One of the things that came up in my first Sublinfluence™ workshop, a few years back, was surprise that it’s even necessary in most cases.
For those who’ve never attended one, I teach a two-step process for persuasion. The first aspect, often overlooked in most situations where people attempt Influence, is what I call “Radical Understanding.” In a word, this is empathy — genuine, profound awareness of what the other person wants. This is one of the least discussed NLP skills and there are several well-established tools in the NLP toolkit that assist us in achieving this. My NLP students have said that at first glance, this just isn’t as “sexy” or “flashy” as many of the other techniques. I’d urge you as I have them to take a fresh look, as this is a massive skill that can benefit you even more than Influence, itself.
Still, if you prefer other means besides NLP, I’ve seen people access their “intuition,” “instinct,” “Higher Self,” “Collective Unconscious” — there are dozens of metaphors and ways of thinking about it. So, step 1 is to understand the other person’s subjective experience with profound accuracy. Even if you don’t choose to go any further than to create a strong sense in others that you understand, or “get” them, this is still valuable. The bottom line in all cases: We come to understand the other person’s subjective experience, often close to, or as well as they, themselves.
There’s a question that follows: Can you do anything to help? Do you have a solution to that problem or question, now that you truly understand? If no, perhaps recommending someone else who could, or to just leave it at that. For many people, it helps merely being heard and understood.
Of course, it also matters that they want, or are ready for, that solution.
And if the answer is “Yes, I know what to do” (and they’re open to it), we can move on to step 2, something I call “mind-warping persuasion,” often in the form of Sublinfluence™, subliminal influence. That’s the part my workshop attendees questioned.
“Why,” they said, “should you have to influence the other person, why should you need to persuade them to solve their problem? If you calibrated correctly, you truly have verified that you understand them and what they need–
“Shouldn’t they just do it? Why not just tell them the answer and get out of their way?”
Because as humans, we often won’t.
We have a number of reasons for this, the most common culprits are ego and inertia. Ego in that we don’t like to appear simple. We like our narratives, the stories we tell ourselves about our lives. To sum up a complex problem and have some “smart-ass” just tell us the answer makes us appear simplistic. To offer an overt solution to their conscious mind might be interesting to them, but for many people, annoying. Ever heard the expression, “I know what to do, but don’t always do what I know?” Or someone says they know the answer, they’re just not motivated enough to act on it. It’s like that.
In addition to ego, there is the problem of “a nice, comfortable rut.” When we settle into a problem, we can make it part of our lives, the way we think about ourselves incorporating it into our identity. When someone has done this, but it’s causing them stress, pain, and they want to change it, perhaps they’ve confided in you. You listen, you ask questions, observe them with full sensory acuity, and set aside any bias, any part of our Map of the World that could distort what we observe. We don’t stop until we have radical understanding.
I also mentioned making sure they really want it and aren’t merely venting, we calibrate their seriousness, their commitment, and the urgency to making this change, to addressing this issue. As important, they have approved our assistance. Seriously, I was also asked about this. But not everyone who complains about something wants, or is ready, to change it. There are some people who really like complaining, or found an issue about which they love to complain. Not only don’t they have any interest in changing this, they obviously are not agreeing to our help in changing it!
Now, with that understanding, we assess our skills set, identify what would help the person and–
Yes, it’s GO time! Now we have permission, and this is where step 2 begins. The fuller answer to my workshop attendees’ question is that we use all of our Sublinfluence™ skills to persuade the person to make the adjustment. It’s often necessary because though the person wants to make the change, they have a habit holding that old, crusty behavior in place. They want help changing it, just don’t know how. Since we do, we do what we know, but we do it with skill and stealth, assisting them beneath their radar. No point in bogging down the process, delaying their outcome, by debating it with their conscious mind.
As I’ve said in many ways, the test as to whether we were right (and they were being honest) about wanting the change is that after it’s happened, and they notice it, they will reach that Decision-Review. They’ll look at the change or the choice they made, consider first whether they approve, and if they don’t, then second they will be upset with you. In Sales, this is called Buyer’s Remorse, and you don’t want to waste any time there.
I will often teach in my classes or seminars in a very conscious, overt manner. But I do this with people who not only want the change, the information, or skills, but have paid for it and are highly motivated to achieve. Does it ever happen that someone struggles to integrate a change? And I subsequently slip beneath the radar? Definitely! So in those cases, I will practice what I preach and slide it right in for them.
Though remember that until you verify that the question or concern is both real and pressing, but also that the person truly wants it, you don’t have their permission. In such cases, using Sublinfluence™ can absolutely still work. But remember that Decision Review?
If they’re not happy with the result, they will certainly not accept responsibility for choosing it. They will question whom is responsible — who talked them into it. And that will produce an outcome you don’t want. Common sense might not like it, but if we’re not ready for a change, and someone “tricks” us into making it — no matter how much we demanded it — we will be unhappy.
Use your skills to truly understand, verify that you truly can help, verify that the other person wants that help, as part of radical understanding is knowing how the other person wants the solution. If you offer something that doesn’t work for them, doesn’t fit into their lifestyle, you may consider the problem solved, but they very well may not.
But once you’ve done all this, bring all those skills to bear, work with precision, respect and skill, and Sublinfluence™ the other person into their desired solution. For more detailed instruction, look out for my first of three planned Sublinfluence™ books, “(Sublinfluence™ 1) How to Win2 ™, Influence, & Get Your Way – Use NLP & Hypnosis to Create Mind-Warping Persuasion.” Publication of all three is set for this year.
Settling for minimal influence is so “pre-pandemic.” It’s time to seriously upgrade your tools!
Copyright © 2022 Chris Gingolph