Tag Archives: Influence

The Paradox Of Choice

Which Do You Choose?

Which would you rather have, a big juicy hamburger, or a cracker with some peanut butter slapped on top? How about a nice two-week relaxing vacation on the beaches of Hawaii versus a free coupon worth on rental from your local video store? Or how about a date with Megan Fox compared to that homeless woman you saw the other day?

These may seem like obviously easy choices. But what about these:

You are standing next to the train tracks. There is a split right where you are standing. There is a train coming. As it stands, the strain is going to veer left. You have access to a switch that can make the train veer right if you flip the switch.
You notice there is a stranded bus filled with school kids on the tracks to the left. If the train continues on its course, it will hit the bus and kill the kids. But to the right, there is one fat guy working on the tracks. If you throw the switch to change tracks, the train will avoid the kids, but it will kill he fat guy.

What do you do?

If you do nothing, a busload of kids will die. If you throw the switch, you will save the kids, but you will be directly responsible for killing some fat guy.

Or how about this:

There is a boatload of kids drifting down a river, about to plunge off a waterfall. You are standing on a bridge. There is the same fat guy walking across the bridge. If you run up and push the fat guy off the bridge, he will hit the boat and diverge it from the waterfall, and save the kids.

What do you do?

Many people polled in various studies would pull the switch in the first scenario, as they see it as an act of saving the kids. But few people would actually run up and push the fat guy off the bridge.


They (those they people again) did a study where they took some students and had them stick their hands in a bucket of water, and then guess the temperature. Then they had the same students stick their same hands in the same water, but at the same time, they had them stick their other hands in another bucket of water, that was either really hot or really cold. When the other bucket was really hot, they underestimated the temperature of the test bucket. When the water was really cold, they overestimated the temperature of the test bucket.

Or how about this. It is not uncommon for real estate agents to show a potential client a really crappy house in a really crappy neighborhood that is within their stated price range. Then they show them another much better house, in a much better neighborhood that is priced slightly higher than their stated price range.

They’ve found that this works really well to convince them to increase their price limits. By showing them the first house (which is owned and maintained by the real estate company) they effectively make the second house look like a bargain.

Restaurants have also found this trick works really well when selling wine. If they have a bottle (or several bottles) they are trying to unload at, say, fifty dollars a bottle, the wine won’t sell very well if it is the most expensive bottle they have. But they’ve found by adding another bottle, priced at seventy five to a hundred dollars, they increase sales of the fifty dollar bottle significantly. It looks better in comparison.

Our brains don’t’ like to choose in a vacuum. We need to have something to compare our choices to. If the choice is only to buy a bottle of wine or not, we usually will choose not. But if it’s an expensive bottle or a cheaper bottle, we’ll choose the cheaper bottle.

This is a known psychological trick that has been used in sales for many years. We like to feel like we have a choice, like we are smart enough to evaluate those choices and make the best decision that we can. But our short hand thinking process can easily be hijacked by marketers who want to sell us something that we really don’t need.

There is one simple rule to avoid being duped. Simply know going in, before being presented with choices, what is important to you, what price you are willing to spend, and what options you want. And compare everything you see only to your list of options and your acceptable price.

Of course, if you are a marketer, and you are trying to sell something, say online, it would help dramatically to include something similar that is priced significantly higher. That way people will think the real item you have for sale is a bargain and they will be much more likely to buy it.

For example, if you run a product review page, and you are selling item “X” for fifty bucks, try and find a similar item, with only slightly better features, for two hundred bucks. Item “X” will seem like steal in comparison.

Another trick that has been proven very useful in this regard is to include only a little bit of information about the first, more expensive item, and then very detailed information about item “X.” That way, item “X” will not only seem cheaper by comparison, but your potential buyers will feel much more informed, and feel they are making a wise buying decision.

Happy marketing, and don’t push any fat guys off any bridges.

Are Guys Really Afraid Of Commitment?

What Are You Committed To?

