Would you like to be able to persuade another person to your side of a political issue? If so, then it’s imperative that you see them as a human being with benevolent intent. Yes, even if you don’t agree with their side of the issue.
When really thinking about it this isn’t difficult to do. After all, most people (other than the extreme outliers and fanatics on both sides) want what’s best for their country and for other individuals. Indeed, their direction to getting there may be vastly different from yours, but their intent is more than likely much the same and just as benevolent.
And if you cannot recognize them as being a good and well-intentioned — yes, even if misguided — human being then you’ll never be able to to do what’s next. Not to mention, they will clearly sense it.
With this as the premise, then you must be able to see the argument from their side. Understanding their point of view doesn’t mean you agree with it. But it provides two significant benefits:
- You’re able to communicate respect for their right to believe as they believe. This will cause them to become less defensive toward you and more open to engagement.
- When you actually understand their what and why you have significantly more knowledge to work with than you did before.
What The Best Influencers Know
In order to intelligently and effectively discuss any issue — and advocate and persuade for your point of view — you must be able to understand all sides of an issue.
We rarely see this today and that’s one reason why it seems that those who know the least have the strongest options. It’s also why there’s much more arguing than there is engaging and persuading.
Remember, tact and kindness should never be confused with compromise. You can always speak to others tactfully, politely, and respectfully without compromising your values.
The upshot is that this also happens to be the most effective way to open others to your point of view.
Bonus: Always keep in mind that while it might only be you and the other person actively engaged in the conversation, many others — who do not have a fixed opinion on the issue — are observing. And they’re looking to see who makes the most cogent and persuasive points as well as (and this — rightly or wrongly is even more important) how they handle themselves and present their points. The louder one is (which comes across online, too) and the angrier and more insulting they are, the less credible, the less believed, and the less persuasive they are.
The opposite also holds true.
In this post we discussed the foundation. In a future post we’ll take it to the next level.
Have you read John David Mann’s and my newest parable, The Go-Giver Influencer yet? If not please feel welcome to read the first two chapters at http://bit.ly/GGInfluencer.