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Hinting

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Hinting

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get others to do as you want them to do by using hints and other indirect suggestions.

Do not just tell them what to do or try to persuade them. Rather, see if you can get them to come up with the idea by dropping hints, showing examples and otherwise nudging their thinking in the right direction.

Example

I'm bored. [nudge towards 'let's go out']

There's a new beauty salon in town. [= I'd like to go there]

This is the last car we have. [=buy now]

Discussion

We all have a strong need for a sense of control, and when others try to tell us what to do, or even persuade us, we may push back and even do the opposite just to show who is in charge. When this may be the case, more subtle means are necessary and hinting is just such a method.

You may not even need to say anything as you can hint with body language and action as well as words. Just by looking sad, interested and so on, you can send signals to which the other person may respond. These may also be combined with other forms of persuasion. And actions such as turning down the lights and putting on gentle music can be a nudge towards a more romantic situation.

Hinting is the 36th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

The Need for a Sense of Control

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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