In this article I interview David Snyder, Hypnotist, NLP Master Practitioner, trainer, and one of the worlds leading experts on the art of Influence and Persuasion.
- NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)
- State control
- How to get rapport with someone
- How to get rapport with someone if they’re in a negative state
- How to change someone’s state
- How to succeed in a job interview
- The resistance removal formula
- Overcoming objections before they come up
- Power poses
- The rock star meta-frame
- Media manipulation
- Cause-effect structures
- Complex equivalence
What is NLP?
Michael Frank: I always like to begin with a clear definition of terms. What is NLP? What is Neuro-linguistic programming?
David Snyder: NLP is the study of the structure of subjective human experience. In other words, it’s the study of how human beings create meaning in their own minds, and in their own neurologies, and how they use that to navigate the universe inside of themselves and outside.
If you were to ask Richard Bandler the founder of NLP he would say:
“NLP is the study of superior thinking” – Richard Bandler
NLP is about how human beings create their map of the world both internally and externally, how they relate to it, how it controls and dominates their way of expressing themselves, and how that language or map is expressed through their spoken language, and how it can be influenced through spoken language. Because language is the medium by which all of our internal experiences are transmitted.
Michael Frank: When it comes to influence and persuasion I think the first thing you need with anyone is rapport. If you don’t have rapport, people won’t listen to you, you won’t influence or persuade them, and you certainly won’t lead them. How would you go about using NLP to build rapport with someone?
David Snyder: Well, first and foremost, I’d like to give you a little bit of a distinction there, because state control has to come before rapport.
State control is the ability to enter or exit or link together within yourself, any sequence of psychoemotional states at will on demand. Now, the reason for that is that if you learn the rapport techniques that NLP has to teach you, but you do not have control of your state, you are going to be at the mercy of whatever rapport that you get. So if you’ve ever gotten rapport with somebody who’s in a bad mood or feeling sick, did you suddenly feel all energetic and sprightly?
Michael Frank: Nope
David Snyder: So one of the things that we need to understand is that as human beings our spoken language is tertiary to everything else.
If you are not in the right state, it does not matter how much NLP you know, you will not be able to get rapport.
How to get rapport with people
To get rapport with people, many times you must match the psychoemotional state that they’re in, and NLP will give you mechanical techniques for doing that:
- Matching their breathing patterns
- Matching their blink rate
- Using the verbs they use
- Using the tonalities they use
- Using the postures they use
Anytime you can take your physiology and make it match or reflect the person you’re seeking to get rapport with you’ll get it.
Rapport is actually something that can’t not happen as long as you have proximity to the other person. It’s just that the techniques of NLP will allow you to accelerate the process and get into the frequency of the other person faster.
Classical NLP is going to teach you to take on as many of the characteristics of the person that you’re seeking to influence as possible, to mimic them, for lack of a better word, and then every now and then just make a different movement or change something and see if they follow you. They call that pacing and leading. Pacing means to become like something in this context.
We have to look at pacing from two places.
- To become as much like someone or something as possible. That is the key to rapport.
- To talk about things that are true in their experience
How to get rapport with someone in a negative state
Michael Frank: If you want to build rapport with someone, but let’s say they’re in a negative state, but for some reason you just want that rapport, maybe they’re a hiring manager for a job, or a hot girl you like who’s just in a bad mood. You don’t necessarily want to take on that person’s negative state, but you do want to have rapport and to influence them and maybe lead them. How do you then go about having rapport? Do you need to buy into their worldview or not?
David Snyder: Well it helps at least for a moment to match their state, because human beings have an interesting phenomena called mirror neurons and they have this desire for connection. They have a desire for alliance. You’ve heard the saying “Misery loves company”
How to change someone’s state
If you walk up to someone you have two choices for how to get them out of the state they’re in: You can either interrupt it completely, and depending on the context and the environment that may be the most useful thing to do, however most people don’t have the kahunas to interrupt another person’s state. But if you have good state control, you can go in and match their state, match their physiology, and then change your state and they will follow you because the fastest way to change anybody state is to change your own.
But sometimes if you come in at too high an energy level, the difference between your frequency and their frequency will make you bounce off each other.
But if your energy level is just a little bit higher than theirs and you come in just a little bit faster than their state, then you can bring it down and raise their energy up.
Some states are too deep to interrupt, but generally speaking if you match their state, match their physiology, connect with them, and echo their words back to them, it will cause them to cleave to you.
The moment someone senses a connection with you, that you’re on the same wavelength, that you’re like them, that is something they don’t want to give up because they’ve been validated, and they’ve gotten the okay signal that things are right with them, that you approve of them in some unconscious, unspoken way, and they will follow you to keep it.
How to succeed in a job interview
Michael Frank: Let’s say you’re at a job interview and you’ve got an interviewer who is detached, poker-faced, revealing nothing no matter how good your answers are. How would you go about building rapport if they’re not giving you anything, especially if they’re being disagreeable or difficult?
David Snyder: I would do exactly what they’re doing. First of all, if somebody has an intention to alienate you, than the act of trying to supplicate to them isn’t going to work. You also have to be careful in that context because you’re in a subordinate position anyway. You’d have to reset the frame. I would start with something like:
“Well Mr. Smith, obviously you’re looking for someone to take on a very important role in your company, and you know that good people know good people, and it’s important for me as a perspective employee before I take any job that might be offered, to know that there’s a fit because I want to do the best job I can, but I also want to be happy in the place that I’m working, and I know you want somebody that will satisfy all of your requirements in a way that allows you to feel good about that. And just so I understand you better what’s important to you about the right person for this job?”
And then if they’re not going to give me the information, then there’s no fit. But once I’ve set that context, the information they give me is exactly what I’m going to talk about, because the most powerful and most important words a person can hear, and the fastest way to break the ice and send an unconscious signal to a person’s neurology that you’re exactly like them in a way that’s pleasurable, is to echo their words back to them almost verbatim. Again: The most important words that any human being can hear at any given moment are the words that just came out of their mouth.
“The most important words that any human being can hear at any given moment are the words that just came out of their mouth” – David Snyder
Michael Frank: In addition to asking questions, you’re getting the person to sell you the job in some way, shape or form, and to display the benefits as to why it might be a good place for you to work as they’re trying to get you to qualify yourself.
David Snyder: Absolutely. Because if I go in there supplicating I lose all my power. But if I’m looking for the right fit, just like they’re looking for the right fit, and I show that I’ve got options and I can walk if I don’t think it’s a good fit, and I do that in a non-threatening, non-asshole-ish kind of way, that’s going to be better for me.
The person with the power in the relationship is the person who can walk away. But you have to remember that you’re in their world, so you can’t draw that line in the sand in such a way that it challenges their authority. It has to be very soft, very ambiguous, a subtext kind of a thing.
When I ask him what the perfect employee looks like, I trigger in his brain something known as a transderivational search where he’s going to go through all of the little filing cabinets in his brain to find an example of a perfect employee that met all of his criteria, and then all of the feelings and characteristics of that person are going to flash into his brand either consciously or unconsciously as he’s looking at me.
Through the use of my state, my mirror neurons, my language, my intention, I then get him to anchor those things to me at a subtle level. Now as he talks about the perfect employee, I get to discover the exact words that trigger those feelings that amplify that state, and based on the language he gives me and the rules by which he establishes the ideal employee, I can now fan that flame into an inferno, and he gave me all the information.
But if the guy’s not giving me a lot of information and I just start riffing off my resume, then I’m just doing the equivalent of a features and benefits presentation, but I don’t know what’s important to him and what isn’t. When I start talking about me, I only want to talk about me in respect to what’s important to him.
Identify the emotional hot buttons
Michael Frank: You need to know his buying criteria, and you can’t get it unless you ask questions.
David Snyder: You’ve got to know what his emotional hot buttons are. And this is important: You’ve got to know how he recognizes that.
On one level, it’s okay to talk about things like respect and safety and security and punctuality and a good worth ethic, but you also got to know how he recognizes those things. What’s his strategy for knowing when somebody has a good work ethic, is a self starter, is motivated to take charge, if that’s important to him?
