Last week we talked about how you can persuade people to change their mind without alienating them and left it with the fundamentals and the strategies.

This week we’re going to talk about some tactics. Let me share the following three with you.

Ask questions

First is about asking questions. Asking questions is key because its shows that you are seeking to understand, as long as you are not asking leading questions.

So you want to ask questions that are open ended that start with “what” or “how”, not with “why”. You remember I did a blog post you might want to look at that talks about the problem with asking why – it can be challenging.

So here are some examples of “what” and “how” questions. Maybe something like:

“What would need to be true in order for you to agree or whatever?”
“How would it look to have this work for you?”
“Or what causes you the greatest concern?”

Those kinds of questions, you’re going to learn from it, get more context so that you can then go on and understand and persuade.

Deal with incoming

The second tactics is what I call dealing with incoming appropriately.

So in this example with Jane, Jane might be zinging you one like, “I think your idea is just dumb”.

What you must do is refrain from trying to play verbal tennis. So she smashes one over the net, resist the urge to smash one back. And whatever you do, don’t charge to the net and then smack one right at her and hit a winner cos that’s not going to serve you well!

Rather than playing verbal tennis, a better analysis to think about is Tai Chi. So you’re going to absorb the comment and the energy, and bring it back gracefully with positive energy. You remember to stick to what your focus is on in terms of goals.


Then the third strategy is about timing. They say timing is everything.

So you want to make sure that you choose the best possible timing from your perspective, i.e. when you’re ready, and also from Jane’s perspective. As a small example, choose to talk to Jane when she’s coming out of the ladies room not when she’s going in!

So these are three tips you can put into use right away.

I'd love it if you would also share the tips that have worked for you in the comments section below.