Pete headshot

Pete Jaskulski


Hello, Doug Lynch with Vistelar here.

Recently I had the honor of working with Pete Jaskulski while he educated a group of new officers. During this training, something Pete shared with them about persuasion stopped me in my tracks. He shared with them that “being right never convinced anyone.”

At first brush it can be taken as pretty obvious but, please take a moment and really think about it. We probably all know people who are passionate about their beliefs and are correct in what they believe but others won’t listen to what they say because of the way they say it.

We probably have made that mistake ourselves, I know I have.

Let me share a story to help illustrate what I mean.


Trust me

When I was working in my Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit there were several programs I told my immediate supervisor that our agency needed to be participating in. When asked why, my answer was usually “Trust me, I know what I am talking about. They are good programs.”

But, a funny thing happened. They rarely trusted me.

And, later, these programs would get implemented because someone high up on the command staff would learn of them from other sources and direct our Crime Prevention Unit to participate in them. My ego would get the better of me sometimes and I would whisper to my coworkers that if the bosses would have just listened to me, we would have been doing these programs for a while now.

Now, in fairness to me, this was in my less enlightened days before I had begun working with Gary Klugiewicz at Verbal Defense and Influence and learned the clarifying effect of the living by the Five Maxims.

But once I understood the importance of them, I started applying them to all situations including this one.


Using the Five Maxims

After learning the Maxims, if a new crime prevention program came up that I thought our PD should be participating in, I first made sure it matched the needs of our community and was practical. I then would write out an informational memo for the bosses regarding the program.

I would ask if we could participate, I would spell out the reasoning behind why this program was important to the community. I would spell out other available options similar to the program and would spell out the potential consequences of not taking action.

My last line would spell out how we could support the program and again ask to participate. Finally, I would act on what was decided by the bosses.


Try it for yourself

It took a while but I learned that being right never convinced anyone. And that learning came at a price.

So, my challenge to all of you as mentors is this, use Pete’s quote to start a dialog with your people and help them to understand this concept of persuasion quicker than I did. The sooner they realize the need to persuade people to be able to work efficiently, the better. They will thank you for it later.



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