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Nature of the Situation

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Nature of the Situation

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get the other person to do as want them to do through sensitivity to the situation and using this in your persuasive talk.

You can show that you understand their situation and hence address any issues they have, so they are freed up to comply with your wishes.

You can also use the general situation as a lever to persuade them, for example by indicating that they must be sensitive to their context and the people around them.

The situation discussed may be the immediate, real-time situation, or it may be a broader context that spreads over time, people and geography.

Example

Excuse me, I know you love one another, but kissing like that in public is rather distracting for everyone else.

I can understand that this is expensive for you, but don't worry as we have very good financial package that will spread the cost over several years.

Listen, we've got a desperate customer situation here and we need your help. I wouldn't ask for so much normally, but you are the only one who understands the detail of the software.

Discussion

While there are many different methods you can use in persuasion, none are guaranteed, mostly because the people and the situation change each time you encounter them. While the situation may seem simple to you, it may be less so for the other person.

People are often strongly affected by particular elements in their environment and are naturally distracted by these. This can be an opportunity rather than a nuisance if you can use elements of the situation as a part of the persuasion, from showing you understand (and so gaining their trust) to reframing situational factors so they support your case.

Nature of the Situation is the 43rd of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Diagnosing Change, Objection-handling

 

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

 

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