Secrets To Persuasion And Influence

Secrets To Persuasion And Influence

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about the secrets to influence and persuasion.

First a quick update:

“Stress – the link between life changes and illness & injury”
Major life changes obviously contribute to stress but did you know that multiple major life changes within one year correlate with a higher risk of injury or illness? Complete the Stress Scale and determine your risks

Now, let’s talk about the secrets to influence and persuasion.

In my audio book, “The New Science of Persuasion…for men only”, I reveal that the number one secret to all influence and persuasion is “understanding the other person.” (The second secret relates specifically to understanding women but I won’t reveal that here; it’s in my book.)  Understanding the other person, relates to knowing clearly what motivates the other person; their needs, desires, goals, interests, etc. In other words, the emphasis shifts from trying to get someone to understand you to you trying to understand them. By appealing to the other person’s needs and motivations, you can influence or persuade him or her more successfully.

Regardless of your gender, position, job, socio-economic background or nationality, we all communicate feelings and attitudes three ways:

  • Non-verbal – With our bodies –55%
  • Tonality – Our tone of voice –38 %
  • Words/content- Our choice of words –7 %

For example, the words “I love you” can have two opposite meanings.

When someone is mad at you, stands over you with hands on hips, and says sarcastically, “I love you”, you know that person is trying to say to you how much he or she dislikes you or even resents you. On the other hand, when a person stands close to you, gently looks you in the eyes, touches you on the arm, and with a warm, sincere voice says, “I love you”, you know that person is saying how much he or she cares for you.

Whether we open our mouth or not, we are always sending out messages and communicating.

We also receive and are influenced by messages and communication from our environment, from all around us. These messages and stimuli can be in the form of written words, advertising, images, sounds, smells, etc.

Many people believe they are immune to the messages and their environment because they feel they have conscious resistance and awareness. But this is false.

Our subconscious mind without our conscious awareness absorbs all sorts of stimuli and suggestions and it responds accordingly.

For example, research reveals that a subtle background aroma of cleaning liquid in the air influences people to be cleaner and tidier than they normally would be.

In 2008, Yale University Psychologists conducted two studies with shocking findings:

  1. People judged others to be more generous and caring if they had just held a warm cup of coffee and less so if they had held an iced coffee
  2. People are more likely to give something to others if they had just held something warm and more likely take something for themselves if they held something cold

The students briefly hold either a warm cup of coffee or iced coffee as they wrote down information. They were then given a packet of information about an individual and asked to assess his or her personality traits. The participants assessed the person as significantly “warmer” if they had previously held the warm cup of coffee rather than the iced cup of coffee.

The conclusion here is that the subconscious mind receives a message of ‘warmth’ via the physical touch of the warmth of the coffee and then it responds by viewing and sensing its surrounding or in this case the person as warm. Thus, our environment and messages influence and affect us. And we often are not aware of it.

In another study, college students completed a scrambled-sentence task, in which some words repeatedly mentioned the idea of aging – sentences contained words such as “wrinkled, gray, retired, old and wise.” Researchers then watched the way the students walked out of the room, and the students who had engaged in the task involving the words of aging walked out much slower than those students who did not receive the same sentences. Interestingly, the students said later that they were not consciously aware of the words and ideas about aging. Thus the message and influence occurred at a subconscious level.

In another European study, college students who were asked to think about professors scored better in the game “Trivial Pursuit” than did the students who were not asked to think about professors. And those students that were asked to think about soccer hooligans performed worse than those who were not.

This action is called “seeding” – the implant of a seed of suggestion that sets up how we will respond to the task and people at hand.

Here are some other ways that our environment influences our decisions:

  • We pay taller men higher salaries
  • Men find women dressed in red more attractive
  • Women find a man to be more attractive if he has other women smiling at him. This is true even if women look at a photo of a man’s face surrounded by other photos of smiling women.

Why and how does the environment affect you?

