In our previous post we saw that when desiring to persuade, telling someone they are wrong will most likely not only not change their mind, it will much more than likely elicit their planting their feet firmly “in-turf” and defending their position.
The suggestion was to, instead, agree with them. Counter-intuitive? Yes. Effective? Most definitely.
But, realize that beginning with agreement is, just that; a beginning. You’ll then utilize some of the positive persuasion methods and strategies we often discuss in these posts.
However, I was emailed by a couple of readers asking for some examples of “agreement without capitulation.” In other words, they wondered: “what can you possibly say that agrees, without basically giving in?”
Let’s look at just one very quick example:
Front Desk Agent: It’s hotel policy that we don’t allow guests to check in until 3pm.
You: Absolutely. It’s very important to follow policy. It’s there for a reason.
Now that the he or she feels comfortable with you and totally unthreatened, they are also much more open to your tactfully-communicated solution.
For example, you might say:
I’m just thinking, I know one reason for this very important rule is to make sure the rooms are clean and ready for your guests. This is one reason I always enjoy staying here. I’m wondering, would it be possible for you to check to see if there is a room ready that I could check in to?
I can tell you from personal experience, this works. Every time? Not necessarily. But, indeed if there is a room that is ready, you will most likely be able to check in.
Had you reacted to the clerk’s initial statement, the chances are he or she would have gone into their “default setting” and a no-win transaction (i.e. an argument) would have ensued. Instead, you responded, communicated understanding, and provided a solution that he or she was only too happy to comply with.
I hope you found that helpful. Please feel free to share a situation you have experienced or might one day experience, and how you handled it or see yourself handling it.