In Part One we discussed how effective it is in the persuasion process to actually first vocalize the opposing party’s views. What a great way to lower their feelings of defensiveness and create a positive context for him or her to be more accepting of your viewpoint.
One of the best examples of this style of Winning Without Intimidation was the 16th U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln who, early in his career was a very successful lawyer. It was well known that he would typically begin his opening arguments by summing up the other side’s case. He would point out the positive aspects of their position, and how very worthy they were of consideration. In fact, it was said that if you walked into the courtroom at that time, you’d actually think he was representing that side!
What Mr. Lincoln was doing was establishing his credibility with the judge and jury, and demonstrating that he was seeking only the truth – that he realized both sides had a legitimate view. Wow! Now, when it was time to present his client’s side, he’d really pour it on. But, he could get away with doing that because his credibility factor was now so high.
After all, the judge and jury reasoned that, if he was so willing to give credibility to the viewpoint of the other side, he must be honest and be speaking straight from his heart.
You can duplicate President Lincoln. The key is to genuinely speak straight from your heart. Even if you don’t believe they have a legitimate point, you can at least communicate that you understand they believe they have a legitimate point.
In Part Three, we’ll look at how this works in personal situations, along with a major caveat of which it is very important to be aware.