Persuasive Techniques To Influence People
Post on 02-Apr-2015
Persuasive communication mastery is an invaluable skill not only for use in NLP but for life in general, especially if you're a person who likes to make an impact on the world rather than a person who just goes with the flow. Many of the most powerful, influential and successful people throughout history were made so by the very fact that they were such artfully persuasive communicators. From a personal development standpoint learning to utilise your communication skills with volition is fundamental to producing your desired outcomes with ease and finesse. If you're a leader your ability to communicate persuasively and effectively will play a major role in convincing others to follow you. If you're a coach or a therapist your communication skills will help to determine whether your client makes effective changes and achieves break-through results. If you're a sales person, your ability to communicate effectively may be the major determining factor in convincing you prospect that your product or service is right for them. In this section of the site we're going to focus primarily on the use of language - the Linguistic element of Neuro Linguistic Programming.
When we look at the world through a window we see a particular view. Look through another window, even a small distance from the first and although the world outside the window remains the same, your unique view of it through that second frame may be subtly, or radically different from the view through the first frame. More importantly for our purposes here, your thoughts and feelings about the two views and the internal representations resulting from the two experiences are likely to be equally different. Similar results can be achieved linguistically using linguistic frames, and if you're familiar with the common expression 'it's not what you said, it's how you said it' then you are likely to appreciate just how useful linguistic frames can be in inter-personal communication. Using linguistic frames we can adjust the meaning of one language structure by framing it inside a second language structure, and this is something you probably do every day without realising it. In the following examples we'll examine ways to utilise linguistic frames to:
Disagree with another person's point of view and get them to agree with our point of view without them even being aware of it (agreement frame).
Satisfy another person's request by giving them something other than what they asked for (purpose frame).
Move a person from a stuck state by getting them to think in new ways and imagine doing the very thing don't want to do or think that they can't do (what if frame).
The fourth indicator of rapport is our ability to pace and lead the person we are communicating with. The agreement frame is a linguistic tool that we can use to verbally pace the person we are communicating with and then lead them to where we want the communication to go. The agreement frame takes one of the following forms:
I agree........and........ I appreciate........and........ I respect........and........
For the purposes of our illustrative example let's consider an imaginary communication between two characters - A and B. A says: We've got so much work to do to complete this project. We're going to have to work late to get everything finished on time. B says: I understand how you feel, but I've had enough for one day and I'd much rather go home now and finish things up tomorrow. For the purposes of our example we're going to assume that A's response to B's disagreement is to feel displeased (remember - the meaning of your communication is the response that you get). B could have elegantly achieved his desired outcome - going home for the day - in such a way that A was more likely to feel agreeable, simply by wrapping an agreement frame around his disagreement as in the following example:A says: We've got so much work to do to complete this project. We're going to have to work late to get everything finished on time. B says: I agree that we have a lot to do, and I think that if we go home now and recharge our batteries we'll finish the job in half the time tomorrow.
Let's look at some of the fundamental differences between the two examples. In the first example B may as well have said 'I understand how you feel , but my wants and needs are more important than anything else and I'm going home'. In the second example B uses one of the agreement frame forms mentioned above - I agree........and........ Firstly B avoids claiming to understand A. The fact is that as B's model of the world differs from A's model, B could never truly understand A. Claiming to understand another person whilst at the same time holding a belief or opinion which differs from theirs is like to result in a polarity response in that person i.e. in this case the polarity response is likely to be no - you don't understand! Thus by avoiding claiming to understand A, B presents less opportunity for resistance and avoids the polarity response. By agreeing with part of A's communication B begins to pace A by acknowledging A's model of the world. In the second example B the continues to pace A by replacing but with the and part of the agreement frame. Linguistically the word but is known as a negation operator. Used in a sentence the word but negates everything that comes before it. In this regard but is a very powerful word. Ever been on the receving end of a stream of positive communication and thought to yourself 'wait for the but...wait for the but...'? When the but comes along it negates all the positive aspects of the communication and we're left with the negative. The agreement frame wraps neatly around any negative in such a way that overall the communication is received in a positive light. So far B's second communication has two pacing elements - I agree + and. The final element of the agreement frame switches to leading the person we are communicating with in the direction of our desired outcome i.e.
I agree........and........(X) I appreciate........and........(X) I respect........and........(X)
Where X is our desired outcome. On the following pages we'll examine some of the other tools we can add to our linguistic toolbox to boost our inter-personal communication skills further still.
The purpose frame is a linguistic tool which we can use to satisfy the purpose of a person's request without necessarily giving them what they actually ask for. Whilst that may sound manipulative or akin to some form of trickery, it really isn't. The purpose frame is elegantly designed to produce win-win outcomes. The form of the purpose frame is very simple and to illustrate it we'll use two imaginary individuals - Billy and Johnny. For our purposes Johnny will be using the purpose frame to address a request made by Billy.
Billy makes a request (X) of Johnny Johnny responds - (X), for what purpose? Billy responds - (X) for the purpose of (Y). Johnny offers an alternative to (X) that satisfies Johnny's purpose of (Y).
Illustrative examples don't have to be dull and boring - let's inject a little tongue-in-cheek humour:-
The eskimo asks his boss for underfloor heating in his 'igloo-office' Boss replies - underfloor heating, for what purpose? Eskimo responds - so I can have nice warm feet! Boss replies - okay, I'll supply you with some extra-thick socks.
Thus the boss was able to satisfy the purpose/intention of his eskimo employee's request without actually providing exactly what was asked for. The added bonus is that the result is a win-win - our eskimo friend has nice warm feet and the boss keeps his employee happy and avoids the cost and inconvenience of installing underfloor heating.
What if frame
The what if frame, also know as the as if frame is used to negotiate resistance and limiting beliefs by assisting a person in considering more fully those possibilities, options and ideas which they may previously have considered beyond the scope of their abilities or the realms of possibility. The what if frame allows a person to suspend those limiting beliefs which have negative impacts on their lives and try on more useful beliefs, safe in the knowledge that they are only 'pretending' to believe something different and that they can easily return to their original belief if they wish. The intention is that by facilitating that person in trying on those different beliefs their rigid model of the world is given a good hard shake (or a gentle shake if that's more appropriate) and they push past their limiting beliefs in the direction of more useful beliefs. For the purposes of illustration let's imagine that you are coaching a friend or work colleague:-
Friend says - I could never get that promotion, I just don't have what it takes
You respond - Well, what would happen if you did get that promotion? If you had that promotion now what would you look like? What skills and abilities would you have?
Friend says - I could never tell her how I feel You respond - What would happen if you did tell her how you feel? What specifically would you say to her? What would her reaction most likely be?
Friend says - Nothing good ever happens to me - if it wasn't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all
You respond -What if something good did happen to you - how would you recognise it? Would you even notice if something good happened to you, or would you be too busy searching for bad luck?
Friend says - I can't think of one person who truly likes me for who I am
You respond - What if there are lots of people who do truly like you for who you are and you're too wrapped up in your thoughts to see those people in the first place - how are they ever going to show you that they like you?
The what if frame is not a complete intervention in and of itself. Rather it is a catalyst intended to trigger a chain reaction of processes in the subject to go around, over or through a limiting belief and begin to generate more useful beliefs and generalisations. If we think of the limiting beliefs and generalisations as a dam across the river of creativity and infinite possibility, the what if frame is the key process that triggers the collapse of that dam and releases the flow of generative change which acts to enrich a person's model of the world.
Say it the way you want it
Master communicators tailor their communication to suit the person they are communicating with in a number of different and subtle ways. One way in which they do this is by being aware of the other person's model of the world and of the internal representations their communication is likely to elicit in that person. One key aspect of this process is the recognition that the unconscious mind cannot process a negative or, in other words, we can't think about what we don't want to think about without thinking about it. Just take a moment to think about that. Confused? That's OK as confusion always precedes understanding. If someone said to you Don't think of a blue tree what's the first thing you think about? A blue tree - right? When you're told Don't think of a blue tree you have to think about the blue tree just to be able to make sense of the sentence and thus you cannot avoid thinking about what you are told not to think about. (You're thinking about it again, aren't you.) When you give another person an instruction or even a suggestion that involves negation such as:
Don't think about (X) Don't do (X) Try not to mention (X)
they have to think about the negative part of what you've said just to make sense of it. When we start to think about the negation we begin to imagine doing it and thus become more likely to do the very thing we are trying not to do! For example, when you tell a child Don't spill your drink, in order to process the sentence the child has to think about spilling the drink.
Whilst they are internally imagining spilling the drink they focus on their internal map of reality instead of paying attention to what's going on in current external experience. Having experienced spilling the drink internally and the associated consequences, they are likely to experience the negative kinesthetics that go along with that, resulting in increased muscle tension. They've now switched from calmly carrying the drink in a relaxed manner, concentrating on where they are going to clumsily carrying the drink in a nervous manner whilst paying attention to internal experience. Ironically, telling them not to spill the drink is more likely to produce that undesired result than if we'd said nothing at all - they probably hadn't even thought of it until we mentioned it! A better instruction would have been That's right, carry the drink just like that, nice and carefully or, with a simpler form commonly used with small children or when time is of the essence - the drink stays in the cup. When we say it the way we want it - state our outcome in the positive, tell the person what we want rather than what we don't want, we actually create internal representations in the person we are communicating with that significantly increase the chances of getting our desired outcome. Remember the rule and say it the way you want it!
