What I’ve Learned From the Inventor of Soft Skills

On a farm in Missouri, a young man walked three miles each day to go to college. He was a smart boy, had good grades, and aspirations to become a great novelist. There was only one problem — he wasn’t any good.

Nevertheless, the boy would end up writing one of the most influential books ever written. It wasn’t the next big American novel. Instead, he wrote a book about people. More specifically How to Win Friends and Influence People. It sold over 30 million copies. 

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Donald Trump — the Master Persuader

2016 election night. Donald Trump faces Hillary Clinton in the fight for the presidency.

The election was quite frankly a shitshow. Trump’s candidacy took everyone by surprise. People thought it was a joke. Maybe a cheap shot to gain some publicity for the Trump brand. They’d be in for a surprise.

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The Founder of the Persuasive Arts

366BC a young man joined Plato’s famous academy to learn about philosophy and the sciences. His name was Aristotle and he became Plato’s most successful disciple and a subsequent teacher at the academy. Aristotle is known today as a polymath and especially as a philosopher. He wrote about and studied subjects from physics, biology, over metaphysics and ethics to poetry.

During his lifetime he made a variety of groundbreaking contributions to the sciences, however, there was one that isn’t often recognized by people. One of his vast interests was a field his teacher Plato called “immoral, dangerous and unworthy of serious study”. It was the field of persuasion.

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The Godfather of Persuasion

In November 2012 Barack Obama made history and won the presidential election. His more experienced rivals were stunned. How could a young upstart and senator become the first black president of the United States?

Was it Obama’s charismatic personality that made it possible?

Was the historic moment just right for the young senator?

Both these factors had an impact for sure. But there is another one I think was incredibly impactful. The same factor that entered the presidential election 2016 on the side of Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump and turned a failing campaign into close competition.

It was a person that Scott Adams, author, and blogger on the topic of persuasion, coined “Godzilla”. His name is… Continue reading

The Undervalued Skill Set of Human Persuasion and Communication

Human communication and persuasion skills might be the most important skillset in life that I have come across so far. It is all the more valuable because there is no distinction necessary between work and the rest of life. What do I mean by communication and persuasion skills? Under my definition it includes all skills related to improving a person’s ability to communicate and collaborate with, as well as understand and convince other people. This includes for example public speaking, conflict management, copy-writing, reading body language, etc. Communicating effectively is essential for both your professional life as well as your personal relationships. Isn’t it baffling that communication skills are not really taught in school or university?

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