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Threat

 

Techniques General persuasion > Creating Cognitive Load > Threat

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Occupy their minds by getting them to think about actual or possible dangers ahead of them.

While you can directly threaten them, it can be more effective to just point out other risks. Amplify these in their minds by making the probability seem greater, the impact larger and the occurrence sooner.

The threat can be directly against them or may affect people or things they care about.

Example

If we don't get this finished this week, you can kiss your bonus goodbye.

The team is depending on you. Have you done enough risk analysis? I've a few points you may want to consider...  

Discussion

One of the basic drives that evolution has given us is the need to avoid danger. From this, any threat grabs our attention until we are sure we can avoid or handle it.

Threats can seem easy motivators, yet they can easily backfire. For example if we are perceived to be the source of the threat, the person may attack us. Even the carrier of bad news can find themselves in trouble.

If people do not fight risks, they may flee them. This can be an opportunity for you to guide their flight. They may also seek to escape in a completely different direction from that which you prefer.

See also

Fear

 

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