Overcome Resistance With the Right Story

TRD097aIt often takes more than pure logic to win others over to your way of thinking. Abraham Lincoln, a master in the art of persuasion, disliked coercion and became well known for using parables and stories to get his point across.

On one occasion early in his term, Lincoln was advised by a Virginian to surrender all forts and property in the Southern states. He rejected the advice and responded by telling Aesop's parable of the Lion and the Woodcutter's Daughter.

A lion was very much in love with a woodcutter's daughter and demanded her hand in marriage. Although he was afraid, the father replied by saying he would accept the lion as his daughter's suitor on one condition: he must get rid of his long teeth and claws because his daughter feared them both. The lion agreed to this condition and went off to have his teeth and claws extracted. But when the toothless, clawless Lion returned to ask for his bride, the woodcutter, no longer afraid, set upon him with his club, and drove him away into the forest.

"Would it not be so with me," concluded Lincoln, "If I give up all that is asked?"

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