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How to be more persuasive

Whether it’s asking a neighbor for a favor or re-directing a colleague on a team project, being persuasive in your professional or personal life is a helpful skill.

People with high emotional intelligence, or EQ, are generally better at convincing others to see things their way, says Matt Abrahams, a Stanford University lecturer in organizational behavior.

Here are two things they do better than most people, according to Abrahams.

1. They remove ‘restraining forces’

When someone is deciding whether or not to make a change, they are probably evaluating two factors: the promoting forces and the restraining forces.

Promoting forces are all the reasons why you should do something. Restraining forces are what perceived barriers you face.

“I could give you all the reasons for why you should do something, but that might not be enough because of the restraining forces,” Abrahams says. “Someone with high EQ might focus on restraining forces.”

Let’s say you notice a friend struggling with anxiety and want to convince them to try meditating. Instead of telling them all the benefits of meditation, you could offer to do it with them the first few times.

Someone with EQ might focus on restraining forces.

Matt Abrahams

Stanford University lecturer

2. They know what is important to the other person

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