- I'll show you mine if you show me yours
- First, you'll need to decide what you want
to talk about so that you an convincingly transition to the point where the other person
becomes the logical topic of the conversation while all the while remaining essentially
oblivious to how you've gotten to this point.
- This means you'll get to the point of
shaping and directing the conversation so that the focus is really on the other person.
- If you know you're going to speak with
someone who is a retired military officer, some aspects of your own military career may
serve as the opening gambit that allows you to get to his career.
- There's the issue of what is called
"backstopping." This refers to how well you can appear to be the person with the
history that you say you have; how well this pseudo-history can withstand the harsh light
of day if someone decides they want to check you out, so see if you are who you say have.
- We know that it's not illegal to
misrepresent who you are while collecting business information. It may well be unethical,
immoral, and distasteful. But it's not illegal to misrepresent your identity in the
business world. If it were, 50 percent of the people we know in...business...
- You respond with an organized, maybe even a
rehearsed, statement about what's happening to your organization. Not too exciting, not
too compromising, yet enough to get him to the point of reciprocity - something about his
company that you can guide, using other techniques that you've stacked up.
- But instead of telling you about what's
happening at his place, your source, either in all innocence or well-placed curiosity,
asks you about some further detail. You realize suddenly that you really shouldn't go much
further into the topic than you already have. You want to say to the source, "Don't
you realize that it's your job to tell me something now?"
- Decide well in advance what you're going to
say as the opening gambit. Then, decide on those additional things you'll be willing to
contribute to the conversation to keep it from becoming one-sided.
- For some of us, a variant that I call the
Reflected Quid Pro Quo may be the best approach. In this approach, you are referring to
someone else's experience, and it becomes even easier for you to claim ignorance of the
actual details - details you would be expected to have some mastery of if you had been
claiming the experience as your own. And the beauty of this approach is that you can make
all manner of mistakes in the construction of your relative or friend's experience.
Mistakes that are natural in someone who hasn't had the experience; mistakes that can be
especially useful if you're using this technique as a foundation upon which to stack some
other techniques such as Naiveté or purposely False or Erroneous Statements.