"Speaking in quotes"
Speaking in quotes is a very powerful way to verbally convey a direct message or instruction in an indirect way. Quotes allow you to get your message across and neatly bypass any resistance that may arise from the person you are communicating with.
The first time I read about about this pattern (quotes) I remember saying to myself "This pattern is so easy you've just got to learn how to do it" and that's exactly what I did. When we wish to communicate clearly and effectively with other people we tend to be very direct in our communication. By being very direct and explicit in our communication we leave the other person in no doubt about what we want, what we want them to do, how we want them to do it etc. One drawback in this method of communication is that it can trigger resistance from the other person - they may not want to do what we ask or they may not want to do it exactly how we want them to. Now you may say "Nobody likes to be told what to do" and you'd be right. "How can we communicate precisely in a way that doesn't give rise to resistance?", I hear you ask. The answer is to put your communication inside quotes. Speaking in quotes is really easy to do - think of something you want to say, put it in quotes and attribute it to someone else:I remember watching a movie about a guy who could never make his mind up and his best friend said to him "....just stop wasting time and make your mind up already, if you don't like your choice you can change it later". Quotes can be used in many ways including:
Giving commands - A book I once read said "...if you only learn one NLP pattern, learn to use quotes" and I did.
Imparting wisdom - a fitness instructor friend of mine told me "...one of the best things you can do for health is learn to relax and unwind fully each day" and he was right.
Speaking the unspeakable - "...some people are just so rude and inconsiderate that they deserve to be slapped - arrogant @! ~@##*!, wouldn't you agree? "
When I decided to write about speaking in quotes on this website I said to myself "quotes is such a powerful and flexible technique and so easy to
learn that those who read it will already be thinking about how they can use it even before they reach the end of the article" And I bet you are, aren't you?
The section on positivity showed us that framing our communication positively was more likely to create positive internal representations in the people we communicate with and thus to lead them toward our desired outcome for the communication. What we must also remember is that negatives, when used with volition, can be equally useful and often more elegant and subtly influential in achieving the same results, with little or no resistance from the person we are communicating with. Now I'm not saying that negatives are a magical tool for influencing others towards your way of thinking, because you must find out how useful they are for yourself. Afterall, you wouldn't want to just take my word for it, would you? As an illustrative example let's consider a teacher and student scenario which of the following statements spoken by the teacher to the student is most likely to assist the student in doing well in the test?
This test is going to be difficult but just try to focus and do your best.
Whilst I wouldn't suggest this test will be easy for you I know you've studied hard and you have all the knowledge to do well.
I wouldn't say that we can choose with certainty which one would work best but I'd put my money on the second one.
In the first example the teacher tries to motivate the student by telling him that the test will be difficult. This student may respond well to this type of 'away-from' motivation and sharpen his focus. On the other hand the internal representation he may generate from this statement is 'this test will be difficult for you because you're not up to it'. (Remember - the meaning of your communication is the response that you get). In the first example the teacher also tells the student to try to focus and do his best, which again implies that he will fail or at least not be entirely successful. In the second example just in the phrase '...I wouldn't suggest this test will be easy for you' alone there are multiple messages expressed and implied - let's consider just a few of them:1. The teacher is actually indicating that the test has been set at a level which will provide a worthwhile measure of the hard work that they've both put in and the learning that has taken place. 2. The teacher is indicating that he is aware of the match between the level of the test and the level of the student's knowledge.
3. Whilst the teacher isn't suggesting that the test will be easy for thisparticular student, the student will have to imagine the test being easy just to make sense of the statement '...this test will be easy for you'.
4. The teacher reinforces belief in the student's abilities with thephrase '...you have all the knowledge to do well'. This phrasing reinforces to the student that he has the tools to do the job. If the teacher also marks out the key phrases verbally i.e. with a lowered voice tone, those are the phrases that the student's unconscious mind will place most emphasis on - this test will be easy for you....you have all the knowledge to do well. And whilst I don't know if it's important, I have noticed another interesting aspect to utilising negatives that could be very useful. If I begin my communication with a negative, i.e. by telling you what I'm not saying or what I'm not thinking or what I'm not going to do, you may
find that you actually pay more attention consciously to what I am saying or thinking or to what I am going to do. But it probably isn't important or even that useful, is it?
When we communicate with another human being using natural language, either verbally or in written form, the words that we use convey explicitly only a portion of the meaning behind our communication. In other words only part of our communication is direct (which presupposes that there are parts of our communication which are something other than direct). Our linguistic communications also convey meaning which is not expressly stated in the words that we use. In other words parts of our communication are not included in the words we use, but are implied in the way those words are put together. The portions of our communication which are implied rather than expressly stated are known linguistically as presuppositions. Presupposition is the name given to an implied fact that must be assumed before a given sentence can be accepted as true. All sentences contain or imply presuppositions as we could not communicate effectively if we had to prove everything we say all of the time. Presuppositions are powerful elements of communication in three main ways:
When we are on the receiving end of the communication the implied meaning available to us in the presuppositions (assuming we are practising sensory acuity and are thus able to detect them)
often provides us with far more information and insight than the meaning expressed by the words themselves. In other words, what people don't say often reveals more about their model of the world than what they do say.
When we are on the transmitting end of the communication we can actively utilise presuppositions with volition to convey information and meaning which, simply in order to process our communication, the receiver is likely to accept with less resistance than might be the case had we communicated them overtly.
We can use presuppositions in our language to lead the person we are communicating with to create particular internal representations that will usefully suit our purposes.
Consider the following phrase:I can't decide which shoes to wear At face value this simple utterance is entirely unremarkable and if someone said it to us we would be unlikely to even raise an eyebrow. It's about as interesting as watching paint dry (unless watching paint dry is your idea of an incredibly interesting pastime in which case you go girl!) If we probe a little deeper we realise that this simple phrase contains a number of presuppositions including:
I exist Shoes exist More than one shoe(s) exist(s) Shoes can be worn I have the potential to wear shoes I have the potential to make a decision I have access to a range of shoes I have the option to make a choice from the range
Suddenly this simple phrase becomes far more interesting (well, maybe not, but you need to learn to think this way if you want to be able to detect and utilise presuppositions effectively). Just think about this for a second - you read the above natural language phrase and probably found it entirely unremarkable. What you were
probably unaware of was the fact that unconsciously you accepted all of the presuppositions listed above, and possibly some of your own, simply in order to make sense of the sentence. Now, when you learn to utilise presuppositions with volition in your own communication, you have a very powerful tool for influencing the way others think without their being consciously aware of it.
So presuppositions are those parts of a linguistic communication which are implied in the communication as opposed to being overtly expressed. Now that we know that a person's linguistic communication can contain far more information than is expressly spoken or written, we want to be certain that we detect only information that is actually present, rather than information that we think is present. Ergo it is useful at this point to take a little time to differentiate between a presupposition and a mindread. Presuppositions are those things that whilst not overtly mentioned, can still be verified from the linguistic structures present. A mind-read on the other hand is pure speculation on the part of the person receiving the communication which cannot be verified from the presented linguistic structures. So that you can become proficient in detecting presuppositions and the difference between presuppositions and mind-reads, consider the following statement:'I'm not sure whether or not I should stop eating cream cakes' ...and now decide which of the following is a presupposition or a mindread:1. She currently eats cream cakes
2. She loves cream cakes 3. She eats exclusively cream cakes Only the first one is a presupposition. The other two are mind-reads. The key is the fact that the presuppositions are mentioned or implied somewhere within the communication. In this instance she mentions stopping eating cream cakes, which presupposes that she previously started eating cream cakes. Points 2 and 3 are not mentioned or implied in any way in the original statement and are therefore mind-reads (as is our choice to assign the female gender to the writer, as that isn't mentioned in the original statement either). Let's try another example:'I don't see why I can't do it, all of my friends are doing it' 1. He feels that he is treated unfairly 2. He wants to be liked by his friends 3. This person's friends do something he currently does not do Points 1 and 2 are mind-reads - they are not mentioned or implied in any way in the original statement. Point 3 could be a presupposition and it could also be a mind-read. Insofar as he states in the sentence that all of his friends are doing it (whatever it is) it's a presupposition. On the other hand we cannot ascertain whether his belief that all his friends are doing it is based on fact. Therefore they may not be doing it at all and it may actually be a mind-read on his part. Let's try one more for good luck:'If I don't learn how to communicate with my boss I won't get a pay rise' 1. He feels that he is treated unfairly 2. He doesn't know how to communicate with his boss 3. He wants to learn new behaviours 4. His salary is linked to his communication skills
Points 1 and 3 are mind reads, 2 and 4 are implied in the original phrase and thus are presuppositions.
So far we've loosly defined what linguistic presuppositions are and considered how presuppositions differ from mind reads. Having the ability to recognise mind-reads assists us in avoiding the common mistake of paying attention to what we think we know and instead to focus on the true meaning of another person's communication. Detecting the presuppositions inherent in a person's communication can be as simple as asking the question What would have to be true (in this person's model of the world) for this person to say this? Or, in short What would have to be true? Notice the caveat contained in the brackets - in this person's model of the world. We must always remember that every aspect of a person's communication, including the presuppositions, arises from their unique model of the world and thus 'true' in the world may differ from 'true' in their model. And whilst it's important to respect the other person's model of the world, the ability to challenge and thus assist them in usefully enriching their world model is just one of the ways NLP techniques can be used to assist people to gain more flexibility in their behaviours and thus operate in more effective and appropriate ways on that world.
