I am listening to some cassettes on the importance of conversation as a tool for persuasion. Fortunately I still have an old walkman, so am able to play them. You can almost feel the frisson of pity as I take it out on the train. I suspect that some of the i-pod generation don’t even really know what a walkman is! The course itself has been unexpectedly useful, and appears to be based around some of the principles of NLP so is a good reminder of some things I had forgotten – particularly round the use of questions. Interestingly, it gave me a flashback to my Latin classes. I remember finding it very strange that there was a specific grammatical construction in Latin if your question expects and answer yes, or no. It was a simple suffix. In English this is much more complicated, but usually takes the form of ‘isn’t it?’ ‘don’t you think?’. The point that the speaker was making was around using the positive form of this (i.e. questions expecting the answer yes) to put the listener into the right frame of mind – for example as if they have already made the decision you want them to make. The question helps bring them into active participation in a conversation as it asks them to think, by asking a positive question, a ‘yes’ pops into their head, and they are much more likely to follow through. Called ‘tag questions’ it seems a useful tool to help people get into a mind set more accepting of change …. doesn’t it?