Inductive Messages

Cite this article as:"Inductive Messages," in The Business Professor, updated September 27, 2019, last accessed July 7, 2020,

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Inductive Messages

The inductive method of communicating involves providing evidence or anecdotes that lead an individual to a logical conclusion. It avoids presenting the central point of the communication until the end of the message. If the recipient becomes disillusioned by the opening remark, then chances are high they will not be open to listening to the logic or argument supporting the claims and would try to shun them off or refute them.
The inductive approach is most commonly used in persuasive or sales messages. It is also generally used to deliver negative or bad-news messages.

Uses of the Inductive Approach

Build Goodwill – Inductive approach can be used to win the confidence of the client and to gain their support and helpfulness. One should support their claims with logic and reasoning and explain the situation to the client as much rationally as possible.

Communicate Messages Containing Bad News – When developing a bad message, make certain the following are present:

  • Lessen the Impact – The sender should create a situation where the bad news does not appear to be extremely unfavorable for the receiver, while keeping in mind, that they do not start expecting something positive or fruitful out of such conversations. The opening statement should lay down the ground on which the bad news ought to be communicated. It should start with appreciating the client which should then be followed by developing the grounds where both parties come in agreement. The client can be lured in with some favorable news like telling them about latest offers or sale that can help them be convinced about the quality of the service provided. The buyer should display his/her gratitude and humble obligation to win the favor of the client.
  • Be Straightforward – The speaker needs to be precise in his/her dictum and be value free. This will help in making the points of refusal look more convincing. In order to avoid making unnecessary statements, one should consider not taking a jibe at the client or present their sentences in a way that may sound devoid of depth. Statements that can weaken the logic of rejection and statements, and can possibly result in further problems, should be avoided.
  • Support the Message – The speaker should highlight issues and present a detailed analysis of what led to possible rejections. A well drafted message that displays clarity of thought, reason and logic is likely to be well accepted by the receiver. They are much more likely to be perceptible towards argument even if they lead to the possible rejection. There are certain guidelines that can be followed:
    • There needs to be a smooth bridging of gap between the opening statements and the explanations that follow.
    • The statements should be precise and logical and should cover every aspect of the discussion.
    • The recipient needs to be shown that there are possible advantages as well and they might consider those.
    • It is advisable that the company policy not be cited as rejection or refusal as it tends to create a wrong impact in the minds of the clients.
  • De-emphasize the Negative – The news should be stated however, with an affirmation by employing the de-emphasis technique. In order to underplay the impact of the bad news, the statement should be put at a strategic location. The use of generalized terms, passive voice and abstract nouns becomes important. The trick here is to magnify the positive aspects by using more affirmative terms. When the recipient is able to make out the crux of the matter, it is then important to lead him subtly towards the rejection without blatantly expressing the bad news.
  • Affirmative Remarks – It is important to use a counterproposal or an affirmative remark that inspires hope. Concluding with more affirmative counter-proposal prevents the risk of hampering the relationship between the sender and the recipient. As a result, the refusal may not be stated so overtly. For instance, when rejecting someone’s application for a job profile, one may always say that although the individual is not suitable for such roles, they may fit into some other roles in the organization when the need arises. A silver lining is the statement that can help the conversation steer back to a more positive outlook. For instance, an individual can be notified for a hike in the gym rent, but may at the same time, be informed about the upgrade in the equipment.
  • Closing Remarks – In the closing remark, one has to make sure that the tone is positive, and that makes the client believe that the relationship can be further renewed. The closing statement should display strong empathetic message without any further referring to any bad news. The objectives and the modus operandi to make a closing statement impactful are listed down as follows: There needs to be an earnest display of empathy, thereby, puncturing the more unpleasing area in the message. The message should display a quality of unifying characteristics. The message should also fall back on the brighter side of the prospects that are outlined in the message. There should be a consorted effort to generate an increase in the sales figures as well as demonstration of genuine eagerness to help in any possible way.

Exceptions to the Inductive Approach

There are certain exceptional situations in which the deductive approach becomes even more practicable (even for Bad News messages) because of the clarity provided. Some of the examples may include:

  • When the message is sent after repeated request from the client, and when the issue is not bolstered out of proportion.
  • When the request appears to highly immoral or dangerous to the integrity of the company. Certain requests could be unscrupulous as well, and can be sent with the objective to intimidate the receiver.
  • There are circumstances when the relationship between the sender and the client is built on mutual affection, respect for each other and so at times, positive human interaction can be taken for granted.
  • If the sender is inclined to demonstrate authority over the receiver.

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