Bringing the Text to Life
The rock star Bono knows how to woo.
Back in 2000, he paid a visit to archconservative Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina. Bono was lobbying for debt relief for Africa, and he entered the meeting prepared to throw a lot of facts and figures at the senator. But on the spot he switched to a completely different language, and began to talk religion with Jesse Helms. He focused on Jesus Christ’s deep concern for the sick and the poor. The conversation was incredibly fruitful, leading to an appropriation of $435 million for debt relief.
It’s all about the woo.
G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa, who both teach at the Wharton School, have written a book called The Art of Woo. But what is woo? Woo is relationship art — the ability to win people over without coercion, using emotionally intelligent persuasion. Think courtship, invitation, solicitation. Charles Lindbergh needed woo in order to attract backers for his trans-Atlantic flight. Nelson Mandela used it to lead a peaceful revolution in...