You Can’t Convince Anybody of Anything

With the Presidential race well under way, we are all being bombarded by the nightly news, FaceBook, campaign ads, phone banks and all the other ways we find ourselves deluged with advice about how to vote. The more people try to convince us that their candidate is the right candidate, the more firmly we tend to hold on to our own beliefs. In truth, the same thing holds true about anything. We feel we’re right and someone else tries to reason us out of it.
So why doesn’t it work? Imagine you have an AM radio receiver and I have an FM transmitter. No matter how much either one of us turns the dial, you’re never going to hear me.
Just like radio, people have two wavelengths. And when we’re receiving on one, we can’t hear what’s being broadcast on the other. Our two wavelengths are “I” (intellectual) and “E” (emotional). My intellectual arguments are not going to change your feelings and my emotional outbursts aren’t going to change what you hold to be true.
When it comes to decision making, almost all our decisions are emotional. We may consider all the intellectual aspects of the question but ultimately, it’s our gut that decides. Once our gut has had its way, we try really hard to justify our decision intellectually.
That being the case, how can we ever influence anyone? The answer is simple, but not easy. The only person who can change your mind is you. That means I have to help you discover that you want what I want for your reasons. That isn’t going to happen by me telling you what is right. I have to ask you questions that cause you to work it out for yourself. You have to make the journey. You have to find the connections. You have to come to the conclusion for yourself.
Suppose I said that the art of influence comes down to asking questions and not delivering opinions. What would you say? If it were true, how do you think that would change the way you would communicate with people who disagree with you? I’m thinking it might lead you to start asking questions but maybe not. What do you think?

The views and opinions in this blog do not necessarily represent those of the SouthSoundCommunityGuide. We do however value your opinion.

About Chris Lee

Chris came to sales and management after ten years on the stage as an actor and musician. Born in England, he spent much of his childhood and adult life in the US. Today he works with business owners, managers and selling professionals to help them improve their people skills and achieve their goals. His clients keep telling him that what he teaches them is making a big change in the way they interact outside the workplace. Chris sees this blog as an opportunity to share some of what he teaches with the South Sound community.

Greenview Training Solutions Inc.
8282 28th Court NE, Suite C, Lacey, WA 98516
Office: (360) 539-1750 cell: (360) 451-8224
Facebook: SandlerOlympia
Twitter: @CHLOlympia

Leave a Comment