For example - when a person says that there is something they would like to be able do but just cannot do or a particular skill they are unable to acquire we can examine the presuppositions inherent in their statement by asking the question what would have to be true? One of the things that would have to be true, would have to be presupposed, is that something is stopping them from doing the thing they want to do or having the skill they want to have. It may also be true that this person is unaware of specifically what is stopping them and thus has not recognised the opportunity to focus their energy on getting over, under, around or through this obstacle that's getting in the way of them having that thing that they want. It's just possible therefore that if we ask them a Meta Model question What specifically stops you from having (X)? we can cause them to focus upon the obstacle which previously lay outside their conscious attention and begin to work towards a solution which will assist them in gaining their desired outcome.
Types of presupposition
To assist you in detecting the different types of presupposition common in natural language some useful and illustrative examples follow. Read the bullet-point statements and try to detect the presuppositions in each:
John knew that there was a mountain behind the house
All nouns are presuppositions - when we name an object it is presupposed that the object exists. Thus in the above statement there is a presupposition of existence of John, of the house and of the mountain.
The mountain behind the house caused John to decide that he would climb it
In addition to the presuppositions of existence this statement includes presuppositions of possibility - that it's possible for John to climb the mountain and that it's possible for him to know that there's a mountain behind the house. Presuppositions of possibility often include words such as could, would, may, might and will and their associated opposites couldn't, wouldn't, may not, might not and won't.
John thought that as the mountain behind the house was there he should climb it
Presuppositions of necessity often include words and phrases such as should/shouldn't, must/mustn't, need to, have to and ought to.
The mountain behind the house caused John to climb it
Adds a presupposition of cause and effect - that it's possible for the mountain to cause John to do something. Often include phrases such as caused, forced, led, made and triggered.
John's previous mountain climbing experience meant that he could climb the mountain behind the house
Adds a presupposition of complex equivalence - one thing means another. In this case the very fact that John has previous mountain climbing experience means that he can climb this one.
John realised that there was a mountain behind the house
Includes a presupposition of awareness - that John was able to be aware of the existence of the mountain. Common phrases of this type include - as you can see, as you heard, you can feel and you may already have noticed (but you already knew that, right?).
John knew that at six o'clock he would climb the mountain behind the house
Includes a presupposition of time. Sentence constructions of this type may include phrases such as - past, present, future, previously, earlier that day, tomorrow, later, some time in the past, before breakfast and during the last ice age.
John knew there was a beautiful mountain behind the house
Includes a presupposition of the adverb/adjective type. In order to process the sentence the reader accepts the presupposition the the mountain actually has the property described by the word beautiful. You may already have noticed as we progress through these phrases that we are stacking layer upon layer of presupposition. For example, in each of the phrases that follows the first there is still the presupposition of the existence of John, of the mountain and of the house. The NLP Communication Model tells us that the conscious mind can only attend to 7+/-2 chunks of information at one time. When you put those two things together it can be quite easy to understand how, when presented with a linguistic communication containing stacked layer upon stacked layer of presupposition, especially when that communication is spoken, we find ourselves accepting the presuppositions simply in order to process the communication and keep up with the flow of the conversation (if you didn't get all that in one go you can go back and read it again).
More presuppositional types
Let's continue learning now some of the types of presupposition commonly found in natural language so that we can both recognise them and construct them as we wish. Consider each of the following statements and identify the presuppositional types contained in each:
John knew that there was a mountain behind the house so he either had to climb it or stay in bed
Includes a type of presupposition known as an exclusive OR . An exclusive OR allows only two possibilities - you have to choose one thing or the other. This type of language construction can be used where there is a need to provide choice which is limited.
John knew that there was a mountain behind the house so he either had to climb it or do something else
Includes an inclusive OR. Where an exlusive OR allows only two options (1+1), the inclusive OR allows more options (1+n). This type of language construction offers choices or suggestions and can also stimulate the person we are communicating with to generate choices of their own useful if the person had not considered what choices might be available to them. Both the exclusive OR and the inclusive OR, whilst offering choices / suggestions, also presuppose a need for action on the part of the person we are communicating with i.e. they send the message DO SOMETHING.
John first realised there was a mountain behind the house and then realised he would have to climb it
Includes a type of presupposition known as an ordinal. An ordinal presupposes an order or sequence to events that may or may not exist i.e. first you'll notice certain sensations in your body and then you'll begin to relax deeply. In order to make sense of the world around us and to differentiate between those things in the world that require our full and immediate attention and those things which are of less importance and thus require less of our attention, our brains have evolved to seek out and be more comfortable with patterns and sequences. We tend to pay more attention to events which do not conform to recognised and familiar patterns - the physical threat of a dangerous wild animal entering our previously familiar environment for example. We tend to pay less attention to those things which are familiar to us and which we expect. When we use an ordinal we offer the person we are communicating with a pattern and a prediction of future events which they will quickly familiarise themselves with in order to understand our communication. So long as the order or sequence presupposed by the ordinal is plausible, the occurence of the first event often causes the person we are communicating with to more naturally expect and to accept the subsequent steps without resistance.
To build up your skills in utilising presuppositions first spend some time practicing detection of presuppositions in other people's communications by asking the question what would have to be true? Then spend some time utilising particular presuppositions in your daily communication with other people and measure the responses that you get. If you do those two things you are sure to feel the benefit when we reach the stuff on the Milton Model in the section on Hypnotic Language.
Hierarchy of ideas
In inter-personal communication the person who controls the level of abstraction within the communication controls the communication itself. The hierarchy of ideas is a model which assists us in our ability to move through and between different levels of abstraction from vague and ambiguous to concrete and specific. The NLP Communication Model introduces the concept of information being divided into chunks of variable size and the idea that the conscious mind can usefully attend to 7+/-2 (seven plus or minus two) chunks of information at any one point in time. The hierarchy of ideas also utilises this concept of chunks of information and our ability to take such a chunk and 'chunk up' to a higher level of abstraction, 'chunk down' to a lower level of abstraction and even 'chunk sideways' or laterally between two chunks at the same level of abstraction. If we take the word car as an example, the word car is at a particular level of abstraction.
If we then chunk down on car we move to a lower level of abstraction something more concrete and specific. We can chunk down and gain specificity by asking 'What are examples of this?', or 'What specifically?' So if the subject of the communication was car we might ask 'What type of car specifically?' and chunk down to Ford. If we required further detail we could chunk down one more level by asking something like 'What model of Ford specifically?' and we might get a response of 'Mondeo' or 'Focus'. In this particular example we've chunked down on the class or category of the subject in question. An alternative available to us to gain specificity is to chunk down on parts i.e. instead of chunking down from Car to manufacturer to model, we could also have chunked down from Car to engine to spark plug. With each increasing level of specificity we are moving down through the hierarchy of ideas, down through levels of abstraction.
Chunking up and down
We can gain specificity in inter-personal communication by chunking down to uncover increasingly fine levels of detail by asking the questions 'What are examples of this?' or 'What specifically?'. Detail and specificity are useful under certain particular circumstances and for certain applications. At the other end of the spectrum there are circumstances and applications that are better served by taking an overall or 'Big Picture' view.
When we've been 'down in the detail' and we want to move up to take look at the 'Big Picture' or, if you like, take a 'bird's eye view' of things we chunk up. Questions that we can ask to assist us in chunking up include:
What is this an example of? For what purpose? What is your intention?
If we return to our previous example of car and chunk up one level by asking the question 'What is this an example of?' we may chunk up to motor vehicle. If we chunk up one more level by asking the question again we may chunk up to vehicle. Chunk up again and we may arrive at transportation and eventually to movement or even existence. Each time we chunk up one level we move to a higher level of abstraction and I'm pretty sure you would agree that existence is a far more abstract concept than car.
You can significantly enhance your cognitive abilities and communication skills by developing your abilities to utilise chunking more effectively. If you prefer plain speaking, another way to say it is that being able to chunk better will help you to think better and communicate better. So far we've looked at chunking down to fine detail and chunking up to the big picture. You will benefit from being able to chunk up and down skilfully and you will benefit even more from being able to chunk laterally or sideways.
How do we chunk sideways? Simple - first chunk up one level, then chunk down some place else. For example if we take the word Painting and chunk up one level we could chunk up to Art. If we then ask ourselves 'What are other examples of art?' we could chunk down to sculpture, music, dance or any number of art forms. By using this process of chunking up then back down we've effectively chunked sideways - in this particular context we chunked from up from painting to art, and then sideways and down again to sculpture, music, dance etc. When we chunk sideways we begin by chunking up by one hierarchical level and end by chunking back down to the same hierarchical level we started from. Thus the chunk(s) we end with are on the same level as the chunk we started with. Communication tends to flow better and be more useful when all of the people involved are using similar sized chunks from the same hierarchical level. This is also one of the reasons why the person controlling the level of abstraction also controls the communication. A particularly good use of lateral chunking is in negotiation and although it wasn't stated overtly at the time we've already looked at an example of this in the purpose frame. When you become skilled at chunking up, down and sideways one of the things you will notice is an exponential increase in your communication skills. Another thing that you'll notice is your increasing ability to think circles around the people you communicate with. For the time being I'm going to leave the concept of chunking here as a single building block without further explaining it's nature or it's uses. As we move forward through the topic areas of Hypnotic Language, Precise Communication and beyond I invite you, gentle reader, to engage in the inductive learning process of discovering the uses of chunking inherent therein for yourself. I make this choice because sometimes we learn more and learn better when we discover the AHA! moments for ourselves.
