Friday, May 30, 2008

How to Read Their Minds (Part 1)

How would you like to be able to:

  • Cause people to make certain decisions instead of others, or

  • Simply say the right thing and have it trigger crucial emotions and thoughts necessary for you to hear "yes?"

"Mind control" is nothing short of exciting. The results of well-done research glisten like gold. Influence as an art is useful. As a science, it is indispensable.

We scientifically tested and re-tested about 30 brand new and some old experiments of mind control and persuasion at Influence: Boot Camp..

Many of the tests and experiments we did are based upon mentalism routines I often use to open up a presentation. They captivate immediately. People are fascinated when you can read their minds, tell them what happened in their past...with precision. And they literally think that psychic powers are possible because Kevin has them...(but I don't - no more than you do!).

Can You Literally Read Minds?

Pat Dillon is a wonderful real estate trainer who works on the east coast. And he was one of our Boot Camp participants. A question came up about "talking to the dead", and "telling a person their future". Pat was kind enough to let me "psychically" tell him these things:

  • That the someone special he was thinking about who had died was indeed his father,

  • That he died in a hospital of heart attack,

  • It was in a different city but not one far from his own home,

  • That he wasn't able to be with him but desperately wanted to be and,

  • That til this day a small amount of resentment existed by Pat toward the person who was able to be there, his brother.

  • He really wanted to be there. He couldn't.

At that point of the "reading" I stopped and reminded him that I am not psychic and I didn't want him to believe I was. The silence in the room, the looks of astonishment revealed minds that had been blown. It was undeniable evidence that I could read Pat's mind. But I couldn't. I could easily read his nonverbals, though.

"Talking to the dead" and reading minds is a teachable skill. In two days, I can show just about anyone how to "read someone's mind" or "tell them their past and future" with essentially no error.

The very same skills help develop the most persuasive messages.

What's the secret?

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rewiring Her Brain. How to Do It. (Part 1)

You want her to say “yes” to you. It’s as simple as that. You want her to listen to you. You want her to buy you, your product, your idea, or your service. You want her to change in therapy. The processes are all similar. Whether “she” is the beautiful woman across the room, the business you are selling to or an entire country…(No one ever refers to a beautiful ship, a great company or one’s country as a “he.”)…you begin by rewiring her brain.

There is a quality to the imprecision of a well-designed story that activates both sides of the brain. If a story is “too perfect or too pristine”, then you will fail in your goal. There must be “holes” in your story to keep attention. Just like every great piece of popular fiction from Sherlock Holmes to John Grisham’s work, you must have plenty of holes that need to be filled by the reader. You want to do the same. The goal is there. The linear process is there. The sensations are there. The feelings are there. But you don’t have all the information until the person says “yes.” This is a secret of captivation!

Women will tell you they find a man intriguing while he is still complex and somewhat mysterious. When the entire puzzle is solved, it is time to put the puzzle in the closet.

She is the product of her genes and her social construction. You can only rewire her brain if she finds you enticing in some respects. She will find you fascinating and want more of you when you make her brain light up like a Christmas tree. Both sides. The stories must link up her emotions, feelings, sensations as well as her sense of staying with the story moment by moment. This is true whether you are a man or woman, and whether you are selling yourself, your therapy or a product.

Here, I’m going to present to you a taste of new research about one set of strategies that we have discussed very little over the past year. This article touches on some of the more incredible information I’ve disseminated to you in the last few years….

In fact the process of rewiring her brain is, in part, a microcosm of changing groups, cultures, country and world opinion. Understanding the stickiness of one helps understand the other. And the way you change one person or a group is essentially the same although there are some additional challenges in changing the individual outside of the group. (It’s much easier to create change or get “yes” in a group than it is in a one-on-one situation.)

In this article you’re going to learn the following:

  • People’s beliefs and behaviors are “sticky.” (Most don’t change easily)
  • People’s brains, which generate these beliefs and behaviors, can be rewired.
  • Groups, societies and nations exhibit the same “stickiness.”
  • Virtually everyone’s brain can be re-wired.
  • Some people rewire faster than others due to individual differences.
  • Specific strategies.
You’ve learned a lot about how behavior generates attitudes in the past few months here in coffee. The fastest and best way to change someone’s attitude is to get them to perform a behavior. The second fastest is to tell a specific kind of story with several key ingredients…You will learn both today.

