While mutual respect and Socratic method of finding answers are ‘the dream’ for most conversationalists, sometimes, convincing someone to believe your ideas is difficult, if not impossible. Contrary to what most people think, knowledge and expertise in the field you’re debating about isn’t your sole weapon in convincing someone. Tact and a healthy dose of manipulation will do the trick for you.
1. Acknowledge their ideas first before totally disproving them.
It is inevitable that sometimes, your judgment will be clouded with your ego. Maybe you have this constant need to be right all the time. Maybe you don’t like the idea that this pedantic and annoying person you’re talking to might have a better point than yours. Whatever it is, you must remember to acknowledge the idea first, analyze it, and then respond. You can, of course, agree to disagree but don’t do it unless you’ve already taken your time to see all sides of the story.
If you start explaining with the sentence, ‘You’re wrong!’, chances are the person won’t listen to a word you say. You completely debunked their idea so why should they listen to yours?
2. Be a better listener.
There are some conversations where you feel like the other person is delivering a monologue while the other person is just there to absorb all the ideas that the other one gives. Not only is this counterproductive, it’s also extremely boring. They’ll pay more attention to what you’re saying and they’ll be more receptive if you do the same.
Don’t be so selfish to hoard all the speaking time. Take time to listen and take note of some points or chances where you can insert your ideas. Timing is everything.
3. Meet them halfway.
If faced with a disagreement, sometimes you immediately arrive at the conclusion that you’re on different sides. Sometimes, it doesn’t work that way. The world is not as simple as black and white.
The worst thing you can do is to try to make them change their ideas 100%. No one really wants to change so you have to find a common ground and start from there.
4. Give them compliments.
People often believe anything as long as it’s a compliment. You’re more likely to be heard if they are in a good mood. While it’s your turn to explain your ideas, make sure to compliment them from time to time that they are excellent listeners or that they’re so smart for following your train of thoughts so fast.
5. You forget that they have as much right to having their own stand as you are.
It’s okay to stand up for something without being disrespectful to others. While you’re fighting for your ideas, fight for other’s rights to speak their mind too.
Listen more and ask more questions. A horseman is superior to his stallion because he sees every possible path there is. The stallion only sees what its blinders allow it to. Look into the possibilities, make better decisions, and enjoy conversations with other people.