Persuasion secrets: How to turn a 'no' into a 'yes' every time using emotion

💡 Myth: Logic is persuasive. Reality: Empathy is persuasive.

Heyo 👋 Jordan here,

Smart people think that sound logic is persuasion.

Build a solid argument, carefully go through all the facts, and be clear and concise and you will convince people.

Except, it doesn't work. When have you talked to someone angry or sad with flawless logic... and haven't failed?

❤️ People feel first and think second (eventually) 🧠

Daniel Kahneman's Prospect theory won a Nobel for, in essence, showing us that people are never logical (we react to wins and losses with different intensities).

Our emotional brains needed to be fast for us to survive. No time to logically think if a sabertooth is chasing you. So, we didn't — we reacted. And we still react the same way even without the man-eating cats.

But you can master those unconscious emotional reactions. They can be an ally and help you turn 'no' into 'yes'.

🔑 The key to effective persuasion is empathy

The best way to get started is to stop talking. People convince themselves more than you do. You need to listen and gently nudge more than command and direct.

Let's break it down into 3 actionable steps:

Step #1: Build trust. Listen and understand the other person. Explain their own problems back to them better than they can explain them. It's easy to trust someone who gets you. So... get them.

Step #2: Paint a better future. This is the fun, creative part of this. Paint a future picture of the other person — they've already implemented your ideas. What happened? How did their life get better?

Step #3: Give evidence. Finally wrap everything neatly with some evidence. Even if people trust you, their logical thinking will eventually wake up and start asking questions. If you have all the answers for why, logically, this makes sense — you'll remove any resistance.


No other response makes sense after that.

I've got the chance to practice for my last 3 years of leadership. This lead to a few extra tips to make the game easier:

Tip #1: Show up. Trust is about showing up and being there. Listen actively during your conversation and show up before and after.

Tip #2: He who speaks first loses. No one likes to be sold. Silence is your friend — it's letting the other person think. It's letting you think. Use silence to center yourself and prepare your words, not as an indication that you have to start speaking.

Tip #3: Outwork resistance to change. Change is hard and scary. We will go to great lengths to avoid it. The solution to that is to be consistent. Push your ideas often. Improve your message and try again. People take time to change. Help them!

Taking the easy way and using logic to persuade will get you a depressing 'no'.

Taking your time and using empathy to persuade will get you the resounding 'yes'.

Your biggest fan,Jordan

💡 Idea of the Week

"Not all those who wander are lost.”

— Bilbo Baggins

⚙️ Tools, Apps, 'n' Gadgets

I can not mention the elephant in the room that is ChatGPT.

It's effectively become my work sidekick in just a week. Here are some of the ways I've used it:

  • Thesaurus on steroids — synonyms, power words, emotional words, rhymes. One-stop-shop. "Give me 10 synonyms for nice"

  • Prospecting Perspectives — giving you a new perspective on the skills you already have or on enitrely new skills. “What are the 10 biggest challenges in leadership”

  • Summarizing Videos — you can grab the automatic transcription of a YouTube video, paste it into ChatGPT, and ask it to summarize it for you

  • Explaining Complicated Concepts — as if Google was a person. You can dig deep and ask for extra explanations. “What is the Higgs boson? Explain it to me like I’m 5.”

  • Everything Else — from recipes and kid’s stories to history and interview prep. It’s smart.

It's currently free, and everyone can use it as a virtual assistant.(it won't be; cloud computing is costly)

PS: It won't replace writers or programmers any time soon, judging by its' code, but it can certainly be useful to them.

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🔦 Creator Spotlight

Rob is fantastic. He suddenly exploded on Twitter (maybe writing 45 books has something to do with that surprise) and is one of the most helpful humans I've interacted with.

If you are a content creator, you'll love his newsletter:

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📰 Last Week with Jordan

I wrapped up work for the year, and I'm working hard on making a better system to produce better content.

I revisited this old gem: Manager vs Leader

And I wrote thread on leadership 👇

That was it for today. Have a great week and I'll see you next Sunday!

— Jordan

PS: Help me out by sharing this with a friend who'll find it useful 🫶