How Persuasion Starts with Gratitude

Saying Thank You and Listening Are Key to Leadership

Vincent Vicari
2 min readApr 15, 2024
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

When was the last time you tried to persuade someone? Was it easy to bring that other person over to your view? Or was it nearly impossible?

Did your attempt to convince gain you a believer or did it fail and result in a broken relationship?

If you fail, and the relationship is ruined, chances are your relationship with that other individual was already frayed. Your attempt at persuasion was the final nail.

Trying to persuade someone of your view, beliefs, or anything is inherently challenging regardless of your connection. Yet, we are always trying to convince someone of something.

Right now I’m trying to convince you to keep reading this article.

Persuasion is a skill that, if used properly, gains you respect, authority, and influence. Screw it up, and now you’ve lost.

Trying to convince others is an anxiety-inducing struggle. That same anxiety can lead to failure.

Here’s the other problem with persuasion, sometimes we feel a bit slimy doing it. We know we’re trying to convince. We know we want the other person to come over to our side.

There’s a fine line between gaining that follower and manipulating another human being.

Most of us are not coming from a bad place. We don’t seek to intentionally manipulate others, especially if it’s our spouse, partner, family, or friends.

The “Trick” To Persuade

So where do you start on this journey of positive persuasion? Here’s the easy part. Start by saying thank you.

Think about this, when you start from a position of gratitude, you show the other person a vulnerability. You show that person that you are human and you’re looking for some help.

Gratitude breaks down the barriers. You’ve just moved the conversation from one of defensive skepticism to open consideration.

All by saying thank you.

The process is as simple as starting your conversation by thanking the person for meeting with you.

It’s more than a simple hello. It’s an invitation to go on a journey with you.

Then listen to them. Listen deeply and with intent. Make that other person feel like they are the most important. Make them feel like they are the only person in the room with you.

“The best way to persuade people is with your ears — by listening to them.”
— Dean Rusk

Start with a thank you and then dive into listening. You build a relationship that is fostered by trust and understanding.

You build a commitment with the other person to keep trying and eventually, you persuade.

Persuasion isn’t about manipulation. Persuasion is about building an understanding and a relationship. Regardless of the transaction, you make a human connection.

Go and try it, start with thank you.

Thanks for reading!



Vincent Vicari

Writings on Personal Development, Leadership, and Creativity.