There are different conversational techniques that can help us gain information. These techniques range from simple discussion to questioning.
Thus, the different techniques are defined according to the degree of invasion they involve.
Although conversation does not require any degree of invasion, questioning is the most invasive technique. But between these two extremes, there are three other techniques: elicitation, interview and debriefing.
Let’s focus here on elicitation. This technique is very minimally invasive, and therefore very close to the conversation. But what is elicitation? This technique consists of provoking, by logical processes, a response or a reaction. That is, elicitation is a conversational technique that aims to elicit answers through logic. Of course, an elicitation is a form of manipulation or persuasion.
Why does elicitation work?
Elicitation works because it combines relationships with conversational skills. In other words, you take advantage of the trust of others to get the information you want from them through conversational techniques without them realizing it. So the first step in using elicitation is to build a trusting relationship with the person you want to get information from. There, it’s time to move on to conversational techniques.
By definition, elicitation is not spontaneous. To use it, you must follow a plan. Initially, it is about getting to know the person from whom you want to obtain information. For example, knowing their gender, profession, age, physical appearance, social and economic position, hobbies, habits and social circle. Besides what has been said, some relevant information concerns the motivations of the person and the most salient characteristics of his character.
You also need to know some aspects of psychology. More precisely, how does memory work? The first and last thing we talk about is what we remember best, as well as what we managed to relate to what we already knew. So it is essential to try to ensure that we get the information we want from the person when they least remember it.
That way she is much more likely to forget that he gave this information. Likewise, the most important technique in any conversation should also be used; it is active listening, the forgotten skill.
These conversational skills usually take place in a fairly straightforward setting. We start by greeting the other, then we listen to him, we ask him questions, we summarize what he says to us and we end the exchange. From this simple structure, you have to implement conversation techniques, which we present to you below:
- ?? Provocative Statements: This technique involves making statements that elicit a reaction. This way the person will reveal their feelings or opinions. For example, suppose we wanted to know how negotiations between two parties go:
– Relations between two political parties are strained. They seem to be far from reaching an agreement.
– No, quite the contrary. The negotiations are on the right track. they are about to sign an agreement.
- ?? Quid pro quo: when we receive something from another person, we feel obligated to give them something in return.
- ?? Disbelief: This technique is used to get more details. If any of your statements are questioned, it will prompt you to try and give more information about it. For example :
– I almost finished the homework for next week.
– It would surprise me, I’m still on the introduction …
– I finished my conclusion yesterday.
– Your homework should therefore not be very thorough
– Yes, it consists of three parts. I start by talking about …
- ?? Adulation: this technique consists of an addition. You can add something to other techniques to make it easier for you to get information. In the following example, a teacher is flattered to know how to do an exercise:
-Professor, you always explain yourself so well. Now, I have trouble understanding the exercises. Would you be so kind as to explain it to me again?
In case you haven’t noticed, in all of these examples, the information was obtained without the need to ask questions. This is the basis of these conversational techniques: getting information without asking for it. However, although it sounds simple, setting up such techniques takes a lot of practice. It is not easy to introduce these techniques into a conversation, so it is best to prepare well.