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Irrational audiences

If you are a rational person, chances are you’re sometimes deeply frustrated when people just don’t get it.

I’ve certainly been in the past.

I mean, sometimes it’s so obvious …

the logic is flawless …
the data clear …
but this guy almost refuses to get it.

That can be so frustrating.

Yet, there’s no point in complaining.

As much as we would like our audiences to be fully rational in their decision making, sooner or later we will encounter one that just isn’t.

That’s when logic won’t do the job.

I mean, of course you’re free to dismiss that audience.

But if that’s not an option, the only other option is to figure out a way to somehow resonate on an emotional level. Not to dismiss the logic (after all, it’s still valid), but to open a side door that allows the conversation to take place even if you can’t agree on the logic.

This is something I’ve seen brilliant people shy away from who devalue “emotional arguments” as, well, “irrational”. But I think that’s a mistake.

An emotional side door to the argument doesn’t devalue the rational main entrance. It doesn’t make the argument any less true.

But it allows people access to your insights that would otherwise have to stay outside.

The misunderstanding here is to consider rational the opposite of emotional. It’s not.

If you craft the emotional appeal in a way that is true to the logic, then it’s actually another facet of the same thing.

Give it a try!

How do you deal with a situation where people just don’t seem to get the logic?

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