The most powerful experiences a person has are their memories. The minute you open up a memory, everything connected to that memory gets activated, the associations, the criteria, the values, but most importantly the emotions. And the minute you’ve activated somebody on the emotional level, you’ve generated a sequence of body feelings that change their perceptual filters, and they start looking at you through the lens you’ve just created.
Michael Frank: Let’s talk about framing, and let’s first define it. What is a frame?
David Snyder: A frame is a point of view or a perspective that determines the meaning of a behavior or an interaction or a situation.
I was rereading a very old book on attraction the other day, The Mystery Method, it’s a really good read on overall social dynamics. You can take everything he’s put in that book and apply it to any form of interaction.
In the book someone says:
“He got off”
Well, that’s a very ambiguous statement until we wrap a context around it.
What does “He got off” mean?
He was arrested?
He was sitting on something and he got off?
He had an orgasm?
It’s the context that determines the meaning.
And the interesting thing about contexts is that they’re infinitely malleable. You can change the context, and the person that can control the context controls the meanings of the interaction, and the behaviors generated from those meanings.
I teach my students that the person who holds the frame longest and strongest wins. So if I can adopt a point of view and hold it through state control, I can cause another person to give up their view of reality and buy into mine in spite of themselves.
Michael Frank: “He who controls the frame, controls the game”
David Snyder: Yes, and it’s something you have to hold, because every time you get into a situation with one or more individuals, there’s going to be a frame war, a battle of whose reality is dominant, and whose reality is subordinate, and you need to understand that.
I teach my students that the goal in any interaction, whether it’s an interview, a date, or a negotiation, is not to be dominant, and it’s not to be liked, it’s to be effective, it’s to get your outcome.
So the question for a master of influence isn’t:
“How do I dominate this frame?”
“Who do I need to be to control this frame?”
Sometimes I need to be the subordinate, in order to get the person I’m interacting with to behave in a predictable, desirable manner.
Sometimes I need to treat them as an equal.
But when I hold the frame long enough and strong enough through my state control, my posture, my breathing, my point of view, they will buy into it. They will fight it at first, but the longer I hold it, and not try to defend it, the more rapidly they will accept it.
This is important: The minute you have to defend your frame, you’ve lost it.
How to know what frame to adopt
Michael Frank: How do you go about identifying what frame to take on? How do you know whether to take on the frame of a subordinate or an equal or a leader?
David Snyder: What’s my outcome? The first thing I need to do is figure out my outcome.
Then I ask myself:
“Who does this person need to be to take the actions I want them to take?”
“What states do they have to have for them to want to take those actions?”
Because it’s almost always going to come down to what’s in it for them, right?
So who I need to be in any given interaction is predicated on my ability to acquire information about the subject.
If I know you better than you know me…
A huge part of being an influencer is being able to pay attention to the behaviors and the languaging of people to know as much about your subject or your target as humanly possible.
When I studied kinesic interview and interrogation techniques in my undergrad I remember my instructor saying:
“If I know you better than you know me, I can influence you…
If I know you better than you know yourself, I can control you…”
And that’s what the art of influencing people is all about. It’s about profiling people. It’s about getting inside the other person’s head and figuring out:
- Who they are
- What their motivation is
- How they express it
- What their microexpressions are
- What their values are
- What it is they really want
And as we learn those things influencing people gets easier.
The resistance removal formula
Michael Frank: If you were speaking to a control freak, let’s say in a sales situation, would you reinforce their sense of autonomy and control, so they knew they had the final say?
David Snyder: The first thing I’m going to do is give them back their sense of choice. There’s a process I teach based on a book called Instant Influence by Michael Pantalon. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do.
We called the autonomizer formula, or the resistance removal formula.
“The most powerful way to get someone to do something they just told you they don’t want to do, is to have them generate their own reasons for doing it” – David Snyder
The most powerful way to get someone to do something they just told you they don’t want to do, is to have them generate their own reasons for doing it. It doesn’t even matter if those reasons are completely made up, because the human neurology does not resist itself, this is something you can take to the bank. If the neurology has generated it the neurology will accept it. That’s why the most important words a human being can ever hear, are the ones that just came out of their mouth.
