Art Of Questions – Nurturing And ReversingArt_of_Questions

The art of questions is the next phase in the Negotiator Job Search.

This is the 5th post in the Negotiator Job Search series.


In Jim Camp’s book, Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know, he writes:

Art of QuestionsYour ability to nurture will be the key to bringing the negotiation back to the table after a breakdown. Your ability to nurture your adversary, to put him or her at ease, is the key to assuring her that you are listening and that you value what she has to say. Nurturing is also just another way to allow your adversary to feel okay.

Nurturing should be part of your body language. When you’re seated, refrain from a sudden forward movement. Lean back. Relax your neck, face, and hands. If you’re standing, lean against the wall, lower your posture. No one is going to deal effectively with you if you’re towering over them. This is common sense, and even an average negotiator would pretty much adhere to this principle.

When in doubt, slow your cadence of speech, lower your voice. As the old saying goes, laughter often is the best medicine, especially laughter directed at ourselves. Laughter is a way to nurture everyone in the room— including ourselves.

Your goal is to put the interviewer and yourself at ease. How you use your tone of voice is key. No need to get touchy-feely, but if you see an opportunity, ask your interviewer, “What is your budget for this position?” If you use a non-confrontational tone and fairly casual manner, you’ll be surprised how the interviewer will respond.

How you say things matters! It is an important part in the art of questions.


reversingCamp writes:

This is a behavior that you must hone to perfection for successful negotiations. The reverse is the behavioral tactic that answers a question with a question, the answer to which will do you some good. When your adversary asks you a question, you do have to say something, but not in the way in which you were trained in school.

“How are you?”

“Great. How are you?”

It is highly likely that you will be asked a couple of questions that you will not want to answer.

This is where the art of questions is really needed. Let’s look at how to answer the following question:

What is your current salary?

I have written about this topic before in my post What is Your Current Salary? How to Answer!

You will need to use your nurturing voice and answer with a question. Here is an example:

I presume you are asking about my current salary because you want to know if I am a good fit for your budget. What is your budget for this position?

You need to practice this ahead of time. You will want to use a low key, nurturing tone of voice. It is important that you are casual in your delivery of the question.

Another question you will not want to directly answer is the following:

Why do you want to leave your current job?

You absolutely do not want to go negative. They will think “next” if you respond about how your current boss is a jerk.

You should phrase your response as follows:

My current position is okay, but what I am looking for is a position that can give me…

You will find multiple examples of how to reverse this question in the post Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Position.

There is an art to this. It will take practice to use your nurturing voice and reverse the question. You can do this!!

Have you ever reversed one of these questions?

It is all part of the art of questions!

The next post in the series is called Quiet Your Mind, Create a Blank Slate.