I started this website to answer all questions posed to me. Most times, the questions you ask are great. I’ve answered many of them. I recently received my favorite from Doug Schlesinger. “Teach me how to perform the Jedi Mind Trick.” Well, you might think this is a joke. Obviously I can’t teach a fictional mind trick. I can however teach you all the skills needed to convince people of most anything.
Welcome to the world of Neurolinguistic Programming! NLP is used in nearly every form of professional marketing you consume on a daily basis. It is a branch of psychology, first created, by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Most of the books and papers they wrote on it are out of print, but your in luck, because I’ve read them all.
NLP techniques are used to figure out how a person’s brain processes information. More specifically how a person:
To put it bluntly, if you get someone to take one test, you will be able to get them to do, or believe anything. Don’t believe me?
Neil Strauss, a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, decided he wanted to learn how to become a pickup artist. A guy that can pick up any woman. So, he went to the best and learned how it is done. He is now considered to be the best pickup artist out there. You can read about his adventures in a book called The Game.
In Strauss words, “By using high-powered marketing techniques, I’ve turned seduction into an effortless craft…” All of his techniques were formed from his knowledge of NLP. So, enough talk. You either believe me or you don’t. The trip will be long, but I think ultimately worth it.
We All Follow Maps
Through out our lives we create maps that we can follow unconsciously whenever a situation occurs. For example, when you first started to drive you no doubt found it to be complicated. Now you drive while talking on the phone, sorting papers and flipping through music. How is that?
The world hits us with an infinite number of stimuli and we perceive a small portion of it. What information we do notice is further filtered through our past experiences, beliefs, interests, values and assumptions. After all the filtering is done we create a map that we can follow, in the future. For example, an artist, zoologist and a child would see a zoo in completely different ways.
Where does NLP fit into all of this? NLP provides you with the ability to look at a person’s personal map. You can then emulate it, or change it (Indirect Hypnosis).
Let me briefly touch on a complicated subject in NLP. It’s called Meta-Programming. Meta-Programming refers to habitual patterns commonly used by an individual across a wide range of situations. For example:
There are about 40 further examples of how people see the world. If you understand them then you have access to the Meta-program that they follow. Better yet, if you understand your own programming you’ll be much more likely to make the right decisions. Much more on this later.
What is Rapport
How you feel emotionally, is based off of your internal responses to what you see and hear. By paying attention to what others say and project through body language, you decide how you will respond accordingly. How can you be sure you are projecting the right messages though? We have all had the experience of upsetting someone accidentally. Why is that?
The answer lies in our body language not jiving with what we say. Communication is based off the following:
So, what is Rapport? Rapport is the process you follow to build trust and an atmosphere in which people feel free to respond freely. You will know you have built rapport with someone if they start to copy your posture and gestures. You can use a process known as mirroring to build rapport with someone more quickly. When you meet someone who you want to build rapport with, subtly match there:
By utilizing this technique, you can build rapport quickly and test if they are willing to follow your directions subtly, before you ask them. You would do that as follows:
This technique can be used in any situation. If you are approached by someone that is angry, match their anger and then move toward a calm state. If you meet someone that is shy, match their shy state and then move them toward an excited state.
Quick Tip: You can also build strong rapport, by just eliminating one word from your vocabulary. Replace “But” with the word “And.” The word but can destroy rapport in seconds. When used, it implies you have heard what is said … but … object to the idea. “And” implies that you agree with their point of view and have a few they may be interested in as well.
The Eyes are the Window to the Soul
When we are asked a question, we find the answer by remembering something we say, heard, or felt. For a split second, we actually re-experience a past event. In NLP, the way a person stores information ( seeing, feeling, hearing, taste and smell ) is known as representational systems. We all prefer a specific representational system and if you can discover someone’s chosen system you’ll build rapport that much quicker.
Each one of us prefers to learn in one of the following ways:
You can discover a person’s chosen representational system by watching eye movements and/or asking questions. NLP uses shorthand to describe the representational systems.
Vr: Visual Remembered: Eyes move up and to your right, or stare straight ahead
Vc: Visual Constructing (Imagining something not seen before): Eyes move up and to your left, or stare straight ahead
Ar: Auditory Remembered: Eyes move to your right, sideways
Ac: Auditory Constructing: Eyes move to your left, sideways
Ai: Auditory Internal (Talking to Self): Eyes move down and to your right
K: Kinesthetic (Remembering an action or feeling): Eyes move down and to your left
These eye movement patterns are true for 85% of all people. The other 15%, just do the exact opposite. Some people think that left handed people do the opposite of right handers? To find out which representational system someone uses and which eye movement pattern they use just ask the following questions:
These questions are devoid of representational system leading predicates (I’ll explain this in a second). If you ask them, exactly as I have written them, you’ll find their representational system.
Representational System Leading Predicates
We use words to describe what we are thinking. If you analyze what predicates they use, you’ll shine a spot light on their preferred system. The following are examples to look for in speech:
Visual People Talk about
Auditory People Talk about
Kinesthetic People Talk about
Other Ways to Find a Persons Chosen Representational System
Visual People Normally:
Auditory External People Normally:
Auditory Internal People Normally:
Kinesthetic People Normally:
After you practice your ability of identifying representational systems, you will be much better at building rapport and persuading. After you have built rapport through body matching and voice tone, your next step is to speak using their chosen representational system. Then just set back and watch them suck up everything your saying with rapt attention.
More Ways to Discover Representational Systems
Visual People use the following words: look, picture, focus, imagination, insight, scene, blank, visualize, perspective, shine, reflect, clarify, examine, eye, focus, foresee, illusion, illustrate, notice, outlook, reveal, preview, see, show, survey, vision, watch, reveal, hazy, dark.
Auditory People use the following words: say, accent, rhythm, loud, tone, resonate, sound, monotonous, deaf, ring, ask, accent, audible, clear, discuss, proclaim, remark, listen, ring, shout, speechless, vocal, tell, silence, dissonant, harmonious, shrill, quiet, dumb
Kinesthetic People use the following words: Touch, handle, contact, push, rub, solid, warm, cold, rough, tackle, push, pressure, sensitive, stress, tangible, tension, touch, concrete, gentle, grasp, hold, scrape, solid, suffer, heavy, smooth
A Little Jargon
A common term NLP uses in describing representational systems is Sub-modalities. A list of sub-modalities are listed above under the heading Representational System Leading Predicates. If you refer to a representational system as the model used to map an experience. The sub-modality refers to the more specific characteristics of the model. For example, a visual person might say the picture in their mind is blurry. Clarity is a sub-modality, that can be represented as clear, dim or blurry.
I will slowly introduce the jargon of NLP, in the hope that you will be able to internalize this information easily. If you want to start putting these techniques into practice:
The Next Time
This has been a fun article to write. I hope it has been enlightening (Visual). Try to guess what my chosen system is by analyzing the predicates I use in my writing. Nobody just uses one, but everyone strongly favors one over another. Next time, I’ll talk about:
Till next time…