One thing I’ve noticed recently is how much time people spend avoiding doing the important stuff. Whilst I’m seeing this in many people around me I recognise that this is a projection because I seem to be doing the same thing.
Using Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques on Yourself
This article is about one linguistic technique that I’m using to create better focus and start shifting myself in the directions I want to go.
Better questions equal a better life
I’ve often said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask of yourself. Sometimes it is not easy to find the right question and sometimes the answers are difficult. But this is a great way of destroying or motivating yourself. Let’s consider an example, compare the potential results from these two questions:
“Why do I always get in this mess?”
“What can I do to stop myself getting into these messes?”
The first question often is not useful. The answers could go in many directions including becoming a victim, justifying creating the problem and potentially blaming other people or the world. The second question is solution focused.
In the Advanced Persuasion Patterns programme we look at the technique that I call presuppositional questioning. This is all just about recognising that there are assumptions hidden in any question. Even the most simple question, “Why” presupposes that there is a cause. Knowing this means that you can use questions to set a direction in people’s minds.
The first question we asked presupposes an effect i.e. the mess, and that you “always” getting to it and it also presupposes a cause for this effect. The second question also has a lot of presuppositions but a key one is that there is something you can do to stop yourself getting into those messes. Accepting the question also means that you accept the presuppositions inherent in it. Once you’ve fully considered this idea you will realise that you have a powerful persuasion and personal development tool in your hands.
What do you have to say or do to ingrain this principle into your daily life?
Now that you have this idea let’s look at a couple of ways of using it. All you have to do is phrase questions so that accepting the question also accepts the presuppositions that you want the person to hold. Typical examples would be closing questions in sales such as:
- Would you prefer (to purchase) the blue or the black version? This presupposes that you prefer one to purchase.
- How would you like to pay for that? This presupposes that you are going to pay for it.
When used in this very obvious way they are just leading questions and may well upset your prospect. But a more subtle use of the concept would help to nudge your prospect in the right direction. Here is another sales example:
What benefits does this product have to demonstrate for you to want to buy it today? This sets up a conditional loop, if the prospect answers the question and then you demonstrate those benefits they have told you that those of the conditions for them to want to buy. Not only are they the conditions for them to want to buy but for them to want to buy today.
A Covert Trance Example
When answering the phone: Introduce yourself and then say “How can I help you?” This presupposes that you can help the caller. How about an extension of this that I sometimes use; “What can I do for you today that will put a smile on your face?” It might be a bit cheesy but it works and it can also be a great pattern interrupt.
In fact here is a little task for you if you are up for it. Next time you answer the phone after you introduce yourself say, “And what can I do for you that will have you bursting with delight?” or something suitably grand over the top cheesy, unusual and would make most people stop in their tracks. If you sense that they are pausing for thought (NLP Jargon Junkies: going into a trans-derivational trance) lower your tonality and say something like, “I think we are just about to have a great time with this telephone call.” Emphasize the words that are in bold as an embedded command. Change your tone back to normal, pause slightly and continue by saying, “How can I help you today?”
Those of you that are trained in hypnotic persuasion techniques will see the pattern interrupt, the post hypnotic suggestion, the nested loop and amnesia pattern as well as the and the embedded command that it is hiding. Try it and see what happens to the caller. If you want to find out more about how to use these techniques then Advanced Persuasion Patterns is the internet’s most comprehensive covert persuasion skills course.
Personal development and the art of asking good questions
Let’s look at a slightly different application. A big thing to recognise when studying persuasion skills is that anything that works with others also works with you. With regard to asking presuppositional questions practising on yourself is a great way of learning the structure of motivational questions.
One way of doing this is considering yourself as two people. The first is the subject and the person you want to do the action or the person you want motivated. The second is an independent person looking on the situation and asking the questions. The questioner might want to have this question in mind, “What is the one question I can ask that will get them motivated?”
Playing with this idea here are a few of the questions that I have come up with for me:
- What can I do for the next half hour that will really make me feel good about life the universe and everything?
- What three memories can I think of that will make me laugh out loud right now?
- What can I focus on now that will give me the best benefit?
- How do I feel about the fact that this task, in the long run, will make me thousands of pounds?
Just spend a moment thinking about what I am asking myself in this last question. The presuppositions inherent in the question does not ask about how I feel about doing the task. It presupposes that the task is worth a lot of money to me in the long term and asks me about that. Answering or accepting the question also accepts that presupposition.
Here is another: How good will I feel when I realise that I have almost finished this brilliant and inciteful article? Again notice the presuppositions I have to accept to answer the question. In which case I just need to leave you with a question.
What one thing can you do right now that will dramatically improve your life?
You will find presuppositional questions and hundreds of other powerful persuasion techniques in Advanced Persuasion Patterns. Click Through and Find Out More.