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Category Archives for "Influence"

The 10 Best NLP Books To Learn More About It (2018 Update)

The following list offers the top 10 NLP books I recommend you read. Once you're done, you will have a VERY solid grasp on the field.

This list contains beginner level material that can serve as an introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It also contains more advanced material that offers important distinctions to make a serious difference in your business career. 

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Covert Influence Part Deux

Yesterday I just whet your appetite.

Today I want to go a little deeper inside the notion of influence and persuasion.

More specifically, I want you to feel how persuasion actually happens much less in the words that you use than you might think.

You have been persuaded countless times in your life without understanding how it happened.

You also have been persuaded countless times by people who weren’t trained in persuasion.


Pause for a second and make sense out of the last two sentences you just read.

Especially the last one.

“[…] weren’t trained in persuasion.”

They were not trained.

As such, they were not using a technique.

How could they?

However, they used, albeit intuitively, a particular pattern that persuaded you.

This is critically important in understanding modeling in NLP.

You’re not looking for techniques. You’re always looking for patterns.

You always asking: “What just happened here?”

More importantly: “What just happened (naturally) here?”

You want to know what’s going on without people being aware of it, and without people really “intending” it.

Of course, if someone persuaded you without knowing what they were doing, they definitely intended to get compliance from you.

But they probably didn’t intend to use a specific technique to elicit a specific reaction.

What they did was not the product of design.

Keep that in mind. Always.

————- / SIDEBAR / ————-

Getting back to our ducks…

If persuasion doesn’t happen so much in words, where does it happen primarily?

In intonation.

Intonation conveys the emotion that, when in rapport, elicits the right state in which the gateway of influence pops open.

Watch this 3:45 bit by George Carlin.

Between 2:30 and 3:00, pay attention to the intonation he brings into the communication.

Try saying those exact same words with a flat voice.

No effect whatsoever.

The intonation leans the message towards a particular meaning, which in turn elicits a specific state.

Without that intonation, forget the state.

In our next message, more on that.

The Most Covert Kind Of Influence

Every Saturday afternoon, I lay in bed and watch Real Time with Bill Maher.

It’s pretty much a scheduled, religious event.

I tell everyone to forget I exist Saturday afternoon.

Totally focused and dedicated me time. Relax is the order of the moment.

That hour is spent laughing.

Not that I’m a big fan of Bill Maher or that I agree with what he has to say.

But I always find it hilarious to see an intellectual fencing match between smart opponents. Extreme views always welcome.

And that brings me to comedy and how incredible it is as an art.

I’m talking clever, intelligent, crafted comedy.

While I sometimes enjoy “stupid,” I generally prefer the kind of comedy that makes me laugh because of the comedian’s observation/slant of something that we experience every day.

Perception is what it’s all about.

How many different ways can you look at something and then have the balls to say what you’re thinking?

How about taking it even more to the edge?

George Carlin still remains my all-time favorite. He’s the king of the hill and will be tough to unthrone.

Master of the craft. Fine, fine, fine comedy developed and distilled over hours of editing and shaping perception. Then twisting it into a new angle.

Want to know which part of your body is most ticklish?

Your brain.

Ideas and situations can keep you laughing for hours, sometimes days.

And when you’re laughing, you’re engaged. Big time.

It’s the most covert kind of influence you could ever exert.

When you get someone to laugh, they become open.

Everything is then possible.

If you have the bandwidth this week, watch this:

Pure intelligence and design. And craft.

Get better at generating laughter. You’ll be surprised at what happens.

How Not To Use The Meta Model


Coaching threads are going wild on Voxer. It’s unbelievable the impact you can have in less than ten days.

One thing that’s coming up again and again in the work that Justin and I are doing is the language that people use to describe their business and the challenges they face.

In everything that we do, we try to draw out as accurately as possible the model of the world of the people participating in those coaching threads.

Since we only have voice available, we rely on the words they use, along with their intonation, to build that model.

That’s were the Meta Model comes in handy.

But not in the way it’s usually taught.

If you’ve read anything about NLP, you’ve of course come across the Meta Model. It’s the first big model Grinder and Bandler put out back in the 1970s.

Traditionally, NLP trainers teach it to their students using the “Meta Model violation” and “Meta Model challenge” formats.

While this paradigm may work sometimes in therapeutic encounters, it usually does not in the real world and everyday life.

Try to use a Meta Model challenge when you’re talking to someone you barely know.

They might just punch you in the face — even if they don’t, they’d probably want to.

It’s a terrible structure to use in other contexts.

When you shift the intonation of your question, you move from a challenge to an inquisitive question.

And when you do, you completely change the ball game.

This weekend, play with your intonation.

Go up. Go flat. Go down.

Play your voice like a Stradivarius.

Same words. Different sounds.

Have a good weekend, and I’ll talk to you on Monday.

PS: By the way, the First Trance process is still available at a low price. You may want to get it before the price goes up.

Right here:


How You Can Read People’s Minds (But Not In The Way You Think)

What Are Accessing Cues?

When people are thinking, they demonstrate light and subtle behaviors that help them engage the appropriate sensory representational system. For example, moving their eyes, changing their vocal intonation, physical position, breathing and gestures.

Why is that useful to you (and any other NLP-trained person)?

These behaviors actually help you track which representational system someone is using to express themselves or to respond to you or to a situation. While they don’t necessarily reveal “what” the person is thinking, they will certainly help you figure out “how” the person is thinking about it.

