You Can Have Anything You Want – By Asking the Right Questions (well, almost anything)
You may not realize this but the art of asking questions is extremely powerful when it comes to getting more from other people. Verbal skills are an aspect of the Game that is crucial. A Player (person in a Game) should have a very crisp mouth-piece (the way you speak).
There are a lot of Players who talk very well. They are articulate, have an adequate vocabulary and they are quick to formulate responses. The problem is they think they need to use big fancy words and over exaggeration to get their point across. This doesn’t always work. Especially if the person you’re speaking to doesn’t understand what you just said.
What part of the Game is that?
I don’t know either.
Good communication is essential at every level in life but when you are trying to persuade and convince others you need to know how to do more than just speak well. You need to position yourself correctly in order to elicit agreement.
“James,” you ask, “What are you talking about?”
Let’s look at the game of Chess – then I will share some very simple Game with you that can benefit you in your life right now.
The concept of chess is simple but playing well takes practice and attention to detail. A skilled chess player needs to be able to “see” a few moves ahead. If he can predict or force his opponent to weaken his or her position, then he can gain an advantage and possibly win.
In other words, the game can be over before it even begins. This is especially true if a Grand Master ranked chess player is playing against a novice.
Now before we go any further I need you to promise me that you will use this ethically. What follows is a very simple persuasion tactic that requires very little forethought and can be used in any area of your life: At work, in business, with your children, in a romantic relationship – heck, you can even use it to get bill collectors to stay off your back for awhile.
The key here is prior planning and careful sentence structure. In other words, strategy – just like playing chess, we need to think a few moves ahead.
Poorly structured question: “Where are we going out to eat tonight?”
Properly structured question: “When we go out to eat, are we getting Italian or Mexican?”
Here’s the Game.
First we present our “opponent” with an option. Or better said – the illusion of an option. In this case it’s whether to eat Italian cuisine or Mexican.
But guess what? I wouldn’t mind eating either one. I made the choice before I gave my “opponent” the illusion of a choice. Whatever they choose, I win.
Taking this even deeper, if we never agreed to go out to begin with I can present the situation like this:
“We should go out to eat tonight. Do you want Italian or Mexican?”
I never asked, “Do you want to go out to eat?” I assumed the agreement and then gave an illusion of choice. Again, if they agree, I win. I get to go out to eat AND I get the kind of food I want.
The Game was won before it even started. Simple, isn’t it?
Bill collectors on your back? Structure a question with an illusion of choice.
“You said you want a payment? Well I can pay half tomorrow or I can pay in full when I get paid in two weeks. What works for you?”
Aren’t we just polite and cooperative? Either way, you win if you stick to this.
If you take the time to think this simple technique through you can find many applications for it.
Until next time. Keep it simple and stay in motion.
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