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Stratagem And Persuasion

Feb 1, 2008
"So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you win one and lose the next. If you do not know yourself or your enemy, you will always lose." -Ancient Chinese Proverb

Learning is one of my main passions in life. For many years I've been intimately involved with learning and utilizing the ancient Chinese proverbs called the Thirty-Six Chinese Stratagem. Cunning and pervasive, these stratagem are similar to the strategies in the Art of War and while their main focus is warfare or military activities, these stratagem can be applied to politics, business, negotiations of all kinds, romance, sports. . .almost all aspects of modern life.

A stratagem is not a strategy. This is a common mistake. Stratagem is more akin to a ruse, something that is done to intentionally deceive. With the intention of deceiving, we can see that these are not always nice. They are at their core manipulations and psychological warfare. In the West we have our own version of this as 'all's fair in love and war'. These stratagems can be cold and cruel.

With that said, I always like to pay some attention to the necessity of integrity and honesty in our everyday dealings. All may or may not be fair in love and war, but really, if we know the rules of the game, if we have the tools that we need to really get to the bottom of human nature, we can arm ourselves and protect ourselves if others are attempting to use these tools of intentional deception on us AND we can find ways to use these tools with honor and veracity, in new ways that expand our potential to persuade. From time to time, I intend to write on these stratagem because their correspondence and relation to persuasion is inseparable. I will be starting an even deeper exploration of these stratagem because it is my feeling and experience that they bring persuasion and influence and self knowledge to an entirely new level, in magnitudes of improvement, and once they become a part of your other than conscious, you will begin to see clearly how these teachings benefit all aspects of life.

There are six categories which the stratagems are broken down into corresponding to six situations. They are: The Stratagems of Winning; The Stratagems of Defending; The Stratagems of Attacking; The Stratagems of Scuffling; The Stratagems of Merging; The Stratagems of Losing. These lessons will most assuredly benefit your persuasion. If we can understand exactly what they describe, we can reverse engineer them, pull out the parts that work, and then decide when and how others might be able to use them on us. By understanding them, we can also decide when it's ethical and honorable to use them on others.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of wealthy prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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