Persuasion and Winning Cooperation
Persuasion and winning cooperation.
Attempts to persuade are all around us. The kids want to go out to
eat. Politicians and religious folks want us to see things their way.
Sales people and advertisers bombard us. Teachers tell us how
important their subject is. Our lover wants us to go to bed. And, we
are also trying to persuade others. One of the best selling self-help
books of all time is Dale Carnegie's (1936) How to Win Friends and
Influence People. Indeed, we have a right and an obligation to
influence the decisions that affect our lives. Almost everything we do is
designed to give others a certain impression about us. It is to our
advantage to be as persuasive as possible. Below are some
As we learned in the section on decision-making, it is essential that
every person express his/her views, otherwise the group is not making
as good decisions as possible. As we learned in assertiveness training,
we must stand up and argue for our own rights. We must
communicate at work, in school, at home, in all our relationships.
STEP ONE: Try to be right and try to be liked.
The best way to win an argument is to be right. In short, know
what you are talking about. Therefore, careful investigation of the
facts is important. This also implies that you should tell the truth. You
will be more confident and more persuasive if you have more
knowledge...and are honest.
People will do more for you if they like you. Dale Carnegie (1936)
recommended smiling, using the person's name, listening well, talking
about the other person's interests and making him/her feel important.
Research (Kleinke, 1986) has confirmed some of these ideas.
Remember what was said earlier about listening, empathy and self-
disclosure; they generate positive feelings. Doing favors, giving
compliments and praise, and agreeing with people also help others like
us. One has to be careful, however, to be genuine. If you seem phony
or look like you are trying to manipulate someone, most of these
methods will backfire on you. For instance, doing favors and using a
person's name excessively turn people off if you appear to be
exploiting them. Also, research has shown that compliments based on
facts, such as specific accomplishments ("I know how tough it is to get
into the University of Chicago MBA Program; I really congratulate