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Not Seek Compliance

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Not Seek Compliance

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Do not look for agreement. Just do what needs doing yourself.

If others object, or even look like they may object, go around them, past them or otherwise avoid them, taking away the opportunity for them to object by your positive actions.

Another way of ignoring agreement is to issue commands without seeking agreement. This is particularly useful in urgent situations where there is no time for discussion.

Example

Rather than ask permission to go and see a customer who seems unhappy, a person in a service firm just phones up and goes to see them. This lets them catch the customer while they may still be influenced rather than waiting for a long-winded approval process.

'Don't ask, just do it.'

'Sorry, it's done. There was no time for discussion.'

Discussion

It has been said that it is 'easier to get forgiveness than permission' and can be distinctly true. There are times when getting permission, agreement or collaboration may take so long or distort the mission so much that a better way is just to act. This is particularly true when there is a limited window of time for action.

Not seeking compliance can also arise from the need for autonomy. Of course not seeking compliance may result in later punishment, which may mean you need conviction and courage to take this approach.

Using command rather than seeking agreement is typical of military and other strictly formal contexts. It is also a reasonable approach in emergencies, where delays could lead to harm.

Not Seek Compliance is the 45th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Forced Compliance, Murray's Needs

 

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

 

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