Why does a person become stubborn

Convincing stubborn heads: 8 tried and tested tips for handling

Discussions like to get to the point where you have to convince a stubborn head. If you don't succeed, you won't get any further. Important decisions are postponed, projects cannot be completed. Frustrating when business success depends on someone changing their mind. It's not that easy at all. But not impossible either. We give you eight tried and tested tips on how to convince friends and business partners who seem stubborn and unapologetic ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Biggest mistake: counter arguments and logic

You too are probably familiar with cases in which everyone agrees - only one insists on his opinion. If he were to change them, new methods could be introduced, money could be saved and processes could be optimized. Everything speaks for it. Only the stubborn sees it differently. What to do?

Many think that logic and fact-based arguments penetrate to all people. But this basic assumption is the problem. It leads to people trying to convince a stubborn head with counter-arguments. And that's exactly what doesn't work. No matter how good your arguments and your preparation are: Certain brain structures prevent the other person from changing their mind.

Psychology: stubbornness is an integral part of the brain

That's what Tali Sharot, an Israeli psychologist and neuroscientist, found out. In her book "The Opinion of Others", she uses psychological, neuroscientific and behavioral research to demonstrate how Stone Age instincts and reflexes still influence people's thinking today. This means that we always compare information - for example in the form of counter-arguments - with what we already know.

The more remote but the new of the existing knowledge, the greater the likelihood that the person to be persuaded will react with stubbornness. Regardless of the topic: These processes take place in the brain of the other person and lead to our attempt to fail. At least if we argue logically on our own.

8 tips on how to convince the stubborn

Logic alone will not reach a stubborn heart. This is by no means meant to be romantic. But many topics are highly emotional. Even opponents of vaccination do not wish their children and family members anything bad. We are convinced that we are acting in their favor.

If you want to convince a stubborn man, you mustn't completely ignore feelings. On the contrary, empathy is an important part of successful discussions. Ideal if you can back up your arguments with personal stories and experiences. They catch up significantly better than any study in the world. The following tips will help make your counterpart more accessible:

1. Start with a positive mindset

Those who consider their counterpart to be the greatest idiot on earth will find it difficult to convince other people. You take this attitude into the discussion right from the start. So it's better if you have a positive mindset. Make yourself aware that the other person does not hold onto his or her opinion out of malice, but that he or she has valid arguments from his point of view.

It's less about being convinced by these. Rather, you should use your attitude to signal that you are ready for a change of perspective. That you're looking at the other side of the coin. Instead of presenting yourself in possession of the only correct “truth” from the start. Behind this thought lies the scientifically founded transaction analysis of the American psychologist Eric Berne. The key message of this concept: “I am ok. - You're ok. ”It's a question of respect and makes people more accessible from the start.

2. Ask why

Another approach is the Harvard concept. With it you separate the factual level from the personal level and view the problem as neutrally as possible. Also, this principle differentiates between a person's position and their interests. You can find out by asking: Why? - Assume that your counterpart rejects the implementation of new software. Then the next step is to understand the reasons behind it. Does he / she fear high costs? Does he / she shy away from the effort? Or is it the fear of burying yourself in the water?

The question of why reveals more similarities as differences - and that is often a key. With a common concern in mind, new ways can be found. In the case of new software, the common goal is corporate success. Instead of arguing who has the better arguments, both sides look at how the goal can best be achieved. The difference: Instead of a ready-made opinion, the other party has the opportunity to come to a solution himself. It may well be that at the end of the process the stubborn person himself comes to the conclusion that software makes the most sense from an economic point of view.

3. Write clear messages

Even if it is bitter, the success of many populists and charlatans lies in their simple language. Short sentences, uncomplicated words have direct access to the heart. The other way around: Anything that challenges the brain intellectually doesn't feel so good. This automatically puts a stubborn head on alert. It leads to the fact that he immediately scrutinizes statements critically. Understandable, easily readable texts, on the other hand, convey the impression of truth. This has been proven psychologically several times.

4. Refrain from opposing positions

If you want to convince a stubborn man, you make the mistake of taking up the arguments of the other person. The problem: repetitions are reinforcements. The more often we hear something, the more familiar it becomes. Even if it's complete nonsense. After a long time we can no longer remember the exact connections.

All that remains is a feeling of familiarity. This means that after a while, someone is much more open to conspiracy theories than at the beginning. This effect is known from advertising: if you see a certain product advertised often enough, you will at some point trust the advertising message.

5. Keep your sense of humor

Those who enter discussions too doggedly tend to exacerbate conflicts. Fairness and mutual respect are then difficult. This can often be seen in the body posture: arms crossed in front of the upper body, face pinched. Try to see things from the humorous side too. Laughing together at absurdities connects and relaxes. This is immediately reflected in your posture and facial expressions.

6. Make compromises

Pushing through with violence rarely works. So you tend to dress up business partners, friends and colleagues permanently. In order to achieve a result, compromises are important. Think about beforehand what your stated goal is and what concessions you would make. This is the only way to ensure that you do not make a lazy compromise and realize your main concern.

7. Note the timing

There are times when one person is less accessible than at others. If the hut is on fire, asking the boss about a vacation is a bad idea. It is similar with contentious issues. Schedule an opportune time. One with which you can be reasonably sure that the person you are talking to is not in a very stressful state because he is about to have an important customer appointment.

8. Let the other person explain

An observation in psychology: the more vehement the point of view, the thinner the knowledge behind it often. You can simplify the discussion by asking more carefully. Often the other side only has general statements, but few details. If you have to justify your point of view, you can easily get lost and unmask yourself. Conversely, this also means for you: Check your own arguments carefully. Otherwise you could quickly dissolve into goodwill.

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