The Most Powerful Secrets of Influence and Persuasion Revealed
Originally posted on my blog as separate posts - here as one article.
The Truth About Seduction
The key is to become aware of the reality that you are running the Feeling Thinking Loop™ because that makes you conscious of what emotion you are currently experiencing. So how conscious are you now of what emotion you are experiencing?
It’s interesting how many clients I have that have difficulty identifying the emotions that they experience (other than extreme intense emotions). Clinically this is called alexithymia.
Why this is important is when you acknowledge the reality that the majority of communication is non-verbal (93%) you understand that non-verbal communication is the communication of emotion.
So the better you learn to distinguish and understand emotion the better communicator you are going to be.
Saying the same thing slightly differently - you are always communicating emotion, the question is how conscious are you of what emotion you are communicating?
They’ve known about this in persuasion and influence research for a long time. When you look at some of the most real world, where the rubber really meets the road scenarios like FBI and other police agencies who do undercover work, it’s literally a life or death skill.
The interesting research is from the people who have lived that life - undercover. Living as someone else where if they get caught they'd be killed.
What’s interesting is you can’t pretend to be someone else without it affecting you.
This is something that men who are interested in pick-up and seduction don’t get. I have a lot of clients who want to be in relationships and have tried pick-up and seduction courses and trainings that fundamentally are sold as miracle cures but don’t deliver in the real world.
They don’t deliver because you can’t pretend to be someone else without getting caught.
It’s the logical error of going if I can sleep with a woman or man I’ll be in a relationship with her/him.
Unless you are absolutely incredible as a lover this is extraordinarily unlikely. Particularly if you can’t do the emotional connection piece essential to a good relationship and of course lack of somatic and emotional awareness means you don’t have the physical awareness or capability to know what to do sexually.
Being a good or even a great lover requires the emotional connection - it’s all about how you make her or him feel, how you turn them on.
And performing sexually requires somatic awareness of yourself - unless you act like a reptile and just stick it in and ejaculate. And the somatic awareness - the ability to feel the person you are with and know what they want not just from what they say but from what their body wants.
The research from those that have been successful undercover operatives shows that those who were essentially themselves survived.
Whereas those who tried to be someone else - someone they didn’t want to be but thought they had to be to get the result they wanted, eventually became that someone else. They thought they could pretend without being influenced by that pretending.
One of the interesting films on deception, influence and persuasion is the Leonardo Dicaprio film Catch Me If You Can which is based on the true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday forged millions of dollars worth of checks as well as successfully pretended to be a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.
As well as being a great story of someone living a fantasy lifestyle for real, it shows how reality catches up. It shows how unhappy the main character eventually becomes.
It’s the question of are you building a foundation of sand if you are building any foundation at all in your life? Any ethical builder knows the stronger and deeper the foundation the higher you can go up.
And the more you invest in yourself the more value you have.
This is the fundamental currency of relationship - understanding that you have real value to the right person. And the more value you develop the more value you have to that right person.
The right person being someone who is equally unique and different as you are - not the same but different - this is one of the typical mistakes choosing someone who you think is like you or who you aspire to be rather than someone who is unique as themselves but is a perfect fit to your uniqueness.
The question is do you embrace and value your difference or try to hide it under a mask of “fashion” trying to fit in like everyone else?
Most people want to fit in and be normal - yet a recent survey by Gallup shows only 13% of people are emotionally invested in their work. So what is normal (the 87%) is being unhappy.
It’s where you are different, where you are not normal, that are your real strengths you need to grow and nurture. This is how you build your unique value.
It’s how you build attractiveness.
The more you invest in yourself and the more you develop your uniqueness the more attractive you are to the right person.
And the better you feel about your difference, that you see it as your strength, your beauty, the more you naturally communicate that positive good feeling.
Upgrading NLP - Running Their Neurology
Richard Bandler says NLP is an attitude and methodology. But who is teaching the attitude?
Not Richard, not the other co-founder John Grinder or their student Robert Dilts.
Not any of the other trainers of NLP who have come from them… So how come?
NLP is an epistemology or way of thinking.
And because it’s a way of thinking how many people get stuck is they get locked into a Thinking Thinking Loop™ where they are thinking about their thinking.
Let’s be very clear this isn’t bad in the sense that’s it’s good, useful and helpful to be able to think about your thinking.
But getting lost in a Thinking Thinking Loop takes you further away from taking action and taking action is how you get results.
High performance is really about experience but you’d never know that from how most people teach NLP because they’ve left out the attitude.
To perform at a high level you understand that the Feeling Thinking Loop™ starts with feeling which primes your thinking. So to be thinking in a highly positive way where you can achieve results you get there through priming that thinking with the right feelings.