Nothing shows this clearer than the world events of the past 10 days.

10 days prior to engagement in Iraq, the United States Citizens were split about 50/50 as to whether this would be the right thing to do. Two days after the first engagement, polls showed 70-76% of citizens felt it was the right thing to do. Why? Behavior precedes attitude change. As soon as the collective behaves in one way, then individual change begins. Note: Not everyone will change in every collective.

FIRST KEY: Behavior precedes attitude.

It should be easy.

The troops will free Iraq and then her citizens can go and do what they want for the first time in their life. This will take time, because behavior and stories will take time to integrate. Freedom is a new conceptual reality and not a behavior or story.

But, in reality, freedom takes getting used to.

Very few people in the world, less than 5%, completely embrace and utilize freedom even when they have the opportunity. Most people wake up in the morning and go to the same place they did yesterday at the same pay, with the identical hours, with the same co-workers, with the same specific tasks or jobs to do.

Now, imagine that you take this normal person in a free society (Where one can choose what they do for a living, who they work for, determine what religion they will adhere to and what political beliefs they will choose.) and tell they can have an even better life. They are now “free to leave.” They are free to leave and go anywhere they choose. In the examples in this middle part of the story we will talk about their employment (as opposed to where they live, their hobbies, their friends, their spouse.

Recently in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, there was an enormous article about how employees at Northwest Airlines “fear for their jobs.” Wow! The United States has 200,000,000 different jobs and a person is afraid they will lose their one job with only 199,999,999 left to compete for. If someone is only average they can compete for 100 million jobs…

You set them free.

What does the person do?

They freeze. They become fearful. They wait for the company to re-hire. They come back to the same job, pay, hours and co-workers. Every day. Very few will leave for a long time. It takes enormous pain to get people to move from point one to point two.

When a fish is placed in an aquarium and a clear plastic barrier is placed at the midpoint of the barrier the fish only has access to half the aquarium’s space to swim. After one week, the kind owner of the fish (who lovingly gave him one cubic foot of water to live in) removes the barrier so the fish can swim through the entire aquarium. What happens?

The fish stays on her side of the aquarium. She doesn’t move into the other side of the aquarium. She wouldn’t know how. There was always a barrier there, there continues to be one after it is removed.

This experiment has been done many times and is just one of hundreds of experiments that are related to changing behavior when one is free to do so.

All of these experiments and an analysis of interpersonal communications and social change show that without enforcing behavioral change…almost all changes are accomplished slowly. There are exceptions. One notable change was the willingness of American Citizens to relinquish some private information in exchange for a substantially safer country to live in. (Airport Security, Immigration Information Upgrades, etc.) This change, which would have taken decades in normal circumstances, happened in less than six months. A rare exception to the rule. The exception was, of course, one of necessity and not “will” per se. Fear is a potent motivator, as you have learned from past articles.

Research on recidivism at prisons across America shows that the vast majority of people who enter prison once soon come back again. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to return.

It is indeed very difficult for even the most reformed prisoner to return to the “real world” after living in prison. The time in prison is very regimented. Every basic absolute need (food, water, shelter, clothing) is met even though few core human drives are fulfilled. (Sex, safety, acquisition).

The prisoner is put on a schedule. They are told when to eat, where to eat, how to eat. When and where to sleep. When and where to exercise. When and where to work. There is no choice. At the onset of captivity the prisoner resists these changes from the real world. After 4-8 weeks, the changes become the new status quo and become very impermeable to change. The more regimented, the more difficult to change.

On “the outside,” there are choices. Too many choices for someone used to captivity. The former prisoner must learn to eat on a different schedule, eat different food, shower at different times, exercise at will and sleep on a chosen schedule. The choices are too numerous for most to handle and the prisoner ultimately returns to that which he knows best.

Much like leaving a job after five or ten years is considered a devastating experience by most, the prisoner is thrown into a state of flux upon release. No matter how unpleasant the status quo is, the brain knows what to expect and can thus predict what will happen…the same thing that happened yesterday. The need to be able to predict the events of the future has historically been critical to human survival…and….it is also the great obstacle in change. The person leaving the job tends to return to the line of work he just left. The prisoner returns to the cellblock he once lived in.

Even in a free society like The United States, Canada, or the U.K., people tend to shy away from utilizing their freedom. On average, people prefer far fewer choices than having a universe of possibilities.

