For at least two decades I thought the key to winning people over was to talk persuasively. Use a firm, but cool voice, highlight supporting facts, prepare for objections. Very recently I've started to understand what my longtime friend Chris Paladino had been trying to tell me, though never in direct terms.
I studied and practiced how to tell a convincing story, while Chris urged me to communicate honestly and openly whenever I could afford to. To Chris, persuasion is not a coat you put on. It's a conviction and sincerity that comes from living comfortably with your own beliefs, and letting your words be only a mirror of what's already true to you.
The funny thing about living persuasively is that, after a time, you find you're not even putting a lot of effort into persuading people, because they already trust that you're speaking the clearest truth you can. If you're thoughtful and work at it, people will also know that you've put the thought and work in to support and reinforce your point of view. You'll carry the confidence that makes convincing other people a secondary outcome. While the rest of the hustlers are racing to get mindshare and trust, you'll already be there with the people making the decisions.
And you won't be hustling anymore.
This is part of why I've spent so many years in the games industry. It's a lot easier to do work that inspires you than it is to pretend and try to convince other people that you're inspired. It's easy to stand behind a message you believe in. My current obsession is making player experiences better. Luckily for me, it guides my work, and it's something my coworkers are also committed to. I don't have to convince myself, or anyone else, because it's already self-evident.