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The Soulful Art of Persuasion by Jason Harris

I don’t usually pick up books about “Persuasion.” It’s not a word I like. It gives me visions of people tying my hands behind my back and trying to force me to do something against my will.

Yet, in Jason Harris’s book, The Soulful Art of Persuasion, it’s not about that at all. In fact, I’d replace the word “persuasion” with “influence” or “connection.” This book is about becoming a master influencer through building genuine connections and relationships with others.

If I were going to write a book about persuasion, influence, and the art of communication, I would have loved to have written a book like Jason Harris’s. 🙂 Now I don’t have to!

The reason is that his definition of the values of a “Soulful Persuader” is almost the same as that I use for being a Soulful Marketer. For Harris, being soulful means approaching persuasion from a place of authenticity, empathy, and genuine connection. 

He emphasizes that the most effective form of persuasion is not through manipulation or coercion. It’s through building meaningful relationships and understanding the emotions and values of your audience. Yes, yes, and yes!

From my many years of experience in marketing, this is spot on.  And one of the many reasons my company Soulful Marketing was born.

He also lists the 11 Habits of being a Soulful Persuader on page 265 of the book. The ones I’m most drawn to that align with Soulful Marketing are: 

  • Being Your Own Weird Self
  • The Power Of Storytelling
  • Being A Source Of Inspiration
  • Give Yourself Away,
  • The Pull Of Positivity. 

Something else that stood out for me is how he describes soulful persuasion as appealing to the emotional and rational aspects of decision-making. 

When you tap into people’s emotional motivations, you can create a deeper connection with them and persuade them in a way that feels natural and aligned with their values.

Again, I’d replace the word “persuasion” with “connection.” When you make that connection in the above scenario, it’s not about persuading. It’s about creating an authentic connection that your dream client will relate to and want to invest in whatever you’re offering.

A significant emphasis on powerful language also stood out for me in this book. If you’re an influencer, the words you use are critical.

Early in my career, I had a mentor who was excellent at teaching me everything about marketing, people, and relationships. One of the things that stuck out was how I needed to use more powerful language when speaking.

Here’s an Example of Powerful And Powerless Language: (Harris has some terrific examples and goes into a lot more detail about this in his first chapter.)

If someone asks your opinion about something – “Hey, what do you think of the performance of Rhianna at the Super Bowl?  

The powerless answer – “In my opinion, if I’m being truthful, I think it was a pretty stunning show and one of the best musical performances ever. And a lot of other folks agree with me too.

The powerful answer – I absolutely loved it – best show ever.

Do you see the subtle difference? It’s not just the number of words. It’s about stating something that you believe in confidently.

This is a good example when connecting with people. Less is always more. And not using phrases like “in my opinion” or “if I’m being honest.” Then there’s “don’t get me wrong,” or “I don’t have anything against…” and on it goes.

This is just one of the many things Harris shares with you in his book – How to speak powerfully so you will connect more easily and foster better relationships. 

I’ve read many books on persuasion and influence – if this interests you, then you gotta get a copy of his book. 

A Book Summary to Inspire You To Read It!

Quick Summary: If you’re interested in how to be more authentic, empathetic, impactful, and come from a place of integrity in your work and personal relationships then you gotta get a copy of Harris’s book. It offers practical strategies and real-world examples to help you become a more influential and impactful communicator. When you follow his principles and habits outlined in this book, you will discover how to connect on a deeper level, inspire action and change, and ultimately achieve your goals in a way that’s both soulful and effective. His principles remind me a lot of Soulful Marketing.

Who Ought to Read this Book: I’d highly recommend it to business leaders, influencers, entrepreneurs, sales folks, marketers, and advertisers. If you’re looking to improve your interpersonal skills, build stronger relationships, and connections, and communicate more effectively with people while positively impacting the world, then yep – this book is definitely for you.

He’s got some real-world examples in the book that you can take to your “communications bank.” These examples will help you maintain your authenticity, empathy, and integrity. When you follow his principles and habits, you can learn to connect with your audiences on a deeper level, inspire action, and achieve your goals.

Things You Will Discover:

Harris outlines Four principles in the book and the habits in each that will help you become a master influencer. These core habits are organized in the book around these four principles: Original, Generous, Empathetic, and Soulful. 

The Four Principles and its associated habits:

1st Principle: Original –This principle involves being authentic, creative, and innovative in your approach to persuasion. 

  • Habit 1: Be True to Yourself
  • Habit 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
  • Habit 3: Embrace Your Weirdness

Second Principle: Generous – This principle involves being selfless and generous in your interactions with others. The habits associated with this principle include:

  • Habit 4: Listen More Than You Talk
  • Habit 5: Be of Service
  • Habit 6: Be Grateful

Third Principle: Empathetic -This principle involves understanding and connecting with your audience on an emotional level. The habits associated with this principle include:

  • Habit 7: See the World Through Other People’s Eyes
  • Habit 8: Speak to the Heart, Not Just the Head
  • Habit 9: Make People Feel Heard

Fourth Principle: Soulful -This principle involves bringing passion, purpose, and meaning to your persuasive efforts. The habits associated with this principle include:

  • Habit 10: Find Your Higher Purpose
  • Habit 11: Create a Movement

Overall, these four principles represent different aspects of effective persuasion, and the habits associated with each principle can help anyone become more effective and ethical he calls persuaded and I’d rather say – influencer.

