Sunday, November 19, 2006

Use Persuasion Verbal Aikido To Kick “But” In The Butt.

There are certain words that we use each and every day and many these will be used without really thinking about how you influence people. These words could have a massive effect on the way others perceive and react to what you say whether you mean it or not. This could lead to a lot of mixed messages, unnecessary confusion or even annoyance in some cases when during a influence or persuasion situation.

There is one word that is so destructive yet so easy to eliminate from your language that I’m after you’ve read this sort article you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it before now.

The word I’m talking about is “but”.

If your goal is to persuade or influence someone to your way of thinking or to behave in a certain manor it is helpful to develop a certain level of rapport.

Likewise in meetings or during discussions it is invaluable to communicate in an eloquent the elegant manor.

How does it work then?

Let me start with an example.

“I love your idea Tom, it really is fantastic BUT I think it might be an idea to develop…”


“…yes I agree BUT I think it will be a better idea to…”

You see what has happened here. The BUT has completely discounted the idea, opion or view of what has just been said. It is almost like say I’m “I’m hearing your point of view only mine is better”

To overcome this issue simply replay the work BUT with the word AND. AND has an inclusive effect on the sentence. It doesn’t discount what has just been said it includes it. It recognises the statement, point of view, object or whatever an moves on to offer a further point to consider or alternative.

“I love your idea Tom, it really is fantastic AND I think it might be an idea to develop…


“…yes I agree AND I think it will be a better idea to…”

It may seem strange to begin with but once you get started and start seeing the results, you’ll see why it is so effective in building rapport

Did you see what I did in the above sentence? I used BUT to my advantage. I took an opinion and purposefully discounted it.

In a persuasion situation you can use BUT to your advantage to overcome objections. You simple rever the order of the buts.

“I love the product but it is expensive”.

Could be restated as…

It is expensive but I really love the product.

This won’t work every time but I certainly will stop people feeling that their opinion is being discounted.

Jason D

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