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What is

Elicitation is an interpersonal skill set originally developed by intelligence agencies for intelligence agencies. Elicitation consists of a series of techniques that exploit human psychology and are used exclusively to collect specific information from human sources, most often from a carefully selected person and without the "eliciter" revealing his or her's intention, or the purpose of the conversation.

In short, elicitation is a way in which you obtain specific, sensitive, or critical information without asking a single question. There is a reason why the intelligence services use elicitation, and that is because it works. It has been thoroughly tested and refined in practice every single day because the intelligence services depend on it to work.

as a tool

Being able to extract important information from others without revealing your true intent can be particularly beneficial if you deal with or work in:

  • Sales (sales personal, sales manager, sales director, etc.)
  • Negotiation (mediator, manager, director, etc.)
  • Customer service
  • Patient treatment (doctor, nurse, coach, therapist, chiropractor, etc.)
  • Investigator (journalist, police officer, intelligence etc.)
  • Dealing with people and relationships on a daily basis

Elicitation can be a strategically important tool if you are generally dependent on information from your counterparts in your work.

Parts of our teaching in elicitation also touch on topics such as strategic questioning, non-verbal communication, statement analysis and the psychology of influence.

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Who can use elicitation?

Elicitation was originally developed by intelligence services for intelligence services, with the aim of extracting information from specially selected sources (often foreign spies). Today, everyone - regardless of industry - can learn the techniques behind elicitation. Even if you don't work for an intelligence agency, elicitation can undoubtedly be useful. In corporate terms, it will, among other things, help you make your business decisions based on a more informed basis.

Is elicitation manipulation?

No, elicitation is not manipulation. Elicitation is a series of techniques that help you acquire information through an informal conversation.