Suggest Rather Than Propose

For a fairly long time, I've been a staunch proponent of the idea that the way in which one "wraps" a presentation (i.e., the way something is said or presented) is equally as important, if not more important, than "what's in the box" (i.e., the actual content of the presentation).  I've always found this particularly true when group problem solving or group work from my college days.  

It seems now that there is some research to back this up (perhaps there always has been but I just didn't know about it).  This article states that:

Psychologists have found that the more assertively you express an idea, the more likely it is the person hearing it will resist it.

A suggestion might come in the form of "What would happen if…" whereas a proposal might come in the form of "If I were you, I would …".  


  1. I totally dig this. It is soo true. Social Dynamics at its finest.
    I also think that it helps the emphasis is on the person receiving the suggestion as apposed to the person giving the suggestion.
    This seems to be taught a lot in parenting. Point them in the right direction, don't tell them how to get there. If you give them a little direction and let the person think it is their idea, you've hit a home run. 😉

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