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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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