Life is not the same for each of us. The goals and ability to cope are all over the map.
People tend not to agree with you all the time. And, yes, I know that is irrational. Yet, customers, spouses and children all have different views and priorities.
What to do about that is the reasonable question. Sometimes the others really are irrational. Sometimes it’s you.
One technique to help a person come to a new understanding is the old sales process of “Feel-Felt-Found”
“I understand that you feel ………” Clarification of the position works for both you and the other person. It validates their position and forms a basis for discussion. It lets them know that they are the center and you are trying to understand them.
“Others have felt that way too.” Further validation. They are not alone. There is an implication that the others did something about that. An opening to present a different basis for discussion.
“After examining more options, (more carefully defining the problem, finding another way) they found, that …………….”
The new consideration is now connected to their emotions and to their current belief system. It is less difficult to move someone from a baseline you understand to a new one, than it is from a baseline you do not know to that new one.
Persuasion involves many things, but connection to current beliefs and emotions is a very important one.
The rule is that logic will not change anyone’s world view. World views are held less carefully than that. To persuade, you must validate the feeling and belief, attach to others who have shared those same feelings and then address how the others have dealt with the situation once they became informed of their choices.
It is like Mike Caro’s Law of Loose Wiring
“If choices are not clearly connected to benefits, people will usually act in unpredictable ways.
If choices are clearly connected to benefits, people will only sometimes act in unpredictable ways.”
Caro’s Law is fundamental to persuasion. The trick is to establish what will be a clear choice.
That’s where Feel, Felt, Found comes into play.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is now with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.