A Powerful Negotiating and Communication Tactic: You Can Learn More And Sometimes Win An Argument With This Simple Question
What do you say if someone makes a statement, and you want to know more about the subject–or if you disagree with the statement and want time to frame your response? Here’s a negotiating tactic. Say, “Could you elaborate on that?”
This power question is much more polite and less aggressive than saying, “What do you mean by that?”
If you’re engaged in an argument or a negotiation, while the other party is elaborating and explaining the statement, you gain an advantage.
One. While they are responding, you have time to think about what you will say. All too often thoughtful and wise individuals lose arguments because their opponents are quick and glib. Buying a bit of time by asking a follow-up question levels the playing field.
Two. Your opponent’s response may give you a better target to attack than his/her original assertion.
Three. Your opponent, while elaborating and explaining, might just dig a deep hole in which you can bury his/her argument.
We say this question is a negotiating tactic, but we also recommend it for media interviews and interviewing in general.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest negotiators ever. “Lincoln on Communication” reveals his secrets.
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