Ignite a Shift Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior – Stephen McGarvey
Spark a transformation, professionally and personally! No person is an island. Every day, we realize more and more how interconnected we all are, and how much we impact each other, both consciously and unconsciously. And each and every day, our individual success relies to some extent on our ability to persuade and influence others.
The ability to persuade and influence is the cornerstone of success. In Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior, internationally acclaimed speaker Stephen McGarvey explores the subtleties of effective communication and highlights the essential fact that thinking impacts emotions which drive behavior.
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Ignite a Shift is the quintessential guide to communication, positive persuasion and influencing with integrity. It reveals the proven techniques that the world’s most effective leaders are using to motivate themselves and others to excel professionally and personally.
As persuaders, identifying what motivates a person in any given context teaches us a great deal about their Current State, how they think and feel, and why they do what they do.
This knowledge combines to help us move them toward the Desired State. When we think about the factors that motivate us, we can generally divide them into two categories: motivational traits and working traits.
Diving Into Your Unconscious
Most of what we consciously think about is based on deleted, distorted, or generalized information. This is problematic because it’s this filtered information that we use to communicate with each other. As a result, our communication is inherently ambiguous since it is based on summarized, incomplete, and distorted information.
It’s important to note that there are a variety of different language patterns to look out for when recognizing deletions, distortions, and generalizations. Comparative deletions, mind reading, and universal quantifiers are just a few examples.
The Experience Of Being Understood
Masterful persuaders first build rapport with the person they are persuading and ask questions in order to gain a deeper understanding of that person’s model of the world including their beliefs and values.
Then, as progress is made toward the Desired State, the persuader knows how to connect what they are offering to something of relevance to the person, something that is meaningful to them.
Of all the concepts and techniques that we’ll explore in this book, rapport is the most important because it is the foundation for influence.
People communicate constantly, and a great deal of that communication takes place outside of spoken or written words. This can include facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, touch, our overall appearance, and countless other subtle gestures such as nodding our head or waving our hands.
We each use all of these representational systems to various degrees and in different ways.
For example, one person might be mostly visual, moderately auditory, and slightly kinesthetic, while another person might be mostly kinesthetic, moderately visual, and slightly auditory—really, any combination is possible! It’s also important to note that smell and taste also play a role in how some people process information.
The Million Dollar Question
The kinds of questions we ask guide our thoughts, emotions, and actions. The mind has a system for filing information, much the same as we would store information in a filing cabinet in different folders.
Where a physical filing cabinet is limited by its size, the unconscious mind can store almost unlimited amounts of information. And the better the “files”—or memories—are organized, the easier it is to access the information. Effective questions can act as your access codes to the information.
The Persuasive Power Of Stories
Anything that we vividly imagine, our bodies will respond to as if it is real. Hence, stories can cause our neurons to fire the same way they would if we were actually performing the action that we are imagining.
Stories have the potential to shift a person from their Current State to a Desired State. This shift is accomplished by placing questions strategically throughout your story in a way that includes and engages the listener.
If you ask the right questions at the right points in the story, then the person will find themselves involved in the storyline and will engage emotionally in the story. It’s this engagement in the story that triggers and leverages the Think, Feel, Do process.
Making, Breaking, And Reinforcing Connections
As persuaders, our goal is to engage and guide a person’s imagination toward a Desired State because we know that once the desired thoughts are in place, feelings and behavior will follow.
There are many ways to make, reinforce, or break connections with words, tones, gestures, repetition, music, scents, images, and so on.
Using presuppositions, you can guide a person’s imagination, emotional state, and ultimately their behavior, from where it is now (the Current State) to where you want it to be (the Desired State).
Be aware of presuppositions in your everyday language and either use them with intention or avoid them.
When we think of goals, it’s easy to set “big picture” objectives for ourselves that vary in terms of whether we can realistically achieve them.
You can help shift another person to the Desired State by ensuring that their goals, and yours, follow the SMART methodology. Setting a goal using the SMART model engages the Reticular Activating System (RAS), the part of the brain that plays an important role in attention.
When refining our Desired State in the context of persuasion, remember that we need to ensure that we make the desired outcome relevant to the other person by connecting it to their current beliefs and values. This relevance activates their RAS and primes their mind to pay attention.
Question Confidently, Challenge Respectfully, And Always Negotiate
The art of persuasion almost always involves some negotiation, whether the process takes two minutes, two months, or two years. Negotiations are most likely to fall apart if we move too quickly into details without ensuring that we have alignment and agreement at a higher level.
Remember it is our rapport and how we relate to another person, rather than a relationship, that allows us to lead someone from their Current State to the Desired State.
Understanding the difference between rapport and a relationship will increase your ability to be bold and confident because you’ll remember that rapport is elastic.
Influence In Action
Results seem magical when you master the science and art of persuasion and influence, and as we well know, there is usually more at play than meets the eye.
In your journey to mastering the arts of persuasion, influence, and effective communication, strive to always remain curious, authentic, and sincere as you engage and guide others toward a Desired State.
To take control of your journey and reach your intended destination, begin by accurately mapping out your Current State and remain clear as to your Desired State. Doing so will allow you to engage and shift your own mind, emotions, and actions through the Think, Feel, Do process.