In our often-polarizing world, the ability to change someone’s mind can be a powerful asset. In a professional setting, it’s a critical tool for influencing others. And you need influence in order to drive forward certain outcomes, do your job effectively and develop your own career.

But getting your boss to change her mind about an important decision, negotiating with a client who refuses to budge or convincing your coworker to buy into your idea requires a lot of finesse. There are, after all, complex power dynamics at play. Not to mention the fact that it sometimes seems that in the moments when you most desperately need someone else to see things from your perspective, they seem hell-bent on sticking to their own point of view. The solution? A persuasion technique first brought to light by famous French mathematician, physicist, philosopher and writer Blaise Pascal over 350 years ago.

This one powerful practice