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Persuasion Metaphors From Around The World

Jan 18, 2008
While the concept of 'energy' may seem new-agey, I personally find it integral to the understanding of self, which is the first step in understanding persuasion.

Recently I taught a seminar in Tucson and focused almost exclusively on core drives. I absolutely believe that when we understand core drives we can put our fingers right on our prospect's and client's triggers, triggers which are universal.

Chakras are an ancient Indian concept considered 'woo woo' by many people, and yet, if for nothing else, they are an amazing metaphor for the core values and drives within each of us. Each Chakra is an energy vortex corresponding to a different need or drive that we as humans have.

Regardless of our spiritual or religious affiliations, these energy centers are interrelated with the notion of self mastery which is in turn interrelated, in my view, with persuasion. Simply, we, as persuaders, have the ability to pick and choose from the abundance of life, spirituality, business, economics, literature, politics, popular culture, history, or anything at all, and take what is valuable and shape our world out of what we've gleaned.

Another concept I find great value in is what Chinese medicine practitioners call Qi (or Chi). Chi is 'life force' and flows through our bodies up different meridians, or energy channels. These flows correspond to different organs. And along each flow are points (this is where the acupuncture will stick their needles). If any of the flows are blocked, stagnation occurs leading to disease. When the stagnation is cleared up through the use of needles (or massage) the disease is helped. Whether we call the energy chakras, qi, chi, meridians, or DNA. . .ultimately, it's all about power.

How can we absorb value from the chakra system if only metaphorically?

The base chakra is concerned with security in the same way as core values of continuing on, fight and flight. The second chakra is about sexual reproduction as is the fourth core value which I've discussed. The third chakra is about power-very similar to the third core value of fight.

As we get higher on the chakras, we also get higher in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was an American psychologist in the mid 1900s who created a scale in the form of a pyramid that explained human needs. If the bottom levels of needs aren't being met, nothing else matters.

At the bottom of the pyramid are two of the four core values in addition to biological functions. The physiological basis for physical human existence-food, water, air, sleep, sex, excretion and homeostasis (internal balance)-has extreme power where persuasion is concerned. Obviously, we're not really able to utilize air or sleep (unless you're selling mattresses) or excretion or homeostasis (unless you're a doctor). The next level up for Maslow pertains to security-the fight and flight core values-and also corresponds to the third chakra of power.

For our purposes, there are needs that are represented at the very top of the pyramid that can be used in persuasion as well. . . we all need to be needed. We need to have hope. We need to believe that the problems we have are from an external source. We need to be right. These all give people a sense of power and fit in with the chakra system.

When we elicit our prospect's and client's criteria and deep values, and when we gain a really strong sense of rapport, we are definitely tapping into these needs. Think about rapport. . .with rapport, one feels noticed, necessary, listened to and when all that is in place we can hone in on the core values.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of wealthy prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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