Methods of Successful Influence
How did I shift the beliefs of a woman with a death wish into one so excited about living she took up salsa lessons? How did I persuade a man who had been carrying the burden of guilt for over 40 years that it was time to forgive himself? How did I use the power of words to propel my coaching success to become the fastest promoted senior coach in the history of one of the largest training companies in Singapore?
In the Secrets of Changing Minds series I reveal step by step the key communication tips & strategies from NLP and indirect hypnosis you can use to change minds and transform beliefs.
How Do You Turn A Depressed Person Around?
It’s 1:06am, I just got off from the phone with a friend, and boy am I glad I had my coaching skills with me! You see, my friend was facing a tough challenge, and you can guess he wasn’t in a very good state. So how do you shift someone from feeling depressed into feeling strong?
3 Mind-Transforming Beliefs For Strength
There are many solutions, but here’s one I’ve found that’s worked, whether you’re using it on someone or on yourself. But first, you need to know 3 simple beliefs.
1) People are never depressed all the time. Despite anyone’s best attempts to say otherwise, no-one is always depressed. It might be when they’re brushing their teeth, reading the papers, or driving the car, it’s impossible to be depressed all the time. They might believe it, but you don’t have to. The secret is to make them notice those times.
2) People already have all the resources they need or they can get them. Everyone of us is resourceful to a certain extent, otherwise we’d be dead by now (hey, it’s a tough world!). Everyone of us also has at least one moment in time where we’ve shined in some way. The secret is, again, in noticing and remembering those times.
3) Good states create good decisions.The quality of your thinking and decisions are tied in to how good you’re feeling. If you’re feeling strong and centered, you’ll make better decisions compared to if you’re feeling depressed and tired.
Focus On Resources
Someone who’s depressed doesn’t remember all the times she kicked ass in her life. In depression, the focus has been shifted to the negative; what went wrong, what is wrong and what will go wrong.
So the key is to shift them into noticing what went right, what is right and what will go right.
And one way to do that is to ask positively focused leading questions, to draw out this focus, like;
1) I know it might be a bit hard to think about right now, but if there were to be a useful lesson in all this, what do you think it might be?
2) Sounds like you had a rough day! I’m curious though, I’m sure there must have been at least one good thing that happened today. What do you think that might be?
3) I know you’ve been through tough times before. What was it you did then that helped you overcome them?
4) What do you think, that having been through this, will make you stronger in times to come?
When Focusing On Resources Won’t Work & Why
If you’ve ever attempted to cheer someone down in the dumps, you’d have faced times when it doesn’t work. There are generally 2 reasons why this happens:
1) Not enough empathy. Resistance is a sign of lack of rapport. People, especially in a down state, feel like they need to be understood first before they want to understand. If they don’t feel like you get them, they’re not going to listen (Empathy Before Solutions Part 3 has 9 strategies to build empathic rapport).
2) Giving more solutions instead drawing them out. Ever had advice given to you…which you eventually ignored anyway? The key is that people are more open to their own thoughts than the thoughts of others. The beauty of asking leading and empowering questions is three-fold:
i) by having them come up with their own solutions, there is much less resistance than if you presented solutions to them,
ii) being able to come up with their own solutions helps them build a stronger sense of personal power,
iii) you believing that they are resourceful enough to find their own solutions, and demonstrating that belief by asking instead of telling them, helps them believe it too.
What’s The Next Action On Empowerment?
After you’ve gotten yourself or someone else to shift their focus, you’ll notice that they start feeling and thinking differently. This positive state is a much better one to start discussing solutions than a negative one. This is now the best time to start talking next actions, although you might be surprised that they might already have thought of a solution by themselves.