Neil deGrasse Tyson — Persuading With Facts Is Not Enough

Bill Nye, Barack Obama and Neil deGrasse Tyson selfie.
Bill Nye, Barack Obama and Neil deGrasse Tyson selfie.

Some fantastic insight, from Neil deGrasse Tyson on how persuading others is about more than just putting the facts out there and letting the chips fall as they may.

You can’t simply have the impact you want with facts alone.

Rather, you have to understand how those facts and arguments are received by the person on the other end and to do that properly you really need to understand what’s already in their head and how those ideas got there.

Persuasion isn’t always here’s the facts, you’re either an idiot or you’re not. It’s here are the facts and here is a sensitivity to your state of mind. And it’s the facts plus the sensitivity when convolved together creates impact.

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Kathryn Schulz adds to this wisdom. She says the first thing we do when people disagree with us is attempt to educate them by giving them the facts. When this fails, when people have the same information we have and reach a different conclusion than we have, we consider them idiots.

Another way to persuade people, is to use tell stories.

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