In an article for Harvard Business Review, Christopher Graves explains how paying someone a compliment can be a crucial first step in trying to change that person’s mind on something. The reason why is that people’s beliefs typically reflect back on their own self-identity, and challenging their beliefs thus feels like an attack on their sense of self. But paying a compliment before challenging a belief can affirm the other party’s sense of self, making you feel like less of a threat. When an argument is “disentangled” from a person’s sense of self, the odds of actually changing that person’s mind are optimized.
You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2016/10/when-saying-something-nice-is-the-only-way-to-change-someones-mind