On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
How to persuade other people
THE ability to persuade is the key to power. We often condemn persuaders, yet we all win through life by persuasion. A winner increases his power by getting people to do what he wants. And the most effective tools to accomplish your desires are flattery, rewards, guilt and fear. Everyone reacts favourably towards flattery.
There is a basic insecurity that prevents people from feeling pleased with themselves and their successes. The key to successful flattery is to zero in on those areas of his concern – his new car, his promotion, his daughter’s history prize.
Besides, second hand flattery can be greatly effective. Things like, Gregory told me that everyone at your office is excited about your new campaign jingle. You must be a genius to craft such a magnificent product. Congratulations. This bolsters the ego, lets him know you think he is a great guy – and that his coworkers do too. It makes you feel good to know that people are talking about you in favourable terms.
Flattery isn’t confined to compliments. Using someone’s name several times in a conversation is flattering to that person – if you are his superior. Many executives take a few minutes everyday to write stroking letters to friends and acquaintances who have received promotions or awards or delivered a speech or gotten married. The recipient’s opinion of you rises because he feels that you have a high regard for him. Write your stroking letters by hand to deepen your intimacy. Henry Kissinger, Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Secretary of State was a skilled practitioner of flattery in his diplomacy. “You must be subtle,” he explains in his memoirs. “Most leaders are extremely shrewd. They have great resistance to being manipulated, because they manipulate others.” Flattery enhances a man’s confidence, making him believe he can solve his own problems.
Listening, not imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. Most people don’t listen. They simply wait out another person’s comment, planning just what they are going to say when he stops talking. The result is a series of monologues instead of an exchange of views. If you want to influence a person, don’t just sit alert at his presence, listen to what he is saying. Don’t look for the flaws in his speech ask him to clarify points. Then tell him what it is that you want and point out to him areas where you agree with him. He will be flattered that you have listened intently to him, and that you take him seriously.
This sensitive listening technique is a very good way to make friends. Listening involves more than your ears. Just letting a man talk while you listen is enough to bring him around to your way of thinking. The only way to handle people who jump to conclusions, who are opinionated or suspicious, is to let them argue themselves around to doing what you want.
There are three steps to this listening technique, one, state what you want very clearly. Two, listen to your interlocutor’s arguments. Do not interrupt him. Let him talk himself out. If he should pause for seconds, you can ask him to amplify a certain statement, but also do not try to argue with him.
Three, when he has finally finished talking, then react by saying, “yes, I think I understand your point, but I want you to know exactly how I feel about this.” When you finish your brief statement, let him talk more. By the time he finishes, he would have talked himself out of his original position and adopted yours. If he is still adamant, forget it. You can’t win them all.
Also, you may flatter someone by letting him know how seriously you are listening to him, and by using body language. Do this by sitting up in a relaxed but alert way. Keep your hands still and watch the other person’s face. You are telling him more clearly than if you used words that you are listening carefully to what he has to say.
The world’s most successful men have always used flattery to help achieve their purposes. “There is nothing that so kills the ambitions of a man as criticism from his superiors,” said the 19th century American multimillionaire Charles Schwab. “I never criticize anyone. I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault.” If you like something, you should be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise. That means criticism will get you no where in your ambition for greatness.
Helping your opponent save face is the key element in any successful negotiation, be it a contract, lease or getting a bill through parliament. However, rewards are the pleasantest of tools, but you should use it sparingly. For the moment it is taken for granted, it loses its power to enchant.
Our champion for today is Horst Stormer, the German American physicist who with Daniel Tsui and Robert Laughlin won the 1998 Nobel Prize for physics – for the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect.
After earning a PhD. In Physics form the University of Stuttgart in 1977, Stormer moved to the United States. In 1978, he joined the research staff of Bell Laboratories in New Jersey working with Tsui. Stormer was head of Bell Labs from 1992 to 1998 when he became a professor at Columbia University.
The research of Stormer and Tsui was based on the Bell effect which denotes the voltage that develops between the edges of a then current-carrying ribbon placed flat between the poles for a strong magnet. In 1980 Klaus Von Klitzing discovered that at extremely low temperatures with the Hall resistance occurring in discrete jumps thereby inhibiting quantum properties. Stormer and Tsui extended Klitzing work, observing the Hall effect in temperatures close to zero. In 1982 they saw that under these conditions the Hall effect varies not only stepwise but in fractional increments, implying that the charge carriers carry exact fractions of an electron’s charge. In 1983 Laughlin explained this phenomenon, proposing that the electrons form a quantum fluid made up of quasi-particles that have fractional electric charges. Daniel Tsui is a Chinese American physicist who discovered the Hall effect with Stormer. After his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1967, he joined Stormer at Bell Labs. He became professor of physics at Princeton University in 1982. For Robert Laughlin, the last of the trio who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for physics, he explained the Hall effect, which Stormer and Tsui discovered. Laughlin was born in California USA in November 1950. After gaining his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979, he conducted research at Livermore Labs at California. Laughlin joined the faculty of Stanford University in 1985 becoming a professor there later. He received his share of the Nobel Prize for explaining the puzzling experiments of Hall effects which he explained in 1982.
However, it was not until 1983 that Laughlin could provide the theoretical explanation for the experiments, positing that the electrons condense into quantum fluid which was why they behave as fractionally charged quasi particles.