He also shares with you the Four Fundamental Principles that are crucial for effective persuasion (Again, I’d replace “persuasion” with “influence.”):

  1. Empathy: Harris argues that empathy is the foundation of successful persuasion, as it enables you to understand and connect with your audience on a deep level. By putting yourself in others’ shoes and understanding their needs, values, and emotions, you can tailor your persuasive message to resonate with them.
  2. Authenticity: According to Harris, authenticity is critical in building trust with your audience. He encourages readers to be transparent, honest, and genuine in their communication, and to avoid using manipulative tactics that undermine trust and credibility.
  3. Storytelling: Harris believes that storytelling is a powerful tool for persuasion, as it allows you to connect with your audience on an emotional level and convey your message in a memorable and engaging way.
  4. Connection: Finally, Harris stresses the importance of connection in the persuasion process. He argues that building relationships and establishing a sense of shared purpose with your audience is the key to creating lasting and impactful persuasion. By establishing a deep connection with others, you can cultivate trust, support, and commitment to your persuasive goals.

A communication review concept I loved was this example of doing a “Postgame Breakdown” after you’ve had an important personal exchange. He suggests picking a few of these questions and answering the ones that apply and will help you improve.

  • Where in that conversation was I being my most genuine self?
  • Where did I notice myself being insincere or holding back?
  • When you have the above info then go one step further and ask:
  • How can I build on those moments where I was letting myself show through?

For those moments that felt less genuine, ask this:

  • What would I have said or done if I was being honest? If I was being my most genuine self?  If I wasn’t so concerned about how the other person saw me?
  • How would I have acted if I was talking to my oldest friend – someone who knows me better than I know myself? 

If you’re promoting, presenting, or want to make a sale – this post-game analysis is pretty cool and will definitely help in improving your authenticity and connection. 


This is Soulful Persuasion:
“Soulful persuasion is a positive, optimistic, and mutually beneficial way of convincing someone to believe in something, take action, or do something.”

The Foundation of Soulful Persuasion:
“Integrity is the foundation of soulful persuasion. It means doing what you say you’re going to do, being true to your word, and staying true to your values and beliefs.”

Your Message is Mega Important:
“Great persuaders understand that a powerful message has a far greater impact than a powerful delivery.”

Empathy is the Key:
“Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is the key to building trust, creating connections, and communicating effectively. …it is also the key to inspiring them.”

It’s About Being the Best Version of You:
“Being a great persuader isn’t about being someone you’re not. It’s about being the best version of yourself.”

It’s About Your Audience – Not You:
“The soulful persuader never makes their pitch about themselves; they make it about their audience.”

Authenticity is a Way of Life:
“Authenticity is not a trend, a marketing campaign, or a clever tagline. It is a way of life. …it is about being honest, genuine, and true to yourself, your values, and your beliefs.”

Emotions Are More Powerful:
“The most effective persuaders are those who understand that the power of their message lies in the emotions it evokes, not just the facts it presents.”

It’s About Making them Feel Something:
“The soulful persuader knows that the best way to motivate someone to take action is to make them feel something.”

It’s About Connection to Your Dream Clients:
“The key to persuasion is connection. You have to connect with your audience on an emotional level, and you have to make them feel that you understand them, that you care about them, and that you want what’s best for them.”

Persuasion = Vulnerability:
“Your ability to persuade others is only as strong as your willingness to be vulnerable and open to new ideas.”

Positive Impact is More Meaningful:
“The soulful persuader understands that true success is not measured by what they achieve, but by the positive impact they have on others.”

Hold Yourself Accountable:
“This process begins with a conscious decision to hold yourself accountable by refusing to persuade anybody to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.”

About the Author: Jason Harris

Jason Harris is the CEO of the award-winning creative agency Mekanism and the cofounder of the Creative Alliance. Harris works closely with brands through a blend of soul and science to create provocative campaigns that engage audiences. Iconic brands include Peloton, Ben & Jerry’s, MillerCoors, HBO, and the United Nations. Under his leadership, Mekanism was named to Ad Age’s Agency A-list and twice to their Best Places to Work, and to Creativity’s Creativity 50. Harris has been named in the Top 10 Most Influential Social Impact Leaders, as well as the 4A’s list of “100 People Who Make Advertising Great.” His methods are studied in cases at Harvard Business School. Harris is also a passionate advocate for social causes and has worked with organizations like the United Nations Foundation and the Climate Reality Project to promote positive change in the world.

Get Your Copy:

The Soulful Art of Persuasion by Jason Harris

Other Books You Might Be Interested In:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, And Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin

Unleashing The Idea Virus: Stop Marketing At People! Turn Your Ideas Into Epidemics by Seth Godin

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

Previous Book Review

The Soulful Art of Persuasion

The Soulful Art of Persuasion by Jason Harris


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

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