Imagine, what would it be like to be able to communicate with clients, colleagues and even friends more effectively?… and perhaps, you can remember a time when it was effortless to get your meaning across so naturally? Because you already know how to…
Whenever you ask someone to ‘imagine’, you engage their imagination, helping them consider options and possibilities that they may never have thought of otherwise. It is a superbly effective way of getting past natural resistance (who likes being told what to do?) as you are not really telling them to actually do something, just to imagine it. For example, you might ask someone to imagine confidently sitting their exams using the knowledge they have studied, so avoiding directly suggesting or commanding them to revise. You may know that, to the brain, there is little difference between vividly imagining something and actually doing it… so already it can feel as though they are on the way there. Once you have done something once, it is easier to do it again, so vividly imagining something can be a big help (particularly if you add emotion to it, as it makes it more memorable too).
In a similar way, by leading them to consider ‘what would it be like?’, they are engaging in a directed view of the future (‘future pacing’). When something is familiar, it is easier for the brain to go there again, rather than have to do something completely new. Again, you are not directly telling someone to do something, merely here enquiring how something would be. This sends the mind off on an exploration to answer the question.
‘And’ can be used to link two concepts together, that may have absolutely no relationship otherwise, yet can imply similarity, or cause and effect. By linking in this way, the first concept can be something easily accepted, and because the first part is accepted, the second is likely to be received in a favourable way as well (think of NLP ‘yes sets’). For example, “you can start to relax now, and let tension completely dissolve away” or “You can start to use your language more powerfully, and this means you are already more confident communicating effectively”.
‘You’ gets their attention. Whilst using their name can get even more attention, at times, it gets too much conscious attention. Over-use can sound insincere, or flag up that you have an angle or motive, thus creating a heightened alert state (ever had a sales call where they keep saying your name over and over… it can seem a bit pushy and fake). ‘You’ doesn’t create the same level of alert, thus it is more helpful when generating interest, goals, desires and emotions.
‘Remember’ also activates the imagination and can help people to connect easily to past positive resources, strengthening the memory trace and can aid in building resources (when directed to do so, that is). Perhaps your friends can ‘remember’ the last awesome meal you all had out together, just before you suggest another night out… Maybe you can ask a client to ‘remember’ how they have learned so many positive things, such as walking, speaking, learning to write, so that they too can learn effectively for their final exams.
‘Because’ is another power word.
If there is confusion or doubt, our mind seeks an explanation. ‘Because’ slips past the critical part of our mind, as it offers us a reason (often regardless of the reason we give after the ‘because’). The next time you are faced with a queue at the post office, consider saying “Excuse me. May I go next, because I have to send a parcel?” You may be surprised at how often it will work. However, do note that this works best for small requests. Larger requests (such as asking the same question, but with ten different international parcels that will obviously take ages to send) are less likely to get past the critical factor, as the reason may not be sufficient to justify the action required of the person you are talking to. When talking to clients, ‘because’ can be used at any point during the therapy session. For example, “as you relax now, so you can relax even deeper, because you are already relaxing”, or, “whenever you come for a hypnosis session with me, you will be able to relax more easily than the time before, because you are already starting to relax now”. Do remember though to have a reason and avoid shutting the person down with the classic parental phrase “…because I said so”.
If you would like to explore more persuasive words and ‘language patterns’, it can be worth taking a look at our Hypnotic language cards [CLICK], because they are a great way to get to grips with using similar language patterns. Imagine what it would be like to master the art of persuasive language, and I bet you can think of some interesting uses for that already, remembering back to times where you’ve experienced the power of language in the past…
We hope this blog has been helpful, and if you have any questions relating to this blog or the subject of hypnotic and persuasive language, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!
– written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks