Six Proven Ways to Get Exactly What You Want In Life | How to Get Exactly What You Want In Life.
Talk your boss into giving you a raise, win someone round to your point of view, or persuade your partner it’s their turn to put out the trash. Getting people to do what you want can be very handy.
Persuasion is a key element of all human interaction, from politics to marketing to everyday dealings with friends, family and colleagues.
Six Proven Ways to Get Exactly What You Want In Life
For those who don’t want to be persuaded, there are lessons here too.
Knowing the strategies charmers and advertisers adopt can help you resist their guile.
1. Be a mimic
When you’re aware of it, it’s one of the most infuriating behaviours imaginable. Yet mimic someone’s mannerisms subtly – their head and hand movements, posture and so forth – and it can be one of the most powerful forms of persuasion. That’s the conclusion of a number of recent studies.
The crucial factors are: be subtle, leave a delay and, whatever you do, if you think there’s even the slightest chance you’ve been rumbled, stop.
2. Less is more
In most battles, outnumbering your opponent will hand you victory, and it would seem common sense that the more arguments you can call on, the more persuasive you’ll be.
Yet, the evidence suggests otherwise. A number of studies have revealed that the more reasons people are asked to come up with in support of an idea, the less value they ascribe to each.
The result: asking people to “think of all the reasons why this is a good idea” is likely to backfire, and may serve to harden their views. Conversely, next time you’re in an argument, avoid the temptation to spin the “give me one good reason” line; it’ll only strengthen your adversary’s hand.
3. Grind them down
Hunger is a powerful thing, but how many times have you reached for a quick snack, only to regret it when it’s lying heavily in your stomach?
Just as your standards for food quality can slip when your stomach is empty, so you should avoid engaging in argument or doing battle with sales people when your mental batteries are running low.
Conversely, if you’re trying to be persuasive, strike when your target is running low on mental energy.
4. The medium is the means
In this fast-paced world, we seldom have time for face-to-face meetings. You are just as likely to conduct your personal and business negotiations by email, or some other electronic medium, as you are in person. How does this impact your powers of persuasion?
Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised when things like this happen. Persuasion, it turns out, may have as much to do with how you say something as what you’re saying. And the less time you’re allowed to think about the content, the more the style of delivery matters. At least, those are the findings of two marketing professors who decided to tease style and substance apart.
5. Get them angry
Angering people may seem like an odd way to go about persuading them, but according to Monique Mitchell Turner, a communications professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, it is seriously underrated as a tool of persuasion.
Much study has gone into how emotions aid persuasion. The best known and most studied is fear. It serves well in campaigns that try to steer you clear of certain activities, like smoking or unprotected sex.
But fear doesn’t always work, says Turner, and over time, people become more resistant to scare tactics. The same applies to guilt. It can be effective (think of maternal guilt), but not once people clue into the fact they’re being manipulated. Worse, it has to be carefully calibrated: too much and people resist. “We don’t want people telling us we’re bad people,” says Turner.
Anger is different. For one thing, it’s focused on someone else’s misdeeds, not your own. Also, it’s a very utilitarian emotion, she says, usually in response to a perceived injustice. “Anger makes people feel empowered,” Turner says.
6. Resistance isn’t futile
Historically, psychologists studying persuasion have concentrated on what makes certain messages more appealing than others. But over the past few years researchers have begun revising that idea.
A growing body of evidence suggests that breaking down people’s resistance to persuasion can be even more important.
The reason for this is that people are naturally suspicious of attempts to persuade them. This is especially true if they think they are being duped.