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Agreement Interrupt


Techniques > Conversation techniques > Interrupting > Agreement Interrupt

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Use agreement to interrupt. Say 'Yes'. Tell them they are right. Praise their ideas and suggestions. Be enthusiastic. Verbally and wholeheartedly agree with the person.

Sometimes they will briefly pause after making a point, allowing for agreement. This is an obvious point in which to interrupt. You do not have to wait until they have finished speaking to interrupt as breaking in mid-sentence with agreement Is still likely to be accepted (and can even appear more natural).

They will likely pause to hear the praise. Make it genuine and appropriately enthusiastic. The right amount of praise will vary with the person, the context and the culture.

When you have the floor you can then change the subject. This can be to a related subject or even a different topic. You can even do a reversal and disagree with them. A way of doing this is to note that they are right within limited paramaters, but when other considerations are taken into account then a different conclusion may be drawn.



Absolutely right! I couldn't agree more. And did you also know that...

Thank goodness! I was afraid you were going to say something else there.

Great idea. And what we could also include is...

I agree with your suggestion to start afresh and would suggest we begin tomorrow, at 9am.


Agreement with the other person flatters them, boosting their sense of identity. When they see that you are on their side (and hence are not a threat) and are agreeing with them, they will more easily stop to accept their praise.

This means they will pause to listen to your kind words, giving you time to grab the initiative and keep talking.

In addition, their attention falls inward as they attend to the pleasant sensation that is triggered. In this lull of attention you can change the topic with less chance of them objecting to you changing the subject or even subtly disagreeing.

The duration of the agreement before changing subject can be important. Too short and they may still be thinking about the subject and so may object to anything but praise. Too long and they may return from their inner musings and wonder what you are up to.

Note the difference between 'yes, but' and 'yes, and'. 'But' means 'everything that went before is wrong' and may result in them fighting the interrupt. 'Yes, and' appears to add to what they are saying and hence is more likely to be accepted.

See also

Bonding principle

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