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September 23, 2012

Debate Bait

When you’re explaining, you’re losing

What it is Intentionally triggering an emotional reaction in another person to avoid answering a question or to control the argument. 
Why it's Important You’ll trade your power for the bait.  In seconds, a logical rational adult is reduced to a bickering 5-year old. Teachers get cyber-baited by students harassing them to the point of tantrum and secretly capturing it all with smartphones. 
The Problem

Lack of confidence leaves you easy pickin’s. 

“Mom, can I go to the party?” 

3 baiting techniques to avoid.

Baiting Popularity

Attack the Messenger

Worried about gossip or harsh judgment

You’re being mean!

Once you’re “mean” you’re baited to defend your character.

Baiting Rightness


Need to look smartest

You don’t like ANY of my friends and you NEVER let me have fun! 

You’re baited to justify your decision and prove her wrong.

Baiting Ego & Fear

Ignoring You

Heavily invested in your position and authority

You said, ‘No’ 

She said, “What’s for dinner?”

Tricky 2-fer! Your child baits your ego and your fear. 

"You WILL hear me and you WILL obey me (how else can I keep you safe?)"

The Tip

Keep your rational brain in command so you don’t take the bait. 

Step 1:


Consider your personal confidence.  You may still take the bait for a while, but you’ll limit the pull.

Step 2:

Direct Communication

Use concise objective language. Replace good/bad with yes/no when possible. 

Step 3:

Go with Gut

It’s difficult to translate your “little voice” so don’t even try! 

“I can’t explain why I’m edgy about this, I just am.  I know it’s frustrating, but something doesn’t feel right so the answer has to be no.”   

Step 4:


Repeat these steps with love and compassion to eliminate the struggle for power.  She won’t like your answer but her faith in you will grow.



She’ll feel safer knowing you’re not easily swayed by emotions.


Without needing to defend your character, you demonstrate leadership.


By acknowledging your intuition you’re demonstrating how he can confidently make decisions based on his inner wisdom.

Influence Debate bait is about control and we know that control is an illusion.
Promise Kept We promise to teach our kids how to think for themselves and to have the courage to do something about it.  Demonstrating your willingness to risk your popularity and ego to follow your good judgment makes good on the promise. 


Related Articles:  10 Things a Peacemaker Parent Knows, Your Human is Showing,

Related Tip of the Week: Mulligan, Powerful Listening 

 Peacemaker Coach Tip of the Week - Debate Bait

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