The Michelangelo Method: Chipping away at everything that isn’t ‘yes’

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” 

Those words come from Michelangelo, the Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the Renaissance Era. And they still ring true today: We are all sculptors, and in life (as in art) we must eliminate the blocks to our success. Which means you must chip away, as it were, at everything that might prevent your persuasion target from saying “yes” to your request. I call it the “Michelangelo Method.”

Here are some common blocks to your rock of yes that must be chiseled away:

  • A lack of knowledge of the issue or your solution
  • Poor market conditions for your request
  • A toxic operating environment or corporate culture
  • Competing options for your request
  • No urgency
  • Lack of attention
  • An unknown or low ROI

The most common chiseling challenge is all that existing rock, which has been built up over years and maybe even decades. You need to be skilled at removing the unnecessary and the irrelevant — the parts that don’t fit your picture of the future you’re trying to achieve with your persuasion priority.

Identifying the blocks to your request and eliminating them also requires you to deftly yet confidently wield the hammer and chisel of evidence gathering. This, my friends, is the artistry of persuasion.

We’ll begin chipping away at this topic in my next post.

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