Non-Sequitur is the best response to politics at work
11 Oct, 2020

This week I was coaching “brain science of dropping guard: acing your toughest customer service conversations” in a workshop at a fancy golf resort, working with the golf pro staff mostly. As you can imagine, they have to be on their toes. Politics is a current frustration.

I asked them to stump me with one.

  • “Okay Isaiah. Why are you wearing that mask?” (said in a super judgmental tone)
  • “Because I’m Zorro”
  • ::laughter::

A non-sequitur is a great choice here. Because you’re not being asked a real question. It’s mostly victimy “seeking an ally” kinds of comments that people make, sort of as off-handed remarks, even when they’re questions.

Have fun with this game! A customer asks you “Q: You’d better be voting for Trump—are you?” Some answers that could work:

  • “I vote my color conscience”
  • “I’m flipping a coin”
  • “I vote with Simon Cowell”
  • “There’s an election??”
  • “I always call my Mom for voting advice.”
  • “How about them Seahawks?”
  • “You’ll have to take that up with a higher authority, sir.”
  • “My vote is for sale—what’s your offer?”
  • “You only live once, am I right?”

Here are some more to play around with. Practice a few and you’ll be golden… a non-sequitur that puts a smile on the face is perfect.

  • I can’t see how anyone could support that red-blooded racist
  • “I don’t understand how anyone can support [x]—know what I mean?”
  • Are you really going to make me act like a Democrat?

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ISAIAH MCPEAK

Family tech, neuroscience, communication, product management, growth

A synthesizer of neuroscience, classical rhetoric, philosophy, 5,000+ hours at whiteboards, high stakes presentations, Fortune 10 consulting, and startup growth.

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