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In todays post I want to look at some mistakes people will typically make when trying to learn covert hypnosis and build rapport with others:
Rapport Mistake Number 1
The most common mistake is a lack of genuine interest.
The thing about ‘interest’ is that, when you feel an interest inside and your focus is actually on the ideas that someone else is presenting, your whole body language changes.
You begin to sub-communicate, at a very subtle level, signals of interest; your pupil dilation will change, your level of focus will be changed, your movements will be different. And these are things that other people will read very carefully at the unconscious level and be influenced by.
Now influencing people on an unconscious level is obviously something which is very important in covert hypnosis and if you don’t know how to do it right then you will have a very hard time influencing anyone.
So if your own signals, which are going out, are saying “I’m bored, I’m disinterested, I don’t want to know any more”, well the other people will respond to those signals by shutting down, or getting annoyed, or just losing interest in the conversation themselves.
So there are two simple solutions to this problem.
The first solution is what a great therapist, called Carl Rogers, called ‘having a high unconditional regard for the other person’.
Now, no matter what you think of that person normally, whilst you’re using covert hypnosis and building rapport with that person you must, inside your mind, convince yourself completely and 100% that whatever the other person is saying is worthy of
Now I happen to think that that’s a good way to view people anyway.
But to have a high unconditional regard for someone else will help them to open up, because suddenly all the signals coming from you are saying, “Whatever you say, you will not be criticised, you will not be attacked”, which makes them feel safe enough to begin to share the feelings and ideas that actually characterise rapport in the first place.
Another, and slightly more obvious way of doing this is what’s called to ‘track back’.
Track Back is similar but different to ‘active listening’.
In active listening you’re told, “When you listen to what someone says, then repeat what they’ve said to you in different words so that they know that you’ve heard them”.
Now there’s a big problem with active listening; and it’s that language has a neurological effect on people. There’s a difference between someone saying,
“The baby was in my arms”, to someone saying, “I was holding the infant”. Whilst the information may be the same, the actual emotional tone is very different.
It actually fires different parts of the neurology, and is understood differently on an emotional level.
So, if someone says, “Well, I was holding my baby in my arms”, and then you reply [in very formal voice] “Well, so you were holding the infant”, the problem is at that point the person feels that you’ve somehow misunderstood (because you’ve missed the emotional undertones of the conversation).
The solution is to ‘track back’ – to actually use the same words and the same tonalities that someone else has been using.
Well, let’s give you an example of how you can covertly hypnotize someone using this method. If I say to you, “Well, I was walking down to the shops and, you know, a person just jumped out at me and scared me”…
A Track Back might track that same information and say, “Oh, so you were walking down to the shops, and then suddenly someone jumped out and they scared you.”
Notice that I’m using the exact same language and reflecting it back on to them.
This goes back to the idea of ‘matching and mirroring’ someone, but I’m doing it in a conversational hypnosis style so that it fits the context of what I’m doing.
Another way that you can actually employ a ‘track back’ frame is to say something like, “Oh, let me just make sure I’ve got this right. You want to do this.”
And then you repeat the exact same words back to them.
Rapport Mistake Number 2
The second most common mistake people make when using covert hypnosis is playing the wrong role inside of a relationship.
Now, when two people relate to each other, their relative status will always be fluctuating. To some extent, someone will be a higher status, someone a lower status, and sometimes they’ll be of equal status.
Now, when I talk about status, this is not a value judgement. Someone who’s higher status does not necessarily mean that they are better people. It’s a role that’s being played.
For example, a teacher and a student: the teacher needs to have the higher status in order to be able to teach the student.
The problem is that some people are inflexible, and they can only really relate to someone who is in a particular status.
So some people are maybe so frightened that someone will look down on them that they can only ever be in a high status role. So if you try and take your high status role from them, they’ll start distrusting you or disliking you for it.
So, to be flexible in your communication, sometimes you’ll play the underdog, sometimes you’ll play the equal, and sometimes you’ll play the charismatic or authority figure that leads the way forward.
Now, the trick is to help someone create more flexibility by perhaps starting at the level that they require, and then slowly changing it so that they need to adapt to you.
But remember, the ‘pacing and leading’ principle means you move only as quickly as the other person can keep track of what you’re doing, and actually follow along.
Rapport Mistake Number 3
Now, the final mistake is something that very few people actually ever realise.
This is the difference between what I call ‘deep rapport’ and ‘wide rapport’.
Deep rapport is a covert hypnosis technique that eveyone tries to establish. They try and drill down to the depth of a shared experience.
Let’s say that you and the person that you’re talking to both like motorbikes. And you spend hours and hours and hours talking about motorbikes and motorbike conventions.
Now you would think that that was a good thing; that that now you would have a good relationship going.
Well actually, believe it or not, you’ve actually just shot yourself in the foot.
Let’s take an example.
Let’s imagine that you had a great teacher at school – someone that you really got on well with. And you loved going to this person’s lessons.
Now one day you’re in the supermarket, shopping with your mother, or perhaps you’re out with your friends, when this teacher – let’s call him Mr. Smith – comes along and starts talking to you, but outside of a school environment.
Maybe he’s at a party and you’re at the same party.
How do you feel?
Well, if you’re like most people, you’ll feel a little bit awkward talking to this teacher, maybe in the supermarket or at a party.
Because the rapport you have is contextualised; it only fits in one specific place. So, when you see the out of context, it somehow feels wrong, or unusual.
This is a mistake that people make time and time again: The boss at work, the person working with clients.
The solution to this mistake is to create what I call Wide Rapport.
In wide rapport, you actually give them many different experiences of you, in many different environments.
The way to create wide rapport is essentially one of two things.
Either you meet them in lots of different locations, so that every location creates a new set of memories of you two interacting together. And that creates a wider set of contexts in which it’s okay for you guys to interact.
Another way to create wide rapport is through your use of storytelling. The more stories that you tell about different types of topics/themes/ideas, the more they get a sense of your entire personality and actually build rapport with that.
So you don’t get limited to just one track. You have all these different tracks. And after a while, when you’ve opened enough topics, the other person will spontaneously assume that they can talk to you about anything.
When we get to the storytelling, or hypnotic storytelling part of this course, we’ll give you plenty of exercises and loads of ideas of how to actually tell different kinds of stories that will allow people to build rapport in different ways.
Hypnotic storytelling goes much further than just the ability to build rapport, but it’s very, very important within this context as well.
So, now that you’re aware of the most common mistakes, and have some simple solutions, you can actually begin to refine your abilities to start building rapport with more people and more elegantly as well.