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User:Gryllida/Persuasion

This is UNOFFICIAL document by Gryllida (talk). It is still under construction.

Here are some key principles that may help you persuade others on-wiki.

  • Have a high degree of trust and cooperation. Avoid lengthy debates, aim to quickly and smoothly complement the knowledge of the other person and inform them. Let them do the same to you.
  • To do this, ask for missing information and motivation behind it. Show your missing information and motivation, as well.
  • This is important, so I'll say it again in different words.
    Aim to come to agreement in minimal time and efficiently, meaning the same kind of issue is avoided in the future.
    Minimum effort, maximum impact.
  • When you disagree with someone, it is your task to come to agreement. It is also theirs. But that doesn't take it from you.
  • It helps to begin by showing your idea -- including its essence/reasoning and a source. Don't ask for permission to do this; just show it straight away.
  • Look for what is relevant and important for them. Present your information as a complement and advancement of their existing values and preferences without dismissing them.
  • Don't postulate it as you are right and they are wrong (even if the opponent says this to you). If you do this, the other person may begin to feel defensive, and lose track of the meaningful part of the conversation.
  • Don't question the authority of the other person (even if they do), like "It was unfair that you were elected a Senator, you are not good for this position". This does not matter for the argument content.
  • Don't call the other person names (even if they do), like "you are a fool". This does not matter for the content of the argument.
  • Differ between the constructive criticism ("you overestimate familiarity of the audience with this vocabulary") and the personal attacks ("you always overestimate everything" or "you are an idiot"). The targets here are a particular action (an estimate, a decision) which is fine, or a person (this is unhelpful). This means you should speak constructive criticism, and not accuse others of personal attacks when they do not mean them.
  • Do not over generalize. If someone made an error in one particular instance or misunderstood one particular item, or wrote one sentence with an error, this can be said without implying that they always do this sort of thing. (This can be said only if this is indeed the case.)
  • Ignore personal attacks. Converse on the matter of argument at hand.
  • Aim to end each conversation quickly, efficiently, and with agreement. Everyone involved should have an interest in this. I hope this makes sense as resolving disagreements aids news writing.