But if I’ve got someone who’s got obvious control issues, I would start by saying:
“You know it’s obvious that being in control of the situation is important to you. Just so that we’re on the same page, I want you to know that I’m here to support you. If you want to go forward, we’ll go forward. If you want to hold back or pull back, we’ll go back. It’s entirely up to you. I’m going to support you either way.
My job is to make sure that there’s a fit one way or another. If there is, great, we’ll go forward. If there isn’t, then we’ll find another way to do this. I’m sure that there’s another client or agent that you can work with that may be a better fit for you.
But I am curious about something:
If you were to want to go forward with this project for your reasons, not your bosses reasons, not your colleagues reasons, not your wife’s reasons, not your kids reasons, why might you want to go forward with this?”
Whatever they say I’m gonna agree with, then I’ll say:
“You know what, I agree with you, I think you’ve got a valid point there. So just so I understand you, I’m going to ask you a weird question because again, maybe this’ll work, maybe it won’t, and I’m going to support you either way, but on a scale of 0-10, based on what you told me, how much might you want to do that?”
Then they’re going to give me a number. Let’s say “4”. I’ll say:
“Fantastic. So just so I understand you better:
“Why didn’t you rate it less?”
“Why so much?”
And that’s going to confuse them because they’re expecting me to challenge them on why they didn’t want it more.
When I say:
“Why didn’t you rate it less?”
“Why do you want this so much?”
Even if it’s a 4, their neurology is going to generate a justification, a rationalization for why they want it at that intensity level, and in the act of generating that rationalization for why they want it so much, they will increase their desire and that 4 will jump to a 5 or a 6 or a 7.
Michael Frank: What if they give you a 3 or a 4, but the reasons they give you aren’t really that compelling? How do you then go about increasing that number, increasing those reasons, getting them to provide even more fuel to the fire?
David Snyder: Well you start with whatever they give you, so if they give you a 1, you start there. If they give you 0.5 you start there, and you just keep on chunking down from a global to a more specific piece until you start to get non-verbal agreement. Then you drill down into the criteria and values of it.
Just the act of changing their thoughts from why they don’t want to do it, to generating reasons as to why they might want to do it, they’ve changed their own frame.
“If this were the case, this is why I would want to do it”.
They’ve already adopted that frame. They’re operating within that bubble. Now you’re chunking down even deeper into the bubble that contains the decision they made that was completely different from what they said they want to do. And as they generate more and more reasons for why they want to do it, because what did I do there…
“Why so much?”
“Why didn’t you rate it less?”
I just challenged them. I just challenged their belief. The belief that gets challenged directly, rationally, grows stronger. Have you ever tried to logic a girl into going out with you? It just does not work.
I’ve taken the exact same mechanism that we would use in rhetorical argument to beat somebody over the head with the facts, and I’ve turned it in the opposite direction.
In other words, that same mechanism that could have derailed me if I tried to logic them into why they would want to do it, is now generating reasons for the thing I want them to do.
Michael Frank: It’s almost like a form of reverse psychology, isn’t it?
David Snyder: It’s a little bit more sophisticated than that, but that’s why we call it the resistance removal formula, because it’s not:
“I don’t want you to do that”.
That’s very blatant. It’s very obvious. But when you soften it and you pre-reframe it, I’m controlling frames throughout this entire interaction, right?
The first thing I want to do is to establish an autonomy frame where I’m on their side.
“I don’t want you to do something that you don’t want to do”
“I don’t want you to do something that is against your will”
“I’m going to support you no matter what decision you make”
And I have to be sincere about that because people have great bullshit detectors.
What you’ll find though, is the minute you’ve given somebody back their sense of autonomy, they become much more malleable to external influence. It’s just how it works.
So when you give somebody that support, the right to say no without feeling attacked or incriminated, and you’re actually going to support them on it:
“Just so I understand you better, just play with me a little bit, if you were to want to do this for YOUR reasons, why might you want to do that?”
