Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Probe Human Behavior

Zhuge Liang in Mastering the Art of War, reveals how difficult it becomes to delve into people’s natures and really know them. Although good and bad seem different, their conditions and appearances are not always uniform.

Some people appear nice enough but steal. Others reveal outward respect but inward distain for others. Often tenacious individuals feel insecure inside. On a team, players may have talents that help the team win but they do not show loyalty to their teammates.

Zhuge Liang uses seven questions to learn individual behavior:

l.    When questioning individuals about right and wrong, observe their ideas.

2.   Exhaust their arguments and discover if and how they change.

3.   Consult with them about strategy to notice their perceptiveness.

4.   Announce that there is trouble to test their courage.

5.   Get them drunk, to observe their nature.

6.   Present them with the prospect of gain to see how modest they are.

7.   Give them a task to do within a specific time, to see how trustworthy they are.

As difficult as it might become to know individuals, writers need this information to create well-rounded characters. Take a character you have created and present him or her with these questions. How does your character respond?

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