How to persuade people?
Dearest Darling Friends,
Michael Faraday was a British physicist and chemist, and one of Albert Einstein’s heroes. He is best known for inventing the electric motor.
In the 1850s, through an experiment, he demonstrated electromagnetic induction and revealed to the world, the principle behind the electric transformer and generator.
William Gladstone, Britain’s Minister of Finance was impressed by the feat, but he asked, “What is the practical value of this experiment?”
Tongue in cheek, Faraday replied, “One day, sir, it will be commercialized. Then, you may tax it.”
In 1879, Thomas Edison innovatively applied Faraday’s principles to commercialize electricity by creating the first incandescent electric bulb.
When I read this anecdote, I thought to myself, “Isn’t it remarkable that Faraday saw the potential of electricity to change the way humans interacted with their world?”
He instinctively knew that brilliant minds will soon invent machines that will make use to electricity. William Gladstone, on other hands, was clueless about its technological possibilities.
An ironic lesson from this experience was that Faraday phrased the significance of electricity in a language that the finance minister could understand—taxes and revenues.
The exchange between the Faraday and Gladstone illustrates a key insight about persuading others. What is obvious to me, may not be understood by others at all.
Hence, when I want to persuade people, it can never happen by insisting on my perspective. It is only possible when I communicate from their perspective. Isn’t it?
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Change your thoughts. Change your life.