We think and talk about persuasion a lot over here at The Latimer Group. We believe that the ability to use your words to create good outcomes is a critical skill in our world today… this has probably always been true, but perhaps never MORE true than it is today. In a world where communication and information are easier and more accessible than ever before, the ability to move people and groups to act the way you want them to act is the source of great competitive advantage.
We spend a lot of time listening to the conversations going on around us today… sports, news, business, politics. And there is a disturbing trend happening more and more frequently. People listen less (a topic covered almost ad nauseum), and are less and less open to even the possibility of another point of view. There is only one way to look at this… It is impossible to disagree… We hear this all the time, everywhere, and it is problematic on so many levels. First, it is almost never true. There is always another way to look at something. There are very few moments with an absolute right and an absolute wrong.
And secondly, this approach almost guarantees that you are not ready to communicate successfully.
The best preparation involves getting fully immersed in what the other side/person/group is going to say, and to try to see their point of view. Anticipate their points, questions, objections. And when you can anticipate and make their argument for them, you are getting close to being ready to communicate effectively. You will have a deeper understanding of how they are looking at the problem or the issue, and whatever root beliefs will drive their thought process. And on a more tactical level, you will know where they will try to go with their arguments, and can anticipate what your rebuttals will be. Getting immersed in their perspective is not only about respect and awareness… it is also a basic strategy that helps in any competitive situation.
If you can’t anticipate their points, and are only ready to make your own and speak from your own perspective, then you simply aren’t ready.
Have a great day!