How to Convince Someone

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So you have a great idea to pitch at work, but experience tells you the meeting won’t go well and your idea will flop. You have another fight with mom or dad about moving out, and you need to convince them you are ready to “fly the coop.”

Regardless of your situation, the need remains the same. A real woman knows how to persuade. Here are some easy steps in convincing anyone (even yourself) that your decision’s a winner!

  1. Believe in Your Decision – You are the creator, the messenger. If you don’t carry your idea with enthusiasm and commitment, no one else will. Whether you’re selling yourself as an artist, your ideas as an inventor, or your products as a maker, know that there exists an intrinsic dignity because it comes from you. Delight yourself in that unique intimacy.

  2. Say the Idea – Listing this as a step may seem silly, but revealing your ideas does indeed take courage. Take a deep breath, blowing out doubt and taking up confidence, and open your mouth. If you are scared of attention, focus on being faithful to your idea. People are looking at you because you are talking, simple as that. Don’t immediately think they are judging you as incompetent. If their expressions show judgment, keep going. Remember, you are the only spokesperson for the idea.

  3. Exhibit Knowledge – Now comes the responsibility and a little work. Know your audience, and figure out WHY they need what you have. How can you make their life simpler or easier? How can you make it more abundant and increase the quality of life? Don’t get hung up on memorizing the rational arguments (though this is necessary) but concentrate on the overall message. Then you can back up this message with practical facts and details with the debunking (see below).

  4. Listen to Opposing Arguments – Believe it or not, half of anyone’s opposing argument is simply in wanting to be heard. Give people time to resist, and when that is out of their system, they will be much more receptive to your thoughts.

  5. Debunk – After listening, discard emotion (but keep the zeal) and revel in your confidence (built in step 1) that your idea is better than their opposition. Take into account that their hesitation in being persuaded may lie in their own fear of change, resentment at their inadequacies, or confusion with your message. Stay humble (not timid!), respectful, professional, and charitable.

  6. Expect Skeptics – Not everyone is going to like what you’re offering. Know this, and make peace with it. Learn not to take criticism as a threat, but as a challenge… it is, after all, only an indication of miscommunication. Brush off, and start again with someone new. Sometimes, the way to convince someone is to walk away with the truth and let them decide you were right in their own time.