Persuasion Under the Radar: A Smooth Path to “Yes”

I’ve written before about the power of agreement as a tool of persuasion.

Most people expect their “opposite” to disagree and fight them.

So when you agree with someone, even if just on the surface, you immediately interrupt that predictable pattern. You get their attention, and you start validating their ego.

With the egotistical issues out of the way, you begin to open up a channel of communication that will allow ideas and perspectives to flow freely.

Related to the simple tactic of agreement, is actively seeking common ground.

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky writes on how to shift an interaction away from a tired us-vs-them dynamic, and persuading someone to accept evidence and facts:

What it takes is establishing shared goals with the other person, engaging emotionally by calling for a mutual orientation toward truth, and knowing and communicating about why our minds are likely to lead us astray and how to address these biases.

This is also related to the “yes ladder“: a process where you get buy-in and agreement from the other person gradually, one step at a time.

You start with requests or propositions that they can easily say yes to, and build from there to more ambitious suggestions.

You will find it much easier to persuade clients, colleagues and superiors when you seek common ground and think of ideas, tasks and projects that they can easily agree to, than by macho posturing and strong-arm verbiage.

Bypass the disagreement phase by starting out with appeals to universal truths and values. Get them saying yes and agreeing to the most fundamental and important ideas.

Point out the pitfalls of blind belief without evidence (to which they also must agree).

Once you have established a real bond in this way, they will be much more open to your ideas.

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