 2D v. 3D world
    1. Second dimension – mental model most people use which says that people are mostly rational. Master persuaders operate on the third dimension where people are irrational 90% of the time. Humans think they are rational and that they can understand reality but they are wrong on both accounts. The truth is that humans bounce around from illusion to illusion, thinking we see reality.
    2. Facts play little role in the big decisions in our lives as we are emotional creatures. We make emotional decisions and then rationalize them after the fact
    3. When emotions are involved, people simply don’t change their minds just because facts are presented
  6. Evolution doesn’t care if your representation of reality is accurate as long as you procreate
  7. Moist robot filter – people are like software and if you feed them certain inputs, you’ll likely get certain outputs
  8. To attract the other sex, aim to be talented rather than nice. This signals good genes
  9. When someone exceeds your expectations, look to see if they have a talent stack – a grouping of talents which add onto the others and allows them to excel
  10. Some of the most powerful words in history have been “turn the other cheek” and “we the people”
  11. Look for situations or decisions which give you multiple ways to win and none or minimal ways to lose. The importance of systems over goals
  12. Persuasion tips
    1. Fear is the strongest form of persuasion
    2. When you identify as part of a group, your beliefs tend to fall towards the consensus of that group
    3. Reciprocity is a huge tool for the persuader
    4. Persuasion works on the subject even when they know its being used on them
    5. The things you think about the most will irrationally rise in importance in your mind
    6. If you are not a master persuader, find a balance between never apologizing and apologizing too much
    7. Don’t trust any explanation of reality which isn’t able to predict
    8. People are more influenced by the direction of things than by their current state
    9. Display confidence whether real or not to improve persuasion
    10. Hypnosis works best when the hypnotist has credibility
    11. Calling out what someone is thinking when they are thinking it makes you connect and gives you more persuasive power
    12. Leave enough blank spaces in your content/argument/etc. so people can fill it in with whatever makes them happiest (Dilbert has no last name and don’t know what industry he’s in so more people can connect…)
    13. People are more addicted and respond better to unpredictable rewards compared to predictable rewards
    14. Aligning yourself and making yourself a key part of helping people reach their aspirations is a great tool of persuasion
    15. It is easier to persuade when you establish and signal any form of credibility
    16. People hate uncertainty and those who offered we are simple and strong answers even if they’re wrong are more persuasive
    17. Visual persuasion is far more powerful than non-visual persuasion
    18. People are more persuaded by contrast than by fact or reason. Humans need contrast in order to make decisions and prioritize. Find ways to set yourself apart from competitors
    19. Association is a very strong form of persuasion. All people and all companies are always “marketing.” What you associate yourself with becomes your brand and what people think of when they think of you. Associate carefully with positive factors. People forget what you say but not how you make them feel
    20. People almost always get used to small annoyances. We love novelty and almost always adjust to things as they routine
    21. All communication depends upon what we believe is in the mind of the person communicating. What you say is important but not nearly as important as what people think you are thinking
    22. High energy is taken for competent leadership even when it is not
    23. Direct requests are persuasive. Ask the customer if they want to buy. Trump ends many sentences with “believe me.” A command disguised as throw away words but in fact become associated with him over time as he repeats this over time
    24. Repetition is persuasion. Repetition is persuasion.
    25. Match the pace of the people you want to persuade and then you can lead. Copy their emotion and speaking style
      1. Trump matched the emotional base of his constituency and played to it. He made big, outrageous first ask and later, when he compromised, the other side felt relieved but more got done than maybe otherwise would have. Policies during the election weren’t that important as he would figure out the details later
    26. People love the simplest explanation of things but in a “3D” world this is hardly ever accurate
    27. Simple explanations are more credible than complicated ones even if wrong or incomplete
    28. Have to be memorable to be persuasive. Easily remember things which violate our expectations. A good general rule is that people are more influenced by visual persuasion, emotion and repetition of facts
      1. People put far more importance on the first part of a sentence than the second. Structure them carefully
    29. Analogies are great tools to describe a new concept but are terrible tools to try to persuade others
    30. Provide a “fake because”. This is a reason which those on the fence can fall back on and use as their excuse for deciding the way you want them to
    31. Making an exaggerated statement which is directionally correct is another form of persuasion as it tends to stick better in people’s minds
    32. The master persuader move energy and attention to where it helps him the most
    33. High ground maneuver – elevating a debate from the details on which people disagree to a broader concept on which people tend to agree on. Instead of attacking people’s actions, take the high ground and ask them if that is truly the person they want to be. Point out the gap and watch it close
    34. Linguistic kill shot – a nickname or short phrase which is so persuasive that it can end a debate immediately
      1. Trump is a master at using images, visual perception. Low Energy Jeb, Crooked Hillary, Pocahontas, The Wall
    35. Nothing kills humor like a boring and general truth. Steve Jobs’ response to issues with the iPhone 4s antenna is a prime example
What I got out of it
  1.  A lot of gems and great tips / cautions on how to go about being a better persuader. If you know the rules / tactics, you’ll be better able to spot them and combat them from being used on you