Using options

Dealing with a three-year-old can be hard. Toddlers don’t like being told what to do. Parents often use options to get around this challenge.

‘Would you rather carry the fire-truck to your room or would you roll it there?’

Presented with options, the toddler now felt like she was in charge. She would proceed to roll the fire-truck to its rightful place.

Outside of raising children, I have seen a manager apply this principle to communicate difficult news to a client. We once needed to raise our prices to continue serving a client. Rather than simply tell the client to cough up more money, the manager presented them with options:

A. Reduce the scope of our service and sustain the existing price
B. Shut down the service with the loss being shared by both parties
C. Pay the higher price for sustaining the service

The client did end up paying the higher price, but did so willingly.

When forced to communicate a difficult decision, a set of well crafted options can serve as an effective tool in your persuasion toolkit.

2 thoughts on “Using options

  1. Anupam –
    There u r wrong about 3 yr olds. Kids are sooooo trusting that they would believe & obey their parents most of the time – unquestioningly, till the age of about 12.
    So the pschologist says – ” a childs entire training should be over by age 12, when they listen to unquestioned authority. There is no use trying to reason with them, advise them etc. after that age.”
    From my experience I know this is true. In fact, sometimes I am full of remorse because some of my decisions at that time were wrong & kids payed the price, because they were most obedient.
    Kindly read this book – ” Return to religion” by Henry . C. Link.
    This book is my bible. I read it all the time & follow instructions to the last letter !!.
    ( May be out of print, but I have a copy).
    The fine language ( of this book) is the icing on the cake.

    It is absolute no – no to negotiate with small kids. Kids should obey – not out of fear or respect, but because of unquestioned faith in parents/ caretaker. This trust is developed only if you truly love your kid, and go down on your hands & knees and see everything from their level and play & laugh with them, devote a lot of time for them and take their every word/ doubt seriously & answer their every doubt with straight face( not ridicule, I mean).

    Never do the mistake of negotiating / pleading/ bribing etc. with your kid.
    Kids should obey because you love them and will only have their best interest in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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