The oldest part of the brain, what we will call the unconscious part of the brain, moves through day to day activity by reacting to the same stimuli in the same fashion that has been successful every day in the past. When new information and challenges are presented the brain doesn’t know how to respond with certainty so it doesn’t. The conscious part of the mind pauses and “thinks.” It starts to look at possibilities and options. It is…work.

What will happen in a country like Iraq?

With a respected, trustworthy, caring interim leader who is seen to have the best interests of the masses at heart… and delegates labor on a somewhat socialistic system, they will probably succeed. Ultimately, in 10 years, a conversion to a democratic society where freedom of choice exists if the person chooses to utilize the freedom can work. These changes are slow though. Anyone expecting social stability even in the best case in a currently oppressed society, is expecting too much. It takes time. Sometimes a generation or more. Many people believe that capitalism and democracy “don’t work” after having lived in a “democratic society” after communism or a dictatorship. And indeed, it is rare that the first generation “works” because you would be expecting an entire nation of people to be able to intelligently choose jobs, spouses, hobbies, religions, political parties when they have done so.

It’s much like asking a kindergartner to tell you which is the safest street to take on her walk to school. She may guess correctly but she probably will fail until she learns how to make choices…makes the choices…then tests them by walking them. Then she will become convinced in her own mind which is safest…whether it really is or not.

So how do you rewire her brain if you can’t actually get her to take physical actions?

Story….but only a specific kind of story.

In Covert Hypnosis Volume 1, (now available in the Covert Hypnosis CD Set, I gave you some of the examples of stories but I’ve never revealed the ingredients of a story that will begin the rewiring process in her brain.

When you are talking with that (beautiful) woman across the table from you, you may fail at getting her to take an action but you won’t fail at getting her unconscious mind’s attention and begin changing circuitry. But you must do it correctly.

Stories can destroy your chances of getting to “yes,” or they can ensure it.

Effective stories must be goal oriented and linear to engage the left brain. If you stop there you will lose (and so will she!). This is one of many reasons why most self help programs don’t work. Communicating a goal to yourself or someone else in and of itself is simply going to fail. Don’t even bother.

You must engage the right brain, also. You must observe a Christmas tree of lights going off and on in the right brain. How do you accomplish this?

There must be verbal and nonverbal activation of emotion in your story, which will turn on the lights in her right brain. This, combined with a linear and goal-oriented story will fully engage her mind in what you are saying. In addition, it begins processing and reprocessing of information and her thoughts about you, literally beginning the rewiring process and putting you in a positive light.

KEY POINT: Feelings, thoughts, behaviors and sensations must be included in all rewiring stories or the rewiring will fail. The influential communication will be lost on her and you walk away with an expensive dinner and a “thanks for the evening.” Or you lose the sale…or you lose the battle for the public mind.

To learn much more about sculpting the brain you will want the Covert Hypnosis CD Set and Workbook. (New! - see below.)

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Flubbing The Story: 10 Communication Mistakes We All Make (Part 3)

10) Not telling your stories with intention.

Before you begin speaking, over-ride the compulsion to blurt out your story.

What is the intention of your story?
Why are you going to tell this story?
Will anyone who listens to this story be hurt by what you say?

You might think that it's not that important to communicate exactly what you mean but remember December 2002? Quite often someone tells a story and they haven't thought about who they are telling the story to or how it might easily be misinterpreted to mean something else.

Trent Lott, A Mississippi Republican got himself stuck in a public relations nightmare and gave up the dream of a lifetime in December of 2002. Destined to become the House Majority Leader in January of 2003, he made a critical mistake that everyone should be attentive to and learn from.

Speaking at a party honoring Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday, he opened Pandora's box and never knew what his words of appreciation for the elderly Senator would do. The drama of misunderstood words caused even the President of The United States to distance himself from Lott.

Speaking for the President, Ari Fleischer said after one speech that Bush was not calling for Lott to step aside as Leader or as Senator.

"The president does not think that Sen. Lott needs to resign," Fleischer said.

The problem? Thurmond, the South Carolina Republican who ran as a third-party candidate for president in 1948 as a segregationist had changed his views over the ensuing 50 years of public service. But the comments by Lott made it appear that Lott was still in favor of them. In 1948 most blacks in many southern U.S. states, including Mississippi, were not allowed to vote.

