Monthly Sleight of Mouth Tip- April 2014
Sleight of Mouth is an NLP Persuasion Skill. If you are not yet familiar with it this new monthly tip may not make as much sense to you as it could if you were to read the book or listen to the MP3s. (available at our web site)
We’ve all had the experience of having been in an argument or a disagreement and afterwards wishing we’d handled it differently. A half hour too late we think of the perfect response and sometimes even replay the argument in our mind with our revised ending featuring our perfectly timed, awesomely clever rejoinder. This is called a learning experience and hopefully next time the arrival of our marvelous witticism will coincide with its need to be uttered.
To me, when I find myself in a situation – especially an emotionally charged situation – in which I want to use the persuasion skills of Sleight of Mouth, the ability to go Meta is critical. In other words, I need to be sure my brain is engaged before my mouth is put in gear. I’m sure you have never done this, but sometimes in emotionally charged situations, I respond in ways I mastered when I was five. Arguments that go something like “are not!” “Am too!” “Are not!” Am too!”
As an adult, I find I actually get better results when I step back and disassociate from the argument and ask myself – “what’s really being said here?” I want to know what the actual belief is that the other person is expressing. Another good question for this is “What is necessary for him (or her) to believe in order for him to say what he’s just said?” I attempt to ascertain the full NBS (normalized belief structure or “If-Then-Means”) that this person is operating out of and also attempt to decide upon a different belief I want to lead them to. Of course, this has to happen really quickly and it isn’t always so easy to do. “Is not!” or “Is too!” is far easier.
Here are the four steps I have found to be really useful in the quest of using the tools well and maintaining rapport at the same time:
1. Take a deep breath and exhale
2. Step back in your mind and see the situation as if you are an impartial observer to the whole
3. Ask “What beliefs are being expressed?” (or one of the other two questions listed above)
4. Determine yourself, “What is my outcome?” or “What do I want?”
From here it is usually far easier to come up with the right reframes to employ to move the conversation in the direction you would like it to go.