Easy Mastery of an Erickson Language Pattern

by Lou

A person could read this article and have an incredibly useful tool of influence. This pattern was used a lot by Milton Erickson in his therapy sessions. It’s a gentle way of making suggestions, and you’ll find plenty of uses for it in your everyday conversations and writings.

The pattern goes like this:

A person [or People] + (MODAL) + (YOUR SUGGESTION).

If you don’t remember your grammar, modals are words such as these: can, could, is able to, may, might, etc.

If you know the NLP Meta-Model, you might recognize these words as the Modal Operators of Possibility.

When you start the pattern using “A person…” or “People…” the reader or listener automatically assumes you are talking about him or her. But because you aren’t specifically stating the person you are communicating with, the suggestion slips into their minds a lot easier.

* A person could allow his unconscious mind to give up the craving for cigarettes and feel great in the end.

* People are able to come up with new and creative ways of making money.

* A person might imagine sleeping well and waking up refreshed in the morning.

* People can listen to the speaker because the speaker has important news for them.

This last one is very powerful. You are giving them a reason why. Many people need their reasons.

You can also put embedded commands into this pattern: Using analog marking (pausing, stressing, etc.) if you’re speaking and emphasis (italics, different font, etc.) when writing.

“A person could FORGET ABOUT PAST PROBLEMS and get on with their lives NOW.”

I’ve found working with my copywriting clients and writing to their prospects if I use this pattern, but exchange “a person” or “People” with the type of person they are or want to be (their identity or who they would like to be), I have created powerful pieces of advertising doing this.

* A successful freelance writer can buy this ebook today and start making good money tomorrow.

* Real estate agents are able to use these methods easily.

Normally, when writing advertising copy, the use of these modal is frowned upon because they weaken the piece. But I’ve found when used with this pattern, they are quite strong.

A person could pass this post on to a friend…

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