Many of these articles come from regurgitating things I have read from books and academic sources. Recently I have taken a break from reading on language and instead reading lots of novels and fiction. I do this because the process of telling other people about something you have just learned cements the information in your mind and helps you better remember it later.
One of the short reads I recently picked up was How to Win Friends and Influence People, the book is one of the most well known "Self-Help" books out there. There are so many copies floating around I am sure you can grab a copy for free somewhere. Unbeknown to me the author also wrote a biography about Abraham Lincoln that my grandmother helped me use for a first-grade project! Cool! Admittedly I read Lenny Bruce's autobiography How to Talk Dirty and Influence People years ago. If your more inclined to be a smart ass I recommend the latter, although Lenny Bruce was also a very intelligent person.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is about communication. It was written in 1936, but a lot of what is in the book is applicable today. One chapter in particular deals with criticism and how nobody gets what they want by criticizing another person. In fact doing so only puts the other person on the defensive and reinforces the stance they have taken.
How does one go about convincing people then? One of the suggestions the author Dale Carnegie makes is to try to see things from the other person's point of view. How can they benefit from the situation? One of the easiest ways to pick up on this is to see how many times you use the personal pronoun "I". It is an easy indicator of seeing just who's perspective you are taking in the situation.
An example the author gave was when the price to rent out a ballroom in which he gave lectures went up. Tickets had been sold in advance so there was no way to change the venue. Instead of complaining to the management Carnegie went to the manager and heard what he had to say. The manager said that he could get more money for other dances at the ballroom and because there was a demand, the price went up. Carnegie laid out the pros and cons of raising the price of the ballroom. The pro being that the ballroom would be free for other events which could take more money in. The con being the hotel would lose his business and that the many upscale people who came to his lectures (much more people than a ballroom dance) would never go to or see the hotel, free advertising that would be lost. Carnegie later received a letter saying that the rate increase of 300% had been lowered to 50%.
That last paragraph was only a paraphrase of a small part of the book. It is an easy read and I highly suggest checking it out! The book is filled with these things, it is almost like social judo. The author never told the manager what he wanted directly, and he never said "I" or complained and everything he explained was from the managers perspective. Had he screamed at the manager, would anything have changed?