I’ve been thinking about the topic of persuasion lately because Scott Adams keeps writing blog posts about Trump’s persuasion skills. But while Scott tells me that Trump is persuasive, my Twitter timeline frequently shares that he is the most factually incorrect of the presidential candidates. That doesn’t seem like persuasion to me. It seems like lying and telling people what they want to hear regardless of the truth.
I do believe that lying by telling people what they want to hear is a skill – one that I don’t have but I see in others. You have to understand what others want and also be able to quickly adjust your strategy based upon your environment and audience. That’s not easy, especially when your audience is 300 million or so people.
But is it persuasion? It does get people to do what you want them to do, at least for a time. I think I would consider it persuasion without the lying. I’m not sure what to call it with the lying.