Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking


The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

You can't win an argument. Winning an argument is an empty victory because you don't get your opponent's goodwill. If you disagree with someone, avoid arguing. If the disagreement is about a decision, postpone action. Thank your opponent for their ideas; give them some further thought; and do research before coming to a final decision.

Accept that there is a point you haven't thought about. A welcoming attitude lowers your instinct to resist, defend or debate our views. Thus, making you more inclined to listen first and look for areas of agreement. 

Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’

Avoid telling people that they are wrong - if you want them to like you. This negative phrase puts the receiver on the defensive. If you want to change someone's mind without hurting their pride or intelligence, do so gently. A tactful approach is to admit a mistake you have made. Then encourage an examination of facts or better techniques.

If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

It is easier to listen to self-criticism because it’s less harsh. If you know you did something wrong or made an offer that is not for everyone, admit it.

Defending your actions is not enjoyable. Address bad reviews or inappropriate behavior before the other person says them. We associate integrity and accountability with proactive individuals who speak about their mistakes. So this tactic has positive repulsions for your character.

Begin in a friendly way.

Most of you are familiar with the Lincoln quote that says: "A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall". This quote reigns true today. A friendly approach can cause people to lower their barriers and accept new ideas faster. Remember to smile and have sincere compliments - make use of those when beginning conversations.

Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately.

 If you have ever made cold sales calls, you know how fast people hang up when uninterested. The same applies here: when you start talking with topics of no interest to your audience, you lose them. Begin with something to make the listener say, "yes, yes." Plan for objections and address them to keep listeners saying yes. 'Yes' responses help the listeners stay interested.

Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

Shows portray most characters as having an interest in the main personality. But in reality, this is not true. The other person in the conversation would much rather talk about themselves. Let them ask questions and don't interrupt. Give people an opportunity to boast about themselves. They are less likely to feel envy towards you.

Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

Forced ideas receive more objections so make suggestions and let your audience come to a conclusion. No one likes unsolicited advice. Nor do we like someone telling us to do something that we don’t like. We prefer ideas that are in line with our thoughts as well as those made during a consultation. You gain greater acceptance by taking action after holding discussions.

Try to honestly see things from the other person’s point of view.

You stand a better chance of someone calling you a 'know-it-all' than hearing 'you are right,’ even though we have pictures of the planet from space. You could find a conspiracy believer who thinks that the Earth is flat. Failing to change someone's mind can upset you.

Maintain your inner peace and likeability by trying to understand people’s point of view. Show empathy and lend a sympathetic ear to different viewpoints. This practice leads us to the next principle.

Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires

Be empathic. Empathy allows you to sympathize rather than try to prove yourself as right. Sympathetic feedback stops arguments and holds attention if you are sincere. Most people want to feel heard and seen; give them that feeling. 

 Appeal to the nobler motives.

There are two reasons to do something: one that sounds noble and two the real motive. 

When asked why you want to work for a company, you would give a noble response. “I love what you’re doing in the industry” or the classic, “I want to help people.” Even though the employer knows you are taking the job because you need the money, they prefer to hear your noble motivators.

Dramatize your ideas.

The truth is not enough - there is a wealth of information and buying options available to your target demographic. Tell stories and communicate in a vivid and dramatic way to have viewers remember you when they are deciding which action to take.

Throw down a challenge.

Friendly competition excites and gets the work done much faster. Successful people love a challenge; introduce a competition with a reward system to encourage workers to prove themselves and excel.

Want to know more? Delve deeper into this topic by reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

This article is part of our Business Coaching blog series. At Dataczar we talk to a lot of small businesses. We’ve found a few books that we keep recommending time and again. To better help our customers, we’ve added a Reading List for Small Businesses to our website. We encourage every small business owner to read and keep these timeless business books on their office shelf.