Lott actually didn't say anything that was racist but the interpretation by his adversaries was easy to spin into the public mind. Shortly after the speech, Lott called Bush, and his office issued a statement saying the president was right.

"Senator Lott agrees with President Bush that his words were wrong and he is sorry," said Lott spokesman Ron Bonjean. "He repudiates segregation because it is immoral."

Lott expressed similar sentiments in his call to Bush, Fleischer said.

So just what did Lott say at the Thurmond celebration?

"We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years,"

Later he would have to clarify what he meant but it was too late, he hadn't thought through how is words might effect the minds of his greatest adversaries.

"I'm sorry for my words," said Lott, who has said he would not step aside as Senate Republican leader. Speaking to WABC radio in New York and then on BET days later, Lott said he had wanted to honor "Thurmond the man" but not back segregationist policies.

The Congressional Black Caucus called for a formal censure of Lott, saying anything less would be seen as approval of his remarks by Bush, Congress and the Republican party. In Mississippi, civil rights officials said his apology was insufficient, and accused him of having enduring ties to groups that are believed to have racist views. Several major U.S. newspapers published editorials demanding Republicans reject Lott as their Senate leader.

A few misunderstood words caused Lott his reputation and drove many of those closest to him to leave his side.

What is the lesson learned?

Lesson: When telling your stories, think about how they will be received by your listeners and the people your listeners will talk to. You aren't likely to ever be under media scrutiny like a political leader, but the point is clear. Think before speaking.

In a conversation with friends, business colleagues and the like you will often hear them say something which frustrates you. You will hear things that you don't understand. Because you really want to know what the person means and feels, you must learn to tease out the intention.

Did they mean what you thought they just said?
Did they mean what you heard?

In Lott's case a friend might say to the Senator, "So are you saying you liked the way Thurmond thought about segregation in 1948."

He might reply, "Of course not. What a stupid thought. I meant that I really admire Thurmond."

It is that simple and difficult. When you don't understand their story, seek to understand before criticizing the person!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Flubbing The Story: 10 Communication Mistakes We All Make (Part 3)

8) Poke holes in other people's special stories.

They are telling you about their adventure to the audit at the IRS office.

"I was so nervous, I'm driving to the IRS office and I'm sitting there thinking, oh man, I have to remember to NOT talk. Shut up. Be quiet. Don't say anything."

"What did you do to get audited?"

"Huh? I filed Schedule C and that means..."

"Did you report all of your income?"

"I think so."

"You THINK so? What are you nuts? You have to report all of your income."

"Of course you have to report all of your income. Anyway, I'm on the way to the IRS office and..."

"Did you overstate your deductions?"

"Of course not. I ..."

"If you overstate your deductions they will bust your ..."

"I KNOW that and I didn't. Let's just drop the whole thing."

"O.K. I was just trying to help."

And so it goes. Our storyteller was preparing to tell the story of her big victory over the IRS auditor and our storyteller's friend poked big holes in the story. So big that it took all the fun and excitement out of sharing the story.

The appropriate response would have been to listen with fascination and a sense of curiosity, saving all questions and comments for much, much later.

9) Overtly brag about yourself too much.

"I don't want to brag but the place would have gone under without me. I was there every day at dawn and stayed til the sun went down. I built the company and once they had 100 employees there was no appreciation at all. They down sized me. It was unbelievable. I literally designed almost every major piece that we produced and when it came time for them to decide who to let go, it was me. I couldn't believe it. They never would have gone public without me. They never would have met their payroll without me. I just can't believe they didn't see what I was worth to them."

True or not, bragging never pays. There are so many effective ways to bolster your reputation and communication credentials when talking to people that you never need to overstate your contribution to a relationship, a project, a business, a deal, or anything. Learn how to tell a great story where you were a hero without bragging at all!

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Flubbing the Story: 10 Communication Mistakes We All Make (Part 3)

5) Exaggerate when telling your story.

"...and there were millions of people watching the parade!"
(There were 850 according to newspaper accounts.)

"...I never even looked at her!"
(Never looked?!)

"...before he started the diet he weighed 300 pounds!"
(OK it was really 240.)

A story worth telling is worth telling accurately. Tell it with enthusiasm, zeal and intensity. Tell it accurately. It's vital that all of your communication is true without being critical or unnecessarily unkind. Exaggeration is an invitation for people to not listen or care.

