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Impracticality

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion >  Impracticality

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Resist attempts to change the way things are done by declaring 'That won't work' or otherwise giving reason why the proposal is impractical. A good variant on this is to accuse the idea of being theoretical and academic at best.

You can thus take the position of an experienced practitioner, especially when you are talking in your own domain of control shutting out the persuaders as neophytes, academics and theorists who could possibly understand the ‘real world’.

Example

Sorry, that won't work in the real world.

Nice idea. I get the theory, but it won't really work in our environment.

Hmm. You don't get it, do you. You haven't been down on the shop floor to see what it is really like down there.

Discussion

Declaring an idea as impractical puts you in the position of expert, at least in the domain where the idea must be implemented. By definition, it also puts the other person in the position of being inexpert in that domain.

By defining their ideas as theoretical, you are also casting the other person as an academic theoretician and hence inferring that all of their ideas will be impractical and they are hence totally irrelevant.

This will cause most theoreticans to fume, as academic theories are far more sound than most practitioner ideas. But if you can show that you have more practical experience, then you will be more credible to most other practitioners.

See also

Inadequate, Won't work, Authority principle, Evidence principle, Explanations

 

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