“Why” questions activate a different part of the brain functionally, then “what” or “how” questions. “Why” questions activate the neocortex. They activate the rationalization generating mechanism. We call it the rational lying brain. So when I ask someone why they want to do something, they’re going to elicit a rational lie to themselves, and to ourselves. It’s a belief system they create on the moment for why they would appoint a view. It’s a frame.
As they talk about it, and they hear it coming back from me, they feel heard, they feel connected, they feel justified, because I’m using their exact words.
Elicit criteria and values
If I need to go deeper, I’ll elicit criteria and values, I may ask:
“So just so I understand you better, just to make sure that we’re getting everything exactly right for you: What’s important to you about this? What will it do for you?”
Now I’m eliciting the criteria, the emotional drivers behind a reason that they’ve generated on the fly, which is the complete opposite of what they said they wanted to do in the first place, but as they go deeper into that process, they’ll buy into it more and more and they’ll adopt the new frame. They never stop to think in most cases, “I didn’t want to do this in the first place”.
Instead they start thinking about why they want to do it, and what they’re going to get from it. That’s a completely different place for them to come from than resistance and saying “I don’t want to do that”.
And then the close can be very, very simple. I often say:
“So what’s the next step that we need to take to move this forward?”
And whatever they give you, whether it’s a big step or a little step, you agree with it in a very nonchalant, casual way, and you take that next step.
Now you’ve incrementally moved them along the path that they told you they wanted to go, to do what you wanted them to do.
Closing the sale: Don’t pull too hard
One of the things you’ve got to be careful of in that moment is that you don’t pull too hard. You don’t want to be like the inexperienced fisherman who pulls so hard that he pulls the hook out of the fish. You’ve got to be like the master fisherman who let’s the fish pull away if it wants to.
When I’m working with clients if I say:
“So I’m curious, what’s the next step we need to take to go forward?”
Him: “Well I guess I need to go make an appointment”.
Me: “Okay, well let’s go ahead and walk you out there, but before we go out there and you make an appointment, do you have any other questions that I can answer for you?”
And just asking that one question it alleviates their need to say no, because they don’t want to feel manipulated, they want to feel in control, and when you give them an opportunity to say no to something that’s not going to derail the sale, it allows them to get rid of that pressure.
Another thing I might do is say:
“Okay, so how soon do you want to get started?”
And whatever they say, today, next week, whatever – great. Let’s go talk to Lisa or whoever’s working the front desk to get the papers drawn up and move forward with that.
So again, most of the time, that’s my close:
“What’s the next step we need to take?”
“How soon do you want to get started?”
Overcoming objections before they come up
Michael Frank: Do you spend a lot of time overcoming objections before they come up?
I like to anticipate and overcome objections before they come up, because when you answer questions before your customer even has to ask, and overcome objections before they even come up, you demonstrate to your customer that you’re seeing things from their perspective, that you’ve thought it through, and you’re not hiding anything from them.
In debating this is known as a prebuttal – and I’m a big fan of it. (A prebuttal is when you raise an objection to your own argument before someone else does, and then you immediately counter it. By doing so, you deal with any possible counter-arguments before anyone can raise them)
David Snyder: Yeah. And if you can answer those objections before they ever leave their mouth, you’re going to go a long way towards removing the friction for them saying yes.
Criteria and values presentation
However, if you’re engaged in a business that still embraces the features and benefits presentation, you’re going to be spending a lot more time having to deal with objections and thinking about objections before they come up, then if you’re adopting a relationship based form of presentation, which is we call a criteria and values presentation.
By and large, a criteria and values presentation gets almost no objections because you’re tapping into exactly what a person wants, in a way that they know they’re getting it, and you’re only talking about the things they want to buy.
A lot of times when your criteria and values are done properly, there won’t be objections.
However if you’re doing features and benefits type stuff, then you’ll have to spend a lot of time stepping into the avatar of your prospect, being who they are, being in their position, living life from their perspective, and coming up with their own objections to the things you’re presenting. And based on what those objections are, you can begin to create a series of potential responses to those objections.
The magic bullet
Michael Frank: When it comes to influence and persuasion, certainty for me is the magic bullet. You can get people to believe anything if you’re certain, even if you’re wrong. People will believe in ridiculous conspiracy theories, religious fairy-tales, superstition and pseudoscience, they’ll give you their money, time and energy, they’ll work for you for free, they’ll have sex with you, they’ll even kill or die for you if you’re certain enough.
