Monday, February 6, 2017


Persuasion is a simple word that has neither good nor evil implications. The dictionary lists: "...the act of causing people to do or believe something..."

Persuasion can be achieved through:

  • debate
  • argument 
  • discussion
  • trust & patience
  • persistence 
  • influence

and other approaches spanning an emotional and intellectual range as varied as snowflakes.

We have all done much of the list and probably more. Anyone with kids knows they are quick studies in techniques aimed at being persuasive.

Often, the first time we meet, we are trying to persuade each other to accept a new friendship / see an opportunity / hear a story, etc. We negotiate and persuade every day. It is a common communication approach.

Only when the discussions stop should we worry. When arguments are presented as facts, when only one side gets to talk, when choice is removed...then it isn't persuasion it is force. As employees we may be given direction but we retain our right and ability to influence. As family members, there may be house rules but we can negotiate. As communities, we can debate with other communities to create shared understandings. As a mentor, I can only offer but never demand.

Persuasion and empathy might be the two hot skills for 2017.  

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