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The Art of Persuasion

Lesson 17 of 19

Argue Without Arguing


The Art of Persuasion

Lesson 17 of 19

Argue Without Arguing


Lesson Info

Argue Without Arguing

The next thing we're gonna do here after we've gotten people to act is to continue this relationship with people where we disagree and make choices that come from the disagreements. Let's talk about how to argue without arguing. I call this agreeability, which is the ability of arguing without appearing to argue. So keeping people comfortable in that state of cognitive ease. So what are you gonna do here? Remember I talked about being the audience? That is the first step. You be the audience. You listen. Collect the data points. You're really good at that, Mira-, Amanda. (laughs) How good am I? I got your name right. All right, so be the audience. Listen first. The next thing you do is banish this word from your vocabulary. The word is but. Don't say the word but when you're in any disagreement. It immediately throws people into system two. So that's saying, oh, I'm in a confrontation now. I'm freezing up. I'm starting to think. My brain is using all kinds of energy so I'm gonna stop a...

nd I'm gonna resist anything you say. Instead, you say yes and. Have you heard about this, the improv technique of yes and? Okay, a lotta people I think have. And, but the difference, what'd I say? However, the difference is that when you're talking about rhetoric, you're using it for a different purpose. You're not creating a situation that's gonna make people laugh. Instead, you're going to appear not to disagree. You're gonna say yes and. Now, by doing that, you are not trying to convey agreement necessarily. You are trying to convey agreeability. I acknowledge what you're saying. I am listening to you. I love you. I'm sending love beams outta my eyes, and I love this relationship and I like being with you. That doesn't mean I necessarily agree with you. This flat earth thing is really interesting and I'm interested in you, but that doesn't mean I'm agreeing with you about the flat earth. You're nodding your head saying yeah, and... Then you add to the conversation. This isn't easy. This is something called in the persuasion world concession. Now, concession traditionally, which was put together by extremely aggressive Greeks and Romans, meant taking your opponent's words and using them to your own advantage, using them against them. Ah, caught you. You said this. Now, you know... There's this famous scene in Roman literature where this young nobleman in the Roman senate is giving this speech, and this elderly senator yells, "What are you barking at, pup?" And the young man said, "I see a thief." So it's like, okay, I'm conceding. You think I'm a dog? What do dogs, why do dogs bark? 'Cause they're looking at a thief. So he's turned the person's words against him. That's classic concession. This is not what I'm talking about necessarily, but I am talking about the same results, which is taking the person's words, acknowledging them, and then adding to the conversation, bringing the conversation around to your frame. So yeah, yeah, if you fly in one direction, I get that, and 6000 miles, that's pretty cool. And what's really interesting is that you know that if you keep flying in that one direction, you end up in the same place. That's really interesting. Tell me more about your flat earth theory. Now, that's not saying, are you crazy? Like, you fly in one direction and you end up in the same place. Doesn't that mean the earth is a globe? Like, how can you do that without flying around a ball, not a flat plate? That's gonna push the person away from you, right? You're not gonna get any kinda agreement. Besides, you're gonna annoy everybody else at the Thanksgiving table. That's concession, right? It is a much nicer and more effective kind of concession than that guy saying, "I see a thief." And that's the improv thing.

Class Description

Each day, in every aspect of our lives, we’re confronted with situations where we need to persuade. How do we persuade our kids to clean up their room? How do we persuade a coworker to complete a project? How do we persuade a Facebook friend that their position is misguided?

Some of us choose not to persuade and instead resort to inpatient quips or angry rants. Many of us choose silence, then leave the room frustrated and brooding about what we should have said to win the argument.

Best-selling author and consultant Jay Heinrichs will teach you the basic tools of persuasion so you can avoid bitter confrontations and instead come to satisfying agreements. You’ll discover how being more articulate, using logic and controlling your emotions can create better, stronger, happier relationships.

In this course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set goals for yourself when it comes to arguments.
  • Parent your children better through persuasion techniques.
  • Bring people together and build more cohesive teams.
  • Get people to like you with caring, craft and cause.
  • Avoid being manipulated.
  • Know what to say in awkward situations.
  • Be more articulate in the heat of the moment.



I read Jay's book, Thank You For Arguing, a couple years ago, and it was life-changing! The course is terrific too and absolutely worth taking to learn how to communicate more effectively with other people, particularly anyone who may not understand or agree with your perspective or whose support you may need for something but don't know how to ask for or get it. Like in his book, the advice, ideas, and strategies Jay shares in this course will help you become a more confident communicator and also have more successful and happier interactions and relationships as a result. Highly recommend!

Malgorzata Syta

Excellent course for those who want to learn how to argue efficiently and respectfully. I've read Jay Heinrich's two books and was thrilled to see he had a course on here. It helped me consolidate the extensive knowledge I gained from his "Thank you for Arguing" (great book!). Unlike some, I loved his quirky presentation style! But then, as a huge fan, I'm biased!

Kc Mace

I really enjoyed this class. It was chock full of information that I will be chewing on for awhile. I love hearing the examples after learning the process. It helped with the understanding of what we had just gone over. I would recommend this class for everyone, whether it be for your job or your life in general. We all need these skills in our arsenal. Jay Heinrichs does a terrific job in his instruction of these rhetoric concepts.