If you're looking to instruct, guide or otherwise influence another person's thinking linquistically you might adopt a particular strategy with the intent of making your communication effective in yielding your desired outcome (begin with the end in mind). Your strategy may include the use of very clear, specific instructions with little or no ambiguity. You may give these instructions in a very direct even authoritarian manner so that the person you're communicating with understands exactly what your expectations are. This type of strategy can be perfectly useful in certain sets of circumstances. In other circumstances this type of strategy can actually lead to the protraction and frustration of the entire process and ultimately stop you from getting your desired outcome. An example of a situation in which a direct, authoritarian strategy would be applicable and useful is in programming a computer. Humans program computers using certain specific computer languages developed expressly for the task in hand. These languages are unambiguous in nature and the computer follows to the letter the instructions given to it without question as it has no critical faculty. Humans, however, are far more sophisticated than computers in their powers of discernment and analysis. Humans can think for themselves and can analyse almost microscopically any communication offered to them. Humans do possess a highly developed critical faculty. In order to process a linguistic communication from another person we have to use our own model of the world to apply meaning to the words and phrases that they use.
We also use our own model of the world to answer questions such as '...how does this communication relate to ME?' and '...how do I feel about this communication?'. Our critical faculty facilitates us in analysing the communication further still to think about, for example, the potential effects of acting on the instructions given to us. Ultimately, unlike a computer, we can choose to respond to the communication or any part of it in a myriad different ways. And some people think computers are tricky! If the communication or any part of it is not congruent with our model of the world we are likely to disagree with or reject or otherwise resist that communication / suggestion / plea / instruction / order / demand.* *I've purposely offered some interchangeable words in the above paragraph to describe some common types of linguistic communication words which often carry varying degrees of emotional charge. Imagine finding yourself on the receiving end of a plea. Then imagine being on the receiving end of an order or a demand. Compare and contrast those thoughts and your reactions to them - are they different? Would you react differently to a sincere, heartfelt plea than you would to a forcefully delivered demand? Are the words '...it would be ever so useful if you wouldn't mind...' more or less appealing than the words '...Do it now and do it like I told you...'? It is fairly common to find that people are more resistant to being told what to do than they are to being asked to do something, or to being offered a suggestion which they can freely choose to accept or reject.
In linguistic communication the use of vague and ambiguous language often yields more useful results than the use of a direct, authoritarian approach, and there are a number of reasons why this is so. Our communication with other people is based on our own unique model of the world and, because it's unique, our model of the world differs from that of every person we communicate with. When we communicate in a very specific manner we make it easy for the person we are communicating with to identify any parts of our communication which conflict with their model of the world and thus we make it easy for them to disagree with or otherwise resist our communication. In other words, we create a context in which the natural response is resistance. We can use vague and ambiguous language to create instead a context in which the natural response is acceptance of our communication. A useful starting point which will assist you in understanding how/why this works and how we process natural language in order to apply meaning to the words is that of transformational grammar. The transformational grammar (TG) model has evolved over the years but we can express the basic concepts here with a couple of illustrative examples. According to the TG model every linguistic communication includes two distinct representations:1. The representation of the way it sounds, if spoken, or the way it appears if written - known as the Surface Structure 2. The representation of it's meaning - known as the Deep Structure
Consider the following sentence:The window was broken Here the Surface Structure representation is simply the four words used in the sentence. The underlying, unspoken Deep Structure could be represented in formal notation as:PAST(BREAK [someone, window, with something]) Any native speaker of the English language understands from the Surface Structure that:a. Some event occured in the past b. The event was a complex event c. It consisted of the following parts:-
1. An action, break, which occurred between: a. The agent - some person or thing doing the breaking, hererepresented by someone, and
b. The object - some person or thing being broken, hererepresented by the window, and
c. The instrument - the thing used to do the breaking, hererepresented by with something Notice that even though not all parts of the Deep Structure represented appear in the Surface Structure (in this case the agent and the instrument are not represented in the Surface Structure), the native speaker of English has that information available in their understanding of the sentence. The statement The window was broken implies to native speakers that not only was the window broken, but someone or something had to break the window with something. The ways in which Surface Structures differ from their associated Deep Structure meanings is the domain of transformational linguists. They have postulated that our linguistic communications undergo a number
transformations in order to transform the Deep Structure meaning into the Surface Structures that we actually speak or write. The entire process which links a Deep Structure to it's Surface Structure is called a derivation. The process of derivation for very specific language is relatively simple. The very fact that there is no ambiguity makes it highly probable that the Surface Structure has a single, specific Deep Structure meaning. Thus the unconscious processes used to 'translate' the Surface Structure into the underlying Deep Structure meaning operate with relative speed and accuracy. A Surface Structure constructed using vague and ambiguous language on the other hand, usually has not one but multiple possible Deep Structure meanings. Such a Surface Structure reduces the likelihood of resistance in the person we are communicating with by:
Creating a context in which they have to work harder to establish the possible meaning(s) of our communication
Inducing a mild state of confusion Offering them a communication in which they can choose a meaning which best fits their model of the world
Offering them a communication in which they have to actually supply content from their model of the world to 'fill the gaps' in order to make sense of the communication
These are some of the things which contribute towards providing a context in which the natural response of the person we are communicating with is to willingly accept our communication.
Vague and ambiguous language
Congratulations if you've read and gained a reasonable understanding of the sections on Utilising ambiguity and Linguistic transformation - your investment will be rewarded on subsequent pages. Let's dive right in now and experience some examples of language that might be considered artfully vague and ambiguous, or hypnotic and enticing. Read the following passage to yourself at a relaxed pace and focus your attention internally so that you can notice your reactions to it:As you just sit back.... and as you're thinking.... I know that you're wondering You're wondering about certain things.... and that's a good thing.... because it is a good thing to wonder And the very fact that you're wondering means that you can come to new insights and new understandings about the materials that you're learning And those insights and understandings will allow you to begin to.... change things in your life.... at the unconscious level.... and at the conscious level.... in such a way that your behaviours may begin to.... shift.... and change.... and support the direction that you're moving in your life now Now I don't know if your unconscious.... knows more or less than you think it does And when you think about it.... for a second.... your unconscious.... right.... now.... Is making new connections.... new neurological connections which will allow you to see things in new ways and understand things at deeper levels.... haven't you Already begun to make those connections now
And I don't know if those connections are going to come in the form of pictures or.... places or sounds or ideas.... Or feelings.... feelings that will lead you in the direction of making the kinds of changes.... that you're destined to make Now, all of the italic text above was hypnotic language purposely constructed to be vague and ambiguous. And whilst, in my experience, hypnotic language tends to be more influential when spoken than it is when written, you may have experienced certain responses to it as you were reading it. One of the important things to notice is that the permissive style and the vague and ambiguous nature of the language reduces the likelihood of a clash with the world model of the reader, and thus provides a context where the most natural response is acceptance of the communication.
The milton model
The Milton Model is named after Milton H. Erickson (1901 - 1980), an American psychiatrist specialising in medical hypnosis and family therapy. During his lifetime Milton was widely considered to be the world's greatest medical hypnotist and he was widely known for his successful and often 'miraculous' work with 'impossible' clients, as well as for his extensive writings on hypnosis.
An attack of anterior poliomyelitis at the age of 17 rendered Erickson almost totally paralysed for several months, but with his vision, hearing and thinking unimpaired. Quarantined at home on the farm Erickson whiled away the hours by turning his attention to the observation and study of human behaviour, particularly that of his parents, eight siblings, and the practical nurse responsible for his care. Having already a little knowledge of body language and other forms of non-verbal communication, Erickson was amazed to discover the frequent and often startling contradictions between the verbal and non-verbal communications within a single interchange. This aroused so much of his interest that he intensified his observations at every opportunity and began to develop the patterns he would later use in his hypnotic techniques. Erickson's continued study of human behaviour and his need to make his way in the world and make a living for himself led him into the medical profession where he was an avid student. Such was his fascination with psychiatry that he got a psychology degree while he was still studying medicine. Richard Bandler and John Grinder met with Erickson on a regular basis and engaged in careful and systematic observation of Erickson's work in order to ascertain how he performed his theraputic 'miracles'. They discovered that whilst the behaviours demonstrated by Erickson in the induction and utilisation of hypnotic states of consciousness were extremely complex, he was very systematic i.e. his behaviour had distinctive patterns. Bandler and Grinder then used their skills to build explicit models or maps of Erickson's complex behaviours, maps which could in turn be used to teach Erickson's skills to others in a clear and systematic way. The model that Bandler and Grinder constructed from their studies of Erickson became affectionately known as the Milton Model.
