How to convince someone?

In certain situations we are tempted to convince a loved one to consult a psychologist or to quit smoking. What approach should be favored and to what extent is it productive? Elements of response from Bruno Palazzolo, public speaking trainer and Sylvie Protassieff, psychoanalytic psychologist.

Definition: what does it mean to convince someone?

Convincing someone is above all know their expectations, desires and needs. Often, we try to convince someone of something that we ourselves want, but not him. That’s why it doesn’t work” explains Sylvie Protassieff. For Bruno Palazzolo, convincing is also “get your message across in view of the objectives that we have determined because any speech has an objective and a scope linked to an action that we want together”.

What is the difference between convincing and persuading?

To convince is to play on the strings of the reason and logic. “We will touch everything that is rational“explains the coach. persuasion – as for her – plays on affect. It requires putting in place levers that arouse emotions. In any case, for Bruno Palazzolo “convincing and persuading are two paths taken that aim to decision-making”.

To convince, we play on reason and logic

Before arguing, understand and listen to others is essential. “There are no magic phrases but a posture to have. It must therefore be kept in mind that the arguments put forward in one situation will not necessarily be valid in another context.” continues the coach. To achieve this, it is essential to know the needs, the desires, the problems encountered by the person to be convinced and go through a series of questions. “Once the need (the desire or the problem) is understood, we must make proposals that allow the person listening to us to have the feeling of being taken into account and bring them in a shared way where we want everything. while respecting its integrity”.

Before trying to convince a stubborn person, why not ask yourself if it’s worth it ? “We must make a calculation of time and energy and ask ourselves what we have to gain by being stubborn” recommends the specialist. In this case, convincing is also to agree on commonalities, rather than on divergent points. “For example, if you want to go on vacation -with a companion- and you don’t agree on the destination, the idea is to understand why the desires diverge and try to find an alternative, taking a step towards the other”.

You have to sit down and listen to the other

Convincing someone to see a psychologist can be delicate. Sylvie Protassieff warns: “This is not easy because someone decides to consult because he feels a real need to get better, to change. I see some people tirelessly repeating to someone close to them to go see a doctor. It’s totally counterproductive. This can become a cause of conflict“. To take a step towards the other, Bruno Palazzolo advises sit down and listen.There is a the sink quite interesting, it is that of the projection of the person in the future. The idea is to project the loved one into what he is today around a discussion and to evoke the consequences that will happen if he does nothing. This is also done by asking him questions“explains the specialist. The second step consists in considering with her solutions while being a resource person. “We can ask her if she knows the medical solutions that exist and inform her if this is not the case.“. With his agreement, we can offer him to see the specialist together. The idea is to give the information by having the authorization to enter this sphere.

In order to convince someone to quit smoking, one must first take into account the context. “It is tempting to put forward value arguments (official figures, annual deaths, etc.). These are simple arguments of conviction but it is not said that this can convince because it is far from the reality of the smoker. “ says Bruno Palazzolo. It will even tend to rob her. “It is wiser to set small goals by inviting him to reduce his consumption and see how it works” he specifies. For the coach, the idea is not to ask him to stop but to initiate a dynamic so that after 3 or 6 months the person has reduced their consumption. If it’s an addiction, it won’t be of much use, as Sylvie Protassieff explains: “if it is an addiction, it can be complicated because an addiction fulfills a function, a void for the person, psychologically speaking“. This requires treatment by a tobacco specialist notably.

The person must have the feeling of being heard

To understand each other it is necessary to speak the same language. For the coach, if there is an age gap with the person to be convinced, it is important to do research on his generation but also to take an interest in it with empathy and not just to convince him. “It’s necessary question it to know and understand it. Sometimes, moreover, we need to be understood more than heard and when we want to convince someonethe person must have the feeling of being heard explains Bruno Palazzolo. Sincere communication is therefore essential. It helps to understand the reasons for the refusal. If, for example, it is necessary to convince to bring a loved one to safety, one of the approaches can be to discuss with them the concern that the situation generates, without insisting on not pointing them out.

thanks to Bruno Palazzolopublic speaking trainer and Sylvie Protassieff, psychoanalytic psychologist.

How to convince someone?