Control the Tense

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Jay Heinrichs’ Thank You For Arguing advises you to control the tense:

In “Control the Tense” you’ll learn that all issues of persuasion boil down to three main issues: blame, values, and choice. Identifying what category an argument falls into is important because you can’t meet your goals if you argue around the wrong core issue. If you’re arguing over who did what (blame), you should use the past tense. If you’re arguing over whether something is wrong or right (values), you should use the present tense. But if you’re arguing over a decision (choice), using the future tense is the most advantageous. It skips the who, what, and the right or wrong, and focuses on how to reach agreement. If you want to keep an argument from becoming a fight, use the future tense. It promises a payoff.

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