The Language of Influence and Persuasion is one of my favourite areas to teach. I often get asked what are THE most important language patterns out there in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and my response is usually that it is less the specific patterns and more the combination of and application of the various patterns which allow us to win others over.
The reality is that if you truly want to succeed you need to understand how the language models work. Here is the most useful way to think about the various language patterns in NLP.
The META MODEL is a set of questions which allow you to specify information, clarify information and, by doing so, challenge beliefs. Some examples are:
- How, what, when, who, where specifically?
- Always in every case?
- What exactly do you mean?
- How do you know?
- What stops you?
- Who says?
The MILTON MODEL is a set of language patterns which allows you to connect and lead other people more effectively.
You connect with what people think using truisms (statements that are true for the other person) and you lead them with suggestions such as embedded commands (commands hidden inside larger sentences) or presuppositions (suggestions assumed in the statements you make).
SLEIGHT OF MOUTH PATTERNS
The SLEIGHT OF MOUTH patterns are a set of patterns which extend the work done in the Meta Model and have you challenging beliefs powerfully. Some examples are:
- REDEFINE (use different language to describe the belief and it changes the meaning)
- EXAGGERATION (take the belief to its logical extreme conclusion and point out how ridiculous it is)
- ANOTHER OUTCOME (focus the person on something other than the belief so they think differently)
- COUNTER EXAMPLE (ask them to think about one case where the belief is not true)
The real trick is to use a combination of the META MODEL and SLEIGHT OF MOUTH PATTERNS to get the other person to challenge their beliefs and then use the MILTON MODEL to offer suggestions to them and build more useful beliefs for them to believe in instead.
Image: Thanks to http://gratisography.com/