What does it take to make a convincing argument? New research points to an idea called "linguistic mirroring" — a fancy way of saying speak in the same manner as your counterpart. When you mirror the other person’s preferred communication style, they’re likely to find you more persuasive. So whether you’re prepping to pitch a big client or present to an executive, find out how the person who's going to be sitting across the table likes to communicate. Then craft your language accordingly. For example, if your client favors linear, logical reasoning, you’re most likely to persuade them with arguments that rely heavily on facts. To influence an executive who tends to rely on a narrative, informal style, you might kick off your presentation with a story. This tip applies to spontaneous conversations, too; rather than butting heads with your friend, spouse, or colleague the next time you find yourself in a minor disagreement, try actively listening to how they're making their case. Then, follow their lead. Of course, you want to do this in a way that’s authentic. Present an honest picture to your audience; don’t ever use your influence to manipulate them into making a poor decision.
( HBR Daily)