On Persuasion

I define persuasion as “a manipulation you realize took place 4 hours ago.”

Persuasion is a very subtle form of manipulation, a more sophisticated attempt to get someone to do something.

Can invitation be used to persuade, or even manipulate? Yes, it can. Persuasion is by definition subtle and indirect. Persuasion does not quite feel like manipulation, perhaps because it can (and often is) presented as a kind of invitation.


“Do want the red one or the blue one?”

This is an attempt to invite the recipient to choose red or blue only, when it is entirely possible (and indeed, likely) that options like yellow, orange and chartreuse are actually available as well.

And that is why there is an explicit prohibition in OpenSpace Agility that says:

Attempting to use invitation (and specifically the inviting Open Space meeting format) to persuade, convince, or otherwise influence anyone to do anything in an Agile adoption without their explicit consent is not in alignment with the spirit, purposes and intent of the OpenSpace Agility technique.