This article is a demonstration of a particular persuasion techniques that is in subtle operation all the time. Once you know how it works you can use it to dramatically ramp up motivation in any situation.
The Difference that makes the Difference
Years ago when I was still a baby training consultant I had an experience that taught me a huge amount about the power of preframes. I was delivering some training to a chain of boutique hotels to all members of staff.
The first time I delivered the course it was to the leadership team covering that covered the whole chain. The course ran wonderfully, people got great results and it was a great experience for everyone in the room. The feedback I had was that it was the best course that they had been on.
The second time I ran the course it was to the senior management team in one of the hotels. The course was a complete disaster. I felt like I had to fight the delegates on every point. The delegates were not interested, motivated or engaged with the course. I tried everything that I had and just could not move them. The feedback at the end of the course was horrible reading.
I was completely confused in both cases I was delivering the same material inside the same organisation. After some soul searching, digging around and investigating here is what I realised caused such a divergence of results.
Preframing the Key Secret to Persuasion
Before I had won the contract to deliver the course I had spent time with many of the leadership team. They had specific ideas of what they needed and I had spent time with them exploring the possibilities and what they could achieve from the course. As a result I had group of delegates that were very focused and had a great understanding of not only what we wanted to achieve but how they personally would benefit.
What I didn’t know was that there was a lot of tension between two of the hotels and as a result a lot of miscommunication. The team were told that they were to have this training course imposed on them. They were not told what the course was about, how they could benefit from it or given any options about it. What they did have was rumours that the company was struggling, one of the hotels would be closing shortly and that they were still prepared to spend money on very expensive training consultants. Is it any wonder I struggled?
Let me make this completely clear. Everything was exactly the same except the preconceived notions of the delegates coming into the room and the results were dramatically different as a result.
Knowing this How Can I Use It?
The obvious things would be that you could preframe things so that they people are more likely to move where you want them to. This is an extremely powerful idea in any motivation conversation. Let me show you how I might preframe an exercise in a coaching context just for example:
“I want to try out an exercise with you. It’s okay if it doesn’t work the first time because there are loads of other things we can do and they all have a high probability of working. But I would just like to try this because in my experience people with huge (insert their values here, but if I don’t have them I will tend to run with…) imagination and creativity tend to respond really well with this sort of exercise and we could be finished in the next half hour.”
Okay, the truth is I would probably not be quite as blatant. Notice I have preframed out the possibility of failure and included the client into the group of people that respond to this exercise really easily. How about a dating example:
“I don’t do dates. There is all sorts of expectations and pressure with dates so sadly if that is what you want then I refuse. But how about we catch a coffee and chat sometime soon. In fact what are you doing tomorrow afternoon?”
Again here we have taken all the pressure and connotations of a date away. In terms of actions these are exactly the same as a date but now we are operating under a completely different set of frames. Here is a sales example:
“Some people get excited and buy automatically but I don’t want you to do that. I want you to buy through informed choice. So let’s go through the key benefits point by point making sure it all fits with where you are going. When you have matched everything with your criteria and realised the benefits to you outweigh the cost that is when you want to make the purchase.”
This time I’ve now preframed a whole set of instructions that I want the prospect to follow. Frames are incredibly powerful but also easy to use once you get the hang of them. Once you start to notice them you will instinctively start to use them consciously. Feel free to scan the beginning of this article again to notice the different frames I am placing on you as you start to read.
The pictures and idea were supplied by Robin TheFever McGinnis, a regular contributor to the Advanced Persuasion Patterns FaceBook Page and is another fantastic explanation of the application of frames. If you want to see hundreds of practical demonstrations of frames in use have a look at Persuasion Skills on Deconstructed. This course is a powerful accelerated learning course for hypnotic language patterns. Not only does it use patterns to teach patterns but we set a frame for you to deconstruct all the hypnotic Lange that you see used on the course. The end result is an incredibly effective learning device that can help you dramatically improve your use of Hypnotic Language.