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Showing posts from July, 2013

What difference does five minutes make?

If the five minutes in question in the first five minutes of a conversation or meeting, it will make almost all the difference in determining whether or not you are successful in getting what you want from the encounter.

In the first five minutes, each of the people present decide:

What you want from the encounterWhat attitude you will bring into the encounterWhat your observations of the other person mean for your likelihood of success.These three decisions now become the filter for all the information present in your encounter. You will notice expressions, attitudes or information that supports your expectations. You will likely miss information, attitudes or expressions that do not fit with your expectations. 
It's true that much of this happens much more quickly than the first five minutes. But the first five minutes gives us a unit of time that most of us can handle more comfortably consciously. We cannot always imagine that we have made up our minds in the first 3 seconds of a…

"Yes" sets for building agreement and manipulation

I recently watched a video of a solution-focus therapist working with a client. The clip began with a number of questions and statements with which the client would agree.  In hypnosis and sales, it's known as a "yes set."

If you're not familiar with the concept, it works roughly like Simon Says.  In that game, you get into a pattern of doing what "Simon says" so that you eventually do what the leader says even when s/he does not insert the magic words "Simon says." In the "yes set," you get used to saying yes until such a strong pattern of agreement exists that you agree with statements or instructions you might not otherwise give your agreement. The more times in a row you have said "yes," the greater the probability that you will say "yes" to the next statement.

Yes sets can be seen in two ways. The first is that you are offering someone evidence that you are observing and accepting their experience. When every sta…

Your purpose is a working hypothesis about what you are already doing and being

Imagine this. You're in your early twenties, fresh out of school and you can't find a job that will support you or interest you.  What happens next?

Now imagine: You're in your early fifties; you need an income; and whatever jobs you have had no longer support you or interest you. What happens next?

It's easy to see that people who have a clear purpose succeed: or at least, it is easy to see that successful people often seem to have a clear purpose and a plan for working in line with that purpose. Logically, this does not mean that there are not lots of people out there with a purpose who are struggling to find ways to live it. But having a purpose does seem to build both resilience and optimism, and those often lead to a better quality of life.

So where do you go to get a purpose?

Most of us settle for goals: things we can see clearly enough to work toward with a sense of possibility. Often goals are handed to us by other people: they are called targets or objectives…