It’s an art, a science, a tactic, a trade.  As with anything else, its effective employment is predicated on knowledge of self, knowledge of the target, and knowledge of the terrain.  You can say things in a person’s home that you can’t say to them at the bar, and vice versa.  You can use an aggressive approach with some people but not with others.  You might be better at convincing people by talking or by showing.  And that’s just the beginning of the rather lengthy list of factors in play.

Persuasion comes in many forms.  Intimidation and coercion are not uncommon.  Rhetoric and propaganda are regular features of political campaigns.  But if you want to see the masters work, find someone who maneuvers people into doing what they want and into believing that no one else prompted them to do so.  Watch the folks who plant a seed into a person’s mind and let it grow into exactly what they had planned.  Keep an eye on the guys who tell you what to do, knowing that you will do just the opposite to spite them.  See the ladies who can draw a man to them without ever inviting him to talk.

If you wish to practice the most subtle art of persuasion, learn to make your point without anyone being aware that you were trying to make it.

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