David Snyder: Absolutely.
Michael Frank: How do you go about building certainty if you don’t have it? If you have an uncertain or unconfident type of personality, how do you go about building that certainty?
David Snyder: Start with your posture and your physiology. Amy Cuddy in her work on Power Poses has done some good solid science on the fact that your physiology controls your psychology. For every psychoemotional state that you have, or that you can enter, there is a corresponding posture and breathing pattern that facilitates it. And we can play with that.
We can have you go into a state of:
“Imagine a time in your life when you saw something you really wanted. You decided right there and then that you were going to get it no matter what. You made a plan, and you put that plan into operation and you nailed it. I want you to see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt, but most importantly, I want you to stand and breathe the way you were standing and breathing in that moment…”
Just the act of holding that posture and that breathing pattern will generate that state within you.
When you’re in that state, even if you try to feel bad what you’ll notice is that you can’t. When you try to feel bad consciously, your body posture will want to shift, but if you consciously hold that physiology, that posture, that breathing, you can’t enter the negative state.
Every state a human being has, has a physiology, it’s a feedback loop.
Michael Frank: Obviously some personalities are more charismatic than others, but is charisma something that can be learned? And if so, how?
David Snyder: Absolutely. Well first of all, a lot of charisma is based on your posture and your breathing. You’ll find very few people with great charisma without good posture. So your posture and your breathing are huge factors, and so are your vocal qualities, which are actually modulated by the feelings you have.
Your ability to project emotion is also one of the single biggest characteristics of charisma. You look at an actor like Brad Pitt, yes he’s a good looking guy, but when he speaks there’s also a resonance and an energy that he projects through his voice and it’s the ability to project emotion through your voice, that is one of the hallmarks of charisma, to be very expressive and dynamic.
So while some people who are naturally charismatic have all these switches already flipped on, they can be cultivated and activated in people who are not naturally charismatic.
That’s what charisma really is. It’s the ability to activate emotions and imagination in somebody and link it to yourself and to direct that emotion towards a specific end.
You can do that through a combination of breathing, physiology and understanding your emotions, voice inflections and tonality.
The rock star meta-frame
In my class we call it the rock star meta-frame and it’s as simple as playing pretend. Just imagine what it would like to be your favorite rock star. Just imagine everyone in the world being there to see you, recognizing you wherever you went, and just moving through the world feeling that way.
If you did that you would find that the vast majority of people would be much more attentive to you, and pay much more attention to you, in spite of the fact that you probably look nothing like that guy.
Michael Frank: Simply because of the way that you carry yourself and portray yourself.
David Snyder: It’s mediated through mirror neurons. If you take on a certain feeling with a certain intention with congruity inside of you, that congruity deepens over time. And the longer you stay in that physiology, the more it becomes your dominant physiology. That’s the beauty of it.
When I generate a feeling of being attractive in myself and I’m congruent in that state, and I move through the world feeling genuinely attractive, I will generate one of two states within people most of the time:
I will either cause the person I’m relating to to feel attractive as well
I will cause them to feel attracted
Either way, they’re feeling good around me. Guess what gets linked to me.
Many times when you start to generate those feelings of attraction, there’ll be people who have an envious mindset. They will try to poison the frame. One of two things will happen:
- First of all, if they’re acting from envy, you’ve already won the frame
- Second of all, the only thing they can do is either fight for the frame and hope that they win, usually they won’t if you’re strong enough, or they have to leave
Either way problem solved.
Michael Frank: Let’s talk about deframing, reframing, and meta-framing.
Let’s start with reframing. How do you go about reframing the media for example? I think it’s helpful to reframe a lot of what the media presents because everything is always painted in the negative, what’s wrong…
Trump reframed the mainstream media as the “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”, which to be honest, I found absolutely hilarious.
David Snyder: The problem we have with the media is that they’ve stopped reporting the news and just started creating it. And you don’t have to believe me to see this. Go back to the news reports of the sixties and the seventies and look at how the commentators reported the news.
Even though they were still influencing public opinion, what happened was that they would play a clip of an interview or a video, and they would just report what was there. And every now and then the commentator would throw out a comment or an opinion.
Now they’re playing a clip and they’re telling you what it means and what is causing it as they’re playing it, rather than letting you see the actual data in its most unabridged or unadulterated form. They’re narrating and controlling the narrative of what you’re seeing, in order to create a frame around what you’re seeing, and using the pace of it, the fact that you’re seeing what they’re talking about, to support it.
If I were teaching you hypnotic language I would tell you that’s a cause-effect structure, or a complex-equivalence structure. Your X causes your Y. The X is always something that’s true, something that’s verifiable through the five senses, and that’s exactly what the media is doing, they’re showing you something that you’re verifying through your five senses, they’re using a cause-effect structure and telling you what is causing it, or what it means.
The media is supposed to just show you stuff, not tell you what it means, but that’s not what’s happening now. Now every news media has an agenda, every one of them have a point of view that they’re either for or against, and they’re trying to spin the frames around everything that you see.
However when you start to reframe, meta-frame or deframe, what you’re really doing is you’re deliberately changing the point of view by which you’re analyzing that information, or experiencing that information. That’s the beauty of being a human being, is we can change perspectives, we can ask different questions, we can have thoughts about our thoughts, and feelings about our feelings. That ability allows us to think about what we’re thinking in order to break it apart, or in some cases to immerse ourselves in it.
Michael Frank: What is a “deframe”?
David Snyder: A deframe is where we chunk down and get more specific about a particular piece of a frame or a story and we break it apart.
One of the most common ways to defame someone is what they call the chunk down or the reality strategy. So someone might say something to the effect of:
“The media is nothing but fake news”
If you want to destroy that frame and break it apart, all you need to do is find a counterexample.
So you might ask a simple question:
“Has the media ever reported anything that’s true?”
Who is going to say, “No, they’ve never reported anything true”
The minute you do that you’ve broken the frame because their whole statement was a generalization and a distortion. The minute you find one piece that invalidates the whole, you’ve deframed them, you’ve broken it apart, and now you can start to attack each piece. Or they may try to reframe your reframe.
Should you always deframe before reframing?
Michael Frank: As a rule of thumb: Will you always deframe before reframing? Or can you sometimes reframe without deframing?
David Snyder: You can do a lot of things. Robert Dilts in his efforts to model Richard Bandler (the founder of NLP) has isolated 14 different ways to reframe or deframe something.
If you want to attack a frame, there are several ways you can do it, but you first have to understand what a frame is, and what it’s made out of.
A frame is just a belief system, and a belief system has a cause and an effect, or a cause and an equivalence, and you need to unpack both sides of the belief. Both the cause and the effect. Now that you have both sides of the belief uncovered, you can attack either one.
I teach my students when we’re deframing or breaking up frames or reframing:
“You have to unpack it to attack it”
The first thing you have to do is unpack it to attack it. You have to unpack both sides of the belief because when people give you an objection or they tell you something they believe, a good percentage of the time they won’t tell you why they believe it.
attacking them, the whole belief starts to crumble. It becomes changeable.
The other type of belief that you’re going to have is what we call a complex equivalence. In other words, the X is still something that’s true, but now we’ve assigned a meaning to it where one is the same as the other.
I call this bumper sticker thinking. If you’ve ever seen a bumper sticker that says:
“Time is money”
Time and money are the same thing right?
When you’re dealing with married couples you’ll hear this saying:
“If he loved me, he would have been there”
Being there is the same as loving. That’s the equivalence. So human beings are constantly driven to derive a cause and effect relationship and then assign a meaning to it, which is how beliefs are created. And then when you talk to people in that structure, they tend to accept what you say as a belief.
What specifically about the cause creates the effect? How does the effect relate to the cause? We unpack it to attack it. So the first thing we always want to do is elicit both halves of their belief. And then depending on where I see the weakest point, that’s what I’ll attack.
I’ll usually attack it with a deframe and a reality strategy.
