NLP Sensory Systems and Persuasion Skills

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Here is part of an email I received from Jeff last week.

I love the stuff you sent me about peripheral vision, my presentations are getting better already. I have to give a talk to my board next week. I know my CEO and CFO are really visual but there are two or three people that I don’t know. Should I just do the talk in visual mode?

This article explodes some of the myths perpetuated some NLP Trainers and shows you have you an effective way of using your primary senses.

Exploding the Myths about Personality Profiling

There are several profiling techniques in NLP Training and they are often taught badly or abused. This seems to have happened to Jeff. I have explained why his comments are faulty thinking and can lead to some dangerous decisions and Jeff has now booked on to the APP Programme. This article demonstrates some of the misconceptions and how you can use some ideas around visual, auditory and feeling senses to create massive impact.

You are an (x) and that means (y)?

Many people waving their NLPness about will say something like, “I’m a visual so I am good at x,y,z and am hopeless at a,b,c…” Whenever anyone says anything like this to you just gently point out that all it means is that they have quite subtly completely missed the point.

Since NLP generally makes a big point about how you represent the world to yourself through your senses many NLP trainers seem to box people off by their sensory system (typically visual, auditory and kinaesthetic or feeling). The reality is unless you have some sensory defect you are taking in information from all your senses all of the time. The only difference is what you focus on consciously or unconsciously. An auditory person in a cinema will still see the pictures just as much as a visual at a concert will hear the sounds. And both of them will have feelings about what they are seeing and hearing.

We are dynamic beings and can switch our focus in sensory systems at a moment’s notice. When you think of your clients, subjects and audiences in this way you can find some great persuasion tactics, here are a few examples that I use:

NLP Training and Sensory Systems

People learn differently depending what mode they are in. You can process more information quickly in a visual mode. In a kinaesthetic mode you are likely to take things onboard in a very instinctive way. By using your language, verbal and non verbal cues you can lead your audience into different sensory modes. As a trainer I will lead my audience to the most appropriate mode for learning that particular topic or doing that particular exercise.

As a speaker you can move your audience through different modes to create more memorable presentations. Imagine painting a very visual scene for the future and then dropping your audience into the emotional impact of creating that future.

When doing coaching work I have noticed that people tend to describe their problem in one sensory mode. I usually ask them to represent it in a different mode as a pattern interrupt. For example if you can picture the problem and can’t see a way round the problem I might ask you how you would feel about breaking through the boundaries. I have two or three different techniques about switching modalities as a route to people exploring the solution to problems. Often I don’t get to any NLP intervention because this is enough to get them to see the issue differently.

By sequencing through different modalities you can very powerfully create charisma patterns, build follow and response cycles where you audience or subject get drawn in further to your conversation massively boosting your rapport


One final idea I use frequently is installing sequences of representations and attaching them to an anchor. For example when I am training a long course on the first day I will install a sequence in the audience that starts with sitting in a chair, imagining getting great results from the course, getting really excited and then popping into a relaxed learning state ready to start. I would then attach or anchor that to a piece of music. That way at the start of each session I can play the music knowing that people will sit down and go through that sequence and be ready for me to start.

How do I learn to do this?

All of these ideas and a lot more are developed fully in The Advanced Persuasion Patterns Programme.  Click through and find out more about it here.


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