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Archive for the ‘Metaprograms’ Category

Persuasive stuff from Psychology Today

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I don’t ordinarily pay much attention to Psychology Today magazine, but their RSS feed pointed me to a couple of articles on the basics of persuasion.:

Persuasion: Battle on the Car Lot:

How does a car salesman get you behind the wheel? By being a keen observer of human behavior—and not letting you say “no.”

Data Mine: From Persuasion to Impotence:

Bargaining techniques and making bad decisions: why smart women don’t want sugar daddies and how to avoid erectile dysfunction.

The second article is only partially about persuasion, but it has some good stuff about paraverbal and nonverbal framing. The rest of the article has to do with other good stuff. I especially appreciated the idea of group therapy for impotence (woohoo!) helping a man “hold his head up” <adolescent snicker> .

Written by Michael DeBusk

September 19th, 2008 at 11:49 am

The power of away-from

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When in any Master Practitioner training and learning about metaprograms, one of the more amusing moments is when someone discovers that he or she is motivated by pain more than by pleasure. Often, they cry, “But I don’t want to be away-from!” (If you don’t know why this is funny, I can’t help you right now.)

There’s a prejudice in American culture against away-from motivation, a persistent belief that it’s somehow ineffective or worse. I think that’s garbage. People with away-from motivation can accomplish great things:

Scared, and more than a little frustrated, I made up my mind, then and there, to do SOMETHING about my situation. I took out a piece of paper – actually, the back of an envelope – and I began to…

Read the rest of You. Can. at No Credit Needed.

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 29th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Push For Pain, Pull For Pleasure

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I’m a big fan of Free and open source software. I’m running Ubuntu Linux at home, haven’t booted Windows in ages, and really enjoy the freedom and choice that gives me. But that isn’t what this post is about. I just wanted to mention how I happened upon the article I’m suggesting you read.

Solveig Haugland, author of the OpenOffice.org 2 Guidebook, has been working to convert people from Microsoft Office to the free, open-source OpenOffice.org suite, and she’s discovered the power of metaprograms… specifically, pain versus pleasure. It’s an interesting real-world example of the application of metaprograms in persuasion.

Go see Persuading people that OpenOffice.org is the right choice? Accentuate the negative.

Oh… and switch to OpenOffice!

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 22nd, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Andy’s convinced me

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Andy Smith at Practical EQ says there’s something to the “rule of three” we so often use with the Convincer Strategy:

It’s a commonplace saying in NLP that “most people have a ‘three-time convincer'” – in other words, people need to experience three examples of something to be convinced.

Now there’s some research evidence to back this up…

Read the rest at Practical EQ: The “three time convincer” – some research support

Written by Michael DeBusk

August 1st, 2008 at 1:59 am

The War on Optimism

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It’s a small, private war. I sometimes think I’m the only one fighting it.

I think the assumption that “everything will work out for the best” is delusional. Optimists ignore the things that are going poorly rather than dealing with them, so as to perpetuate their delusion.

Keep in mind that I hold the same sort of opinion of pessimism. Pessimists ignore what is going well, thus failing to build on success. I don’t fight a war on pessimism because most of Western culture already does that:

P: “Keep sailing toward that waterfall and we’ll all die!”
W: “Oh, stop being so negative!”

Each side has advantages. For example, optimists keep going in the face of adversity, and they therefore win more often; pessimists give up too soon. Pessimists tend to be right more often, and when they’re wrong they get to be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed.

It’s fortunate for me, since I disagree with both, that they aren’t the only two available options. It’s possible to take the strengths from each while leaving their weaknesses behind. I’ve taken to calling it “paying attention,” but I’m sure there’s a more interesting label. Take this excerpt from John Morgan’s recent article, If It Could Only Be Like It Never Was:

Each time you pretend the dirty clothes aren’t there, the pile gets bigger until you have a dreaded mountain of clothes to wash. If you wash clothes every day, you’ll never have a pile bigger than your perceptions can handle. The same is true for life’s dirty clothes. They do exist and they need to be acknowledged. When we practice washing them on a regular basis, the quicker they wind up in the clean pile.

(Thanks for the tip to that article, T.)

My personal hero in this arena is my old friend Quentin Grady. Few have gone through, and responded thoroughly to, the adversity he’s faced while maintaining a determination to bring out the good in himself and in others. I aspire to be like him in that aspect, and I love the guy. In a manly, macho, we-play-on-the-same-rugby-team sort of way, of course.

So… hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Pray to God and row away from the rocks. Build on success and mitigate losses. You can choose both.

Written by Michael DeBusk

May 19th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Metaprograms, Marketing, and Persuasion

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Marketing master Seth Godin seems to be thinking about Metaprograms lately.

In an article on marketing in a recession, he writes about how metaprograms change with the context and how to respond to them:

Starbucks was the indulgence of a confident person happy to blow $4 on a cup of coffee. Starbucks can become the small indulgence for the person who just traded down to a small rented apartment.

And in a more recent one about persuasion in general, he clearly outlines the importance of them:

Here’s the thing: unlike every other species, human beings make decisions differently from one another. And the thing that persuades you is unlikely to be the thing that persuades the next guy. Our personal outlook is a lousy indicator of what works for anyone else.

I love reading Seth’s work. He’s amazing.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 5th, 2008 at 4:55 pm