We Have a Manipulation Problem

We have a manipulation problem. We don’t want to manipulate or be manipulated. But we all want to get various and sundry people to do what we want. So we tie ourselves in knots trying to get people to do stuff without even seeming manipulative.

But what if we could convince others in ways that they benefit? And what if we could do that convincing not with our ideas of what would be good for them and why but with their own, honest, deeply held reasons?

You may think this sounds too much like a certain orange man’s plan for getting other people to pay for his folly. But consider this: if someone has her own, valid, 100% self-generated, and self-beneficial reasons for agreeing with our suggestion, there can be no foul, no manipulation.

We can help others get to this place by first affirming that they do not have to do what we suggest; the choice is 100% theirs. Next we ask them to consider why they might want to do what we suggest. Then we only accept from them reasons that are honestly beneficial to them (e.g. “You said you thought you should do this. But I am interested in why might you want to do it, for your own benefit.”).

Win, win.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Alan Levine cc

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