And even as you are sitting there, reading this, and thinking those thoughts that you are thinking, you are doing the same things that you did when first you went to school. You are learning new things and that's a good thing. Things which will be useful in many ways in the days and weeks ahead. And you don't even know how you learned those things, the numbers and counting, and the letters of the alphabet. And those learnings, so long ago now, stayed with you, deep in your unconscious, so that you can master many more complex things without even thinking about it. Let's examine now in some detail and name some of the hypnotic language patterns found in the Milton Model. Mind Read A mind read is simply claiming to know the thoughts or feelings of another person without specifying the process by which you came by the information. As you just sit back.... and as you're thinking.... I know that you're wondering In the above example, I know that you're wondering is a mind read, because that claim is insubstantiated in that we don't specify how we know that the other person is wondering. Lost Performative A lost performative is a value judgement where the performer of the value judgement is left out. You're wondering about certain things.... and that's a good thing.... because it is a good thing to wonder This statement makes the claim that the act of wondering is a good thing. The question according to who? cannot be answered because the person
or thing making the statement (the performer) is not mentioned anywhere in the statement. Hence we are left to wonder who thinks it's a good thing (and maybe even why it's a good thing and so on....). Cause and Effect A cause and effect statement claims that one thing necessarily causes another:...sitting there, listening to the sound of my voice, will make you relax more and more... This statement could also be written:...if you sit there and listen to the sound of my voice you will relax more and more... Cause and effect statements often take the form of an If... Then... as in if you study these materials, then you'll produce the results that you want. And even though the cause and effect statement isn't necessarily true, it is likely to be accepted by the person we are communicating with as long as it is plausible. Implied Causative The linkage between the elements in a cause and effect statement is strong, sharply defined and as plain as the nose of your face - if condition X is true then outcome Y will be true. Cause and effect statements are best suited to deep trance where the likelihood of resistance is less. In light trance the implied causative may be more useful:And those insights and understandings will allow you to begin to.... change things in your life In this form the link between the cause (insights and understandings) and the effect (life changes) is less pronounced and so less open to resistance.
Hypnotic patterns 2
And the very fact that you're studying the hypnotic language patterns found in the Milton Model means that you're exactly the type of person who appreciates the benefits and can learn with ease to enhance your skills and fluency in the effective use of language Complex equivalence A complex equivalence is a statement where two meanings are equated as being equal or, if you prefer, where one thing means another:And the very fact that you're wondering means that you can come to new insights and new understandings about the materials that you're learning Fact is that in isolation a person engaging in the act of wondering isn't necessarily going to come to new insights and new understandings. It's entirely possible to wonder about something for even a long period of time without experiencing even one new insight or understanding. The complex equivalence therefore isn't necessarily true, one thing doesn't necessarily mean the other. Lucky for us that the complex equivalence doesn't have to be true to be useful in hypnosis. So long as it sounds meaningful and plausible to the person we are communicating with it's most likely that they will apply appropriate meaning to our words from their own world model to make the complex equivalence 'true' for them. As confusion always precedes understanding, most people who have had the experience of coming to new insights and new understandings will previously have wondered about the particular topic that they come to understand more about. Thus, suggesting to a person that their wondering will lead to new insights and new understandings is a meaningful, plausible suggestion that they are likely to accept easily. Presuppositions
The presuppositions inherent in almost everything we say can be utilised to great effect in hypnotic techniques. (We looked at presuppositions in some detail earlier so you can see these pages if you wish a fuller explanation). Now I don't know if your unconscious.... knows more or less than you think it does The statement above includes many presuppositions which are vague, ambiguous and hypnotic in nature such as:
You possess an unconscious It's possible for your unconscious to know stuff It's possible for you to think about what stuff your unconscious knows It's possible for your unconscious to know stuff that you may or may not be aware of
And so on (see if you can identify other presuppositions contained in the statement that aren't mentioned here). As stated earlier, presuppositions are present in almost everything we say and are mostly outside of our conscious awareness. The very fact that presuppositions are usually outside of awareness means that once we become aware of them we can use them actively and with volition to convey meaning to another person, meaning which is outside of their conscious awareness and thus bypasses conscious resistance. To clarify, let's consider an experience that you yourself may have had. Many human beings have experienced something like this and you are a human being, so it's fair to suppose that you too will have had an experience like this, isn't it? Have you ever, in the flow of conversation, agreed to do something for someone and later thought to yourself 'hold on a minute, I can't believe I agreed to that' ? Chances are that there were presuppositions inherent in what the other person said and how they said them that, at the time, you were not consciously aware of i.e. your attention was elsewhere.
Then later, when you review the situation and focus consciously on what occurred the presuppositions become obvious. So learning all about presuppositions means that you'll be less likely to end up doing things for other people that you would really rather not do, or at least you'll be fully aware of exactly what's involved before you agree.
You may discover that the best way to integrate these hypnotic linguistic patterns into your neuro-physiology is to say them aloud each time you study them, so that you can be delighted when you find yourself using them in your daily interactions without even thinking about it. Universal Quantifier A universal quantifier is universal generalisation used to displace resistance. Universal quantifiers always have an element of exaggeration. ...A person can achieve anything if they put their mind to it... ...Every time you study these materials you will find that you understand them at deeper levels... ...Trust your instincts and you'll always make the right choices... ...You will never know, until you try... All of the words above in bold text are universal quantifiers. An example of how universal quantifiers might be used? Consider the following statement:Every intelligent person knows that key to success and the rich rewards that it brings is attention to detail.
Would you like to be considered an intelligent person? Would you like to be successful? Is the idea of rich rewards appealing to you? It's highly probable that you answered Yes to the three questions above. And because every intelligent person 'knows' that attention to detail is the key to success and you yourself are desirous of being 'successful' and in receipt of the 'rich rewards' you probably accepted as true the idea that attention to detail is the key to success, without a scrap of proof or even evidence to back up that claim. I bet you even imagined exactly what those rich rewards would be, didn't you? Successful how exactly? What kind of rich rewards specifically? Intelligent compared to who or what? Who says that every intelligent person knows these things? The answers to these questions and many more are not found anywhere in the original statement and that's fine because in order to simply understand the sentence you kindly supplied the answers yourself from your own model of the world which further adds to the credibility of what I'm saying. A person should never underestimate the power of universal quantifiers.
Hypnotic patterns 4
You may find that you need to practice daily these hypnotic patterns if you want them to become a part of your every-day vocabulary, and then you'll begin to notice the benefits that come from integrating those learnings. Modal Operators Modal operators are words which imply possibility or necessity, and they are also used to form our rules in life:You can achieve great things each and every day...
You must focus your attention on the right things at the right times.... A person will always make new and exciting learnings if they want to... Nominalisation A nominalisation is a process word that has been frozen in time by turning into a noun, such as the word RELATIONSHIP. A RELATIONSHIP is a word that we use to encapsulate the meaning of an ongoing process of one person or thing RELATING to another person or thing over time. We freeze that complex, ongoing process of RELATING into a single instance of time and call it a RELATIONSHIP. A useful technique for checking if a particular noun is a nominalisation is to ask the question '...could I put it in a wheelbarrow?'. If the noun describes something that could be put into a wheelbarrow, such as a football or a pencil case then the noun isn't a nominalisation. If the noun describes something that couldn't be put into a wheelbarrow, such as love or memory or aspirations, then the noun is a nominalisation. Nominalisations are particularly useful in hypnotic language in that they allow us to use simple words to reference and include complex aspects of the other person's experiences, past, present or future in our communication and thus pace their verifiable experience. For example, if I said to you '...and in time you will make many useful learnings...' I've used at least two nominalisations - time and learnings (neither of which can be put into a wheelbarrow). In order to ascribe meaning to the word learnings you have to consult your model of the world to ascertain what meanings that word has for you and then map those meanings onto the word that I use. And the same for the nominalisation of time - do I mean seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, centuries or millenia? Again you apply from your own model of the world the meaning that is most appropriate in allowing you to understand and process the communication.
And because you provide the meaning of each nominalisation that I use, the fit with your model of the world is a perfect one and hence you are more likely to accept the communcation.
Hypnotic patterns 5
You may find that you need to practice daily these hypnotic patterns if you want them to become a part of your every-day vocabulary, and then you'll begin to notice to benefits that come from integrating those learnings. Unspecified verbs In most languages the verb is the part of language that expresses action, ocurrence or existence, as in the English words eat, collide and think. In the phrase 'he touched her' the verb, touched, is relatively unspecified - touched her how? where? with what? If instead we said 'he touched her gently' the verb, touched, is more specified than in the previous statement and only two of the earlier questions remain unanswered - where and with what? If we said 'he touched her gently on the hand with his wet nose' the verb is still further specified and we can represent more fully what the verb means. Unspecified verbs are used in hypnotic language as they present fewer opportunities for resistance. The person receiving the communication makes sense of the communication by providing meaning to the verbs from their own model of the world and thus is presented with a context in which the natural response is to accept the communication. Unspecified verbs commonly used in hypnotic language include:-
Think, wonder, sense, feel, know, experience, understand, remember, enjoy, learn, travel, recall, discover, do, be, put, go, move, touch, have, use, forget, change and renew. Tag questions A tag question is a question placed directly after a statement and is designed to displace resistance and can also be used to check the level of rapport. So the format for using a tag question is usually statement, question as in:And you can understand that, right? That's a tag question, isn't it? Tag questions are great, aren't they? The intended outcome of using the tag question is that the person responds in the way that we want them to.The aim of the above tag questions is a positive response i.e the person agreeing that they can understand either verbally or non-verbally such as with a nod of the head. The person responding readily in the desired way can be an indicator that a good level of rapport is being maintained. All of the above tag questions were in the positive, and it's just as easy to utilise tag questions which include negatives as in:And you don't even know how you learned those things, do you? Tag questions are probably the easiest hypnotic language pattern to learn, are they not? And they are a really useful way of getting people to agree with you, aren't they? So you can have fun using tag questions in your day-to-day communication, can you not?