Stop for a second a consider any interaction you may have had with people. Can you remember anyone ever:

  • being almost out of breath;
  • making noises or onomatopeic sounds;
  • making faces;
  • using particular gestures like raising their hands and moving them around;
  • scratching themselves;
In and of themselves, these behaviors might have no meaning whatsoever. But by calibrating, you can uncover what mental processes are associated with any or all of them for a particular individual.

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Recursive Operations And Words

I love recursive operations and words.

Nerdy, I know.

GNU = Gnu’s Not Unix

Using the Milton Model to teach the Milton Model

Using the Street-Smart Results Formula to create the Street-Smart  Results Formula

Recursive operations, when used in NLP, fulfill a critical purpose: they enable you to teach patterns to the unconscious while the conscious mind is busy.

At any point in time, you’re following two tracks at once: the conscious track and the unconscious track.

A skilled trainer will construct learning experiences in stereo.

So at any point in time, what might appear to you as trivial or pointless will actually be operating at a level you haven’t come to expect.

In order to perceive it all, you have to develop your two-track mind.

Tomorrow, the Street-Smart Formula goes live.

It will take care of one of the tracks.

The other, we’ve been working on all along.

Incidentally, if you to see a master of the two tracks in action, watch the video below. The whole program lasts 48 minutes and it’s entirely worth it to watch it all.


Leveraging NLP In Sales

Pundits would have you believe that you have to be an extremely sophisticated Practitioner to use NLP techniques in sales.

For one, just leveraging the Number One NLP Skill You Must Master will take you about 90% of the way — in fact, Richard Bandler has said so himself.

Other than that, the 80/20 rules mostly applies. 20% of your skills will produce 80% of the result.

Check out this post on applying NLP in sales. I think the author did a good job of pointing out some easy and highly effective skills you can leverage during the sales process.

Easy. Think easy and fast. There’s a lot of NLP showmanship going around. Doesn’t mean it’s the most effective.

There are also lots of “martial arts” movie that display spectacular and elegant moves. Those moves will lose in a street fight every time.

Think underground. Think simple. Think effective.

You can learn and master NLP fast.


When You Read This Great Post On Covert Communication…

Tom O’Connor did it again…

It’s funny, this NLP school that Michael Breen is spinning off…

Well, it’s not exactly a spin-off. The thing is, Breen has an uncanny way of bringing NLP down to earth, stripping it away from all the jargony and pseudo-mystical BS that beginners and con artists wrap around it.

Check out this post.

It’s brilliant.

Well, maybe not.

It’s trippy. For that reason alone, it’s worth you taking a spin to read through it.

Or skim it.

Any way you choose to assimilate what he’s written, just click through and have a glance. Then let it soak in.

Oh, and don’t try to figure it out too fast. Some part of you already will have picked up on the necessary bits to give you a brand spanking new piece of skill.

Even my two-year old son has Christmas lights figured out.

He came to me tonight saying: “Daddy, Santa Claus is going to bring me a present, now!”

Zen wisdom from kids…

I wonder if someone will give you a future, then…

Check out Tom’s post:

NLP Q&A With Subscribers: What Is A Leverage Induction?

After answering Sally’s question, I’ve been receiving all kinds of questions from beginning NLP students.

Mike now wants to know what a leverage induction is.

First of all, I’ll stress that we’re moving from NLP into Hypnosis here. To me, there’s a big distinction between NLP and Hypnosis and I want to make sure you know it.

You can read the definition of NLP I’ve posted on the blog and various posts that nuance that definition. So how do I define hypnosis?

To me, hypnosis is a communication protocol you utilize to engage someone’s unconscious mind. It’s a specific way of communicating that targets your messages to the unconscious.

And that’s where leverage inductions come into play.

A leverage induction is a type of instant induction, ie inductions that alter your subject’s state usually in less than 5 seconds.

What distinguishes leverage inductions from other types of instant inductions such as pattern interrupts and so-called power inductions?

Leverage inductions generally consists of building response potential and then ramping into deeper altered states. This means that the hypnotist first takes control of the communication and begins to guide the subject with apparently inocuous instructions. Once the subject is used to obeying those commands, the hypnotist shifts gears and moves into deeper states.

As usual, reading an example will make it much easier for you to understand this.

The hypnotist might ask the subject to first start slowly lifting her arm, until her extended hand is pointing straight forward. Notice how the instruction leaves the subject in an extra-ordinary situation (how often do you lift your arm forward and keep it that way?) and distracts the filtering power of the unconscious mind.

Because of this “new” behavior, conscious guard now focuses primarily on maintaining the gesture. The hypnotist leverages this to start giving suggestions to the unconscious and move the subject into deeper states.

Here’s a great example on video.


A Few More Words On Calibration In NLP

Nigel from NLP Demystified wrote a few days ago about calibration. He said:

So one explanation of calibration is the detection of  some repetitive pattern in some context. […] This is a simple definition, as it should be. What is noticed repetitively and is then verified is the result of calibration; noticing repetitive patterns of behaviour/actions etc.

That’s a very useful and succinct definition of calibration. In the context of NLP, I’d add that calibration consists of associating a verifiable, external behavioral pattern (such as winking, wriggling the nose or breathing in a certain pattern) to an internal state or thought pattern.

Based on that definition, you calibrate the internal state based on the external behavior or response.