This article is about a subtle technique that an NLP Trainer can use to quickly take control of the direction of your thoughts, exclude things they don’t want you to think and include the things that they are programming you for.
I saw a trainer totally take over the thoughts of their audience masterfully the other day. In fact, they were so good at it, I don’t think they had even noticed that they had done it.
In short, they set up a discussion exercise about belief changes on FaceBook. But in the guise of ensuring the exercise ran properly, he put a few rules in place. All of this is normal and makes sense. But what if the exercise wasn’t the point, but installing the rules was?
Let’s Set Some Ground Rules
This is an important point so stop for a moment and consider the previous paragraph. In a moment I am just going to give you a way of inserting ideas, directing thoughts and taking over people’s minds without them noticing. In fact, they will be happy to allow you to do just that. The way of doing it is masterfully demonstrated in the previous paragraph. Read through it again and notice how easy it is to do this.
Check You Understand What has Happened to the Reader Twice
And if you look at the previous paragraph you will notice that I asked you to do something for me, gave you a benefit for following that instruction and then gave you the instruction again.
Now you might be thinking that this is a statement of the startlingly obvious. I gave you a benefit for doing what I asked then asked you to do it. But look again and notice that there is something else going on. Have a look past the obvious and notice how you can bypass the reader’s critical faculties by this approach.
This is More Than Just the Startlingly Obvious
Now, if you haven’t worked it out already in the previous paragraph I have given you another set of instructions. It seems like I am asking you to reread an earlier paragraph. But I have also added some things to include or exclude from your thinking. Imagine for a moment I asked you to do something that you were inclined to do anyway but I added some innocuous little point to it that was my real agenda. There is a good chance I could slip that past your conscious awareness as you do what you were going to do anyway.
Now imagine that I add what I want you to do / think / change as a minor part of a bigger set of instructions about something I already know that you would love to do anyway. Would you even notice the extra conditioning?
I don’t think you would even notice. I mean not now. Obviously, because you are now hyper vigilant to what I am doing and are probably on the lookout for it, you could find all the other instances of what I have done something similar in this article.
Could I Use This Idea?
It has already occurred to you that this happens all the time whenever anyone says anything. The trick is being aware of it and understanding how you can counter it if people are deliberately using a tactic like this against your best interests.
If you let me know that you are interested by responding to this article in the comments below I will show you how I easily subverted the original exercise and switched it to what I wanted to discuss instead.
Or, How Can I Use This Idea?
But if you really just want to know how you can get these skills for yourself then have a look at the Lancaster University Persuasion Lecture Deconstructed.
Here I use the skills on a group of student. Through what looks like a simple talk I take them through a series of exercises that channels them into doing what I want. Even after I showed them what I was doing they couldn’t help following along anyway.
Not only do you get to see the video of the lecture, it is fully transcribed and I have added extensive notes about what I am doing and how you can do the same in any area of your life. You can read about the course here: