Archive for March, 2015

I ‘ve noticed that people tend to be more likely to believe someone when they make a claim using an authoritative communication style. I’ve also noticed that I am less likely to correct their objectively false claims.

What I mean by authoritative is that someone makes a claim with extreme confidence, as displayed by their body language, tone of voice, and the statement itself. This is in contrast to someone who makes a statement where they make it clear that they aren’t certain it’s correct, and that they are open to discussion.

The authoritative person links the claim with their status — you cannot challenge one without the other. I find it stressful to challenge someone’s status, and am therefore less likely to respond. I would really like to discuss the claim without challenging the status, but that doesn’t seem possible.

By not challenging them, however, I have done nothing to reduce the amount of unjustified authority in the world. I wonder the degree to which this is why confident people who are less competent often get further ahead in the corporate world (assuming that’s true).

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