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Third Party

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Third Party

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get other people to do what you want them to do by getting a third party to ask them for you.

The third party should be someone who has more authority, is a friend of the person or who otherwise has greater influence with them than you.

Example

A boy gets his sister to ask their father if the boy can stay out late. The father has a softer spot for the sister and agrees when he might otherwise have challenged the boy.

A business change agent asks a sympathetic senior manager to tell the middle managers they must collaborate within the change projects.

A girl asks her friend to ask a boy's friend if the boy would be interested in going out with the girl. The roundabout route saves embarrassment all round.

Discussion

When you seek to persuade, always remember that you are not necessary the best person to do the persuading. By considering who will have greater influence over the target person or group, you may be able to persuade where you lack of personal credibility or authority in this instance is not high.

When you get a third party to do the asking, it prevents a conversation between you and the subject that could cause you some difficulty. They just have to say yes or no.

Third Party is the 56th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Relationships

 

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

 

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