The answer is “Thin slicing.”

The subconscious mind focuses on keeping you safe and comfortable and it needs to do this in a fast manner to aid you to make quick and critical decisions. Accordingly, it takes one small element of reality, one thin slice, and generalizes it and then determines what behavior to adopt.

Thus, we can influence an outcome and a response by a person or ourselves through the environment we create: the words, images, thoughts, feelings, sounds and smells we create or establish.

Studies also reveal that patients heal faster if during surgery the doctor speaks positively about the operation, recovery and outcome; yes, even while the person is asleep under anesthetic.

If you want a person to feel good, use positive words, images and thoughts from the outset of the interaction. For example, consider how you would feel and how your evening would turn out if your date began the conversation with words scattered throughout the conversation such as “bad, stupid, disappointing, down, depressed, pointless, hurt, despair, tired, sad, nauseas, sick, ill, etc. How do you feel just reading this?

Accordingly, become aware of your environment because it is influencing and persuading you all the time. What images, photos and posters do you have in your house? What feeling do you experience around them? Be careful not to seed your mind before bed with negative thoughts by dipping into the news or watching negative films or thinking disempowering thoughts. Be aware and seed your mind in the beginning of the day with positive thoughts, images and sounds. The same principle applies when pitching, making presentations or even going out on a date or trying to be romantic with your partner. What seeds are you sowing?

To master the skills of persuasion and influence for dating, relationships and other social interactions, use my audio book “The New Science of Persuasion…for men only” or my book, “Hypnosis and the Science of Seduction”

If you would like to comment on this newsletter, visit my blog. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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7 replies
  1. Avatar
    Pablo says:

    Nothing to say, just that the influence of our environment affects a lot, I’ve had round about 3 funerals in the last 2 months, and I can say, I’m stupidly scared and this news letter tells me why.
    It’s incredible what our mind can do to us.

  2. Avatar
    Jennifer Rodriguez says:

    Hi Patrick,
    This entry post was an eye-opener and I have to say that I agree with you. Most shocking was to realize that even if you believe you have a conscious resistance to your environment, you are still influenced. Have you ever heard of that quote that goes, “Environment is often stronger than willpower”? Would you say that this explains why people living in ghetto conditions can often never get themselves out of it? Or public schools built in a military, institutional style tend to have low-performing students?
    I think your article shows how much we can not afford to downplay the importance of environment.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      yes, Buckminster Fuller was right when he said “Environment is stronger than will power.” Everything and everyone around us influence us. Our environment is constantly bombarding us with messages – conscioulsy and subconsciously. You cited an example that people living in ghetto conditions can often never get themselves out of it. I would use the phrase “can almost never get out of it” because some people have done that and changed their lives. But yes, generally it is true that the ghetto is like a disease that envelopes and cosumes everyone in its path and way. And the reason most people who live in the Ghetto cannot get out is not limited to the fact that they have less opportunities that most other people. No, the other reasons people in ghettos often are born and die there is because they find it hard to envision anything else – their persistent and constant visual is the pain and bleakness around them. Their willpower is in battle with the pounding stimuli of the ghetto environment. This leads to a similar principle: “imagination is stronger than willpower.” We often think that brute force is powerful and invincible but that is not true. I have a 20 foot think sturdy plank of wood – 2 feet wide and three inches thick. I place it on top of a brick at either end of the plank and ask you to walk across it. Of course, this is easy. Now I raise the same plank 20 feet in the air and place it on a column of bricks at either end. I now ask you to walk it. How do you feel? Most people freeze up. Why? They subconsciously imagine falling and they refuse to walk it or shake and shudder at just the thought. And yet, the plank is just as sturdy at 20 feet in the air as it was at 1 foot (assuming there is no wind.) Again, the key is that imagination is stronger than willpower. So, remember to surround yourself with an evironment that suports your imagination, thoughts and feelings in the way that you want!
      All the best,

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