But You Did Not Persuade Me

The main takeaway from this post is that it is your obligation to persuade others and persuasively demonstrate your point if you want them to agree with you or do what you want them to. To some extent, I believe this to be true, particularly in light of the necessity of providing evidence and arguments to support conclusions. However, I believe that one of the problems with this idea is that even when someone is given information and facts, they still have the chance to make a bad decision.

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I believe a restrained but fully justified fury within its words. While it seems civil in it’s tone and has harsh language, it’s evident that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t scared-rather, he possessed the ability to express his passion entirely towards improving society. "“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.” That whole glorious paragraph wasn’t written without anger behind the pen.


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Despite his advice to the dictator to do the right thing, the counselor was unable to persuade him in the movie scenario. Persuasion is a necessary ability for any undertaking involving others. It can even help you achieve your objectives when you’re among your friends. A company or individual aiming to persuade an electrical engineer to buy their product is engaged in marketing, which is a type of persuasion. To execute his ideas, Etsy’s VP of engineering had to persuade his employees via blogs; if that didn’t work, he had to resort to lobbying, but ultimately, getting things done with people requires persuasion. The vice president believes that everyone’s ideas influence the company’s goal. While statistical evidence is most convincing, it is not always appropriate. The only way to persuade someone of anything is to talk to them rather than remain silent. If people see you are willing to do something without explanation, they will be less inclined to do it themselves. As a result, providing a good example is a successful persuasive technique. Even when I proposed good ideas in my high school engineering class, they were frequently ignored since my arguments were ineffective. He was successful in having his idea accepted despite the fact that the alternative was worse since he was more persuasive.

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I believe Nicholas is at fault for not selling an idea. Even though he told Idi Amin what to do, he should have given him good reasons why not throwing the Asians out was the correct decision. As an advisor, Nicholas’ job is to ensure his recommendations and ideas are “perfect.” Nicholas needs to ensure that Amin’s only job is making decisions. Also, Nicholas needs to be able to control his emotions. Instead of yelling, he should’ve walked into the room and immediately given the boss a recommendation. I also don’t believe Idi is at fault for not listening. Nicholas gave him a recommendation with no context behind it. Idi was stressed out because of his poor work. To conclude, Nicholas is the one who screwed up.
In business, the last thing you want to do is make your boss mad. Employees can avoid this by working hard and anticipating what the boss needs. Also, employees need to be able to get along with one another. The boss doesn’t have time to deal with problems between employees. Finally, an employee needs to follow ethical and legal standards when working. A boss will be mad if they catch an employee cutting corners.

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From a Completed Staff Work perspective, it seems that Nicholas is at fault because his recommendation to the boss was not “perfect.” When a recommendation is perfect and sold to the boss effectively, it is very unlikely that a rational boss would reject it. The role of the staffer is to provide their boss with a completely finished recommendation and to do a sufficient job influencing and selling the boss on their idea. It is obvious from this clip that Nicholas did not do that. It is important to note, however, that we’re dealing with Idi Amin here. It would not be surprising that a man with a temperament and reputation like his would throw out a perfect recommendation solely because it is not what he wants to hear at that moment. Idi Amin also claimed that Nicholas was the only person he could trust; this would insinuate that Nicholas has a trusted history of giving good recommendations. It is impossible to conclude with any certainty who is at fault from this clip alone. I would argue that it is far more likely that Amin rejected a solid recommendation and that Nicholas holds very little fault in the situation.

What is perhaps most interesting to me is that as crazy as he was, or perhaps due to his craziness, Idi Amin was able to land not not only a valid point, but a vital one, disregarding norms and cutting to the heart of the matter. It is not enough to be right: a group or business cannot sustain itself with ‘I told you so.’ When one is correct about something important, and failing to act on said correctness would cost the group (whether that cost is direct or indirect via missing an important opportunity for growth or enrichment,) then it is one’s duty to the group to market said idea well so that it is adopted, rather then simply sharing it and letting whatever transpires next simply happen.

