Persuasion Articles of the Week

Image "Put your hands up in the air" by Thomas Leuthard, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
The NYTimes suggests we punish overconfidence, the hallmark of, well, people who take risks. Image “Put your hands up in the air” by Thomas Leuthard, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

#confidence #neuroscience #buddhism #microbiome #copywriting

Continue reading “Persuasion Articles of the Week”

Business Growth with Ben Settle
(Persuasion Play Podcast 007)

I’m not entirely sure when I first heard about copywriter Ben Settle from I signed up for his daily email list in July of 2018, some 10 months ago. I’ve since received over 600 emails from him.

And I open every one.

Ben’s emails discuss email marketing and adjusting your mindset towards success.

Ben Settle is known for hi daily email methods and business advice
Ben Settle is known for hi daily email methods and business advice

Continue reading “Business Growth with Ben Settle
(Persuasion Play Podcast 007)”

Destructive Power of “Why”

Behold… the Destructive Power of Why!


Saint Paul

Yesterday we discussed how we can increase support and investment in our ideas and plans.

Check it out if you haven’t seen it:

Today we’re looking at the destructive power of the word Why:

Questioning someone’s intelligence!

When you ask someone why they did something, it comes across as an attack on their reasons… their judgment… their very person!

Ego Investment is a common human feeling that our identity and self is defined though our actions.

Readers of PRL might understand that our actions are often situational, and not entirely under our control.

People that consider themselves Good People… might still do some pretty bad things (like the experiment where normal people like you and me were pressured into giving “high-voltage shocks” to actors screaming in pain!)

And Good People might quickly judge others to be Bad if the limited information “known” painted that picture… which might not be true at all!

When you ask someone why they did something —especially something that has a poor outcome—it can easily come across as accusatory.

If people feel attacked (remember, actions are equated with the person), they tend to justify themselves. They will find reasons to support their behavior, and be uninterested in your constructive criticism.

The book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) covers this idea extensively. (Check out the PRL write up here.) People will justify themselves —and dislike you, by the way— if you try to ask Why about their behavior or question their choices.

Dale Carnegie’s rules for influence start with,

Do not criticize, condemn, or complain.

Doing so gets you nowhere helpful.

If you’re interested in making progress, you have to remove the ego from the situation. And that means the other people cannot feel attacked by your questions to if you wonder why they behaved the way they did.

Focus on the current situation and how to best solve the existing problems from this point forward.

Keep your focus,


Building Momentum with the Power of Why

Behold… the Building power of Why.

Saint Paul, Minn

People are an emotional lot, aren’t they?

Telling someone what to do (or how to do it)… rarely works in your favor. When you tell someone what to do, you’re taking away their agency, their ability to think and act for themselves.

People rebel against that authoritarian decision making, even if it’s in their best interest. Sure, they might do it, but they’re not invested… and they may well sabotage everyone’s efforts.

In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek shows the power of inspiring action: When you start with the Why of a problem…

  • You agitate the problem in their minds.
  • You make them a part of the decision making process —even if it’s nominal.
  • And they become energized to solve that problem.

But how?

With the solution you propose!

Research has shown that the word “because” — essentially it’s Why by another name — will allow others to cut in line at a coffee shop or a photocopy machine, even if the reason behind that “because” is weaker than Wisconsin coffee.

“Can I cut ahead of you, because I need to make a quick copy”


(Well, everyone is in that line to make a quick copy! But in more cases than not, it works.)

People just like to know there’s a reason. Start with the reason you need to make a change or a decision. It shows that you’ve thought about the problem (because now they are, too).

And when you offer a solution, they’re more likely to support your decision.

Start with Why:


PS Next, we’ll explore the destructive way to use Why… reasons it causes such backlash… and ways to avoid it.

Find it here:

Destructive Power of “Why”


Dreamstorming with Paul Gertner
(Persuasion Play Podcast 006)

I’m thrilled to present today’s podcast with magician Paul Gertner!

When I was young, at family gatherings my grandpa would perform magic tricks and slight-of-hand for the grandkids. Turning flour and sugar into cookies. Making a dollar bill disappear… and reappear elsewhere. He could pull coins from my ears… Continue reading “Dreamstorming with Paul Gertner
(Persuasion Play Podcast 006)”

Kevin Hart’s Guide To Complaining

This chair is Ass.

Saint Paul

Yesterday morning while I was getting ready for work, I listened to a bit of the Joe Rogan podcast with comedian Kevin Hart.

Kevin is hilarious. His new Netflix special “Irresponsible” is great (unlike the dirty and actually irresponsible stand-up special by a pregnant comedian whom I shall not name.)

Now, on Rogan’s podcast, Kevin talks about surrounding yourself with positivity.

It’s so easy to complain, he says: Continue reading “Kevin Hart’s Guide To Complaining”