This week…
How you can learn from hypnosis - Part 3

How you can learn from hypnosis - Part 3

Continuing our look at borrowing from the hypnotists art to become a more influential communicator.

Making Effective Suggestions

As a working hypnotist, you’d soon run out of customers and clients if you weren’t able to make effective suggestions. Through years of trial and error, successful hypnotists have worked out what it takes to make the kind of suggestions that people will readily accept.

Would it be useful, in your working life, to be able to make effective suggestions and increase your chances of having people accept them? If so, then you’re not alone. Many politicians, salesmen, media people are adept at using these influence patterns to get us to believe in them, believe in their product or continue to let them influence our thought patterns, beliefs and values.

So, rather than give you more of the specific language patterns, I thought I’d round off by sharing the major patterns of influence with some examples of how they are used. You should then be able to work out where you are seeing these patterns in your life and how you will be able to use them to become a more effective communicator.

What is a suggestion?

A suggestion is any idea which seems plausible and is advanced with an air of, or appearance of, being the truth, reality or accepted fact.

They work because our brains use a series of shortcuts to process information and avoid the need to painstakingly process new information. You can strengthen any suggestion by taking advantage of these shortcuts. Here they are:

Use an Authority to say it

If the suggestion comes from an organisation or person or source that looks and sounds like an authority figure then then your suggestions are more likely to be accepted as fact. If you are not an authority then use the “my friend john” pattern to put your suggestion into the mouth of an authoritative source.

Use Social Proof

If you can demonstrate that everyone else is following the suggestion then you are more likely to persuade someone else to follow it. We tend to imitate the mental states of those around us. Examples of this include using testimonials in advertising or surveys or reports. Anything that effectively says “everyone else is doing it” will increase acceptance.

Associate with ideas that are already accepted

Humans tend to follow chains of acceptance so show how your new suggestions are similar to things they already believe or do. A suggestion is more acceptable if the ideas in it more closely resemble ideas already they already accept as true.

Repeat the suggestion

You see politicians do this a lot. Simply by repeating your suggestions in a number of ways over a period of time will increase acceptance of it.

Arouse the imagination

Suggestions that have people creating strong mental images are more likely to be accepted. Painting word pictures are more important when conveying information because the brain processes visual information so much faster than any other method. Create rich mental pictures that people can connect with.

Give something away

One powerful shortcut we have is the feeling that if someone does us a favour then we owe it to them to do one back. This shortcut is used all the time in advertising. One way to use this is to give something that creates a sense of obligation in the person receiving it.

Convince them you are like them

Why does a politician want to be filmed in his shirtsleeves? Because he or she wants to create the impression that he/she is just like us. Although we know rationally that they live in a world far removed from our normal lives we fall for the illusion. If people believe they have a lot in common with you then they will be more likely to accept your suggestions.

These are the major patterns of influence or shortcuts that you can use to increase your influence and here are some questions to help apply them to your situation:

Exercise (You may spot a few new cabinet ministers using these…)

Have an influential week!