Here is Blaise Pascal on persuasion, as pointed out by BrainPickings.
The short of it is that: People have to discover what they have missed on their own.
When confronted with someone I disagree with, I have found that saying:
Oh, I completely agree. I also think it’s true that…
This simple phrase immediately puts us both on the same team, and diffuses any possible conflict.
Pascal says it like this:
When we wish to correct with advantage, and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides. Now, no one is offended at not seeing everything; but one does not like to be mistaken, and that perhaps arises from the fact that man naturally cannot see everything, and that naturally he cannot err in the side he looks at, since the perceptions of our senses are always true.
People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.