Tag Archives: intention

NLP for increasing your Influence Quotient

25 Mar 13
Daniel Smith
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Last Friday a small group of us were exploring how NLP can be used for influence. While the language patterns of the Meta Model, Milton Model and even Metaphor Model can be easily applied to increase your “Influence Quotient”, we were exploring this topic more comprehensively.

The first way that NLP can help increase your Influence Quotient is to help you focus on your intention. Influential communicators are powerful and congruent; they have found a way to get all their butterflies flying in formation so that their words, their tonality and their gestures are aligned to communicate a single message. For some people, this sort of alignment comes naturally; they say what they deeply mean and deeply mean whatever they say. For the rest of us, our own doubts – about ourselves or about what we are communicating – can come through even about something that we feel passionate about. By identifying, understanding and aligning with the intention of our message, we can immediately become more influential.

An easy way to do this is through Grinder’s Outcome, Intention, Consequences pattern. Augmenting this with the Core States process (covered in our trainings) can turn this elegant framework into a transformative process.

Another way to amplify your Influence Quotient is to work on your state. As a communicator, whether you are making a sales presentation, negotiating with your boss, speaking with your spouse or even your child, your state might be the biggest predictor of your ability to influence those around you. One of our recent participants told of how when he was on the ATP Tour (men’s professional tennis), a very young Boris Becker walked into the dressing room. This was before Becker had established himself by being the youngest ever Wimbledon Champion, and despite being surrounded by greats including Ivan Lendl, Becker’s “presence” so totally filled the room that everybody went silent. When you are communicating and want to be more influential, check your state! Take an inventory:

  • How are you breathing?
  • What is your posture?
  • What are you focusing upon?
  • What are you saying – to yourself, and to those around you?

But how can we change our state? Other than changing your physiology as I mentioned just before, changing your submodalities can have a powerful impact. By changing submodalities, one of my clients moved a negative, nagging, annoying voice that was leaving him immobilized with fear into a supportive, seductive reminder of the important risks for which he needed to prepare.

What are these magical submodalities? In the last example, the location of the voice and the sound quality are both examples of submodalities. For example, if you could imagine a beautiful picture, and really look at it, where do you see it? Straight in front of you? Up to the right? How far away is it? Is it in vivid colour or black and white? These are all examples of submodalities.

When I was a university student, I remember how through the semester the assignments and exams felt a long way away yet the day before an assignment was due or the night before an exam, the reality of that deadline would creep up on me and be straight in front or even on top of me! By pushing that internal representation of the assignment or exam away, I could relax and focus even amid intense pressure.

As a student of influence, notice how you are using submodalities to internally represent your message. How attractive does your message seem to you? How could you make it even more attractive or even seductive? What could you do to communicate that to your audience?

Intention, State and Submodalities are powerful tools for increasing our ability to influence those around us. Another tool that we can use to increase our Influence Quotient is that of Perceptual Positions. Merely recognizing that there are multiple perspectives at all can help us better frame and transfer our thoughts and feelings; the Perceptual Positions exercise (what we refer to as “Moving Chairs”) of moving from 3rd to 1st to 2nd to 3rd for a specific context, observing from a non-attached 3rd Position and a congruent 2nd Position, and recognizing that 1st Position is, while immensely valuable and important, just one perspective, can be very helpful. Try it out for yourself – notice how much your Influence Quotient lifts when you deliberately shift perceptual positions.

There is a lot that NLP can do to help you become more influential. In the two hours that we had to play with, exploring Intention, State, Submodalities, and Perceptual Positions was pretty ambitious… but good fun.

Getting what you want

20 Dec 11
Daniel Smith
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Earlier this week, I was asked whether I could share a secret for successful negotiations and “getting your own way”.

As I replied, the most important ‘secret’ is to know what you really want.

In other words: Know your outcome.

It’s the first step of the old USF (Ultimate Success Formula) or NSF (NLP Success Formula) – Know your outcome, Take massive action, Notice the results and Adjust until you get your outcome. It’s also one aspect of OPA (Outcome-focused, Purpose-driven, Action plan) that Tony Robbins advocates: Know your outcome, Connect with your purpose, and Take action.