If you ask most girls, you’ll find that most guys are afraid of commitment. If you ask most guys, you’ll find that we are a misunderstood bunch, and that commitment to us means something entirely different than it does to girls. We are committed to our careers, our friends, our dreams and our goals. Maybe when girls get together and complain about their guy’s failure to commit, perhaps they need to reexamine what they are expecting their guy to commit to.

They did a study a while back. When I say “they,” I’m referring to a group of social psychologists. They went up and down neighborhood streets, and asked if people would mind putting a small sign either in their front window, or on their lawn. The sign was a fairly generic sign, like “be careful of children,” or “please don’t litter in neighborhood,” or something along those lines. They did this to random households, not to every household. That is, one each street, they only choose a small percentage of houses to make the request.

They found that about 30-40 percent accepted the small sign. Keep in mind they asked houses at random. Then about three weeks later, they came through the same neighborhoods again. Now they asked to put up bigger, more controversial signs. Based on earlier data, 30 or 40 percent would agree to a small, generic sign. They suspected a smaller percentage would accept a bigger, more controversial sign, like “vote for Joe Blow,” or whatever.

What they found was interesting. In households that weren’t asked to put up the small signs, there were only a tiny percentage of people that agreed to put up big sign. Something around three percent. But on the houses that had already agreed to put a small sign, over 70 percent agreed to put up a bigger sign.

It appeared that once they got people to commit to a small amount, asking for a much larger amount was much easier than they suspected. This same phenomenon has been shown again and again in various different areas.
For example, studies show that during jury trials, often they will conduct a quick “straw vote” before beginning deliberations. Sometimes everybody says guilty or not guilty out loud, that is publicly committing to one position or another. Other times they anonymously write “G” or “NG” on a slip of paper.

On average, the trials where people publicly commit to one position or the other last over twice as long. It seems that once people make a public commitment, it is much harder to change their minds.

It is also a well-taught fact about setting goals, specifically quitting a bad habit like smoking, or losing weight, you’ll have much more success if you tell somebody, or make your position public.

Some psychologists feel this is one of many “shortcuts” the brain has evolved over time to save computing time. If we choose something, we tend to stick with it. Our brain doesn’t to reinvent the wheel with every decision.

What about you? What brand of shoe do you wear? Have you always worn that brand, or do you switch every time? What about cars? What make of car do you drive? Do you buy a different model every time?

How about when you go on vacations? Do you always stay in the same hotels, or do you change it up every now and then?

While it can be helpful, and time saving to make the same choices again and again, it can also cause problems. Have you ever gotten into an argument, and argued much longer than you should have, simply because you didn’t want to budge from your position, rather than changing your mind based on new information?

The whole “in for a penny, in for a pound” mindset shows up in many different areas of life. It served us well when we were hunter/gatherers, foraging for food. It helped keep us safe and out of harms way. But is it so unreasonable to reevaluate your position every now and then? Is it wrong to change your mind halfway through a project or discussion in light of new information?

It can help to realize what is important, and why. If you are arguing with somebody simply for the sake of arguing, maybe it could help to step back and take an objective look at things. And maybe wonder why it’s so important to be right all the time. But if you are truly seeking information, it can help to try and see the other person’s point of view.

At any rate, it helps to be aware of our minds tendency to use shorthand thinking. Many times it does help us, and make life easier, but it often times it doesn’t

The trick is to know the difference.

Two Powerful But Little Known Secets Of Persuasion That You Can Use Today

There are two powerful and almost irresistible elements of persuasion that when used correctly, can have a profound effect on the target of your influence. Without these two items, you will have to put a gun to somebody’s head, or implicitly promise some kind of sexual or monetary reward in order to move their thinking towards what you want them to do.

The fact that many advertisements you see today blatantly (and some very covertly) use sex in any way possible to promote products and services shows that even huge marketing and advertising companies are unaware of the power of these two elements.

Because you’ve come across this blog today, you are about to learn them. When you finish reading this, you’ll have a firm understanding of how and why they work, and some sneaky tricks that will allow you to use them starting today to get other people to do what you want.

