Yesterday I got a shock! As someone who loves NLP I believe I am quite good at it and can influence people, but yesterday I got a shock! Someone NLP’ed me and it worked (for them)
We were out in Dublin with a a couple and their daughter (the live in Barcelona too but we can never seem to meet up for dinner but this week we met twice in a week!). Anyways, we went back to their hotel for a post dinner drink.
We decided to sit in the lobby – there was only one area free but that was a young fella sitting there, we asked if we could sit down and he said “yeah I’m just waiting for a friend and using the free wifi,” fair enough I thought.
The lad was sitting opposite us, and I started taking orders for drinks. The 1 pint of Guinness, a Heineken, some water…. then in my peripheral vision I see the lad standing up and holding out a 10 euro note to me.
“Sure will you get me a pint of Guinness? I’m just waiting for me friend and can’t leave me stuff here.”
“yeah grand,” was my reply and then I thought “que cojones” that he asked me to get a pint, but it kinda made sense, I was going in to get drinks, he gave me money so why not?
What happened there?
To be honest I laughed later thinking the guys got balls. So let’s deconstruct what actually happened and how you can do this and perfect it to get what you want.
Within NLP there is something called a pattern interrupt. This is a very, very powerful technique that you learn in NLP. Basically it means doing or saying something that people don’t expect.
Let me give you an example of a typical conversation:
“Hey John, how’s it going?”
“Not bad, not bad Pete”
Typical conversation right, it’s a formulaic conversation that we just mumble out. Neither person looks at each other, neither stops to acknowledge the other, it’s a routine, plain and simple.
Now let’s see conversation two:
“Hey John, how’s it going?”
“Absolutely awesome Pete, it’s going to be a wonderful day”
Now what happens? Pete looks up a bit shocked, what the hell is going on, he thinks? What is John on? Why is he having such an awesome day? The response that Pete got is not what he was expecting, thus the whole pattern of the routine conversation. This is what the pattern interrupt is. It is doing or saying something that is unexpected.
If you want to jump in and find out more just let me know below and I will send you my NLP Primer ebook
Back to the beer guy
So let’s get back to the guy asking for the beer. Without realising it he did two things and did them really well.
- He used a pattern interrupt and caught me completely off guard. I was not expecting someone to say that to me
However this in itself would not work by itself, because the second thing he did well was time his request perfectly in such a way that I could not say no!
- Timing is everything. The lad said the right thing at the right time. You see I was already in the “ordering state.” I had stood up, was getting ready to go to the bar and asking people what they wanted. He asked could I get him a pint and without thinking I said yes, because it made sense, asking for 1 more pint was no difficult than ordering 2.
You see if I had been walking down the street and he came up to me and asked me if I would buy him a pint (even by giving me the money) I would have said no, as the request would not make sense.
Now even if I was in the bar and he came up and asked me the same question I would say no, as I was not ready.
However, when I am in the “ordering state” it makes sense.
Here’s the takeaway from my experience yesterday.
You can get people to do what you want if you if you ensure that you use a pattern interrupt and also time your request so that it is natural. This advice can be used in almost any situation, from work situations to dating situations. When you time things right, and say something that catches people a little off guard but it makes sense then influencing them becomes easier!