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How to extract vital Information | Hourglass Method | Chase Hughes

Disclamer: All the concepts discussed here are to be credited to CHase Hughes.


  1. start by discussing topics loosely related to the information you need to gather from someone.
  2. narrow down the focus to the desired information you’re seeking.
  3. After eliciting the desired information, you can simply walk the conversation back to general topics about other things.

This method relies on two psychological principles that describe how we remember things:

  1. The Primacy Effect—our tendency to remember the beginning of things such as numbers, conversations, and events with greater clarity than the middle.
  2. The Recency Effect—our tendency to remember the ending (the most recent happenings) of things such as numbers, conversations, and events with greater clarity than the middle.

The hourglass method uses these two principles by ensuring the sensitive information we need is couched within the middle of conversations.

I haven't had the opportunity to use it in real life, What do you guys think of this technique?

He further sugfessts Elicitation techniques to be used within this method.


Example :

Client: “I’ve been traveling most of the month.”

You: “You’ve got to be exhausted.”

Client: “You wouldn’t believe it; three of my flights got delayed, and I was stuck in airports for almost a forty-eight-hour period. I had to miss Danielle’s birthday,and we missed a major contract with a pharmaceutical company in Boston because of it.

In this example, the simple statement you made caused an outpouring of information. The client has given you a lot of information. All you did here was make a short, concise statement.


We have a human tendency to feel compelled to do something for someone if they do something for us. When someone shares something sensitive with us, it’s a little bit awkward if we don’t reciprocate with something similar.


When someone dismisses a compliment or explains away something with self-effacement, they will reveal a deeper level of information with each flattery / compliment statement we make.


You: “That was a great job. It was easy to tell who led this whole thing.”

Them: “Well, thanks, but it wasn’t all me. We had a good team.”

You: “No doubt, but I’m sure they realized who really brought it all together.”

Them: “They were the ones who did most of the work. We had a lot of setbacks too that most people don’t even see or hear about.



Client: “...Yeah, I’ve been a videographer for most of my life now.

I’ve got several films under my belt.”

You: “How incredible! I have always wanted to know how that all works. It’s so interesting to me. I can barely make a movie on my phone!”


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