So what are they?

Social Proof, and Authority.

Humans are hard wired to make decisions quickly. Back in the old days, before agriculture, people lived in small groups of around 200 people. If you made a wrong decision, you usually didn’t last long. Because the environment and living conditions were extremely dangerous, you couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.

Imagine going out chasing a woolly mammoth, and you always had the fear that if you twisted your ankle, or tripped over a rock, or got an infection from a small cut on branch, you were done. Game over. You’d likely be left behind, and probably wouldn’t last long. That’s hard to imagine today when almost any kind of medical ailment is easily treatable.

So humans developed a few shortcuts in decision making. One was social proof. Social proof is a powerful influential factor that causes people to get rid of logic and rational thinking and simply follow the crowd.

This worked beautifully on a woolly mammoth hunt. It kept everybody together and safe from predators. It worked terribly in Nazi Germany when everybody agreed it was ok to murder Jews. It is still working everywhere you look today, from fashion trends, to car styles, to popular restaurants. People don’t like to admit it, but at our core, humans are pack animals.

The second “shortcut” in thinking is authority. Whoever is recognized as the authority in the group will usually be obeyed without question. This goes hand in hand with social proof. The more people follow a leader, the more authority he will have, which of course gives him or her more social proof as a leader.

If you were walking down the street and some homeless guy that reeked of alcohol asked you for your drivers license, you’d laugh. But if a well built police officer with two smaller officers following obediently behind him asked for your drivers license, you probably couldn’t get it out quick enough.

If the man that collects your garbage told you that eating three raw onions a day is the secret to a hundred and fifty years of good health, you’d think he was a nut case. But if you heard a famous doctor, who has written several best selling, and well regarded books on health, say the same thing, you’d likely head straight over to the onion shop. And if you saw many others buying onions by the cartload, that would cement your decision even further to eat three raw onions a day.

The same message from two different sources can have a widely different effect, based only on the source. Shortcuts in thinking.

So how do you apply this to your own persuasion? Simply suggest that some kind of authority agrees with whatever you are saying. And suggest or imply that many people have already done what you are suggesting your target (or mark) do.

For example, if you are selling cars, which do you think is more persuasive:

This is a great car. It gets great gas mileage and will fit nicely in your garage. It’s got many safety features that will keep you and your family safe. It’s red, and red is a good color. I think you should buy this car. Whatta ya say?


Car and Driver is just one of many leading consumer magazines that has given this car a five star rating, based on many factors. When this model first came out it won three awards at the International Car Show in Italy. And of all the thousands of people that have bought this car already, two of the reasons they like it is the great gas mileage, and the incredible safety features. Of course it’s red, which is a very popular color. Many people have found that when they drive a red car, for some crazy reason they feel a boost in self-confidence. Leading Psychological experts have shown that driving a red car boosts your sex appeal as well. Of course, because this model is so popular, you’ll have to make a decision pretty quickly. I have three more appointments today that want to take a look at this car.

Which do you think is more persuasive?

Many experts in the science of persuasion have shown time and time again that the leading sales people who use these two powerful techniques of social proof and authority have quickly become the leaders in their field. Not only that but they get a lot more money and sex. And when you begin to use these powerful techniques in your daily conversation, you’ll be amazed how effective you will be.

Have fun.

How to Use Language to Persuade Others

I remember when I was a kid, I was in boy scouts. Our troop went to a beach for a weekend campout. The campgrounds were up on a bluff overlooking the beach, with fire rings and places to set up tents.

One thing I remember the most was that there was this new kid. And the poor kid seemed to be desperate to make friends. He would ask one of the other kids to do something, and would always promise things like “I’ll be your best friend,” or “I’ll buy you a soda,” and other stuff. At the time, most of the kids didn’t want anything to do with him, because it seemed creepy to have a kid promising us all kinds of stuff just to hang around him. Looking back, I feel kind of sorry for the kid. It can be tough being a new kid in a group when friendships and relationships have already been formed.

If you can imagine how difficult it can be to make friends as an adult, you can perhaps also sympathize with him. Being an adult, you have more confidence in yourself (hopefully!) so you can relax and be yourself, and be sure that friendships will develop gradually over time, like they should.

But what if you are in a situation, and you need to quicken the process? What if you need to make a good first impression on a boss, or a potential business partner? What then? Does it still work to promise to “be someone’s best friend?” Probably not.

If you are a salesperson, and you’ve ever tried to sell something to somebody, you now difficult it can be to get past resistance. If you give them a compliment, they can easily see it for what it is if it is not one hundred percent genuine.

So what do you do? One powerful way is to use linguistic presuppositions. Linguistic presuppositions are carefully constructed sentences that presuppose something to be true in order for the sentence to be understood.

An example is the following sentence:

One of the reasons that so many people have bought his product is that it’s lifetime warranty makes it much more valuable than the competition.

Take a look at what is being presupposed in the sentence:

– Many people have bought this product
– This product has a lifetime warranty
– It is much more valuable than the competition
– There are other reasons people have bought it

Even if you blatantly disagree with any of the above statements, you are tacitly accepting the others as truth.

So how do you use this technique to get someone’s good favor? Simple. Use sentences that presuppose good things about the other person. Even if you have never met them before, and don’t know anything about their history, you can still do this. Just think of something that is generally true of everybody.

For example, everybody has made decisions in their lives. Some good, some bad. Everybody has done good things in their life. Everybody has achieved accomplishments in their life.

So you can say,

“Well Mr. Customer, obviously, because you’ve made several good decisions before that have invariably led to substantial accomplishments, you can appreciate the fact that choices always present an opportunity for further achievement.”

That is a simple sentence, which doesn’t really say anything specific, but it presupposes something about the person that they can feel good about.

Another example:

“I’m sure that you’ve avoided temptation in the past due to your willpower and dedication to personal achievement, which is exactly why you are somebody that can really benefit from this product.”

Again, a fairly vague sentence, but it presupposes something good about the person, and uses that presupposition to convince them to consider your product or service.

These are but a few of the many ways that you can use linguistic presuppositions to promote yourself or your product. There are several resources to learn these. They were originally described in the book “The Structure of Magic,” by Bandler and Grinder. You can get it from Amazon.

Although these patterns can take some time to learn, they can be very powerful in promoting yourself, and making others feel really fantastic. You do like to make people feel fantastic, right?

How To Ace a Job Interview Even if There is Tough Competition

If you’ve ever had a job interview, you know now incredibly nerve wracking it can be. Suddenly you are sitting there, feeling completely under the microscope, as the interviewer looks over your resume with a passive look on his or her face. You have no idea what he or she is thinking, but you can’t help but wonder.

The good news is that interviewing is a skill, and like any other skill you can improve with practice. Of course, some people are fortunate enough not to have to go on many interviews, but many others have to go through several to land an even mediocre job.

So what is the secret? A mixture of self-confidence and criteria.

You need to be confident enough to give an honest assessment of your skills and how you can help the company’s bottom line. You do yourself no service whatsoever by being shy or reserved. If you have skills you need to make sure the interviewer knows about them, and believes you. If you don’t have skills, don’t say you do, otherwise you might find yourself in a difficult situation.

I was once in an interview for a technical position that was over my head. The interviewer asked me a question that required a specific knowledge of statistics to answer correctly. He asked the question, and without hesitation, I confidently said “fifteen.”

He paused, looked at me and asked: “Is that based on your knowledge and experience, or did you just make that up?”


You’d be surprised how many people go into an interview with a “please hire me I’ll do anything for you” mentality. Employers don’t like this. They are in business to make money, and they need skills, not somebody looking for an opportunity.

That is where criteria come in. This is an almost magical technique that you can apply in areas much wider than job seeking. And the less technical the position, and the more “people skill” oriented it is, the easier you can leverage criteria, even if you don’t have any particular experience in the field.

Here’s how it works. Once you establish some rapport in the interview, and you get past the “tell me about yourself” part. You’ll likely come to a part where the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Most people ask things like “when are the holidays,” or “what are the health benefits,” or “do you have dental,” or other things.

What most people don’t realize is that this part of the interview is a near perfect opportunity to leverage the employers criteria to almost guarantee you the position.

When it’s your turn to ask questions, as the employer to describe exactly what they are looking for in an employee. Make sure to really listen, and pay attention to words and phrases that he or she puts extra emphasis on. Especially vague phrases like “people skills,” or “dedication,” or “focused on the final product.”

Then simply ask follow up questions about those particular words or phrases that they “lean on,” so to speak. The more they talk about their ideal employ, with you sitting there in front of them, they will start to subconsciously imagine you as the ideal employee. Especially when almost every other prospective employee is asking what’s in it for them.

The longer you can draw out that part of the conversation, the better. And any time you feel an opportunity to work in a person story or anecdote about yourself, try and use some of those phrases mentioned above. It will go along way to putting you at the to of the list.

Tap Egyptian Power of Success

I was sitting in a bowling alley recently, waiting for my turn, and this guy sitting next to me started talking about the Egyptian Pyramids. He was explaining all the historical and political significance of them, which I had never really thought of before. When most people think of the pyramids, they naturally think of these giant structures that were built out in the middle of the desert, many thousands of years ago by a culture that we can’t begin to understand. Some even believe they had influence from alien life forms, as some of the structural mathematics matches up keenly with certain elements of our solar system and out galaxy.

This guy was telling me how it was a brilliant political maneuver by the government at the time. They were very dependent on the Nile for almost all of their food, and when the Nile didn’t provide sufficient water, many people suffered. Every year the Nile would flood, submerging many peoples houses and farms, so they were not only dependent on the Nile, but they had to live and move according to its behavior.

Having a whole people who felt they were at the mercy of the gods was not an easy people to govern. Any edict the Pharaoh would proclaim would always be conspired in light of the heavens and the forces of nature, and would consequently take a back seat.

Enter the pyramids.

Deciding to build the pyramids was a stroke of genius. It gave virtually every Egyptian a feeling of being in control of something, for the first time in their lives. They knew they were building a very large structure, and they could even imagine a point up in the sky that they were aiming for, and that they would one day reach. To go even further, the engineers designed the pyramids so that when they were finished, they would point to a certain and prominent star in the sky, so even at night the people could connect their daily activity towards a specific goal to a far of distant point of light in the mysterious night sky.

If you’ve ever taken the time to look at your goals, it’s important to have them defined in two different ways. One way so that you can determine exactly when you have accomplished them, and giving you a specific time and place to focus your attention. Keep your eyes and mind on the finish line at all time, so to speak. This way your brain knows exactly what behaviors to do and not to do in order to get you to your goal. Many people set goals and fail, not because they don’t want them, but because they are not set with enough clarity and specificity.

The other important factor is to set a goal in a direction that you want to go in. Once you achieve your goal, you are going to have to come up with another one. Resting on your laurels has long been known as a killer of motivation and success. When you choose a far of direction, like the horizon, or a star in the sky, you will keep on going in the right direction, and can keep your motivation when you stumble along the way.

When you set both of these with enough clarity and specificity, you will almost get to your goal automatically. Just like the pyramids, once they set the plans, gave everybody a clear idea of where the were going, the pyramids went up almost automatically. And anything you want to create in life will go up just as quickly and as smoothly.

One thing that did go very smoothly, was my bowling. It seemed that every time I released it, it would roll very smoothly straight to the gutter, and my friends very quickly erupted in laughter and told me what an entertaining bowler I am to watch.

The Power of Congruence

I used to work sometimes in this building that belonged to a local broadcaster of TV. The building also served as a resource for various community groups. They had different cultural classes, from modern expressionist art to a how to class on making traditional Japanese slippers. In the entrance of the building were several pictures of different newscasters and TV personalities. Some very attractive people, as being on TV, that has traditionally been a requirement.

I used to teach a class in the building on Monday nights. Every time I’d walk past that bank of TV personalities, there was one lady that I thought was exceptionally cute. For some reason, however, she didn’t have a “traditional” sense of beauty. So whenever I inwardly admired her picture, I realized that she wasn’t a traditional beauty. There was something about her smile, I guess.

One night, the entire class was leaving together. When we passed the bank of pictures, one of the students asked me which I thought was the cutest. At first I hesitated, because for some reason I thought my opinion might be met with disbelief, as there were certainly other faces that were more beautiful, at least according to TV standards. What happened kind of surprised me. After a brief period of reluctance, I said whom I liked. There was pause, as obviously my choice was different than expected. What came next was interesting. Instead of question my choice, why I liked what I did, everybody immediatley looked at this TV personality in new light. As if they thought maybe I saw something that they didn’t.

It kind of reminded me of a story I heard a long time ago. While I’m not exactly sure of the content of the story, the moral, or the punch line, was that people are not moved by the content of your desires, rather than the congruence of them. If you have kind of a wishy-washy expression of desire for something, even if it is somewhat generally popular, people will tend try to pick apart your opinion, and tell you why their ideas are better. But if you express a congruent expression of opinion, desire, or interest, people will generally respect your expressed desires, regardless of the content. And if you are congruent enough, they will go to great lengths to try and learn exactly what it is that you find so intriguing about this.

It is not the content of the message that is expressed that sways the minds of people; it is the congruence with which it is expressed. With enough congruence, any content can be persuasive and influential. I think that sometimes people miss the forest for the trees. Because most people are unaware of the underlying congruence, we tend to put too much effort on the content, when it is really the congruence that we find so intriguing.

You don’t have to look to hard into the annals of history to find evil men that had enough conviction and belief in their message to persuade whole countries to buy into and follow them in their destructive intentions.

When you can come up with a plan that is beneficial to other people, and present it to them with full congruence and belief, you will be an unstoppable force, with the ability and support to achieve almost anything that you can imagine.


How to be a Powerful Communicator

I remember I used to have this sales job. It was based on multi level marketing kind of structure. I don’t remember exactly what it was that they sold, some kind of paper products. It was a pure commissioned sales job, meaning that you only made money if you sold something. And if you recruited one of your friends, and they sold something, you got a piece of the profit. The job entailed going out and “cold calling” small business owners. If you have never experienced cold calling, I recommend you try it at least once. Basically it entails waking up to strangers and trying to sell them something. It’s a great way to force yourself out of shyness, and increase your self confidence. I’ll be honest, though, it’s incredibly difficult and can cause a lot of stress, if you are totally focussed on a need to make a lot of money. If you do it just for the experience, it can be a positive eye opener. You can learn a lot about yourself.

Because it was so high stress, at this company we would meet in the morning, have a kind of cheer leading type meeting, where we’d get all pumped up. Then we’d go out in pairs and cold call all day. We’d hit up about 60 businesses, and if we were lucky we’d get about three or four sales. That mean about fifty five rejections a day, ranging from polite to “GET THE HELL OUT OF MY SHOP! CAN’T YOU READ THE SIGN THAT SAYS NO SOLICITORS!” It really can be a way to develop thick skin, which can be useful in today’s climate.

After we’d head back to the office, we would have a breakdown meeting. I guess we would try and cheer each other up after getting rejected all day long. I discovered one very interesting thing during one of these meetings. One senior sales person asked how my day went. I said it was difficult, but it helped to be persistent. I remember that I used the word ‘persistent.’ And he responded with “Oh, so it helps to be diligent?” I kind of nodded, because it was late and I wanted to go home. Now it seems like a trivial difference “persistent” versus “diligent.” After all, if you look the two words up in the thesaurus, you’ll find the two listed as synonyms. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. When I used the word “persistent,” I specifically chose that word, because based on my own experience, that was the best word to describe my own personal experience for that particular day. When he reflected back my description of the experience back to me, he chose a different word. In my mind, that word didn’t describe at all the day I had. So the end result of his “coaching,” was that he didn’t appear to understand AT ALL what I experienced that day.

