Ideas for persuasion by roger dawson

I like Roger Dawson’s ideas and his books. I have re-read his book Secrets of Power Persuasion and would like to share a few of the ideas he writes about. However, I recommend you buy the book and read it for yourself.

He argues that while pain and pleasure are powerful persuaders, the best method is the "carrot and stick" approach. Apply the pressure of reward and the pain of punishment both.

Consistent with other writers, Dawson recommends giving the other side’s argument yourself, but pointing out the flaws. Most writing about this says the benefit is it shows you are objective and it defuses the objection before it is made. Dawson says it gives you credibility; it forces you to think about as well as anticipate objections and the credibility you gain carries over to what else you say.

In all the years of my trial practice I have always made it a practice to argue for numbers that were not rounded off. My figures were uneven. I did it for the same reason Dawson argues. It indicates that it isn’t a number off the top of your head, but is based upon some analysis. As he notes, the ads for Ivory Soap always had the line "99 44/100% pure. They didn’t say "100%" pure.

I’ve written about Dawson’s book The Secrets of Power Negotiating which I think is the single best book on negotiation I’ve read. Every lawyer should read this book. He gives the three best reasons for always asking for more then you expect to get or want. They are: (1) you might just get it (2) it gives you room to negotiate and (3) it lets the other person win when you take less.

Dawson says the four steps of persuasion consist of (1) know your objective (2) get information about it (3) assess your objective by comparing alternatives to it and (4) look for possible concessions you can made to achieve it.

Additional thoughts include the fact that most people talk too fast for real influencing power. To be powerful you need to pace yourself slowly and in deep tones. A slow deep voice is best. I was reminded of John Wayne’s advice when asked how to be an actor. He replied "Talk low. Talk slow and don’t say to much."

I’ve written about "mirroring" before. Using the same body language, tone of voice and speed of talking as well any other characteristics the other person is using. The idea is that people like people who are like themselves. In addition to mirroring, rapport is increased if you pretend that you already have it with the other person. Imagine the person you talking to is an old friend. Your body language, your attitude and your speaking would reflect that relationship.

So, there are some things I got from reading this book. I hope you can use some of them.

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