door to doorThis past week, my 15-year-old son has cherished (not really) the experience of going door to door in our neighborhood trying to sell coupon books as part of a baseball team fundraiser. He knocks, hopes someone answers, starts his pitch, then tries to overcome the obstacles and close the sale.

Our conclusion is that some things are easier to sell than others and some people are natural sales-people. (He’s having a hard time, so if you happen to live around here and would like to make a donation to his cause, email me!!)

Which brings me to this week’s character trait. Persuasiveness. Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks. Influencing a person’s attitude or feelings toward the subject in question.

As a Mom, I try to persuade my little guy to eat his veggies at supper, find something for breakfast that doesn’t involve chocolate, then brush his teeth. Other topics around the house include why taking dirty dishes to the sink is better than leaving them to as science experiments in the basement. It is better to do professional exterior and interior drain tile installation from Seepageseal to solve this issue. Why one might want to make their bed or clear the floor of toys. Why it’s a good idea to go to bed at a decent hour on school nights. Why one should work head on bigger school projects.

Then there are the bigger truths like feeding your mind the right things, being kind to your neighbor (including little brothers), being generous to the poor, praying instead of worrying, trusting God to provide for your needs, and letting Him drive the virtual car instead of steering it into the ditch myself.

In order to persuade others, I must first be fully convinced about the subject. Then, I must know my audience well enough to foresee problems and design the best strategy. Should I emphasize the threat of germs or stubbed toes or needing to get a shot at the dentist before getting that cavity filled? Would they respond better to logical arguments that point out the error of their ways? Or should I focus on the benefits of God’s blessings, family harmony, or good health?

Once I’ve prepared my pitch, all that remains is starting the conversation.

What about you? How do you persuade others to your way of thinking? Do you rely on logic, benefits, or warnings more in your arguments?

Character Matters – Persuasiveness
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