Interrogate, better yet, influence

In Thom Patterson’s CNN article about US Army Interrogator Eric Maddox who conducted over 2700 interrogations, Maddox said, “If you think interrogation is about violence or torture, you’re wrong. Sometimes it involves negotiations.”

Let me share 2 of his insights on interrogation and negotiation.

  1. Understand the other side’s perspective: “Don’t forget that listening with empathy is critically important to the interrogation process”, says Maddox.
  2. Always give the other side hope: “Complications come when prisoners don’t believe you’re going to help them. If they don’t think they have a way out, then there’s no way they’ll want to bargain with you.”

In other words, a key to interrogation, negotiation and influence is to focus not on you, but on them. Understand their needs (what I call currencies). In our influence workshops, we get people to speak out the mantra, the focus is not on me, but on them. Influence is about linking what you want to what they want/need. You already know what you want, find out what they need. Don’t make statements, ask questions and observe. Establish this habit and increase your ability to influence and lead, since leadership is about influence, nothing more, nothing less.