Far and away the most common challenge people who are trying to persuade a decision-maker will face is convincing a cynic. There is solid evidence that, on average, people are quite cynical. Interesting, in one experiment people honoured the trust placed in them between  90 percent of the time, but only estimated that others would honour their trust about 52 percent of the time.

Mind the trust gap! Cynicism, is part of a defence stance people take to protect themselves from getting hurt. It is usually triggered by a bad experience where a person has allowed the feelings of hurt and anger to fester. The bad experiences often come from a  disconnect between expectations and reality,  leading to a feeling of helplessness and we know people like to feel in control. The ultimate outcome of this is that people armour up to protect themselves and take control, becoming cynical. This is a hard nut to crack when trying to inspire, influence, or persuade a cynic, but we are not always in a position to side-step and cut cynical decision-makers out of our lives, sometimes they are the blocker between our goals and the decisions we want to win.

FACT: Did you know that cynicism is a mindset. This means it can change!

You will have probably met people who have ‘learned helplessness’, who think that there is nothing they can do to stop bad things from happening to them. They hate their job, yet don’t look for another one. Everything is negative! This is a form of cynicism and to protect themselves from bad things, they emotionally retract and grow a cynical mindset, doubling down on stubborn opinions. So many people don’t even try because they feel success will never happen for them or failure is inevitable or the goal is too far away. These people are much less likely to flourish and win the decisions they want. This hack is shining a light on the type of mindset that will grossly decrease your chances of winning that decision, like getting your dream job or winning that sale. So gear up and let’s get to work…

The consequence of a cynical stance by a decision-maker is their barriers are up and the opportunity to have an open, honest, and in some instances vulnerable discussion is very low. The cynical person prevents you from learning, and having meaningful relationships, they tend to keep their distance, lose more opportunities, and are more prone to depression.  Cynicism is the death of wisdom.

2 Shocking Simple Hacks to Successfully Persuade a Cynic

In a world of fake news, influencer ‘mistrust’ and customers who are weary of sensationalised sales claims, it is no wonder ‘trust’ is an even more sought after ingredient when trying to influence, inspire and persuade someone.

The questions that need answering are: Why do I trust this person, why do I care, and are they right?

#1: Demonstrate credibility and competence with Content

Cynical people lack trust and are mostly sceptical about people and their ideas. Therefore and perhaps, needless to say, one sure way to influence, inspire and persuade a cynic is to be seen as trustworthy, capable and credible. There are lots of different ways to build trust, but it can take time with a slow stacking of credibility and capability over time, but the most potent way to super-charge this process is to demonstrate capability through specific examples of the great things you have done, using detail, supported by data and endorsements like testimonials. You need proof to push the process along. No examples, no detail, no data, no endorsement, no decision.

We call examples of the good stuff you do and the positive impact they have: Value-telling Content. We believe Content is King and in fact, our commitment to this technique is so big our mantra is Creating Content that Converts and we have developed our own Software to help people capture compelling content. Did you know that 85% of people felt capturing and using great content was important when trying to persuade someone?

Content that answers questions or content that shows hope and solutions, tells people you  understand them, know their pain and you can help. It humanises your brand and offers up a form of proof. So the call to action here is, to go and capture and share all the great stuff you do that demonstrates capability and credibility with the cynic. If the cynic is blocking a decision based on the likelihood of underperformance, then instil some confidence in the cynic with real examples of high performance, perhaps in the form of a story, a case study, a performance report to name a few. As  them for feedback or an opinion.

Did you know customers who interact with your Content are 58% more likely to convert?

#2: Be positive, practice gratuity and be playful

Practicing gratitude can significantly help people be more positive. Having an attitude of gratitude is one guaranteed way to blast cynicism out of the system. Practicing gratitude neutralizes cynicism and cultivates a positive attitude. When you take the time to reflect on the good things in your life,  you can’t help but feel a little more peaceful, and these positive feelings will overflow and affect your thoughts and actions.

Get started by pointing a series of questions to the Cynic, like what part of your role is the most fun? What is the most positive change you have experienced during your time? Take the time to listen and reinforce the positivity they share.

Shine a light on the positive things you have done in your role or more importantly the positive impact on other, similar decision-makers. Much like in number 1, keep a track of the positive impact stories, examples, and proof so you can share these at the right time.  Our advice would be to share a powerful and compelling piece of content via social media or email.

For example “Hi Susan, the conversation you and I had last week about how impactful our roles can be really resonated with me. I thought you would find this good news story interesting and uplifting, just like I did. I am so proud of it. I would love to hear your opinion on this article”.

Instead of focusing on the decision-makers weaknesses, search for their strengths or best qualities and focus on those instead. Focusing on the positive traits of other people will speed up your return to idealism by leaving no room for negative thoughts or feelings. It will help you generate a positive feedback loop mechanism that will make this habit become second nature.

Remember these things: Children laugh every day, people fall in love every day, and people reach great heights of success every day. Strangers help strangers, injustices are mitigated, art is created, and positive things are constantly happening. Allow yourself to play, be curious, and have fun for a few minutes with the cynical person. This may involve talking about art or sharing what music they are listening to, even recommending something like a book or a podcast. Or, it could mean playing sports or spending time with them out of their normal setting, like a coffee shop. The more personal and positive activities you can participate in, the less cynical they will feel about you.

If you liked this blog and keen to learn more about how to inspire, influence and persuade someone, then you may be interested in our FREE eBook.  The information you will read will help you consistently deliver High Persuasive Performances and win the decisions you deserve while making sure you avoid failure, missed opportunities and, appearing incompetent.  Check it out here: https://blu-j.co.uk#ebook

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have all the information you need to kickstart your journey to success and delivery High Persuasive Performances.

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