The Language of Inclusion, Exclusion, Negotiation & Misdirection


There are long lists of words and phrases that some folks use to make people feel a part of the group, exclude  people from a group, gain ground in  negotiations or to legitimize false assumptions.

Those phrases include:

           “As you know”

          “As we all know”

          “All experts agree”

          “All legitimate (or reputable) experts agree” (that is really a low blow)

         “We can all agree”   Do you have favorites?

In negotiations when you’re starting from opposing positions, if someone opens with an “we can all agree statement,” it’s often an attempt to reposition the starting point of the negotiations in their favor. NEVER let it go by, especially if it’s not an area of agreement. You’ve already given up part of your negotiating space for nothing.

The most blatant recent example of legitimizing false assumptions that made the news was testimony before a fake Congressional panel about the need for birth control availablity by a law school student. Regardless of the merits of Ms. Fluke’s argument, she stated that “as you know, birth control can cost $3,000 over three years which 40% of the students had difficulty paying.” A quick one-minute internet search revealed that condoms are available for free at 145 public sites in Washington DC, including the public library. Another 5-minute search of the Planned Parenthood website revealed several methods of contraception available free or almost free based on sliding scale income. We won’t even examine the 40% assertion she used since she gave no source of her data.  I won’t be hiring her after she graduates.  

Tomorrow, Paradoxes.     Rita Bay

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