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NLP - Practical Tips for Influence & Results

Whether we realize this or not, the truth is that most of our communication with others is done with a view of influencing them to either do something that we want them to do, else understand our point of view. NLP gives us some very powerful but simple tips for enhancing our ability to communicate and influence people.

1.       Get your goal clear in your mind. What do you want? What response do you want? How would you know when you have achieved it? What will you see, hear & feel when you’ve got it? This applies equally to communication-oriented goals & other outcomes.

2.        Establish rapport. Meet people in their reality. Put yourself in their shoes. Rapport begins to emerge naturally when you accept people as they are, & let go of the need for them to change. (Also, make sure you’re in rapport with yourself – it’s no fun fighting your unconscious mind).

3.        Notice the results you’re getting. You can’t not communicate, influence & get results. They may not be the results you wanted, but they’re still results. And if you don’t like the results you’re getting then change your stimulus.…

4.         Vary your behavior to get different results. Most people do the same things over & over again & expect different results. Avoid this trap. The one with the most flexibility exerts the most influence.

5.         Focus on benefits. Ultimately, people move towards benefits they need or desire, & away from things they don’t want. They’re unlikely to go along with your plan if they don’t perceive a personal benefit in it (“What’s in it for me?”)

6.         Eliminate all neediness. Human beings have “neediness detectors”. The needier you are, the higher the price gets! Plus, a misplaced feeling of need can actually interfere with your own “goal-getting” process.

7.         Feelings are contagious. The emotions you are feeling are powerful communicators, & can significantly influence the results you get. If you want others to feel good, enthusiastic, positive etc, go there first yourself! 

8.         Take action. Action is the magic word. Belief plus action equals success. You will discover things by taking action that can’t be discovered in any other way.

9.         Expect a positive result. Presuppose success. Have an optimistic outlook. What the thinker thinks, the prover proves, so get the power of self-fulfilling prophecy working for you.

Here are top 7 foundation factors - these are like the rails that your language of influence train will run on:

1. Know what you want
2. Know what's important to the person you want to influence
3. Build & maintain rapport
4. Eliminate neediness
5. Tell stories
6. Develop your voice
7. Become fluent

Let's look at these individually:

1. Know what you want

Decide what outcome you want in your influence situation, & vividly imagine getting it. You don't just communicate with your words, but with your whole body, so vividly imagining your desired outcome lets your entire system know what it is you want. Also ensure that you are OK with getting what you want - after all, if you're not entirely sure that you want something, you'll communicate that uncertainty to the other person. When you are completely clear on what you want, you communicate the same message 'on all channels' (referred to in NLP as congruence).

2. Know what's important to the person you want to influence

If you want someone to do something, there's one question running through their mind: "What's in it for me?" (WII-FM). The answer to the WII-FM question will provide the motivation for the person you're persuading to do what you want them to do, but only on one condition: that the perceived benefits to them outweigh the risks, disadvantages & costs they perceive in going down that route. Note that I say 'perceived benefits' - if they don't perceive something as a benefit then, for purposes of persuasion, it isn't one. To get some insights into what benefits would be influential, ask yourself "What do they want?", "What's important to them?" & "What problems do they want solving?"

3. Build & maintain rapport

Rapport is the sense of ease & comfort you get with someone when you feel that you're speaking the same language & that you're on the same level. Rapport can give rise to feelings of trust & connection, & there are many methods to help rapport develop. The easiest way is to build commonness between you and the other. Commonness is the basis for 'Communication'.  

4. Eliminate neediness

Every person has a built-in 'neediness detector'. We can sense (intuitively) the difference between someone who wants us to do something because they have our best interests at heart, and someone who wants us to do something because they need us to. The more they need us to, the less we want to do it (or the higher our price gets).

When you're setting out to influence someone, eliminate all neediness. Instead, focus on how you can help the other person to get their needs met.

5. Tell stories

Until very recently (the last 100 years or so), most people couldn't read or write. The only way information got passed around was orally, via stories.

The reason why stories are able to influence is that they are able to bypass the conscious mind and directly reach the subconscious. Thereby the impact on the others mind is much deeper, since there is no internal conflict to oppose it. Think about it. Stories were the form by which all the key information about survival, tribal customs, rules and roles got passed on.

And how do we make sense of stories? By finding references from our own experience. Masters of influence are masters of stories. Great salespeople tell stories about people who bought things. Great leaders tell stories about people who led or were led. Stories provide a great backdrop for experimenting with the language of influence.

6. Develop your voice

Our voice is probably our most powerful tool as a persuader. Our ability to speak with flexibility and control can have dramatic results. We can practice learning to control & vary our…

- Tone
- Pitch
- Rate
- Rhythm
- Volume
- Timbre

and many other vocal qualities.

People don't just listen with their ears - they listen with their entire body, so bathe their body in soothing tones that make them feel good, & they will warm to your message.

7. Become fluent

Learning to use the language of influence is like anything else - it can require a little bit of practice before you really begin to notice great results. But practice can be fun - try things out in conversations, on the phone, face to face. Experiment with patterns & notice what responses you get. You may be surprised at just how quickly you can become really good at this! And the sooner you become fluent, the sooner you'll notice the big results you can get from your influence language mastery.




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