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This tactic is simple and is used often. We are more likely to gain agreement when there is a reason given. Certain centers of the brain are triggered when any reason is given, even if it is nonsensical. A nonsense reason is far more effective than no reason at all. This is the science of “mindful” versus “mindless” acceptance of requests as a social reaction to interpersonal communication. Naked requests seldom yield a result, so we must communicate the source of the need or want.


Consider the following traffic stop negotiation: Officer: “Why were you speeding?” Driver: “I was getting my child from a basketball game[5].” Result: No ticket.


If someone explains the reason for a position, evaluate if this is an issue that should impact the negotiation. Is it relevant or irrelevant? Be mindful and curb your automatic social responses.

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