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The Challenge Interrupt

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Interrupting > The Challenge Interrupt

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Interrupt a person by challenging what they have said. Tell them they are wrong, that they have inaccurate data, or that their reasoning is faulty.

You can do this politely, almost apologetically, or more assertively. If you want to take a dominant position you could even use sarcasm or aggression, although beware of reactive effects from this.

Example

I'm sorry, but I think your information is a bit out of date. Have you seen the new research?

That's wrong. She did not say that. I was there.

Oh come on! Get your facts right. Do you think I'm stupid?

Discussion

To be directly challenged when you are making a statement you believe to be true can be very unsettling. It disrupts your thinking and can result in an unwise reactive response.

Challenging creates uncertainty and may be seen as attack that threatens the sense of control and identity, forcing the person to defend themself. This can descend into emotional and angry argument where logic takes a back seat. Challenging is consequently very disruptive.

Challenging in a public forum is often a power move, where the challenger is sending a dominant message to observers as well as to the other person.

See also

Daring principle

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