In Short

It is just as easy to deceive with numbers as it is with words. Surveys, studies, and statistics are conducted and interpreted by researchers who might have a bias, or simply lack the skills necessary to do their jobs properly. Therefore, it is important to evaluate numbers before accepting them as truth. Ask questions about how the information was gathered, what its margin of error is, and how meaningful it is. Does the conclusion make sense, or does it seem to distort the findings? Thinking critically about the many numbers you encounter will help you to rely only on information that is objective and accurate.

Skill Building Until Next Time

■ Watch a news broadcast and listen for the results of a survey or poll. Does the newscaster tell the margin of error? Why is it important to know this number?

■ Look for a print advertisement that includes a statistic. Why was it included? Does it seem accurate and objective? How else could the advertiser have made the point without using numbers?

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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