Mirror your opponent

Mirror your opponent

If you mimic your opponent (in a subtle way), they are more likely to believe you.

For example, if they are sitting cross-legged, wait a few seconds and cross your legs too. And make sure that what you are doing is not too obvious.

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Communication

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Ask for their point of view

To gain trust and build rapport, you need to hear out what the other person thinks without interrupting or disagreeing.

Try asking open-ended questions, like: "Why do you think that?"

Make direct eye contact

...while you listen. This makes the speaker's arguments less persuasive, which makes your opinion look strong.

Fix the speaker in your sight as soon as they start speaking.

Reiterate what you understand

Repeating an argument back to the speaker can develop trust by proving that you're listening.

Try paraphrasing what you understand, using: " so you're suggesting ... because... ?"

How to present your point of view
  • Know your facts thoroughly. 
  • Use scientific-looking visuals (elements that people associate with science, like formula or graphs).
  • Demonstrate that other people agree.
  • Using phrases that indicate a degree of uncertainty makes you seem more interesting interested in finding the truth than in winning arguments.
  • End your sentences with verbal affirmations (e.g." isn't it?").
  • Lower the pitch of your voice. It improves your powers of persuasion.
How to get agreement
  1. Instead of attacking someone's ideas, try taking your opponent's basic beliefs and developing them into an absurd conclusion.
  2. Flag your opponent's' dangerous beliefs.  It may have a positive effect on neutralizing your opponent.
  3. Identify the shared ground between you and give genuine praise.
Pitfalls to avoid
  • Watch your posture. The most effective one is with your feet together and palms down or letting them move with the words.
  • Don't get nasty. Validate your opponent's self-worth by being nice to them so they will be more receptive.
  • Avoid using too many facts. People think emotionally, so moral intuitions often weight stronger than factual accuracy.

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RELATED IDEAS

Ignoring certain facts because of personally held beliefs. 

For example, you can’t cherry pick evidence that supports your claim and deny the evidence that doesn’t.

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IDEAS

  • People think emotionally, so forget facts. 
  • When people are asked to explain their beliefs about how a given thing works, they’ll actually become less confident in those beliefs.
  • When people have their self-worth validated in some way, they tend to be more receptive to information that challenges their beliefs.
  • During a debate, you’re more likely to make progress if you can appeal to the moral concerns of the people that you’re talking with.
Stepping into the mindset of those you argue with allows you to figure out what’s influencing them. 

Showing empathy will lower the temperature of the debate and allow both of you to come to a resolution.

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