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How does it feel to be persuaded?

Perhaps something like this …

Let’s imagine you’re listening to a skilled speaker. They’re well rehearsed and obviously know what they’re talking about.

But still, you’re feeling a bit of skepticism mix with your curiosity as they present their ideas. A subtle guard rises within you, a natural defense against being swayed or manipulated.

But they skillfully weave emotional appeals and logical arguments. You notice your skepticism battling with intrigue. Their words are like a gentle but persistent nudge against your existing beliefs.

You find yourself momentarily swayed by a particularly compelling point …

… only to retreat back into doubt.

The speaker seems to sense these waves of resistance. They become more insistent, more persuasive.

You feel a growing tension to agree.

It’s not exactly uncomfortable, but it’s definitely there.

There’s a part of you that wants to give in, to align with this persuasive narrative just to alleviate the growing tension within you.

When the presentation ends, you’re left feeling a bit unsettled. You find yourself agreeing with some points …

But …

Did you agree because the arguments were sound, or because the art of persuasion subtly wore down your defenses?

The art of persuasion is a fascinating one. And yet, I prefer it when leaders light the path.

Both aim to create tension that leads to change. But the former does it in the speaker’s best interest while the latter does it in the audience’s best interest.

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