Hypnotic patterns 6
As our use of language relies heavily on subconscious processes you may be surprised and delighted to discover that increasingly the hypnotic language patterns you are learning emerge automatically at appropriate and useful times in your day-to-day communication with others. Lack of referential index Lack of referential index is a type of generalisation and refers to a phrase which fails to identify directly a portion of the listener's experience. Phrases which are generalised in this way are more likely to fit with the world model of the listener and thus be accepted by the listener. In simple terms, we can utilise a lack of referential index to leave 'blanks' in our communication, blanks which the listener fills with content from their own model of the world. Consider the following two paragraphs and think about which one you would be able to accept more easily:1. On Monday you will learn Matching and Mirroring. On Tuesday you will learn all about Representational Systems. Next Wednesday you will use tag questions all day. 2. In the days and weeks ahead you will learn a number of new things, perhaps without even realising you are doing it, and those learnings can lead you in the direction of making useful changes that will support the direction that you're moving in your life now. The likelihood is that you found paragraph 2 more acceptable and if you did, what was it about paragraph 2 that enabled you to accept it more easily? Paragraph 1 includes specific referential indices - Monday, Tuesday, Next Wednesday, Matching and Mirroring, Representational Systems, tag questions.
These indices reference the specific times and the specific topics you will learn which creates a context in which two occurences are more likely:a) The referential indices clash with your world model i.e. you decide that you are unwilling or unable or that's it's just not possible to learn those specific things in accordance with the specific timetable given. -orb) You accept the inherent presuppositions and believe both that you can and will learn the specific subjects within the timetable given and then fail to do so. One of the particularly useful aspects of the permissive style of the Milton Model for hypnosis and hypnotic language is that language is used in a way that reduces considerably any possibility of failure, or at least of it's detection. To explain, let's dissect paragraph 2:In the days and weeks ahead you will learn a number of new things The referential indices of specific times and specific learning outcomes present in paragraph 1 are not present in paragraph 2. The phrase days and weeks ahead sounds specific but it's actually completely open-ended and imposes no deadline by which learning must be achieved. ...you will learn a number of new things... Another statement which is difficult to disagree with as unless you lose the cognitive power of thought, the sheer volume of data flowing into your sensory systems every moment that you're alive forces you to learn new things from moment to moment. How many new things will you learn? A number of them, so any number will make this statement true. What new things will you learn? Anything that you learn will make this statement true. Thus the absence of the referential indices on the type and number of learnings to be made again creates a context where acceptance is easy and failure is almost impossible. ...without even realising you're doing it...
Wondering how you're going to make those new learnings? Good! The lack of referential index on doing it creates a context in which doing anything that leads to a learning will fit with the statement given. And if you don't even realise how/what/why/when you're learning that's fine too - many useful learnings are made below the level of consciousness anyway. It's also probable that by beginning to think about what you might learn you will focus the flashlight of your attention on finding opportunities for learning those very things i.e. we get what we look for. ...and those learnings can lead you the direction of making useful changes... The lack of referential index on those learnings and useful changes allows the listener to identify which learnings and which changes are most appropriate and applicable. ...support the direction that you're moving in your life now... Which direction are you moving in your life now? It doesn't matter - the lack of referential index on the direction means that whatever direction you happen to be moving in will fit the statement.
Hypnotic patterns 7
One of the best ways to practice using these hypnotic patterns in your daily communication is first to think about specific contexts and scenario's in which they will be useful. Then you can imagine the dialogue which would arise, 'script' useful responses using the hypnotic language patterns and then - most importantly - practice speaking them out loud. Language and language patterns are best learned by speaking them. Comparative deletion
A comparative deletion is a phrase in which a comparison is made but the thing, person or standard to which the comparison is made is not mentioned:It's more or less the right thing to do It's better to do it that way You will enjoy things more and more She's a better person The information that's been deleted means that we can neither prove nor disprove the claim made in the comparison. Pacing current experience One way to elegantly pace the current experience of another person is to describe in a way which is undeniable those aspects of their experience that we are able to observe through our input channels, our senses. ...and you are here today, reading these words and thinking those thought's that you're thinking The above words should be an undeniably accurate pace of your current experience because:
You ARE here today You ARE reading these words And you ARE thinking those thoughts that you're thinking
Thus the context created is one in which your natural response is agreement. In sales this is known as a YES SET and is used to lead the prospective customer into a pattern of agreement i.e. into a pattern of saying or at least thinking YES and to encourage momentum in that direction. Thinking metaphorically, if we consider the person we are communicating with (or at least their thought processes) to be a steam train then each pacing statement that they agree with is equivalent to an increase in the steam pressure propelling them along the track in the direction of our intended destination.
Once sufficient momentum is built up using undeniable, externally verifiable pacing statements and the person is engaged in a pattern of agreement, a plausible leading statement can be offered and again a context is provided in which the natural response is agreement. ...and you are here today, reading these words and thinking those thought's that you're thinking ...and you're learning many new things that will be useful to you in the days and weeks ahead. Even though the leading statement isn't necessarily true i.e. you could be learning stuff which isn't useful or you could be learning nothing at all, the pacing statements set you moving along the 'train track' of agreement and increase the likelihood that you'll agree with the leading statement too.
Hypnotic patterns 8
Double bind A double bind is a statement which creates the illusion of choice where in fact there is no choice. Would you like to finish reading this text now or later? (It doesn't matter because you're going to finish reading it at some point). Would you like to go to bed at quarter to nine or eight forty five? (Good fun to use if you have kids) Would you like to pay by cash or credit card? (It doesn't matter to me so long as you BUY ONE) Would you like to go quickly into trance today? Or perhaps you'd like to go into trance slowly, or perhaps you'll simply enjoy noticing the
increasing sense of pleasant relaxation as you become settled in that chair. (Technically this is a triple bind as the listener is presented with three choices, all of which lead the listener in the direction of the desired state). Double binds can be used to enrich a person's world model by providing them with an experience which contradicts impoverishing limitations inherent in their current model. This experience then becomes a reference structure which enriches the model and increases choice. The Structure of Magic I, A Book About Language & Therapy by Richard Bandler & John Grinder, includes a tale of one such theraputic use of the double bind. The tale concerns a young woman who, through Meta model question techniques, had arrived at a generalisation that was true in her model of the world, namely "I can't say NO to anyone because I can't hurt anyone's feelings." Further investigation revealed that the young woman believed that anyone she said "NO" to would be badly hurt and might even die. This generalisation had arisen from an event in her past when she had refused her father's request to stay at home with him and subsequently returned home later that evening to find him dead. As a result of this the young woman had blamed herself for her father's death and more specifically attributed that blame to the act of saying "NO" to him. The therapist utilised a theraputic double bind by asking the young woman to speak to each of the other members of the group and say "NO" to them about something. The young woman reacted strongly, refusing to perform the task and made statements such as "NO! It's impossible for me to say NO to people, you can't expect me to do it just because you ask me to". The young woman continued in this way for several minutes, refusing repeatedly to carry out the task until the therapist pointed out that the young woman had in fact been saying NO during this time.
The therapist also pointed out that despite the young woman saying NO a number of times, nobody had been hurt and certainly nobody had died. This revelation and the resultant expansion of the young woman's world model were so powerful that she immediately found herself able to move around the room and say NO to other members of the group. The double bind was constructed in such a way that the young woman had only two options:1. Comply with the therapist's request and say NO to the group members 2. Refuse the therapist's request to say NO to the group members, effectively saying NO to the therapist Even if the young woman had done nothing, she would still effectively have been refusing to comply with the therapist's request - effectively saying NO. Now that is probably one of the best illustrations of the elegant and effective use of the double bind as you are likely to find.
Hypnotic patterns 9
You are probably already aware that using a direct, authoritarian approach to get people to willingly do the things you want them to do can be difficult, right? Can you imagine how good you will feel when those around you are happy to do the things that you ask? Is that worth a small modification in your behaviour to achieve your desired outcome? Conversational postulate A conversational postulate is a question which would normally elicit a ' Yes'or 'No' response but instead causes the listener to perform some action.
Consider the question - 'Can you tell me the time?'. Taken literally this question should generate a 'Yes' or 'No' response, as it enquires as to whether it's possible for the person to tell us the time and whether they have the means and ability to do so (i.e. they are wearing a watch and know how to use it to tell the time). Most native speakers of the English language however will respond by telling you what the time is, or even by apologising for the fact that they don't currently know the correct time. The theory behind this phenomena stems from the Surface Structure / Deep Structure relationship described in the section on linguistic transformation. The literal Deep Structure recovered by the listener from the surface structure 'Can you tell me the time?' requires only that the listener responds with a 'Yes' or 'No' answer. However, there seems to be an additional element of mental / linguistic processing which leads the listener to respond as if given a command, even though no command is actually given. Other common questions of this type include:
Can you close the door? Do you know where the T.V. remote is? Is that the telephone ringing? Was that the doorbell? Did you know that you needed this?
Native speakers of English will usually respond to these types of questions by performing the embedded command i.e. closing the door or finding the T.V. remote or answering the telephone or the doorbell. This phenomena is leveraged through the conversational postulate to deliver commands to another person whilst at the same time displacing any potential resistance. In other words a person is more likely to respond by willingly carrying out commands / requests if they are framed as questions.
Can you close your eyes now? Will you allow yourself to relax deeply? Will you really enjoy those pleasant sensations?
Isn't it better to use those learnings fully?