And not just the surface of what you want, but your intention.

Nobody just wants to lose weight, or get married, or make more money. Instead, they want what they think they’ll get from having those outcomes and goals – to be more healthy or more attractive, to feel more security or love, to have more fun or adventure. Someone with intense focus on what they really want is immensely powerful because they align themselves behind that outcome in negotiations and in daily decisions, while being far more flexible in finding alternative ways to fulfill their intention and get what they’re after.

Without knowing your intention, it’s easy to get lost or fixated on obstacles. Connecting with your intentions, mission, values and purpose help you remember “why” you are doing something, so that when those obstacles arise, you can enjoy more resilience in overcoming whatever challenges come your way.

So as you prepare for the annual “New Year Resolutions” when you can review the year that has been and the year ahead, I’d encourage you to pause for a moment to reflect, and connect with your intention. And what you want that intention for – not “why” you want something, the reasons, explanations, stories and excuses, but specifically what you think it will give you.

And if you can focus on what you really want, you just might get it…

A few NLP techniques that are relevant here include: Grinder’s Outcome-Intention-Consequences, n-Step Reframe, Well-Formed Outcomes, Core Transformations, SCORE/ Emergent Discovery, Timelines, Outcome Accelerator Pattern…

When goals can fail you: Pursuing purpose above profit

17 Nov 11
Daniel Smith
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Satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals. Failing to understand this… can lead sensible people down self-destructive paths.
Daniel Pink in Drive

Goals are powerful and useful. They can help move us forward and create a whole new world. Yet they only give us fulfillment to the extent that they are congruent and aligned with our highest intentions.

One study mentioned by Pink explored college graduates. Some set out into the real world in the pursuit of extrinsic rewards – to become wealthy or famous. Others wanted more intrinsic rewards – to improve their lives and to grow.

Two years later, some of those who wanted to be rich and famous had succeeded. Yet they only enjoyed the same level of satisfaction, self-esteem and positive emotions that they had while at university, while suffering from more anxiety and depression. Those who succeed in their quest to improve their lives and to grow not only enjoyed even higher satisfaction and subjective well-being, but lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Connecting with purpose is a powerful thing. One quick yet powerful way to explore our sense of purpose and connect with intrinsic motivation is the Outcome, Intention, Consequences process.

Flourishing: Positive Psychology, Well-Being Theory and NLP

06 Oct 11
Daniel Smith
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What do we want? What do you want?

Happiness? Success? Love? Peace? A sense of purpose and meaning?

Intention is an important part of NLP. From “old school” techniques like the 6-Step Reframe (or N-Step Reframe), Grinder’s OIC Pattern, Dilts’ Neurological Levels, to the Virtual Question/ Primary Question process, Values and Logical Levels, getting beyond the surface to the core intention is powerful.

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E. P. SeligmanIn his latest book, Martin Seligman, moves beyond focusing on just ‘happiness’ to “well-being” as the topic of positive psychology, and proposes five measurable elements (“PERMA”):

  1. Positive emotion (including happiness and life satisfaction)
    How? What Went Well and Why.
  2. Engagement (also known as flow – when you use your strengths to face the challenges coming your way)
    When people use their highest strengths to face the challenges that come their way they are more likely to experience flow.
    How? Identify your greatest strengths and identify specific ways that you can use them more.
  3. Positive Relationships
    How? Using Active Constructive questioning.
  4. Meaning (purpose and involvement in something greater than oneself)
    How? Write your vision of a positive future; Write your own obituary.
  5. Achievement
    How? Grit – ‘never give up’/ self discipline – predicts the top performers.

In Flourish, Seligman outlines an array of ‘tested’ methods for enhancing these elements, many of which overlap with what we’ve been doing in NLP for years… it is great to see the evidence building!

You can watch Seligman’s 25-minute speech that he presented to RSA in July 2011 on this topic here. Note that this is more recent than his comments on the state of psychology he presented at TED.