This is the reason why we have to briefly explore the four levels of human perception so you will understand just how people process ideas and suggestions from other people.
The first level of human perception is limited to people’s immediate reactions to stimuli that they are able to receive through the five senses.
For example, if a person touches a hot pot he will immediately pull away and nurse his hand. The second level of human perception concerns the assignation of meanings to different stimuli.
At this level of human perception people begin associating ideas with events. As the influencer, you can create multiple associations and the subject may believe you if you present the associations convincingly enough unless the subject already has prior knowledge about the idea or event.
At the third level of human perception is the crystallization of personal beliefs. People encounter a lot of stimuli on a daily basis and the mind has to assign permanent meanings to these stimuli so a person would be able to react accordingly when he encounters the stimuli once again in the future.
The third level is dependent on the first level and second level of perception. So as an influencer you will play a vital role in modifying people’s perception of things.
And finally, we have the fourth level of perception. In this level, people begin associating specific emotions to stimuli emanating from the environment. By stimuli, I refer to any sensory input (sound, smell, tactile sensations, etc.)
You might be wondering at this point in time how this information could actually help you persuade someone. Well, if you want to be a truly persuasive and influential individual you need to take into account all four levels of perception when interacting with a subject.
Many would-be influencers only focus on the second level of perception (which is why many people become frustrated when they do not get the results that they want).
To avoid this problem, I’m going to walk you through the different levels of human perception so you can utilize each level properly when you are interacting with another person.
Create the perfect environment for the subject before laying down your cards on the table.
Make the subject as comfortable as possible before and during the interaction
Establish your credibility at this level by using strategic verbal language and the appropriate nonverbal/body language
It is at this level that an influencer can use pacing and leading techniques. Once trust has been established the subject will allow himself to be led b the and throughout the interaction unless of course he finds a reason to disagree with you and walk away instead.
Since rapport has already been established at the first level, you can now employ hypnotic language patterns at the second level.
New ideas and calls to action will be introduced at this level; this is the reason why hypnotic language patterns can be extremely helpful at this point in time. The subject will start forming his opinion about all of the input you are giving and you need to make sure that his reactions will be beneficial to your goals.
If you want to teach the subject new modes of behavior and thinking, you can do that in this level because the subject will be open to suggestions because you have already established rapport in the first level.
The influencer’s control wanes at the third level of human perception. At the third level the subject begins making conclusion of his own. He will be analyzing his primary reaction to the stimuli (e.g. your words) and all of the input and triggers you have used in the second level.
As influencers we can’t really tell people how they should feel towards particular stimuli. The best that we can do is to suggest what they should think but people can still disagree with you and reject your ideas altogether.
This is the main reason why I disagree with people who say that NLP and hypnosis are manipulative disciplines. No one has ever committed suicide because of hypnosis.
No one has ever been pushed to hurt another person through neuro linguistic programming. In my personal opinion, people tend to use manipulative language more than practicing hypnotists and NLP trainers/practitioners.
One of the most important things that you have to keep in mind when interacting with people is that on the third level of perception, people try to determine whether what your offering will offer benefits/enjoyment or punishment.
People would usually back away from something that has been perceived as more of a punishment (e.g. working out several times a week while eating healthy food like steamed vegetables).
The fourth level of perception is definitely the most important of all the levels. It is in this level of perception that the influencer must begin infusing his ideas and calls to action with emotional triggers that will have a lasting effect on the subject.
If all goes well, the subject will adopt a new viewpoint and belief about an object or issue. If the influencer fails, there is a big chance that the subject will just say no and walk away.