08 Jun How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
Sometimes it seems as though our dog-eat-dog world is closing in on us. But, armed with the right tools to persuade others to acquiesce to your requests, whether you’re dealing with inter-office politics or haggling with local vendors, you can walk away a winner.
In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the ideas proposed by the author is having what he calls an “abundance mentality”. Remember that not every battle is a zero-sum game. That is, it’s possible to have a win-win situation. It is possible to find a compromise from which both parties can benefit. Someone winning does not equate to us losing, and we often think that the other side getting what they want when we are still left aching to complete our goals and fuel our desires represents a character flaw in us (i.e., we’re not smart enough, not pretty enough, etc.), when, in fact, there may be other factors at work here.
Have you noticed that some people always seem to get what they want? You’ve seen it happen for countless types of people, whether it’s the bratty girl, the outspoken one, or the cool person who sits in the corner and somehow gets everything to go according to his plan, seemingly without lifting a finger. Wouldn’t it be great if the ideas you pitched to your boss were always approved, if you always got to choose the restaurant?
Here are some ways to win people to your way of thinking:
Make the other party think the idea is theirs.
Using this tactic can be helpful in propelling the idea forward and minimize animosity. One drawback may be the question of who gets credit for the idea afterward, but this irrelevant to your goal, usually. Don’t use this tactic for scientific papers or your life’s research work, obviously, but for small goals, who cares who gets the credit? What matters in the end is that you wanted to go to the sushi restaurant, and you convinced the group to go there.
But this tactic is for much more than simply picking restaurants. When it comes to any big decision, such as approval on an idea or project, getting favors, and so on, you need to flatter the other person’s ego. They will be much more inclined to push for the idea to get approved if they think the idea is theirs.
Let the other person do the majority of the talking.
Human beings are social animals and talking is one way to express fears, hopes and doubts. By discussing the issue at hand, both parties can voice their concerns and hash out a viable solution that is agreeable to both sides. But, as we discussed in our article, “Why Listening are More Successful Than Talkers,” listening gets you much farther than talking does. The more the other person talks, the more they will subconsciously invest themselves in your idea.
Appeal to the nobler motives behind your thinking.
How often are we asked to put aside individual differences for the sake of the company, to preserve the status quo, for the sake of the bigger picture? If you want to sway someone to your thinking, appeal to their human morals. Make them feel bigger than themselves by convincing themselves that they are doing the right thing by helping something greater than themselves.
Avoid arguments and avoid criticism.
The old adage “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is applicable here. People are more likely to be more receptive, listen and accept what you saying if sharp criticism and negative words aren’t used. Avoid using judgmental statements such as “you are wrong,” unless you can support the case with fact-based evidence. Even then, be gentle. No one likes to be put down. Keep the conversation positive insofar as you can and make the other person feel good, not bad.