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Disclaimer About Task

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Disclaimer About Task

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get the other person to agree to act by making their action seem small and easy.

Say the work is easy and will not take long. Point out that it is well within their capability and skills. Note how quickly it will be over and done with.

How much you can successfully diminish the task may depend on how much they understand what needs doing, so it can be a good idea to conceal information about the task until after they have agreed. It is also a good idea to gain an understanding of their knowledge of the task (or even the general type of task) before you use this method, so you can keep your assertions credible.

Example

Don't worry, it's not much. It will only take a few hours.

It's ok, I'll keep people off your back. This is all there is to do.

Can you help? It's not much. All you need to do is fix this little problem. 

Discussion

When you make a task seem small, it reduces not just the task but also the reasons for the other person to refuse to do it. Few people would refuse a task that takes a very small amount of time, so you can use this principle. Of course you should not make it so small that it is obvious you are being deceptive.

Once they are engaged, then it is harder for them to pull away and abandon the task. When we become engaged in something, we seek to keep the commitments we have made to completing the work even if the task is changed.

Disclaimer About Task is also written as 'Disclaimer (Task)'.

Disclaimer About Task is the 26th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Amplification principle

 

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

 

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