The ability to persuade is much overrated.

It’s hard to persuade anyone to change their beliefs or behavior.

The older you get the more you realize that you cannot actually convince anyone of anything.

However, we all have a need to act in ways that feel consistent, that are “congruent”.

For example, if you find yourself liking an Instagram post on climate change, or applauding when you hear Greta Thunberg speak, you may be easily persuaded to pay more money for your next flight to offset emissions next time you fly. That means acting in a way that is congruent with your beliefs.

Persuasion is therefore not so much about convincing people to completely change their minds and more about establishing common ground, shared beliefs.

The most persuasive people convince others step by step – not by trying to change people, but simply by reminding us of who we are.