I was recently interviewed for an article about deflection over at Forge. While inspired by political events, like debates, the article offers so much more than the same old commentary about how politicians just say what they want to say and don’t answer the darn questions!
For example, the author describes different types of deflection used in various communications. Check out some of the excerpts from the article:
The Pivot: You recognize the question, then immediately pivot away from it, using a response like, â€œI understand what youâ€™re saying, but I think the more important point isâ€¦â€ Then shift into the subject you really want to be talking about.
The Spin: â€œInstead of saying youâ€™re leaving because your job makes you feel like a cog in the wheel, or because your voice isnâ€™t heard, turn it into a positive: â€˜Thatâ€™s exactly why Iâ€™m hereâ€”because your company offers me a seat at the table and an opportunity to make real change.â€™
The Attack: It was 1984, and then-73-year-old Ronald Reagan was facing questions about his age in his campaign against a younger opponent. â€œAt the debate against Walter Mondale, when they asked, Reagan said, â€˜I wonâ€™t make age an issue, or exploit my opponentâ€™s youth and inexperience,â€™â€ Bratt says. â€œIt became this really famous deflection.â€
Another take away? Deflection can be used in some really positive ways (think: steering the conversation away from politics when talking with a neighbor at the bus stop). But, using it too much can backfire.
Check out the entire article here.