The first step in convincing someone…

The first step in convincing someone is to make sure he or she appreciates that you understand his or her point of view.

Too often people focus on crafting the most convincing argument, but others are incapable of appreciating your wise words if they are struggling to get their story out. When one of my clients in an ongoing conflict recently made it clear he was listening, he suddenly found his point of view was heard and accepted. That may not always work, but in this one case, it really helped.

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Michael Brown, MD, MS, MCHM, CHCIO is a certified executive coach (Center For Executive Coaching) and Chief Medical Officer at Acesis, Inc. He was an instructor at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health for 8 years after graduating from their Masters in Healthcare Management program in 2007. For the 12 years prior to joining Acesis in 2014, Michael was the Chief Information Officer for Harvard University Health Services.  He can be contacted at