Personality or Arguments

Question

“When Americans are in persuasion-mode what is more important the power of personality or the power of facts and Argumente (reason, points, arguments, making the case)? And why is it so?”

UC

This is an exceptionally critical (as in important) question. It goes to the heart of one of the major divergences in how Americans and Germans persuade. Please read our analysis at persuasion_objective.

It is not so much a question of which is more important. Both are central to being peruasive in the American context. They cannot be – or are seldom – separated.

Your question begs another critical question: How do Americans combine them?

„combine“ not in the sense of a mechanical-kind of 50-50% balance, but in the sense of the logic operating when an American puts personality ahead of facts and reason or the other way around.

This, of course, will depend on the situation: What is the nature of the subject matter? Who is the target audience to be persuaded? What decision (behavior) should the persuading lead to? What is the particular style (capabilities, inclinations) of the person(s) persuading?

Truly persuasive people in the American context are masters of combining the two elements: personality and fact.

The Germans are masters of this craft, also. But in accordance to their, to the German, logic. They place far more emphasis on fact and Argumente.

Why is it that Americans are more open to, more persuaded by, personality? This is a very complex question, one which we have not yet researched. Clearly, though, Americans choose freely both to be persuaded via personality, and to persuade via personality.

A culture’s approach to persuasion is always an unspoken agreement between two parties – the persuader and the to-be-persuaded. How personality and fact/Argumente are combined is driven by national culture. It is a shared logic, shared within the respective culture.

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