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Attribute Your Ideas to Those You Want to Persuade
Among the many strategies of getting others to support an idea or proposal, perhaps none is more powerful than attributing the idea directly to them. Doing so gives individuals ownership of the idea and naturally reduces their resistance. After all, who wants to disagree with themselves? Leaders and decision-makers are especially influenced when others give them credit for an idea before it is proposed.
“You mentioned this when we last spoke and it got me thinking about this idea.” “I just took the idea you offered and ran with it.” “Thanks for pointing out this idea. I’ve simply expanded it.” “This idea came from you when you offered your stream of consciousness at our last team meeting.” “You deserve the credit for this proposal. It really started with you.”
When others learn an idea or suggestion started with something they said or did, they soften their resistance and become more receptive to whatever you propose. We all love our own ideas best. We beam with the pride of authorship when even the kernel of an idea starts with us.
In many cases, the ideas or proposals we support do not have a direct or indirect connection to those we need to persuade. In those instances, any attribution to others would be unethical. But you might be surprised how often an indirect linkage exists to what you propose and what was insinuated by others. When we look backward at what was said or implied, we can often find an honest association to what others have mentioned.
Whenever we can make this connection explicit through attributing any part of the idea to others, they lower their defenses and become more willing to support the idea. Crediting your idea to others when you can is highly persuasive. But, I think you said that earlier.