6) Ignore feedback during your story telling.

"...and then she comes in the door and she has this skirt on that is so ridiculously short. I mean who is she kidding. She's not a teenager anymore." (friend nods politely while fighting back a yawn, eyes begin to glaze over) " people have no sense of decency anymore? I just wonder what makes some people tick. Don't people pay attention to what they are wearing and see how it makes everybody feel?"
(friend shrugs and nods with feigned frustration)

The woman telling the story about the short skirted office friend could have spared her listener the despair of this antiquated story had she only seen the feigned frustration, the shrug, the yawn, but it was not something the storyteller was looking for. It should have been. It's critical to always pay attention to how people are receiving the stories you tell.

You must pay close attention to your listener's body language while you are telling your story. Is their body language telling you they are interested, or impatient for the end? Are their lips moving, ready to jump in on your story, or are they listening with awe. Not learning to understand the body language of other people is one of the mistakes we make in communication.

7) Respond to other people's stories with a story of your own.

"...and I went to Cancun and you should have seen the beaches. They were beautiful. The Princess Hotel was absolutely breathtak..."
"You stayed at the Princess. It's really not bad you know. On our third trip to Cancun we stayed at The Princess, in the Oceanview Suite. They reserved it for us because John helped with the design of the building in '98. I didn't really like The Princess that much. It was a wannabee hotel. But since then we've stayed at the new Sheraton. It just has everything and they take care of you like you are royalty there. I think if we go back and don't go to Tahiti on our next trip, we're going to stay there again."

"Cancun sure is nice."
(The energy has been discharged from her being and the desire to communicate further with her friend went with her energy.)

This is one of the really sad things we do in communicating with others. Instead of teasing out the rest of the story from our friend, we immediately jump in with a story of our own. Research shows that people feel better when you pursue their story to it's completion, then disclose (share) something of your own.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Flubbing the Story: 10 Communication Mistakes We All Make (part 2)

1) Be boring.

Being boring centers around being focused on yourself. Even when telling stories you must be paying attention to the person who is listening to you. You must think ahead of time, "Why do they want to hear this story?" "How can I tell this story so it is interesting to them?"

Your stories will usually be about your experiences. How you tell your stories and how you position yourself in your stories will determine just how interested the other person will be.

2) Talk for too long.

If you are in an everyday conversation, you probably have less than one minute to tell your story. Learn to tell what I call a "thumb nail" or a "Reader's Digest condensed version" of your story.

I remember when my sister was a pre-teen she would come home from the movies and virtually recite all the lines of the movie line for line, scene for scene. My eyes would glaze over by the time she got past the opening credits. 30 minutes later she would finish and I would be nodding my head. I loved my sister. I just didn't have the heart to tell her. Over the years she learned to tell the "Reader's Digest condensed version". Today she is an executive with Johnson and Johnson.

3) Speak too slowly.

People have very short attention spans. Most companies pitch their products in thirty second commercials on television. The newest wave of men's magazines include the best sellers Stuff and Maxim. These publications feature "articles" as short as a paragraph. Our attention spans are so short that USA Today seems to be filled with articles that are far too detailed for a lot of people. The message needs to be delivered quickly and concisely in print and in everyday conversation.

One of the greatest problems people have when telling a story is speaking far too slowly. Think of the people who are enjoyable to listen to. Comedians. Robin Williams: Speaks quickly. Dennis Miller: Speaks quickly. Bill Cosby: Speaks moderately. George Wallace: Speaks quickly. Billy Crystal: Moderate to fast paced. Jerry Seinfeld: Moderate to fast paced. There aren't a lot of people who make you laugh who also speak slowly when they are telling a story. Yes, there is an exception to every rule, but here is the rule: Speak a little more quickly and you have a better chance of having your story heard and enjoyed.

4) Speak in a garbled way so that people can't understand you.

Many people look away when they are communicating with you. They think you have a universal translator that translates all languages including garbled English. Remember that millions of people are hard of hearing and they have little chance of hearing the average woman (who speak at frequencies much higher than men) speak at all. When you speak, look at the person you are talking to. Speak clearly. Speak loud enough so they can hear you. All of this may seem obvious but having observed thousands of people communicate, I promise you that this one mistake causes big problems in relationships; problems that could easily be avoided.

To read about Mistake # 5 come back soon!

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