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Adjusting Your Lens

Jan 5, 2008
In previous articles I've discussed some framing basics. Obviously, framing can't be summed up in a few little articles, but it's a foundation from which to build our persuasion arsenals.

People who wear glasses to see better don't walk around with just the frames on. They have lenses made to fit their prescription.

Some people walk around with very distorted lenses. Take drug addicts and alcoholics. . . they are looking through a lens of 'how can I get more' and they exist in denial much of the time that what they're doing is not unsafe or unhealthy.

Are all of our specific issues lenses? If these issues are strong enough to warp and distort reality, then I'd say, yes. My whole life I was using a really strong lens when it came to food. I'd think about my next meal as I was eating. My blood sugar was so out of whack that I craved more and more sugar or simple carbohydrates after finishing and filling up on an entire meal. The lens I was looking through was overpoweringly focused on unhealthy foods and fear of scarcity. But by adjusting this view, things have changed dramatically.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some people who look in the mirror and see themselves as fat when they are actually anorexic having little or no body fat at all. This is called body dismorphic disorder and is a distorted lens.

Some social issues can also be thought of as lenses. I read about a summer camp in Northern California where the campers would go to the camp to 'unlearn' issues of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. The presupposition of the facilitators of the camp was that if we grew up in the US, we've all been indoctrinated into a racist, sexist society, either subtly or overtly and the only way social change and equality can be achieved is to examine the lenses we've been looking through to view the world.

Whether or not this is something you believe, it is a strong frame. By unlearning the isms, the camp facilitators believe the lens becomes less distorted.

What are some other distortions that prevent us from seeing the real picture? How about religious fanaticism? How scratched, cracked and myopic is a suicide bomber's lens on the world? VERY. Their views go WAY beyond framing.

As I mentioned before, addicts have distortions, as do violent criminals, people with mental illnesses, the Klan/Aryan brotherhood. . .they're extreme and often view the world literally in terms of 'black and white'.

What are your extremes? Where do you find your lens distorted? One of the first steps in persuasion excellence is the ability to persuade yourself. I'm not suggesting that we eliminate everything about ourselves that make us who we are, not by any stretch, but I'm just looking to examine where we might have some blockages and/or weaknesses and/or blind spots in relation to ourselves and our outlook on the world. Remember, for all of our beliefs, there's an equally strong opposing belief in someone else.

I'll tell you a little secret. My lens is powerfully, intensely, vigorously focused on persuasion. Some might thing to the extreme. Okay, maybe that's not a secret. But it's definitely my lens to the world and I'm thrilled to share it with you.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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