How to …. speak to people about what you believe


This has been one of our better years for hollyhocks. Here they stand at least 2 m tall in all their colour in front of our living room window. Had a very nice lunch today courtesy of Françoise with  fish & alumi cheese satay and spaghetti with Thai sauce

This is our first day without a car. It sits in the garage awaiting repair. We cannot really drive the old one because the insurance has run out and if you have an accident even if it is the fault of the other person, costs may be involved. I have done a pendulum dowsing for whether I am going to have to buy another car and I get an 80% certainty that the present car can be repaired. Having said that I’m much better on dowsing people than cars and am quite useless at finding lost objects. Sometimes a dowsing rod works better for certain applications but I like my pendulum and having used it for over 40 years am not about to change any time soon.

We had a most interesting zoom meeting run by a group in Bristol campaigning against 5G mast installation. During the meeting, a talk was given by someone by the name of  David who is a management consultant from Essex. He gave us a very fine exposition about engaging people whether it is a local councillor or giving a campaigning speech to a person or a group. I’m going to record his points in this diary because I thought they are capable of being of value to anyone and everyone.

First of all he discussed the influence of authority on our actions and attitude. We tended to defer to someone with qualifications, someone wearing a uniform, and someone with obvious trappings such as a luxury car. We tend to hand over power subconsciously to such people. We do it all the time. We should not underestimate the influence of authority on our actions.

We need to ask the question is this “authority” truly an expert. Also how truthful are they?

We must not get caught in negative emotions. We must lose the fear and become powerful. We must let go of fear and anger. He recommended a book called “Letting go, by David Hawkins”

When we speak to others, first of all the people note our general demeanour for example how calm we are, then how we are speaking and finally what we are speaking about. I said to him that I decide in the first five seconds of someone opening their mouth whether what they have to say was interesting or not. I said that Mother Teresa was not a very good speaker technically but she had everybody riveted because she really believed in what she was saying. Others can say the right thing and yet can be totally boring. I want people to walk their talk.

There are four parts to trying to convert someone or change their minds or influence their behaviour.

First, we need to make a statement which is basically a claim. For example ‘this water is polluted’. Secondly, we must explain any technical terms such as the meaning of the term ‘pollution’. Then, we need to give examples, not many but a few good ones. Finally, we must come to a conclusion which we can say is a call to action. The call could be in the form of a question for example “is it worth thinking about this subject?” Or “are you prepared to give some time and energy to research?”

We need to anticipate objections and forestall them probably by having background knowledge. An objection to what you say may be irrelevant in which case you should point it out. You could ask people why they hold their particular point of view thus giving them a chance to review their own attitudes. If you examine, people will often disprove their own logic. It may well be that you could agree with their point of view but say and demonstrate that your point of view is more important.

The best way of opening a conversation may be to ask a question. David reminded us not to overload people and not to switch them off by excessive claims or harsh delivery. We must remember that the purpose is more important than one person. David also reminded us that if we want to get people onside you must show them respect but be firm in your concerns. It is keynot to evoke the ego. Give them a way to act that works and provides you both with a good outcome. In my observation, it is a waste of time to expect anyone to cause a complete change of mind in another person. If you get them to consider a situation from a new point of view then you have probably done as much as you can at one sitting so to speak.

I must put all this into practice when I go on a bus tomorrow. I have no intention of wearing a mask and I’m not sure whether I’m just going to walk on the bus and hope the driver will not say anything, or just wear one casually round my neck.