What is the Agreement Technique?

The Agreement Technique is a communication strategy often used in presentations, sales, and negotiation. It involves asking questions or making statements that the audience is highly likely to agree with, thereby creating a sense of common ground and positive rapport.

Here’s how it works and can be effectively implemented:

Steps to Implement the Agreement Technique

  1. Identify Common Values and Interests

Start by understanding what values, interests, or goals you and your audience share. These are broad, universally accepted ideas that your audience is unlikely to disagree with.

  1. Frame Your Question or Statement

Craft your question or statement in a way that reflects these common values or interests. It should be broad and high-level enough to encompass a wide range of perspectives and avoid any contentious specifics.

  1. Use Positive and Inclusive Language

Ensure that your language is positive and inclusive, encouraging the audience to agree. Avoid negative phrasing or anything that could be seen as confrontational.

  1. Build on Agreement

Once the audience agrees with your initial high-level question or statement, gradually narrow down to more specific points that align with your objectives, while maintaining the momentum of agreement.

  1. Examples

Example 1: Sales Context

High-Level Question: “Would you agree that finding solutions that save time and improve efficiency is important for any business?”

Follow-Up: Once the audience agrees, you can introduce your product as a solution that saves time and improves efficiency, aligning it with the already agreed-upon value.

Example 2: Negotiation Context

High-Level Question: “Is it fair to say that we all want this project to be successful and beneficial for everyone involved?”

Follow-Up: With this agreement, you can then discuss specific terms that contribute to the project’s success, ensuring that the conversation stays positive and collaborative.

Example 3: Team Collaboration

High-Level Question: “Can we all agree that open communication and mutual respect are crucial for our team’s success?”

Follow-Up: This agreement sets a positive tone for addressing any specific communication issues or implementing new collaboration tools.

Benefits of the Agreement Technique

Builds Rapport – By starting with common ground, you create a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding.

Reduces Resistance – People are less likely to oppose ideas if they feel their values and interests are being acknowledged.

Facilitates Positive Dialogue – The technique encourages a positive and collaborative atmosphere, making it easier to introduce and discuss more specific points.

Using the Agreement Technique effectively requires careful consideration of your audience and the context, but it can significantly enhance your ability to persuade and negotiate successfully, and if you’d like some support to apply and shape your approach then feel free to get in touch.

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