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So Much Persuasion: Ways To Learn

Dec 27, 2007
I recently had a student ask me, "Kenrick, how do you keep track all of these persuasion strategies? Every time we have a call, you pull out another technique. Sometimes I can't even remember to use the 'unconscious hello'."

When you learn a new language, are you fluent in a week?

When you learn a new instrument, are you playing concerts within a week?

Persuasion is a subject that is just as complex as learning a new language or a new instrument, possibly even more difficult because it's ever expanding. If you've ever learned a language, and you practice this language, you will know all there is to know. Persuasion is different. It's an ever expanding subject that continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

World class persuasion requires you to master the basics. And how do you master the basics when you are trying to learn something? Simple. Practice. Practice. And more practice.

'Learning' has been traditionally broken down into five different categories: imprinting, habituation, associative learning, observational learning and play.

Imprinting is associated with young animals and humans. It is a phase based learning. This is the process by which babies learn from their parents. Imprinting has no use for us in learning persuasion, obviously, except for the brain state which we can achieve by the utilization of light and sound machines. The brain state resembles very closely the learning brain state of imprinting in the very young.

An example of habitual learning is when an animal first responds to a stimulus, but if it is neither rewarding nor harmful then eventually, the response diminishes. This kind of learning rests mainly in the other-than-conscious.

In persuasion the two types of learning that we most often utilize are observational learning and play. With observational learning, we observe and repeat. Observe and repeat. It's that simple. So when my student asks about the 'unconscious hello', I say, observe and repeat.

The last type of learning is play. I think play is a beautiful concept. I assign home play at the each of my conference calls because I believe play enhances, greatly, the learning process.

We're all successful in our fields. Many of us have high pressure work environments. And yet, I can't help thinking that part of what we do when we meet for our quarterly meetings is quite playful. Role playing, camaraderie, even the occasional game. Some play is unrestrained and has no outcome, but our play has a clearly defined goal, as does our work.

Back to my frustrated student's question. Persuasion is play. Persuasion is observation. Persuasion is habitual. Persuasion is repetition and emulation and commitment and intention. And it all comes in time with persistence.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of wealthy clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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