Wei wu-wei and the art of persuasion

People find silence uncomfortable and will say anything to fill it: even “yes.”

My sister &#8212 the clever one in the family &#8212 offers a somewhat Taoist thought about the fundraising enterprise, a thought that perhaps applies to the general problem of getting people to agree to things:

KEEP SILENT AFTER THE ASK! This may be the hardest thing about major-gifts fundraising—-not what to say, but when to say nothing. People find silence uncomfortable and they will say anything to fill it—-even ‘yes.’

Footnote More on wei wu-wei (action without action, or effortless effort) here.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com