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Identify Learning Strategy


Techniques Persuasion 101 > Identify Learning Strategy

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Before getting into a persuasive, influencing or negotiation situation, you may well spend some time in figuring out what you understand about them, what they want, etc. In this, you may well note that there are things that you do not fully understand and need to spend some time in learning about the things that you do not know but probably need to know.

A first consideration is if you can find out things before the interaction (including access to resources and whether you have time). If this is not feasible, you then need to decide how you will go about discovering these important facts during interaction with the target person. Approaches may include:

  • Directly asking them for information.
  • Asking about related subjects and hoping they will reveal the information you need (such as what money they have available that you need).
  • Conversing with them in ways that will make them want to tell you what you want to know.
  • Engaging them in reasoned discussions where they may use the desired information as evidence for arguments.
  • Provoking them into emotional states where they will spontaneously give up the information.

Within this, you may well want to consider what approaches are acceptable, given your personal values and the importance of the ongoing relationship.


A person wants to ask another person out on a date. They do not know whether the other person is already dating. They decide to try asking a common friend, and if this does not succeed to steer the conversation in the direction of partners and then ask about their current partner.

A sales person wants to find out how interested a customer is in a product. They say there is only one left and then watch the customer's body language to determine whether they signal an increase in desire.


When changing minds, information is very important. Knowledge really is power. What you know about yourself, the other person, what each wants, and other contextual factors can affect such as whether you can inject urgency into the situation, how much you can ask (when selling) and what obligation you can create from helping them.

When you know what you know and know what you do not know, you can plan to increase knowledge and decrease ignorance. Being ready and having a plan may not give you all the information you need, but it almost certainly will be better than trying to 'wing it', making things up as you go along.

Some information will be easy to discover. Some will not. And some, nobody will really know.

Values can be important. If you take a collaborative approach, it will be easier to ask for information but you must sustain Trust. If you are more competitive and the relationship is not important, then you may decide to use more ethically challenging methods.

See also

Values, Learning


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