So I might say something like:
“What specifically about X causes Y and how do you know? Is it something you see? Something you feel? Something you hear?”
And as they start to answer, I might compound that because by actually attacking that. You’ll actually see them get a look of confusion on their face. In that moment of confusion, it’s equivalent to a shock induction. They become hyper suggestible.
You might say something like:
“Well how do you know? Maybe you don’t. Maybe what it really means is this, and you just thought it was that.”
Most beliefs are accepted uncritically
Michael Frank: Most beliefs are accepted uncritically. A lot of people don’t even know why they believe what they believe. They just “know” they’re right. It also seems incredibly stupid of most people to attack a belief, to attack a conclusion, to attack an opinion, to make a snap judgement about something without knowing any of the evidence or the reasons used to support it.
David Snyder: You’re right. There was a mathematician named George Pólya who wanted to understand the same question: How do people come to believe bullshit? How do people come to believe things that are just not verified or researched or whatever? And he identified different patterns that are called patterns of plausible inference. There are patterns that cause people to accept something as plausible, and to the human neurology, plausibility is analogous to belief. In fact, Eric Knowles work on research on resistance and persuasion says the same thing.
The brain doesn’t care about true or false, it cares about plausible or not plausible. If something is completely true, but implausible, the brain will still reject it. Whereas if it’s not true, but entirely plausible, the brain is most likely to accept an act upon it as if it’s true. So when you’re dealing with cause and effect structures, that X causes Y formula which is what our entire belief system and all beliefs are based on, once you understand that, everything starts to make sense. It goes back to the X causes Y, X being whatever is true or whatever you’ve experienced. And then whatever causal relationship you want to assign to it.
But anyway, going back to attacking these things, usually the most useful way is to just break it apart.
Another way to do it is what we call a redefine. A redefine is where we basically telling people this is not what you thought it meant. It means this instead. So you might say:
“All media is fake news”
And I say:
“Well it’s not that all media is fake news, it’s just some media professionals really like to make up their own new stories”
See how I’ve taken it from an absolute to just some people. I’ve redefined the cause.
Michael Frank: I like the way that you haven’t completely destroyed their worldview, which could lead them to be off sides and get defensive.
David Snyder: That’s the most important piece.
Michael Frank: You’ve incorporated their worldview, and you’ve added some distinctions to it.
David Snyder: You’ll never go wrong using people’s own stuff back to them. The problem we have with people who try to learn these reframing technologies is they use them like a blunt object, like a weapon, they just want to beat you over the head with it, and you can create tremendous belief shifts in people using the exact same pattern, with almost the exact same words, but completely diametrically opposed just by how you present the frame, the attack.
Going back to that redefine: “All media is fake news”
“It’s not that all media is fake news, it’s just that some people are idiots”
“I don’t think it’s that all media is fake news. Is it possible that just some people just want a little bit more attention and so they embellish things to a much greater degree than others?”
See how I changed it to a permissive, even though it was the same pattern, I try to keep the original roughly the same, but it causes you to consider a possibility, whereas before I was beating you over the head with it.
Michael Frank: “A lot of it’s fake news, but you’ve got to take it on a case by case, statement by statement basis”.
David Snyder: Right. So now I’ve created leverage in you where now you’re thinking about other possibilities, and that’s a frame shift because before that belief was set in stone, it was cast iron, now it’s changeable, it’s melting, and now I have movement. Once I have movement, I can start to unpack or reframe or use some of the other tools in our reframing toolkit.
This concludes part one of a two part interview with David Snyder…
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
David Snyder is recognized as one of the worlds leading experts on Specialized Human Influence Technologies and has personally trained members of the Legal Profession, Law Enforcement, Medical, Entertainment, Martial Artists and Hypnosis communities, teaching advanced mind/body technologies for peak performance and persuasion, rapid healing, relationships advanced social dynamics, covert influence techniques and more.
A Licensed and Certified Hypnosis Trainer, Master Practitioner and Trainer In Neuro Linguistic Programming and the Society of Experiential Trance; David tirelessly works to develop training and educational opportunities designed to powerfully raise the skill level and professional status of hypnotists all over the world.
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