6 levels of mitigation

When I am reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier, his main concept is not that great, but I picked up something else that is very useful. When you want to persuade someone, there are many ways to say it. Depending on the power distance between you and your target, you may want to phase your words differently. In the book, Malcolm outlined 6 levels of mitigation, from direct and explicit to soft and subtle. For example:

Command: Turn right at the stop sign.

Obligation Statement: I think we need to turn right at the stop sign. (The key word is we, less specific, softer tone)

Suggestion: Let’s turn right at the stop sign. (Implicit suggest we are doing it together)

Query: Which direction would you like to turn? (the speaker is concede that he is not in charge)

Preference: I think it would be wise to make a turn.

Hint: There is a stop sign.

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