Welcome to Influence, Psychology and Persuasion

This is session number 010 of Influence Psychology and Persuasion. I have a confession! I have just covered this in another one of my Podcast on NLP titled Representational systems, but this just had to be added here too. It’s an entirely new recording, and I’ll be explaining it in another way. More aligned with Influence and persuasion.

Using representational systems to get people on board is a skill not to be missed. This is very quickly practised and very simple to implement too. Here’s the video:

What are Representational Systems?

Simply put, representational systems are our five senses. Each of us, senses and experiences the world very differently as you probably well-know. The senses are V.A.K.O.G. and these stand for visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory. Typically, and for the purpose of this session, I’ll be just talking about the first three, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Most people do not experience the world through smell or taste so will leave those out for simplicity. People have preferences in the type of representational system that they use most. This is their dominant or preferred representational system, But typically, people will use all of the senses to experience at some point or another.

How Is This Useful For Influence And Persuasion?

This gets interesting when you can use a person’s preference in your dialogue while you are communicating in with them. This connection or matching of representational systems is what makes people feel more significant levels of rapport and more comfort. And we know by now, affinity and feeling comfortable always allows for interactions to flow more smoothly and therefore will enable the communicator to direct the situation conversation into the desired outcome more efficiently. The most accessible example that you will know and understand is when two people meet for the first time but get on so well for no reason known to them that they make a statement like “it feels like we were on the same wavelength”  or even “we just talk the same language”. This is a great sign. That two people are aligned in how they represent the world and its meaning.

How to Know What Representational Systems Someone is Using

Listen, listen, listen! It becomes effortless to pick out in a person’s language what their representational preference is just by having a few moments talking to them. “What was your journey like here today?” ” Well, to be honest, I felt a little overwhelmed before I left home which probably set me on the path to an uncomfortable train journey and an anxious feeling in my stomach.” 

As you can see in that short example person that answered represented their morning using words aligned with a kinesthetic representational system. Words like overwhelmed, anxious, feeling, uncomfortable are all signs or sub-modalities of a kinesthetic communicator. One thing I like to point out here is to not necessarily jump on the bandwagon and think that someone is automatically primarily a kinesthetic type just by a line or two of communication, take note and carry on the discussion to see what else comes out. “How you getting on with the report”? “Wow! When I first saw it, I felt a little bit sick. But to be honest, it seems clear now, I have a picture in my mind of where I need to go with it, and I’ll have it on your desk by next Tuesday”.  As you can see by the above example, I’ve bolded the words that give you an indication to the representational systems used, and there are two. Feelings, therefore, kinaesthetic and then visual. As you can see, just by asking a few simple questions or listening to a person in dialogue, you will rapidly be able to pick up on their representational systems will be to respond in line with that. Get the picture?

Do I Need To Know My Own Representational Preference?

You absolutely do! Knowing you own preference allows you to tailor your responses, and questions to another person line of communication by using their representational choices. If you are the first to interact, or you are talking to a large group, you don’t have the luxury of tailoring your communication using their preference, so what you do in this situation? Well, it’s easier than you might think. As you saw above in that small demonstration, people do flit between representational systems all the time. So to influence and keep a high level of rapport with groups of people, or with people that you haven’t yet had an open dialogue with. Use language that varied in the representational system make your preference, all three, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. When describing, telling a story or elaborating. This is a surefire way to connect with all of the listeners.