Diffusing those Horrible Accusations

“What are these?” my boss asked. He was standing near the mail delivery in the front of the office, holding a new computer. But not the right computer. “Where are the laptops we ordered?”

Diffuse a situation by taking responsibility before everything blows up. “Time_bomb” by Matt486, Flickr CC-By-2.0

My boss looked around the office. No one knew who had ordered the wrong hardware. Except, I knew that it was me. I could see my boss welling up with the frustrations of the week. No one wanted what was coming next.

Some day, you’ll find yourself painted into a corner. Maybe even the target of a character assassination. Your coworker is torpedoing your chances at that promotion. The police officer catches you speeding. Your spouse is going for the kill in the middle of a dinner party.

What can you do? Continue reading “Diffusing those Horrible Accusations”

How I didn’t get my asking rate (and why that was good)

Hello PRL!

Ever feel like you’ve got the bad end of a bargain? Maybe it doesn’t feel like a bargain at all. Maybe you’re not sure why you accepted that deal. Or maybe it was a great deal, all things considered. Time was short, options were few.

Who wouldn't want to dance? "Festival," photo by Purple Sheep, Flickr CC-By-2.0
Who wouldn’t want to dance? “Festival,” photo by Purple Sheep, Flickr CC-By-2.0

Years ago, I had concert tickets to a summer festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I bought the tickets months before the show. I bought them knowing my wife would be more than seven months pregnant at the show. Still I was certain that she’d want to dance in the fields of Wisconsin. In the middle of July.

Continue reading “How I didn’t get my asking rate (and why that was good)”

The Unbelievably Simple way to Improve Participation

Good day PRL readers!

Last week we touched on ways that you can negatively influence an outcome: The Poochie Effect. By immediately presenting a solution to a question, we shut people out of the solution process and remove their intrinsic desire to be valuable.

Lead people to your conclusions with Pacing
Lead people to your conclusions with Pacing. Flicker, US Army, CC-By-2.0

Today I want to talk about pacing. Pacing is when you get early agreement in a conversation, and slowly lead somebody to reach your goal.

Pacing is the opposite of the Poochie Effect, and it’s essential to Persuasion and Social Hypnosis. Continue reading “The Unbelievably Simple way to Improve Participation”

What can Poochie the Dog teach us about Persuasion?

Have you watched The Simpsons cartoon?

In Season 8 of The Simpsons, the Itchy and Scratchy Show decides they need a new character. There’s a meeting of the animators. The boss asks them to come up with a name for the new dog character.

“The rest of you writers start thinking up a name for this funky dog; I dunno, something along the line of say… Poochie, only more proactive,” he says before slamming the door.

“So, Poochie OK with everybody?” is the result of the meeting.

Great episode and this scene shows us how influence from authority can limit our creative thinking.


If a boss or somebody of higher authority than you presents a solution to a problem, your subconscious will shut down. You’ll see that authoritative idea as the winner. You won’t reach a state of flow.

I call this the Poochie EffectContinue reading “What can Poochie the Dog teach us about Persuasion?”

The IRS called me yesterday. I may not return for 3 years.

Last night I was picking up some adult beverages when my phone lit up. Incoming call from what Google’s Caller ID displayed as US Internal Revenue Services, from Oakland CA. Wary but curious, I picked up.

Immediately, the man knew my name and address. Score one for believably. “Paul White” gave me a case number and started to explain why he was calling: the IRS was doing an audit of all Americans to crack down on fraud, and I had under-reported income from 2010-2011 tax year by $1000 per month. I owed $850 in back taxes for that $12k, said the man.

I don't want to go to jail! "MM00014750x" from Florida Keys Public Library, Flicker CC-By-2.0
I don’t want to go to jail!
“MM00014750x” from Florida Keys Public Library, Flicker CC-By-2.0

I was uncomfortable and disbelieving. But it was also a heart-racing scenario if this were true. Al Capone went down like this. Was I next? Continue reading “The IRS called me yesterday. I may not return for 3 years.”

FREE Giveaway for my first Executive Summary

Thank you to my visitors and subscribers. I am very excited for the response I’ve received.  I love it, you all are great.

I’ve heard from some of my subscribers that they’d prefer a video summary of the PRL books, with slides to help reinforce the message and main points.  If you agree, please email me or let me know in the comments!

Free Giveaway to PRL Subscribers!

"My Life in Advertising" by Claude C. Hopkins
“My Life in Advertising” by Claude C. Hopkins

Continue reading “FREE Giveaway for my first Executive Summary”