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Proposing

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Elements of the Conversation > Proposing

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

In conversation, proposing is making suggestions that require the other person to either agree or challenge in some way.

Proposals can include:

  • Requests for action
  • Floating ideas for discussion
  • Offering solutions to problems
  • Attempts to persuade that just seek agreement

Proposals may be simple statements that invite comment. They may be questions that seek answers. They may also be a combination, with the seeking of a response added as a phrase or separate sentence.

Example

Let's go out to dinner tonight.

We could invite James with us.

It might be interesting to try Indonesian. What do you think?

Discussion

Proposals can range from vague ideas that are intended for open discussion to firm assertions that seek agreement rather than challenge.

Uncertain proposals often include the use of qualifiers such as 'perhaps', 'could' or 'may'. These words signal the uncertainty of the speaker and invite the other person to pass comment on what is said rather than simply agree or disagree.

Stronger assertions usually do not use qualifiers. When they do, this is often for politeness or decoration. The tone and emphasis of the statement however indicates that a response is not wanted.

See also

Asserting, Assertiveness

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