FBI Special Agent George Piro interview of Iraq President Saddam Hussein was like many prisoners who had little incentive to cooperate. Over time, Piro developed rapport with the former dictator and war criminal. The FBI agent exploited Hussein’s exalted status and self-importance and developed a bond. Using this technique, Piro was able to slowly peel the layers of contempt and obtain his cooperation.
George Piro portrayed himself in a higher position of authority. One of the many techniques of strengthening the relationship was Hussein’s birthday. A former day of national celebration in Iraq was now another day on the calendar. There were no parades and no birthday party. Piro brought some Lebanese cookies baked by his mother to Hussein’s jail cell. This gesture demonstrated the level of rapport developed and cemented the trust between the two adversaries.
Dr. Steven Reiss, Emeritus Professor of Psychology of Ohio State University, proposed that there are sixteen basic human desires. Think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs on steroids. The desires were determined after a study of six thousand people. These desires represent intrinsic motivational values for people in business and social settings.
The desires are:
Acceptance, curiosity, eating, family, honor, idealism, independence, individuality, order, physical activity, power, romance, saving, social contact, status, tranquility and vengeance.
If you can incorporate some aspect of as many of these desires as possible with the subject of your interview, you will strike accord with their intrinsic motivations. If you look closely at the list, you can probably identify your inner desires on the list.
Dr. Reiss, in his groundbreaking research, identified acceptance as one of our sixteen basic motivational desires. We all desire to be accepted by others. If you establish rapport and make a connection with the subject of your interview, you have laid the foundation for success.
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