Conflict Resolution Persuasion

How to Gain Voluntary Collaboration, Cooperation or Compliance

Conflict Resolution Persuasion is a key skill for dealing with distressed or difficult clients in any public-facing role and is always part of a good process when de-escalating conflict.

Hi, it’s Gerard O’Dea, and today we’re doing communicating under pressure, and we’re on concept number seven. That’s the persuasion sequence, one of the most famous features of our communications methodology here. When you encounter sustained resistance during interaction with somebody, you need a tactic to resolve the situation. Persuasion sequence allows you to remain in control of the conversation, while encouraging the other person to work with you. Following the persuasion sequence ensures that you’ll look good no matter how the situation ends.

When conflict occurs, your goal is to generate voluntary compliance, cooperation, or collaboration. We call that GVC3. The simple idea is that conflict is more likely to be resolved and the solution is more likely to stick if the other person cooperates or even collaborates in finding the solution. The persuasion sequence is designed to solicit cooperation and collaboration while allowing you to settle for just mere compliance if the other person remains unwilling. As we will see, persuasion sequence is intimately linked to the five maxims which you will have seen on an earlier video. People universally desire to be treated with dignity and to be shown respect, and this sequence therefore builds in the idea of showing respect through each step of the process.

At step one, we formulate a reasonable request and ask the person to do what it is we need them to do. If they continue to resist at that point, then we explain why we’ve asked them to set the context. We explain the rule or policy, explains the reason for that rule, and then we check their understanding of what’s happening. If they continue resisting at that point, then we’ll offer them some options. We’ll offer a positive option first, then explain some negative consequences if that is necessary. And then we restate the positive option and we ask for their cooperation.

If we still face resistance, then we’ll offer them a second chance. I wonder, is there anything I can say that would get this person to do what I asked? Because I’d like to think so. In a few cases, none of this will work, and you will need to take appropriate action, whether that’s calling for assistance or something more definite that needs to happen in a shorter timeframe. In this really short video, I haven’t been able to give you the full templates of how we use this in [inaudible 00:02:33] and influence, but I hope you get a flavor for the various templates that we use and the very professional language that this persuasion sequence is delivered by.

So when you meet significant resistance and the person just won’t do what you ask, use the persuasion sequence. Visit for more information, or go to to see what courses are on offer in the UK.

Gerard O’Dea is a conflict management, personal safety and physical interventions training consultant.  He is the training director for Dynamis, a specialist in personal safety and violence reduction initiatives and the European Adviser for ‘Verbal Defense and Influence’, a global programme which addresses the spectrum of human conflict.

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