As for the method of persuasion, the idea of leading by example is certainly apt; no one wants to follow a hypocrite, after all. This does not just refer to ‘leaders’ however, but to everyone in a work process: if an employee thinks a major change must occur within a company, he or she must have the bravery to potentially put there own job on the line for said belief if it truly is that important; after all, if they are not willing to, why should their superior believe that it truly is such a big deal?

I personally believe that in this specific situation, Idi Amin is at fault for not listening to Nicholas. I first want to clarify that I believe the art of persuasion is so impactful. I think that there is no way somebody can be successful unless they are able to persuade somebody. We see it in our everyday interactions but we also see it in our everyday situations with ourselves. We are often tasked with the issue of having to persuade ourselves to do something. Now to answer the question at hand, in this specific situation I believe it is Idi Amin’s fault for not listening rather than Nicholas not persuading him. I think there is a lot of power in the line “you are the one I can trust”. When trusting somebody, I personally believe that there should not have to be much persuasion when they recommend something. If you trust somebody, you should trust their ideas and decisions and if you disagree with it then maybe you don’t trust them as much as you really thought you did. I think it also boils down to the type of person each of them are. Nicholas clearly thinks telling Amin something should be enough to persuade him and Amin is the type that needs an extra push to do something.

This is an exciting scene. I would say that Nicholas is at fault for his inability to persuade Idi not to fire the Asians. Idi is also at fault due to his inability to listen and make the best decision. If I were to pick who is mostly at fault I would say Idi is the culprit due to him being the decision maker. He may say that he wasn’t convinced to make the best decision but if a recommendation was made by a subordinate and it was thrown under the bus, then it doesn’t make sense to say that Nicholas wasn’t as convincing. That’s like bringing a horse to the water but it doesn’t drink it and dies. The power resides in the hands of Idi. When all fails, which it did, Nicholas receives and deserves the blame. In CSW, it is the job of the staffers to make recommendations that the boss can decide. Although you have to be persuasive in your pitch, ultimately it is up to the boss to think about it and decide with the information that he is given. I feel that at many times the best decisions are made when emotion and fact are separated.

I think Nicolas is at fault for not selling an idea. While giving a recommendation, it is important to craft a compelling narrative or story. It is important to understand their mindset and address their concerns. Completed Staff Work emphasizes presenting thoroughly researched proposals that are ready for implementation, without any possibility for double checking or doubts. Nicholas, as the advisor, had the responsibility to not only voice his concerns but to present a compelling recommendation backed by data, analysis, and a clear narrative which would persuade Amin to take the proposed action. If he had done that and followed principles of CSW, he would have engaged in thorough research, and crafted a persuasive argument that addressed Amin’s concerns. This video clip aligns with the principles of Completed Staff Work, where employees are expected to think through their proposals comprehensively before presenting them to their boss. Nicholas should have made a persuasive recommendation which included alternative solutions, the negative impacts of taking another route, highlighting the long-term benefits of a different course of action etc. By failing to persuade Amin effectively, Nicholas missed an opportunity to demonstrate the thoroughness and persuasiveness involved in Completed Staff Work. This led to a decision not favorable to Amin. This could have been avoided with an approach to communication and persuasion while giving a recommendation.**

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There are times when even the best advisor’s advice is disregarded. Aleksey Fyodorovich, Prince Orlov, of Russia was the advisor to Tsar Nicholas I. When Nicholas was dying he told his son (Nicholas II) to listen to and head Fyodorovich’s advice as his advice had served him well. However, Nicholas II refuse to heed Fyodorovich’s advice about solutions to the problems his people were having, and instead took months’ long hunting trips and holidays, and going on lavish shopping trips abroad. The end result of his failing to listen to his mentor’s advice was the Bolshevik Revolution.

Indeed, it is the prerogative of a leader to take into consideration the wisdom of an advisor. No matter how well advice and a predicted outcome is presented, a strong-minded (or pig-headed) leader may have the impression that he always has a better plan and nothing will ever change his mind, especially if he feels the proposed route of action doesn’t lead to a major advantage.