MANDELA’S WAY ~ Lesson No. 8

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

This is the eighth post in this series of 15 lesons taken from the book MANDELA'S WAY written by Richard Stengel

EXTRACT : "You go straight to their hearts . It was an echo of something else he had famously said about the art of persuasion : 'Don't address their brains . Address their hearts' . This is true in many arenas of our lives – whether we are trying to persuade a colleague to see our point of view , win someone's vote , or attract new customers . He had always appealed to people's minds , but he knew that his ultimate victory would only come when he won over their hearts .

Ultimately , for Mandela , knowing the enemy was not only a tactical act , but an act of empathy . Mandela would never say , as the comic strip character Pogo famously did , 'We have met the enemy and he is us .' But he was so intent on winning them over that that in itself engendered a kind of loyalty to him . The enemy saw the effort Mandela had made ; he had come more than halfway to meet them when he had not needed to move at all . And when you have won over your enemy , Mandela said , never gloat . The time of your greatest triumph is the time when you should be most merciful . Do not humiliate them under any circumstances . Let them , in fact , save face . And then , Mandela said , you will have made your enemy your friend . "

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