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An article by James Borg

AUTHOR: James Borg

Just pause for a moment and consider this: everything that you go after in life comes, in one way or another, as a direct result of persuasion. You spend some of your time every day trying to convince somebody about something.

It could be that you're trying to get an urgent doctor's appointment, selling a product, trying to get promotion in your job, negotiating a more favourable deal, convincing the plumber to get round to you fast, getting the waiter to give you a favourite table, making the recalcitrant teenager clean their bedroom, a politician trying to secure a vote in the General Election. . .  can there be a more endless list?

Probably not. Because after "thinking" - the second most important thing you need to perfect in life (number one - you might enquire? Breathing) in my view - persuasion comes next. Your success, financial state and your relationships are directly correlated to your ability to persuade others - it seriously changes your life.

Persuasion is as much art as it is science. So how do you learn to become persuasive in any situation in life?

Well, still alive after more than 2000 years are the principles espoused by that wise philosopher Aristotle: appeal to these 3 types of 'proof' when you try to persuade:

Ethos (ethical - your character and reputation) This refers to your character as for any message to be believable you have to exude sincerity. It relates to your trustworthiness. So the first element is related to TRUST. Without it you won't win people over to your point of view.
Logos (logical) this refers to the actual WORDS used by you in order to move people
Pathos (emotional appeal) It's important to appeal to the EMOTIONS of your audience in order to  be persuasive. So tell your stories and anecdotes to involve the other person more with your point of view  - listen well (very important) as you look for common ground and think and feel in "their shoes".

After we're satisfied with the persuader's credibility (ethos) and their point of view sounds logical through their reasoning (logos), most people finally make up their minds based on pathos - the person's display of empathy as they involve themselves with our thinking and feelings. Make a mental checklist in your encounters with other people as you go through these three elements during your interaction.

All the research shows that when we make decisions we are primarily emotion-driven creatures and that 75% of the decision-making process takes place in the subconscious mind.

So - to recap - make sure you come across as trustworthy and sincere first. Make your point of view from a rational standpoint next. Then  appeal to the emotions - hone you empathy and 'mind-reading' skills -  and watch your successes multiply!
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