Original Thought · Self Improvement · Uncertainty

Persuasion

As a form of advocacy and protest, persuasion can seem easier than railing and ranting. It is perceived as easier because it is less likely to offend. Persuasion can be done in writing, in person, on social media, through petition or boycott. It is most often a collective action. We band together with like-minded folks who are dissatisfied with the status quo and wants a different outcome which we can combine our signature or buying power. Persuasion is meant to nudge rather than push, encourage rather than blame, discuss rather than chastise.

The Red Cross movement is in 191 or more countries because they don’t climb on a soapbox. They are able to improve conditions and effect incremental change by quietly presenting a case.

When persuasion is the only tool, it is largely ineffective. When it is combined with the myth of neutrality, it is dangerous and complicit with the aggressor.  Persuasion is useful as part of a sales process or a coaching regime because the nudge is followed by another nudge and another and another.  In the face of oppression,  disaster, conflict, injustice, poverty, hunger or an array of social and environmental issues, it leaves the issue perpetually bringing angst, agony, and acrimony.

If you are reticent about taking a provocative action, I encourage you to write a ‘sandwich’ letter to an official as an easy start to activism. Start the letter with congratulations and cordial greetings and end it with a collegial salutation. In between, fill it with a meaty, well-reasoned position and appeal for change.

What did you see in the last 24 hours that caused you concern? Who can you write an email or a letter to? Will you?

Bob

Self Improvement

Contradictions

Contradictions can be the spice of life. When I meet someone who believes something that I hold dear and acts in a way that resonates with me, I am surprised when we don’t agree about everything. If I hold one value that you hold, do you expect that we will be in sync on most things? As an environmentalists and feminist I am attracted to folks who display some of the same tendencies but have been shocked to then discover that they are anti-something that I also believe. I have, in the past let these contradictions, as I saw them, allow me to cast judgement. I have been quick to dismiss and quicker to challenge. But I have been slow to listen and even slower to let go of my self ascribed moral superiority.

contradictions
Begin a discussion with a stranger or acquaintance with a political question or comment (this subject has been floating around the past two weeks like the aroma from a fresh skunk carcass and will probably reek for the next six months). I have found general agreement on the candidates and the platforms (mostly negative and distrustful) but if we delve into the nest of specifics, things can get testy. Kicking that fire ant’s nest will result in some surprising bites but if you stay in the moment of the discussion, you can learn and teach a lot. The contradictions are as much perspective as opinion and learning something from where someone else is standing is challenging and expansive.
I so often come back to the idea that I need to be curious to understand not curious to gather information so I can win an argument. If I can wonder about something that I instinctively disagree with and ask questions for clarity and context maybe what was a contradiction can become a variance or a different path to the same destination.

Make Today Remarkable, by embracing a couple of contradictions,

B

Uncategorized

Selling

Are you meeting your customer’s needs and wants, not with the company’s emergency? A great marketing strategy is geared towards creating lasting connections instead of simply being focused on reaching short term targets.

Don’t simply try to sell what’s in stock today. Ask questions, observe and clarify  to understand what customers want today and will want tomorrow and then create the culture needed.

Daniel Pink convinced me that we are selling, To Sell is Human. We are all responding by moving ‘customers’ from one need, one idea, one position to another. In relationships, we are attentive, responsive and adaptive so that the other person’s wants and needs are met today and tomorrow. When we lapse unto self centeredness or selfishness we stop fostering the relationship. If I only ‘sell’ my stuff then the bonds begin to fray.

When influencing someone’s position or discussing our ideas I need to be hearing the other person and understanding what they need from their position and what I can offer to fill the need. If they need security – does my position offer that? If they need stability, what is driving the resistance? If they need recognition, how do I validate and add to their ideas and statements?

There is a simplicity is accepting that selling is human and that when two or more are gathered selling takes place.

Make Today Remarkable, for your customers,

B

Uncategorized

Persuasion

Robert Cialdini is world-renowned by his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (1984), which I continue to re-read. In this book, Cialdini exposes his 6 principles of persuasion or influence.

1. The Principe of Reciprocity – this borders on The Golden Rule where you get back what you lay down. Honesty begets honesty. Rudeness returns rudeness. Intimacy allows intimacy.

2. The Principle of Scarcity  – The heart wants what the heart wants especially if it shouldn’t/couldn’t wouldn’t have it. It explains “on sale, today only”, “by invitation only” “One hour left”

3. The Principle of Authority – in the west we associate knowledge with hierarchy.  Celebrities are big influencers when they talk about political ideas or products, even if they are not experts on the topics they talk about.

4. The Principle of Commitment and Consistency – We continue to do those things that we did before, even if we didn’t rally ruminate on the action in the first place. We agree with things that we have public ally supported. We are interested in those things that confirm our biases.

5. The Principle of Social Proof – for most people in Europe and North America, we tend to accept or embrace the majority position of our tribe. We are more like those around us than people who we disagree with.

6. The Principle of Liking – Our discernment is reduced when faced with a person, idea or business that is surrounded by the aura of someone who has characteristics that we already appreciate.(Think -Koolaid, Google, pretty endorsers)

Make Today Remarkable, by exercising some persuasion,

B