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Category Archives for "Influence"

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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