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The Provocative Rider

 

Techniques > Questioning > The Provocative Rider

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Ask your question, then add a provocative question or statement.

The provocation can deliberately be little more than an insult. It can also be a probe out a short in the dark. Watch their reaction to this. If you see fear, you may be closer to ask uncomfortable truth.

Example

 Who writes your policy? Do you make it up as you go along?

How much are your executives paid? I'm told they are all fat cats.

Where were you yesterday? Did you go out drinking again?

Discussion

The provocation is not the real question. Its purpose is as a barb that gets them emotional, intimidated or annoyed. This interrupts their reasoning and weakens their response, making it easier for you to control the argument.

This method is much used by media interviewers, who also tend to use inflections in their questioning that indicate superiority, cynicism, or other provocation. An alternative is to use a gentle, inquiring tone that contradicts the aggression of the provocative rider. This causes confusion that similarly lets the interviewer control the conversation, this time as the iron fist in the velvet glove.

See also

Tag Questions

 

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