Yesterday we looked at a situation where I got stopped by the police and was about to get a ticket. We discussed the importance of getting in to state. Today we will discover how you can use pacing and leading ideas to build rapport whilst subtly undermining their arguments with Hypnotic Language Patterns. Click through and read the first article here:
The Story so Far
I accidently went through a red light whilst being watched by a couple of police officers. They stopped me and one officer got out to speak to me. Things looked fraught, there was no way that they could have missed my running the red light so I went into my persuasive state and planned how I would approach the problem.
The police car pulled in behind me and the officer in the passenger side got out and came towards my car. I could see that he looked very young, especially when compared to his colleague who was sat in the driver’s seat.
He also had in his hands his ticket book. There is no point in bring out your ticket book if you had no intention of writing a ticket. I knew I would have to use a lot of my knowledge and skills to get away from this one.
Using Social Status
Let me over simplify the world for a moment. We are social animals and we respond to hierarchical structures. So you could boil this down to in any given situation you could be equal to the person you are communicating with, one up from them or one down. This is just a simple way of looking at some of the systems in place when communicating and is similar to (but not the same as) a transactional analysis view of communication.
This is a useful structure to consider as you might already recognise:
- Being one down makes people more responsive to a plea for help or sympathy
- Being equal allows for freedom of discussion
- Being one up allows you to take charge of a situation
Obviously this only works to the degree that both parties are playing the same game. And there are interesting effects that you can create when thinking like this. For example when people are confused and looking for direction assuming a one up position can mean that people will automatically follow you without questioning your authority. I used to covertly coach some of the trainers I used to work with when I could see they were going off track.
I knew they needed bringing back but I needed to do that in a way that maintained their authority with their audience. What I would do is assume a one down position, and ask questions about their subject as if I were really curious. The questions were designed to either bring them back on track or alert them to the fact they had gone off. I was planning to control the conversation but from a one down position with this police officer. Often police officers will assume a one up role. They will abreact if you try to be anything other than the expected one down because it does not fit with their expectations.
In this case it would be useful to give the police officer an illusion of choice and to let him think he was in charge of the situation and everything was working as normal until I had a better handle on how I was going to get away from the situation.
So I got out of the car and approached the police officer with a big wide open palm stance asking him how I could help.
- Note, the custom in the UK is to get out of the car and approach the police. This strategy would not work in America for example where the police expect you to stay in the vehicle with your hands on the wheel. All I am doing is conforming to the police officer expectations by taking a one down role.
By playing to the officer’s expectations especially conforming to a one down role allows you to do all sorts of interesting things.
One of my favourite strategies that I love using is asking difficult and awkward questions from a one down position.
If you did the same behaviour from an equal or one up position it can seem threatening or confrontational. From a one down position it confuses people…and that is a way of taking people into trance.
Pay Close Attention to Detail
As I approached the police officer I noticed that his colleague was making no effort to get out of the car. The normal expectation would be that one officer would talk to the driver whilst the other would walk round the car checking for faults, roadworthiness or clues to criminal behaviour. But it was obviously not their intention in this particular case. I also noticed that the officer was fumbling with his ticket book.
The first thing the police officer said to me was something like, “Good evening Sir, Do you know why we’ve stopped you?” As soon as he said this several assumptions dropped into my head. The important point for me was that he said “we” not “I”.
The assumptions that I had were that this was a junior officer and the guy still in the car was his mentor. The junior officer was still learning the job and this will be one of the first times he had filled in a ticket with a real life “customer”. They saw the opportunity I had presented them with and the guy was out to practice his skills. On the face of it my chances of getting away had just decreased significantly if it had not been for one thing.
Developing Sensory Acuity and Utilisation
One of the biggest areas of persuasion skills that is often missed is noticing what the other person gives you and then using it to your advantage. This is why on any great persuasion skills course you learn to create a state that has observation and reaction built into it.
As part of the course you will learn how you can develop heightened sensory awareness to the point where you can often see the change in emotional states in people as you talk to them, understand their thought processes better than they understand themselves and some of their key motivations and drivers.
Revenge of the Sith
Just these few small observations were enough for me to drive a wedge right into this poor young officer’s ideas of how the world works, drop him into a heavy duty trance and shovel massive amount of post hypnotic suggestions into his head. Tomorrow I will tell you exactly how you can do the same.
In the Lancaster University Hypnotic Persuasion Skills Lecture Deconstructed I demonstrate all these skills on a live audience as well as show you how you can practice them and apply them in your own way with individuals and groups. Click through here to see the latest promotion: