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Influencing persuasion by John LaValle


John La Valle, President of the Society of NLP, is one of the most sought-after business trainers in the world. Here he gives us an insight into the art of persuasion.

When most people consider
the idea of Persuasion and Influence, they automatically think: Business and Sales. And, yet, we are engaging in these activities every day in all interactions with others. Think about it: On the very subtle side, if/when you smile at someone, isn’t that an attempt to get a response back? If it isn’t, then why are you giving them a smile? On another side, if you are stopped by a police officer for speeding, don’t you do all you can to persuade/influence that person to let you go without a summons?

So, each and every day, in all areas of your life, you are in the process of persuading/ influencing someone to do something: your spouse, children, boss, friend, neighbour, etc. using your entire system of verbal and nonverbal communications.

Consider that each and every one of us goes through our lives thinking of whatever we are thinking of, in our own heads most of the time, in our own “trances” or “altered states”, and while there, we are “self absorbed”, and not really paying that much attention to what’s outside of our heads.

Whatever the reason, this is what happens. And we know that if/when we want to influence/persuade someone, we must have their attention. And that is really the first, and most important thing in any interaction, after making sure that you, yourself, are in your optimal state.

If your child, for example, is playing their video game, or they’re texting on their
phone at the dinner table (I don’t know why this would even be acceptable to you), and you say to them, “Be sure to finish your homework,” and they even respond with, “OK,” all the while playing their video game, then you can safely expect that they have not gotten the message as you have intended, or encoded in a useful way.
And somehow, you even suspect this to be the case, and still don’t take the interaction further. The same happens with many, many others in many, many different environments. As I have witnessed many times the other person saying to someone else, “I heard you”, they really haven’t “listened” to you, meaning, “message not received”.

For years now I have been teaching that the first important step after getting into your own optimal state is to change the other person’s state, that is their emotional, internal, neuro-chemical brain state.
This is quite simply because that state is the one they are in at that time, and
it may not be the best state for them
to be in to receive your communication with the intention that you have for that
communication. Without getting too “technical” about it, it is a matter of changing the other person’s neurochemistry if/when it’s not their best state for dialog with you.

To put this another way, I have encountered many people who are interested in putting other people into what they would call a trance or altered state, when this is the easy part.
The real first step is getting them out of their current altered state. Once you can do that, then you can begin with all the other language skills that we teach,

You can buy John’s book here

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John La Valle

One of the World's most respected corporate consultants and the co-author of 'Persuasion Engineering'® with Richard Bandler. "When I first became interested in NLP, it was quite by accident. I came across a one day basic introduction program and was wowed in the first hour. As soon as I could, I attended my first Practitioner program. I quickly figured how best to adapt the technology of NLP into business applications. Since then, I have personally trained with most of the 'major players' in the field in the 1980's. I met Richard Bandler early in my training and his attitude and skill appealed to me. He could get results! Being a bottom line business person, I liked that! No fluff, no theories, just get down to it and change! I liked it. What I found most interesting was the fact that I could get results in the business arena. I’m still in contact with a lot of my corporate clients across the globe, many of whom have seen their business multiply year after year. They still bring me in for 'tune-ups' from time to time. They hire better people, promote the right ones, train differently and even manage differently. Ultimately they lower their costs and increase profits. That's the bottom line! People have asked me what the turning point was for me in my own training. Well the first thing was the moment I realized that it’s not just enough to want, but then to do. Stepping across that line and just going for it! The second was realizing how powerful language is and how easily we can change behaviour using just language. Miracles? Sure, I've seen many, I've been accused of performing some, but I don’t think that. I find that learning how to use our brains and using them correctly is contagious. Teaming up with Kathleen and Richard for the Practitioner Seminar and Master Practitioner Seminar, our diverse backgrounds and broad skill sets really bring the party to these top of the line seminars!"

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