Authoritarian forms of hypnosis where the listener is given direct commands present a context in which resistance is more likely. The very fact that the listener resists the command is also likely to lead them to belive that the hypnosis isn't 'working'. Conversational postulates on the other hand form part of a more naturally flowing process as no direct commands are given to the listener - they are merely asked questions to which they can choose to respond or not. Can you imagine yourself using this pattern to gently influence others to willingly do the things that you ask?
1 Persuasive Techniques To Influence People 22 OCTOBER 2009 "He who influences the thoughts of his times, influences all the times that follow. He has made his impress on eternity" - Hypatia of Alexandria All of us live different lives and there may be some of you out there who go into battle each and every day within your own society. For that reason, I created a list of all the known persuasion techniques that master persuaders use to influence people and get what they want. Nevertheless, please take note that with great power comes great responsibility. Always use your knowledge for the benefit of everyone and not just your own. Do you get that, Spidey? How To Make People Cooperate
1. Humor If you can make people laugh, you make them feel good. This allows you to easily establish a relationship with them.
2. Smile First impressions last, and first impressions created with a smile is definitely an advantage. Try smiling at every person you come across the street and youll see what I mean. 3. Respect We all know that respect is earned and not given. However, you should always give respect, initially, to any person you meet. Its always easy to do a favor for someone who shows you respect. 4. Build instant rapport People who can create rapport instantly with anyone has more friends and can establish good relationships than those who cant. 5. Use body language Understanding body language is part of the plan. Our everyday communication is 55% body language. Although you get the signals unconsciously from the people you talk to, knowing how to consciously recognize these signals is a plus in the art of persuasion. 6. The Halo Effect We usually categorize people as generally good or generally bad. Any trait that you show to a person in the future can be influenced by what you show today. Make sure that anyone you meet today will get the impression that you are generally good. 7. Similarity Birds of the same feather, flock together, dont they? If you can always find a way to immediately learn whats similar between you and the other person, you can easily create a bond. This bond will eventually develop into trust which is always what you need to get people to do something for you. 8. Goodwill Always be genuine when showing interest in other people. Being sincere about your concern for
9. Bonding Peoples names sound like jingle bells to their ears. Call people by their names and they will give you more attention. The Mirroring and Matching Techniques
10. Mirror their language Mirroring is a technique used in neuro-linguistic programming to unconsciously establish rapport with a person. Using the same kind of language that the other person is using can help you build that rapport in no time at all. 11. Match their breathing Breathing alone can help you establish rapport that you will use in persuasion. The effectiveness of this technique relies on its concealment. Who will ever notice that someone is trying to copy their breathing pattern anyway? 12. Match their voice Matching a persons voice works on the unconscious level as all of the mirroring techniques you see here. 13. Mirror their moods When a friend of yours is in a bad mood, do you approach them with a joke? Of course not. Always determine peoples mood before you try and make them do what you want. 14. Match their energy level A persons energy level will give you an indication of how prone they are to suggestions. If you can be as happy or lively as they are, it may be much easier for you to lead them toward your plan. Applying Cognitive Dissonance
15. Create commitments If you can get people to commit, it is more likely for that person to do what youve asked them to do. They will be left with an uncomfortable feeling that will last for a certain time if they do so otherwise. 16. Use written commitments Written commitments are stronger than verbal agreements. Aside from that, it can serve as some kind of contract between you and the other person. 17. Create public commitments Even stronger than written commitments are public commitments. Not only will there be a concern about the relationship, the persons reputation is also at stake. 18. Use external incentives Business people always use incentives for their employees. Although the motivation it provides only lasts for a short period, it still gets the job done. 19. Always make them say Yes This is a kind of conditioning wherein the persons response is matched with the stimulus you provide which, in this case, is your request. 20. Make them give an effort If you can get people to invest an effort, its more likely that they will stick to your plans or execute your requests. 21. Create dissonance and offer a solution If youre planning to make someone feel uncomfortable to get them to do what you want, just make sure to offer a way out.
22. Gift giving How do you feel when someone gives you a gift and you dont have anything to give back? Pretty awful, isnt it? Youll likely say, Geez, dont have anything for you. Just let me know if you need anything Aint that powerful? 23. Mutual concession There will be times when someone will try to influence your mind wherein you might feel helpless after realizing you dont agree to what just happened. Dont worry! What the other person does not know is that he/she is just as vulnerable when its your turn to make them agree to your demand. 24. Give a favor, get one back Sometimes, people will do things for you whether you like it or not. The problem with this is that it generates a need to reciprocate within the recipients mind. If youre a generous person who finds happiness in giving favors for other people without expecting anything in return, just make sure you let them know. 25. Sharing secrets Share a secret to create a bond, a sense of obligation, and a feeling of trust. Just remember, the kinds of secrets you share should depend on the kind of person youre sharing it with. The Power Of Groupthink
26. Create a group The larger the group, the better. Humans have a strong need to socialize. People attach themselves to groups to have a sense of belonging. If you want people to conform with your ideals, strengthen the group and make it grow.
27. Make everyone familiar - If you can get people to strongly identify with your group, the easier it will be to influence their behavior. Also make sure that everyone is similar in the way they think. 28. Establish your principles Companies usually have principles which they package in the form of mission and vision statements. Its important that people within your organization or your group learn to adhere to these principles. The Law Of Scarcity
29. Illustrate the potential loss The possibility of losing someone or something may sometimes make us feel that our freedom is being restricted. Sometimes, people act irrational when this happens. When youre offering a product or a service, add a sense of potential loss and see how much difference it makes. 30. Tell them they cant have it At times it makes you wonder why youll try everything to get something you cant have. Freedom of choice may have something to do with it. 31. Increase demand; limit the supply When theres a strong demand for a product or a service, people tend to flock toward it. People are always inclined to purchase that which is in-demand. 32. Create an appeal To generate interest in you or what you have, create an appeal by making yourself appear special. Surround yourself with good company and fancy objects to attract more people. 33. Show exclusivity When you try the previous
suggestion, youre already making yourself exclusive. People just cant get to you and they have to work their way through obstacles (if you want to call it that). The mere effort of trying to get close to you will give you an assurance that they will do anything to please you. 34. Announce a deadline Procrastination is your biggest enemy. To make sure that your requests or instructions are executed at the time you expect it to be done, always put up a deadline. 35. Restrict their freedom A persons desire always influences his/her behavior. Once you tell people that they cant have something, the more they will clamor for it. Believe me, this trick is a favorite amongst presidents. The Language of Persuasion
36. Use double speak Avoid using offensive words and substitute them with less offensive ones. For example: use mentally challenged instead of idiot, communication instead of propaganda, enhanced interrogation instead of torture, and so on. 37. Play with numbers When you are demonstrating something, play around with numbers in your attempt to persuade. Try something like, close to nine out of ten or fewer than five out of every 38. Use positive words What you want is for people to feel confident and comfortable in doing what you want. Hence, use positive words whenever youre trying to communicate. 39. Pack words with emotion Emotion packed words are extremely useful in making people act. Just look at
how George W. Bush used the word terrorist in his campaign against enemies of the U.S. 40. Be silent - After closing a deal, the best thing to do is to be silent. The person has already made his choice and you dont want to ruin the whole thing by accidentally giving the other guy contradicting ideas. 41. Paint pictures with words Isnt it nice to spend some time walking at the park with those lovely trees all over the place, swaying back and forth to the flow of fresh air? You can just feel the rays of the morning sun gently touching your soft skin until, suddenly; you step on a pile of dog poo (hehe! Just giving you a break. Were not even half-way through the list) 42. Choose the right words Using the right words can sometimes make a big difference. Instead of saying, Sir, Im sure well have trouble convincing the staff about your plans. try, Sir, Im sure the staff will greatly appreciate it and give you more approval if we try other means. 43. Replace you with lets You can get more cooperation from people by replacing you with lets. The phrase let us gives a hint of involvement on your part. So lets try using lets from now on. 44. Use simple statements Give your instructions in simple, direct, and brief statements. Not only is it easier to remember, but it is also easier to understand and absorb. 45. Use everyday language Complicated language will only confuse your listeners and/or your readers. Sure you got an enormous vocabulary, but if you talk like an intellectually dexterous individual (geek) all the time, its
46. Avoid vulgar and curse words As much as possible, try to avoid using profanity in your statements (especially with new acquaintances). Most of the time, your credibility depends on the kinds of words you use. 47. Avoid jargon and technical language If the person youre talking to is working in the same field as you are, then theres no problem with this. In most cases, however, you interact with different people. Like I said earlier, just use everyday language. 48. Keep sentences short In the early centuries, a single sentence can stand as a whole paragraph. Today, were clearly living in a world where a single word such as party is enough to say it all. With that said, lets party. 49. Dont beat around the bush If you have something to say, say it directly. 50. Use verbs Action words are more likely to make people move. Keep in mind that the words you say are being imagined by the person youre talking to. Thought precedes movement. 51. Use words that grab attention Words like FREE, EARN NOW, EASY, SEXY, and GUARANTEED are just few of the numerous attention grabbing words that you can use. Try to EXPERIMENT with these words by adding them in your statements. 52. Emphasize what you want Take a look at the last sentence above.
