We are selfish communicators.
When we speak, we want people to understand our perspective. When we sell, we want to tell prospects what they should buy and why. When we lead, we want people to do what we say. When we debate, we just want everyone to know why we’re right.
We think that all that matters is the words we say, or rather, the meaning we intend to communicate with the words we say.
But if we really want to be heard, if we want our stories and our suggestions to make a difference, our idea of communication has to change.
This is important…
Everyone is living in their own unique reality. A special movie playing in each of our minds, based on what we see, hear, and feel, combined with our own past experiences, beliefs, values, and triggers.
And because we are never sure what movie is playing inside someone else’s head, we’re taking a gamble every time we communicate focusing only on the words based on our own internal movie. So how do you get around that?
How do you communicate in a way that projects the picture you want into someone’s mind, so that they take the action you want them to?
Here are 5 tips to help you communicate with more influence:
Rapport is a feeling of connection or harmony between people. And without it, you’re more likely to be misunderstood and met with resistance. So always start with building rapport, in any situation. It can be as easy as asking someone questions about themselves, talking about similar experiences, or even matching their physical posture and gestures.
In school we’re taught to just obey our teachers and trust that our obedience will be rewarded somehow. As if, one day, we’ll be faced with some dilemma and our ability to identify the correct parallelogram will be our only route to success… and we can’t be told what that situation might be, we can only hold on to the suggestion that we must know about parallelograms should that day ever come.
In real life, people are more likely to learn, to remember, and to obey if they understand why.
What problems are you solving? How will it benefit them? Where will they be able to use those benefits in the future?
Sometimes, when you have sufficient rapport and a good “why”, making a direct suggestion is good enough. Sometimes a direct suggestion will inadvertently create unconscious obstacles, and you’ll meet resistance. Some people will reject you solely based on the fact that you made a direct suggestion.
It’s important to structure your suggestion in a way that it creates the right projection inside someone’s mind, and I teach over 60 techniques to do just that and to minimize resistance.
After you’ve made your suggestion or presented your message, you probably don’t want it to be forgotten. That’s when future-pacing comes in handy. Future Pacing is the process of walking someone through visualizing what will happen in the future, like when they’ve completed the action you’re suggesting and will start to see the benefits of it. If they see, in their own mind, how good it will be to complete the action, or remember your message at key moments, they will be more likely to follow through to the fulfillment of that image.
These are some basic, and very general tips that can help in all kinds of situations. Consider how useful they can be for you.
If you’d like the opportunity to learn more and see how new strategies can work for you, join us at one of our live workshops!