It reminded me of a seminar I went to once on communication. We were all asked to think of a duck. When we shared our ducks, they were all different. Small ducks, rubber ducks, even the AFLAC duck. A simple four letter noun yielded many different ideas of a duck. Is it any wonder that a abstract word like “persistent” can have such different meanings from person to person?

In some communication models, people are taught to paraphrase what people say back to them. I disagree with this. In the above example, the salesperson tried to paraphrase my words, which were a description of my own personal subjective experience, and failed miserably. In a split second, he became somebody that didn’t understand what I had gone through that day, simply by choosing one single word incorrectly.

How to get around this? How do you communicate to somebody that is telling you about an emotionally charged experience? Simple. Repeat back their exact words to them. I’ve heard this technique referred in some places as “parrot-phrasing” rather than paraphrasing, and I think the term is accurate. If the person in the example above had reflected back to me the same word, I would have felt respected and understood, rather than otherwise. It’s simple, and all that it requires is for you to pay attention to the person talking to you, and pay attention to the words they seem to put emphasis on. They might pause a litter bit before these words, they might say them with a different tonality. Be aware that these particular words have special significance to the person using them. When you treat the other persons word with respect, you will be treating them with respect. And it not only make you appear to be really a sincere, intuitive communicator, but it will make them feel safe in talking with you and sharing their experience.

How many situations can you imagine where this would be useful?


The Magical Power of Rapport

Try a little mind experiment with me. Imagine a friend of yours, one that you’ve known for a long time. You trust that person, right? If they suggested that you do something,and it didn’t sound too crazy, you’d probably do it, right? Me too. Now imagine if somebody that you didn’t know came up to you, and asked you out of the blue to do the exact same thing. How would you react? Probably the same way I would . Tell the person no thanks. If they persisted, then tell them to get lost.

What’s missing from this is a feeling of connection. A deep feeling of similarity with this person. Similar beliefs, ideas, experiences. It’s very hard for somebody that hasn’t known you for a long time to create this feeling. But what if there was? What if there were a secret method, known only to a few of how to create this feeling?

This technique is called rapport. The word rapport is probably familiar to you, but unfortunately it gets thrown around so much, not too many people really understand the power behind it. Rapport is that deep feeling that you experience when you are really connecting with somebody on an unconscious level. And the best part about it, is it’s really easy to do.

Here’s how.

The first step in rapport is to match body language of the person that you want to persuade. Mirror them as much as you can without getting caught. When they shift, you shift. This is so simple, yet so mindbogglingly powerful its amazing so many people don’t use this on a daily basis. If they are slouched a little bit, you slouch a little bit. If they are resting their elbow on the table, you rest your elbow on the table. I’m not going to even begin to describe how powerful this is on a first date, because I’m sure you can think of many ways you can use this.

The next step is to match their speech, as closely as possible. This one is a lot more complicated, because most people feel weird when speaking in a voice that is not ‘normal’ for them. It gets easier the more you do it, though. It’s important to match their tone and speed. If they speak really fast, you speak really fast. If they speak slow, and pause a lot, you speak slow and pause a lot.

The next step is to see their point of view. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything they say. This means listening, not interrupting, and really making an effort to see things from their point of view. Even if they have a belief which is diametrically opposed to yours, one such controversial topics such as abortion and gun control, hold your tongue. Listen patiently, and at least let them know that you respect their opinion, and you can see how they would have such an opinion. This is a major stumbling block for people. So much so that some people refuse to date or even be friends with people that have opposite opinions than theirs. This can be very limiting, as being able to see opinions from viewpoints than your own can be very rewarding.

These are just the beginning steps of developing deep rapport with somebody that you want persuade. But because they are so powerful, once you master these, you will have an edge over almost anyone you meet.