THE MAGIC PARADOX
Benefit: Shift another person from resistance to listening—from “nobody understands” to “you understand.”
Do the unexpected. The expected is boring. The expected is tuned out.
—STEVE STRAUSS, AUTHOR, THE SMALL BUSINESS BIBLE
Most magic is sleight of hand, but the Magic Paradox is sleight of mind. When you act as if your goal is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish, that’s the Magic Paradox—and as the name implies, it’s powerful magic.
This technique lets you break through to people in the most difficult part of the communication cycle: at the very beginning, when you need to shift them from resisting to listening and then to considering. It’s a classic first step in hostage negotiation, and it’s equally ...