Have you ever been in a conversation involving a disagreement about an important issue, but you were unable to defend your point? Greg shares how to shift control of the conversation back to you while shifting the spotlight—and the pressure—back on the other person.
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I'd like to explain another variation in the
tactical game plan. That is, how you can use the first two steps of our tactics,
that is, you're gathering information about the person's point of view, and
you're also gathering information about the reasons for their view, "What do you
mean by that? How did you come to that conclusion?" And
I want to show you how you can use those two questions to, as I call it, stay out
of the hot seat. Now, the hot seat is where you find yourself when you're not
so much in questioning mode, but you're in persuasion mode. You're having a
discussion with somebody else. You're advancing your own view, and the person
is coming back at you with a bunch of challenges and objections that you don't
know how to deal with. You are completely out of your depth. Now, there's a way you
can deal with this that is not difficult at all, but I want to make an observation.
One of the goals of the tactical game plan is that you stay in the driver's
seat. Even though you're not doing all the talking, most of the talking even, you
are still guiding the conversation using questions, okay? But when you're in the
hot seat, when somebody else is coming on strong against you with all these
challenges and objections that you don't know how to deal with, who is in the
driver's seat now? You or that other person? Obviously, the other person. You're
feeling it, okay? We can change that very quickly. I want you to think about
switching immediately from persuasion mode into student mode. You're gonna stop
trying to persuade the person because they have challenges you can't deal with,
and you are now going to be a student of their view, okay?
You're gonna turn it around, and here's the way it will sound. You're gonna say
something like, "Wow, you have a lot of objections I don't know how to deal with,"
or, "You know a lot more about this topic that I know about,
so I'm wondering if you could do me a favor. Can you slow down a little bit?
Let me get a piece of paper maybe, and I'll take some notes. Tell me clearly
what your view is," write it down, "and tell me then your specific reasons that you
hold it, and I'll track that too." Notice those are
the first two questions: What do you mean by that? How did you come to that
conclusion? Nothing new here. We're just applying it in a different way. But when
you say, "Hold on a moment, you know more about this than I do. Can I
write some of this down? What do you mean by that? How'd you come to that
conclusion?" If you say that, who is now in the driver's seat of the conversation?
You or the other person? Not the other person. You are. You are now directing
that where you want it to go. And then you say to them, "Now let me think about
it." Now let me think about it. And them's the magic words because when
you say, "Now let me think about it," do you have any further obligation to answer
the challenges? No, you've already admitted that you can't answer the
challenge. You want to get an education so that you can consider it. Now, this
gives you a tremendous amount of freedom and latitude and rescue in a
circumstance when you're in the hot seat. What do you do next?
Well, you do what you say you're gonna do. You think about it on your own at your
leisure when the pressure is off. This is where you can gather the information to
make you ready, now that you have the ideas down clearly, make you ready to
respond to the issue the next time. That is a simple way using your tactical game
plan to get out of the hot seat.