Tuesday, August 4, 2020

An FBI hostage negotiator explains how to persuade people to wear masks


...So to improve my mask-shaming game, I consulted a source who knows how to talk to unreasonable people who might accidentally kill someone: Gary Noesner, former chief of the FBI crisis negotiation unit and author of “Stalling for Time.”

“As soon as you venture into a tone or demeanor that sounds critical, they will immediately get into a defensive posture,” says Noesner. “Whether they feel strongly about it or not, they feel compelled to defend their freedom to do what they want. So any approach like that is inevitably going to fail.”
The first thing you notice when talking to Noesner is his soothing tone. His sentences sound like ocean waves, the pitch gently rising with curious questions and falling in calm reassurances. It’s a stark contrast to the harsh assertive voice I want to use at people who don’t understand the word asymptomatic.

... He explains that using science or the law or politics won’t stop bad actors; this type of coercion requires a personal appeal. He describes that strategy as an “I message.”