How to Change Someone’s Mind

by Lou

Discover 5 ways to change someone's mind with NLPHow many times in your life have you dealt with someone (like a prospective customer) who refuses keep an open mind or to see the facts? Frustrating, is it not? Well, that doesn’t have to be a problem any longer. With a few NLP techniques and language patterns we can open up a person’s mind and make his or her thinking more flexible.

Here are a number of techniques you can use to help change someone’s mind.

1. The Foot in Door Technique. Sometimes all you need to get someone to change their mind is a slight bit of leverage to open their minds a bit. By using a Modal Operator of Possibility and a nearly impossible task, you can create this leverage. “If I were to (IMPOSSIBLE TASK), would you be willing to listen?” Get agreement. This “impossible task” could be anything from guessing a number from 1 to 100, guessing what the next thing a newscaster is going say. It doesn’t matter. The most important part of this technique is to get their agreement. That agreement shows that there’s a part of them that is willing to change.

2. Save the Ego Technique. Many people don’t want to change their minds because they’ll be seen as waffling. One way to counter this is to add new information. Bring up your idea again with this person and then add new information: “Studies/Research/Experience has shown….” The Metaframe Sleight of Mouth pattern is useful here. “The reason you believe that is…., but (INSERT NEW INFORMATION HERE).”

3. Five Pointers. In my newsletter, I showed subscribers how to use a simplified version of the Meta Model to get at someone’s thinking processes. We can use them here. When someone states a reason or belief of why they can’t (or don’t want) to change their thinking, we can use the Five Pointers to deframe and deconstruct this belief. “I don’t want John working on these projects because he would ruin them.” Now this can be true. But there could also be some sort of bias or hidden agenda. We could ask, “Which projects specifically?” “How specifically would he ruin them?” “What would happen if he did work on them?” “Ruin all of them?

4. Reciprocal Influence. Many times if we are open to a new idea or way of thinking from someone else, they will usually be open to one of our ideas. “I thought about what you said regarding…. You’re right.” Sometime later introduce him or her to your idea.

5. Context Reframing. My personal favorite. A lot has been written on context reframing, so I won’t go too far into here. There are plenty of books and online info on this particular type of reframing technique. The basic premise with contextual reframing of a dis-empowering belief or negative bias is to enlarge a person’s frame by asking yourself, “What’s not apparent?” “What is he or she missing?” or “What is he or she not noticing?” Once you come up with a possible answer, you can present it to that person whose mind you are trying to change.

You can try the above techniques one at a time or you can stack them if the person you are dealing with is particularly stubborn.

(Thanks to David Lieberman for the first technique.)

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