Why NLP Coaches should Learn Covert Persuasion

Rintu BasuCoaching4 Comments

This article is about how we can unconsciously install new behaviour, thoughts and ideas into other people. By the end of this article you will have a good idea on some of the techniques hypnotist use to bypass you conscious faculties and install particular thoughts, ideas and behaviour.

NLP Anticipation Frames

Before we start did you notice my clumsy attempt at getting the reader to read this next line of the article? All I did was sent a benefit statement in the first paragraph about what they will get from reading the rest of the article. Obviously it won’t work with everyone and that is the best thing about that opening paragraph. The only people it will capture are the people that are interested on some level.

Using Dissociation

Did you notice that in the second paragraph I differentiated you from the reader? I did this so you would feel like you are now an observer in what is happening to the reader. It is easier to see what is happening to someone else when you are stood outside of the situation rather than in the middle of it. So even though you are both a reader and an observer in this situation we focused on looking at this from an observer’s perspective so you could easily see what was happening to the reader.

Covert Trance Inductions

Did you notice that I have now directed your thoughts to thinking about yourself both as the person in the situation and as an observer in the situation? This is a great trance tool. By imagining the situation from both points of view at the same time people need to do a lot of internal processing. That means their focus of attention goes further inside to process what is going on. Perhaps like a meditative, contemplative or daydream state.

Bypassing Conscious Resistance

In the last part of the last paragraph I started talking about other people again. This was an attempt to bypass your conscious resistance to doing the same actions as these “other people”. Oddly when people know that something is happening outside their conscious awareness they tend to get hyper sensitive and often resist even when what we are doing is specifically for their benefit.

NLP Rapport Building

Have you now noticed that I am building a situation that is us, you and I working together for the benefit for some other person? What that is an attempt at doing is building rapport. You will also have noticed that every stage I am taking a meta level and deconstructing some of what is going on in this article. So at every stage of this you have been looking at this article from at least two perspectives and sometimes more.

Using Association

Obviously the problem with an article is you are reading my thoughts frozen in time and I am writing these thought based on an interaction with a hypothetical version of you in my head that is possibly way off who you really are. But my guess is that this article is working anyway. My evidence for that is that you are still reading it.

Perceptual Positions

What I have done is taken you on a whistle stop tour around one of the most powerful NLP models I have ever used. It is called perceptual positions and it is a great tool for:

  • Coaching yourself or others
  • Giving feedback to yourself or others
  • Installing new behaviour in yourself or others
  • Modelling new skills, changing beliefs and behaviours

You can search my site for lots of articles applying perceptual positions and a quick google search will give you lots on different perspectives on it so let me just simplify everything a little.

In any given situation there are at least three different perspectives on the situation. There is the first person perspective – looking through your own eyes. There is a second person perspective – looking through the eyes of the person you are dealing with. And there is a neutral observer perspective that is outside the situation and looking in on it.

Generating New Behaviours

Have a skim through the early part of the article so far and notice how many different perspectives and variations of perspectives we took. In this article the only real objective was to show you how easy it is to take someone through different perspectives on an issue, how you can quite quickly separate the person from an issue and how you can drop them into trance as well. The question you probably have in your head right now is, “Why and where would I do this?”

Applications for Coaches, Trainers Hypnotists and Therapists

If you are a coach, therapist, trainer or hypnotist this is a great skill to develop. Imagine a situation where someone have come to see you with something they want to change about themselves. For the sake of an example let’s take a phobia.

Before I even know what the phobia is I could possible take the client through several different perspectives that might include anything from through the eyes of others, a hypothetical version of them self that has already let go of the phobia, the person they were before they had the phobia, the person they want to be, an imaginary person with a different belief structure or even an observer coach that is coaching them through changing their mind set.

Businessman congratulating himself

Before We Start

I can do all of this “before we have even started” any session to deal with the issue under the guise of just understanding why they phoned me. I can even do a lot of this without knowing even the generic nature of the call.

When I did a lot of client work I have tested this exact idea. Sometimes when I was called I would just introduce myself then launch into a metaphor containing several tools that I use around this concept. Once I got to the end I would ask them what they had called for and quite often they would say what the issue was and then say that it does seem like it is worth bothering with any more.

“Why Do I Want to Do This?”

(By the way before we start have you noticed I have switched this subtitle to being in quotes and asking a question as if you had asked it? Earlier I suggested that there is a question that you might have in your head and put it in quotes so now I can just use quotes and have questions in first person. If you didn’t have the question in your head I am very strongly putting it there for you…meanwhile back at the point.)

The other question you might have around all of this is why do this covertly outside the session? I don’t know if you have noticed how much people change when they are “doing the work”. Especially if that work is about a problem. People see their problems through their own eyes. Often it is like they construct a box from the problem, climb inside and close the lid.

From the outside you have a much better and often more resourceful perspective on your problems. This is why it often is much easier to see solutions for other people’s problems. When a client walks in through the door often the very nature of discussing the problem entrenches the problem further.

“Now that I Know This How How Will I Use It?”

I have found people are much more willing to let go of the problem when they don’t know that they are “working on their problem”. The applications for this are huge…not just for client or training work but anywhere where you want to install new ideas, beliefs and behaviours.

Now I am not going to suggest lots of applications because I don’t want to get in the way of your thought processes. You might not think of lots of applications right now, although you might and that would be a happy accident. But my general experience of this sort of thing is that ideas will come to you at odd moments of the day when you are relaxing. Say when you are just sitting down to have a meal or watch the TV. Many people have ideas just as they are waking up or just as they fall asleep. However you do it, just do it the way that is natural to you. The only thing I would like to ask is that as soon as you get a few come back to this article and share them with the rest of us.

“Can I Delve Deeper on how to Use This Therapeutically?”

The short answer is yes. I am running a course where you can develop and apply these skills with your clients. Just click through and read more about it here:


4 Comments on “Why NLP Coaches should Learn Covert Persuasion”

  1. Brent

    I am not going to leave a comment as that is something you need to think about in the future when the time is right.

    excellent article


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