Let choose a simple example to illustrate where you might want to perform at a high level, let’s say you have to speak or present to a group of people. I’m choosing this example very intentionally because public speaking is the biggest fear for many people, and it could be in front of a group, to your colleagues at work, an interview, a presentation that you are giving - there are lots of scenarios where if you can perform at a high level when you are speaking you get the result you want whether that is just looking good in front of your colleagues to getting the job or making the sale.
Most coaches who’d try to help you with this would be working with how you perform and how you think about your performance. NLP is just one type of methodology that coach may use, if you needed someone more therapeutically orientated you might see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
But your thinking is driven or primed by how you feel.
Let’s look at our example of public speaking thinking about it from the viewpoint of the Feeling Thinking Loop - if you are not a confident public speaker how will you feel about speaking to the group, giving the presentation, attending the interview?
This is key because this is what you communicate.
So if you are feeling nervous, afraid, nauseous, worried, shaky, uncertain. You communicate this.
AND it’s also true if you are feeling overconfident, arrogant, or that you don’t care. You also communicate all of this.
The secret of great speakers is they talk about something they are passionate about so they communicate that feeling of passion.
You can use this in the Feeling Thinking Loop - how do you need to prime yourself (what do you need to feel) to think and get the results you want from that thinking?
If you let Fear and Anger stay in control (you have seen Pixar’s Inside Out haven’t you) what does that do to your thinking? You are not seeing the opportunities, the possibilities that are present for you because those negatived emotions inhibit you.
If you choose to feel positive emotions that prime your thinking you are more open to noticing the possibilities, the opportunities that are there.
This is how I’ve been describing how I use attitude here on this blog and in the work I do with clients - it’s your angle of approach to life. You can learn to prime yourself so you see the possibilities that don’t exist otherwise. Joseph Campbell said this in a slightly different way about when you “Follow Your Bliss” that doors open for you where there were no doors before.
You can upgrade NLP by using it on yourself rather than just on other people which its usually how it’s taught, as a set of tools. But are you using those tools like the proverbial weekend DIY enthusiast who puts up shelves only to have them fall down shortly after or do you become a craftsman or woman? Do you operate from the position of an artist? These are all questions of beingness - about who you are. About who is using the tools.
You become influential and persuasive by understanding how that works on you first. If you market or sell “stuff” you learn how you react to what other people try to sell you and you notice when they “try" that’s not the good stuff. But when you want to buy that’s profoundly useful information about what they are doing that you could be using yourself.
It’s how if affects your feelings which primes you to think: “I want that”.
How are they running your neurology - causing you to think and behave in the ways that they want?
You can learn to do this for yourself and run your own neurology - This is using NLP on yourself. Beginning to become more of who you want to be. The person that gets the results you really want.
It's about having an attitude of noticing for what is possible.
Because if you don’t do that you are limiting yourself, literally inhibiting yourself from seeing what opportunities you might be taking advantage of.
The Bad Evil Negative Persuasion Infection That You Are A Plague Carrier Of
Paul makes two very key points:
First, emotions organize — rather than disrupt — rational thinking. Traditionally, in the history of Western thought, the prevailing view has been that emotions are enemies of rationality and disruptive of cooperative social relations.
But the truth is that emotions guide our perceptions of the world, our memories of the past and even our moral judgments of right and wrong, most typically in ways that enable effective responses to the current situation. For example, studies find that when we are angry we are acutely attuned to what is unfair, which helps animate actions that remedy injustice.
Second, emotions organize — rather than disrupt — our social lives. Studies have found, for example, that emotions structure (not just color) such disparate social interactions as attachment between parents and children, sibling conflicts, flirtations between young courters and negotiations between rivals.
The key is how emotions organise us. This is why my Feeling Thinking Loop™ is Feeling Thinking not Thinking Feeling.
You organise yourself for success by priming your thinking with the right feeling.
How most people stop themselves and get stuck is if you are not aware that you are running the Feeling Thinking Loop you believe that external circumstances cause your feelings.
So if you read your horoscope in the newspaper and it says you are going to have a great day you feel great.
If you get on the train, tube or bus and it’s running late and overcrowded you feel bad. And you get into work miserable and unhappy you communicate this to everyone around you.
And of course this literally infects everyone in your team.
You’ve become the plague carrier that has negatively influenced and persuaded your team to perform poorly.
You go home carrying this infection and piss off your wife or husband and shout at the children and make them cry.
All because you believe external circumstances make you feel a particular way.
The worst persuasion and influence is what you do to yourself.
But it’s also true as we were talking about last time that the best persuasion and influence is what you do to yourself.
It’s about learning to run your own life and stepping into the position of the adult who decides who is in control. If you are an 11 year old like Riley in the Pixar film Inside Out yes your emotions are in control. But is this still true of you when you are 20, 30, 40, 50 or older?
You can use emotion to empower yourself like I teach with the Feeling Thinking Loop or let emotion disempower you and not just mess up your life but those you work with and supposedly love and have chosen to spend your life with.
Change your attitude and you change your life.