Meta Model ‘Distortions’ (1): Mind Reading

If you are doing a presentation to a prospective client, and the client says “I know you’re just trying to manipulate us into buying something we don’t need”, how do you change her mind? In that situation many people might just deny the charge, but that probably won’t work – the more you deny it, the more the client may think you are trying to manipulate her. So what do you do instead?

Let’s be clear about what’s happening here. The client is speaking as if she definitely knows your intentions, or your thoughts, or your emotional state. In NLP we call this “mind reading”.

What recognising this pattern gives you is an opportunity to find out more about how the client is thinking, so instead of protesting your innocence, you could ask, “If you don’t mind me asking, what gave you that idea?” What we really want to know is “How do you know?” but we’re softening it a little to maintain rapport. In answering that question, the client will give you more information about her belief systems and how her map of the world operates.

Next pattern: ‘Lost Performatives

This is an extract from the book Practical NLP 2: Language: How to use presuppositions, chunking, the Meta Model and the Milton Model in practice. Check out all the 5 star reviews on Amazon!

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© 2024, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.

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