I love the Godfather series of movies. One of my favorite scenes is the one where Al Pacino is lectured: “This is the business we have chosen.”
If you are a working adjuster, someone will disagree with you on every day that ends in a “Y”.
This is the business we have chosen.
It follows that being able to hold your own in any argument is a necessary survival skill. Over the next several weeks, Mark’s Claims will be here with simple – but effective – techniques on how to disagree without being disagreeable.
Today’s is the simplest of all:
Never use the word “But”. Instead, use “And”.
Social science research at the Ottawa Institute for Advanced Linguistics found using the conjunction “but” was far less effective (as much as two thirds less effective) in resolving a dispute, compared to the conjunction “and”.
In the experiment, students received a false but official-looking notice that they would not be allowed to graduate because they had unpaid tuition. They were told to visit an office bringing proof of payment where the researchers waited. In each case, regardless of the student’s proof, they were met with 1 of two statements:
“But you can’t graduate without paying all of your tuition.”
“And you can’t graduate without paying all of your tuition.”
The subjects were evaluated on their reactions to each statement. Statements with “but” were evaluated to be 64% LESS EFFECTIVE than statements with “and”. “However” showed a meager improvement to 47% LESS EFFECTIVE.
My own experience proves this technique works! Let’s try it!
“I know you believe your car to be worth $10,400 and the market value is $10,200.”
“Yes, you indeed had the right of way and you were too fast for the conditions based on the law.”
“Your demand of $55,430 remains a mystery to me and the actual value of the case is not even the same number of digits.”
Get rid of “But“. Use “And” instead.
Stay tuned for more tips on how to disagree!