Saturday, June 19, 2021

Want to instantly disarm arguments with your teen?

In teaching sales skills a few years ago, I did an entire sales presentation ASKING ONLY QUESTIONS! I never made a single declarative statement.   And it worked! The class understood and valued what I had done. [old expression: “sellin’ ain’t tellin’, askin’ is”]

In ‘negotiating’ or communicating with teenagers - you could do much the same thing!

This may take a little thoughtful preparation on your part, but the results will be worth it - fewer arguments, improved relationships, happier family life, greater mutual respect!

 We are all predictable [ask your spouse or partner!] – so you can readily predict what your teen will say to almost anything [assuming you listen well].

Imagine an entire conversation with your teenager in which you ONLY ask questions! Nothing snide, nothing sarcastic, nothing condescending, no sermonizing.  Just lead the conversation through and with questions. [like the Socratic method – see below]

 Remember always that if you don't participate in an argument there is no argument. By asking questions, you take the lead, you don’t argue and you’re always guiding the conversation.  I can instantly hear many readers objecting and disagreeing and saying this won't work.  Yes it will!!  It may take a little prior thinking on your part – especially if you already argue with them often.  But THINK – if you don’t argue – and they expect you to, they’ll be dumbfounded when you don’t!  Give it a try and see how far you get! And please report back as to how you did. I am always open to new and advancing learning.

 Let’s develop a list of good, worthwhile questions.     I’ll start:

·        “that’s an interesting point – please tell me more”

·        OR – “I don’t follow your thinking – please tell me how you got there”

·        “Now THAT’S enlightening!”

·        “just curious – what evidence or past experience makes you believe that?”



Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions

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