53. Pace Studies have found that speaking faster is more persuasive than speaking in a slow and monotonous way. 54. Avoid vocal fillers What this means is that uhm well to make uhm your ideas accepted er dont use these kinds of words when speaking. 55. Determine your pitch Adjusting the pitch of your voice by making it lower is proven to be more effective in persuasive speech. 56. Adjust your volume Always speak loud enough so that people can hear you. If youre speaking in front of a crowd, test the sound system first to ensure that your audience will not end up being deaf after your presentation. 57. Be more articulate Ideas that are communicated in a smooth flow and a coherent way adds more credibility. People are more likely to act on your requests or instructions when they are able to fully understand what youre trying to say. 58. Take some time to pause Emphasis does not necessarily mean you should only speak louder, more fluently, in a low voice, and so on. There are times when you need to pause so that people will have time to absorb what you just said. Distinction and Contrast
59. Triple the value If you are selling a product, people are more likely to buy it when they see an extra value. Whatever you are selling, try adding a discount, bonus products, a warranty, or anything else that will give
60. Change their perspective When you talk to a salesperson, try to observe how they breakdown the price of what they are selling into ridiculously small easy monthly payments. This is called reframing. 61. Shift their focus This is a technique used by advertisers to put your attention on the lighter side of the picture. Is the glass half full or is it half empty? Is it bad for your purse or is it good for your health? 62. The Door-In-The Face Make an initially huge request that has a possibility of being turned down. After getting the response, make another request that is reasonable for the other person. 63. Use Comparison Another technique used in advertising. Im sure you see a lot of this on television. You compare your product or request to something similar but undesirable in order to get the person to agree with you. 64. Start high with your request When asking for a request, try to make your way through in getting a yes by starting off high. Large request usually get a no so make sure before you get down to the real request, ask for something bigger first. 65. Use the right timing In order for the previous technique to be effective, always state your real request immediately after the earlier ones. 66. Take note of the situation Are you in the office, in class, in a party, inside a church, or inside a bar? Different places have different moods. Be aware of the situation to
67. Expect to affect Expectation is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Did you know that you can affect peoples behavior just by showing them your expectations? 68. Consider it done! Youve probably heard this before. However, youre not supposed to be the one to say this. Whenever you send out instructions, just imagine the other person uttering these words to give strength to your unconscious signals. 69. Use persuasive suggestions Doctors are not the only ones who can use the placebo effect. You can actually use the same principle to make people do what you want them to do. 70. Emphasize the time What time is it? Well, its time for you to make people do what you want instead of the other way around. Did you get the point? 71. Use their reputation Most people strongly identify themselves with their reputation. Boss, I know youre a generous guy. How about giving me a raise? 72. Use embedded commands Heres an example of an embedded command: You can try this one right away after you finish this article. (Embedded command: "try this one right away") 73. Pacing and leading Make the person feel comfortable and in agreement with you then try to move them in the direction that you want.
74. Increase their participation The more a person is involved in what you are doing, the more likely it is for that person to feel connected with you. 75. Use role-playing Celebrities often experience difficulty getting out of their roles. Pretending is an easy way to change your beliefs. Make people pretend and youll be able to tap into their unconscious mind. 76. Ask for peoples advice Another way to get people involved is by asking for their advice. Some will even teach you how to do it the right way. 77. The Visualization technique People who sell cars will offer a test-ride to a potential buyer. Surely, if you can visualize yourself riding a car more vividly, youre more inclined to buy. 78. Keep human contact If you own a store, approaching your customers and making a conversation with a friendly touch is more likely to make a sale than just hanging around near your cash deposit box. 79. Create an atmosphere Visual appeal, aroma, and music are used by many types of business establishments to create an atmosphere and to attract more customers. 80. Create tension If theres tension, there has to be a release. Just like the plot in a movie or a novel, create tension then offer a resolution at the end. 81. Allow hands-on experience Computer software companies release Beta versions of their products not only to test it, but to make consumers actually purchase the
82. Learn how to handle objections Lets face it. You wont be able to get people to agree with you all the time, but if you know how to handle objections, then they wont be able to escape your charm. 83. Tell mesmerizing stories If you have the ability to tell interesting stories to your listeners or your readers, the more likely people will give you attention and the chance to persuade. 84. Use repetition Advertisers know that a single exposure of their brand on television is not enough. Thats why they continuously show the product to push it deeper inside your mind. You should do the same thing with your ideas. Push it deeper inside other peoples minds. 85. Repackage your message You can use repetition, but you dont want people to take you or your ideas for granted. Learn how to repackage your message just like how companies repackage their products. 86. Build suspense Isnt it annoying to leave something unfinished? How about seeing that to be continued message on the television series youre watching? Indeed, it keeps people coming back for more. 87. Build a competition In order to make people loyal to your brand or to your group, there must be a competition. Create an atmosphere of them versus us. 88. Engage the five senses What enters our mind passes through our five senses. When persuading other people, try to stimulate the five senses as much as you can through the methods mentioned earlier.
89. Present new and innovative ideas If you know how to repeat and repackage, you should also offer something new from time to time. There are more choices today than there were before. They can leave you easily when they find something better. Dont give them the chance to do so. 90. Use quotes The real persuaders are our appetites, our fears and above all our vanity. The skillful propagandist stirs and coaches these internal persuaders. - Eric Hoffer (July 25, 1902 May 21, 1983) 91. Make shocking statements Just watch the primetime news and youll learn how to do this in no time. 92. Give relevant examples I think Ill leave this one alone. 93. Give shortcuts and tips People want and need things that will make their life easier. Weve all had it with this game we call life. Why not share something that is beneficial for all. 94. Learn the art of questioning Indeed, questioning is an art. If you know how to use it well, you can enter other peoples minds easily. Try these questioning techniques. 95. Make them ask Youre not the only one who should ask questions. When people dont ask, that means they are not interested. Do you have any questions? How To Use Flattery
96. Favoritism at its finest Favoritism in the workplace is definitely undesirable. So make everyone, in any place, your favorite and you are sure to get them to do things for you. 97. Challenge the persons ego Do you have the guts to try out everything youve read here? Lets see! 98. Dont react; just respond Persuasion is not about you. Its all about your purpose, and your purpose is to influence other people. Failure is sometimes inevitable, but once youve learned your lesson, brush it off and move on. 99. Make them feel important Hitting on peoples self-esteem by making them feel important is a very effective technique in persuasion. Give them a supply of importance; theyll give you a supply of favors. 100. Learn how to praise Aside from making them feel important, it is also necessary that you tell people directly what you find nice about them. 101. Show appreciation Every effort made from the other persons part should be responded to with gratitude and appreciation. How To Use Association
102. Use endorsements You dont always need to work alone. Persuasion also involves the help of other people. Companies rely on famous celebrities to endorse their products. If you know people with good reputations, find out how you can capitalize on your relationship with them.
103. Use the Anchor technique Study how to tap emotions and experiences of events, places, and things inside other peoples mind by using the anchor technique. The right kind of stimulus at the right setting is proven to be an effective persuasion tool. 104. Use signs and symbols You see these everywhere. Just look around your room and see how many signs and symbols you can identify. If you want to take this seriously, you can try studying semiotics. 105. Associate positive experience Salespeople take their clients out to lunch or dinner. Other businessmen do the same. Why? So that they can be remembered. Its just like taking your girlfriend out on a first date. 106. Use sponsorship Many companies sponsor various events to make positive associations. If you watch sports, take a look at the banners all over the venue and try to distinguish which companies they represent. 107. Produce use different qualities they tried lasting images - Well-known personalities kinds of images to project the kind of want people to perceive. Have you ever wearing a bling-bling?
108. Make use of colors There are many different meanings of colors. If you know what each color represents, you can use this knowledge to elicit a certain mood or feeling. Speaking of feelings, lets try to find out how to use them. Using Emotions To Take Them Over
109. Envy Envy is what a person feels when he
perceives in himself a lack of other peoples qualities, accomplishments, or material possession. Making others feel envy, however, is undesirable, but is still an effective persuasion technique. 110. Worry Persuasion may be ineffective if the person youre trying to persuade is worried about something. Help the person get back to reality first by using positive and affirming words before applying any of the techniques here. 111. Fear Fear is commonly used as a marketing strategy, but you can also persuade people by invoking fear with the use of your words. 112. Anger Someone who is angry may be someone who wants attention. You just need to know how to diffuse the persons anger when its time for you to persuade. 113. Sympathy You see this being used a lot of times on television. Starving children, tortured animals, war victims, and so on. When people feel sympathy towards something, they are more willing to help. 114. Jealousy Jealousy is what you feel when you see others possessing something that you dont want them to have. Theres a good chance that you can persuade a person who is jealous. 115. Shame When people do something they regret, they may or may not be motivated to make up for their mistakes. If they still see a little bit of hope, help them get up. 116. Pity Pity is what you feel for people who have
been treated unfortunate Using
unjustly or events Facts
117. Cite empirical studies People are more inclined to believe your claim if you back it up with scientific evidence. Sometimes, just adding the words scientific findings have proven in your words can already make a big difference. 118. Gather testimony Theres a reason why we look at product reviews, movie reviews, book reviews, and so on. The more testimonies you can get, the more you add to the appeal of your product or claim. 119. Use statistics Graphs, charts, statistical data, etc. All of these have numbers that will help you provide stronger evidence to your listeners or readers. 120. Create an analogy You can sometimes go on explaining something for a long time, but people may still not be able to understand. Using analogies is just like making people watch a theatrical version of a novel. 121. Show published reports If its documented or published on a newspaper, then you can use it to support your claim