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Part V: Final Review > Nine Resolutions for Effective Persuasion

Chapter 24. Nine Resolutions for Effective Persuasion

A good way to review—and to appreciate the progress you’ve made in understanding effective communication—is to emphasize those principles that are designed to help you overcome the “communication myths”. I therefore offer you the following resolutions for your own communication. Check those you agree to follow.


? 1. I resolve to give careful and serious thought to my audience, to the positions they hold and to the reasons they have come to hold these positions. I reject “Communication Myth #1”—the belief that all I need to know about an audience is whether they’re “for me” or “against me.”
? 2. I resolve that, in addition to communicating clearly, I will communicate in ways that respect the individual differences among persons and audiences. I reject “Communication Myth #2”—the belief that all I have to worry about in effective communication is having a clear message.
? 3. I resolve to remember that even the most supportive audiences may still be engaged persuasively, to maintain their motivation, reaffirm their dedication, or focus their energy and enthusiasm. I reject “Communication Myth #3”—the belief that only UNFRIENDLY audiences require persuasive communication.
? 4. I resolve to set realistic goals as a persuader, to remember that attitudes, values, or beliefs are not found overnight, and often cannot be changed by a single message. I accept that any persuasive influence I have is a measure not only of my efforts, but also the willingness of my audience to allow me access to their judgments and actions. I reject “Communication Myth #4”—the belief that persuasion must totally convert even UNFRIENDLY audiences to be considered successful.
? 5. I resolve to remember that people judge and act differently from me for many reasons, and to accept that inadequate information is one possible reason that those around me may hold different attitudes. I reject “Communication Myth #5”—the belief that “persuading” and “informing” are two different kinds of communication.
? 6. I resolve to remember that people use the information I give them differently in different situations, and that no single type of evidence or proof will always persuade, regardless of audience or subject. I reject “Communication Myth #6”—the belief that the best way to influence people is always with statistics.
? 7. I resolve to accept that my audience is complex and responds in complicated ways to things they hear and read—just as I do. I accept that all of us respond with “all parts of ourselves” to the communication around us—not only with reason, but with our feelings, tastes, attitudes, and values. I reject “Communication Myth #7”—the belief that a logically perfect presentation will always persuade an audience.
? 8. I resolve to accept that “facts” are only one part of the basis upon which people think, feel, and act. I reject “Communication Myth #8”—the belief that if people know the “facts” they will always believe as I do, or act as I’d like them to act.
? 9. I resolve to accept the right of others to interpret events around them in their own way, just as I reserve that right for myself. I accept the right of others to question or challenge my claims, even if those claims seem, for me to be beyond doubt. I reject “Communication Myth #9”—the belief that “facts” are “facts.”



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