The Art of Persuasion

First Round Review keep putting out excellent articles, but every now and then one of them is a must read. The post Master the Art of Influence — Persuasion as a Skill and Habit is definitely in this category – especially when you’re pitching or selling something. This article gives a great overview with concise and concrete examples on how to persuade people for your ideas, companies, views or products.

“The reality is that visionaries like Steve Jobs haven’t been successful because they thought of something amazing and original out of thin air. Rather, they were gifted at constantly persuading many people to follow them on their journey to something amazing and original.”

“When we look at what visionaries really succeed at, they give us a confident, consistent and coherent plan that makes us feel safe,” says Odean. “We trust them not because their vision is perfect, but because they have it under control. They communicate clearly without giving us all the answers. What most people think of as vision is actually persuasion.”

System I is involuntary; System II is deliberate. System I thinks in black and white; System II sees many shades of gray.

If you speak to System II (i.e. pose something complex enough that it requires reasoning), you’re asking to be doubted. Many of us have had the thought while listening to someone: “I don’t know why you’re wrong, but I still don’t believe you.” That’s System II doing its job.