Thursday, March 5, 2015
Analytical Interviewing: Understanding Persuasion in Language
Understanding Persuasion in Language
by Peter Hyatt
Persuasion is not necessarily a 'bad thing' in analysis. We all hope to persuade others, whether it is to order a pizza tonight, instead of General Tso's chicken, or an issue of historical importance.
There are techniques within "Analytical Interviewing" that are powerful tools of persuasion.
This is something that is necessary in learning the truth about what happened. I, as the Interviewer, wish to persuade the subject (the interviewee) to not only tell me the truth, but tell me a great deal of information.
I want him to be truthful about what happened.
I want him to tell me the truth, the whole truth, and not leave out any truth in order to deceive me. Therefore, I must persuade him.
I will, therefore, utilize simple phraseology to facilitate the flow of information.
I will, therefore, not interrupt the subject, in order to facilitate the flow of information.
I will even allow him to 'control' the interview, in spite of training to the contrary, knowing that as he chooses his words, I am getting information that may help me, even if it takes longer than usual.
I will allow him to speak, freely choosing his own words, so that my vocabulary exerts minimal influence over the words he chooses.
I will keep a "poker face", if interviewing in person, to the best of my ability, no matter how I am emotionally impacted by the words spoken, in order to continue the flow of information from him to me.
I do so to get to the truth.
The truth protects the innocent and brings justice to the guilty.
There is something to learn here that is explained in far more detail in seminars.
Each one of us has our own internal, subjective, personal, dictionary. As the average adult has, perhaps, 30,000 words, almost all of them are subjective. The exception is:
Time as measured by a clock.
When one reports what has happened, we do not expect a need to persuade and often find this need, itself, as weakness. If the subject repeatedly returns to the need to persuade, rather than report, we must question why this is.
Is it that he is lying?
Is it that he does not think he will be believed?
We find a non-so-phenomenal phenomena in language: Husbands and wives, once married for a long time, often "enter into each other's personal dictionary" in speech.
We see this when they not only finish each other's sentences, or communicate to each other without words, but if we listen carefully enough, in each other's specific words chosen, phrases chosen, and even syntax of words chosen.
This is a major key to understanding how to conduct an Analytical Interview.
An Analytical Interview is one in which:
Information is passed from subject to Interviewer;
Controlled by the subject;
and allows the subject's own words to guide us.
It is legally sound in that it protects the innocent by not feeding words (leading questions) nor suggestions.
But there is something that is so utterly powerful about this interview process (when trained) that becomes, by itself, strongly persuasive, so much so, that the world's best salesman and saleswomen seem to do it intuitively.
It is related to both marriage and analytical interviewing and is something that, in the wrong hands, can cause much danger in the realm of exploitation.
What is it?
It is taught in the seminar, and although it is quickly recognized with "wow!" commentary, we must practice it, hands on, with boundaries set up.
What is it?
Why is it so powerful that I have added a caveat?
Put your thoughts in the comments section...