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Powerful Persuasion: Metaphors From Around The World

Feb 24, 2008
I understand that the concept of 'energy' seems a bit new-agey to some folks. Personally, I find it to be an integral part of understanding the 'self'. Understanding the self, is the first step in learning 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.

No matter what our spiritual or religious affiliation is, these energy centers are intrinsically involved with the idea of self mastery which, I wholeheartedly believe, is interrelated with persuasion. As persuaders, we have the ability to pick and choose from the abundance of life. We can take what works, and leave what doesn't on all levels--spiritual, economic, political, popular culture, in business. . .anything at all. We take what is valuable and form our worlds from what we've gathered.

I am also of the opinion that there is great value to the different kinds of energy flows in our bodies. Chinese medicine practitioners refer to this as Qi (or Chi). These energy flows can be traced throughout our bodies in rivers of energy called Meridians. Along the meridians are points. . .these are called tsubos and are where acupuncturists put the needles when there is a blockage of energy which results in 'stagnation' or 'dis ease'. Meridians control different things in our bodies, correspond to different organs, and when we have an awareness of these flows, we can more readily help ourselves. Call it DNA, Qi, Chi, Chakras or meridians. . . it's all about power.

So it is with this spirit of curiosity that I ask this: how can we absorb value from the Chakras? I'm not suggesting you adopt Hinduism if that's not your affiliation, I'm suggesting simply that we can absorb value from this system metaphorically.

Here's a very brief outline of the chakras and how they correspond to our core drives. The base chakra is related to security similar to the fight/flight mechanism. The second chakra is about sexual reproduction and is related to our fourth core value which is replicating ourselves. The third chakra is about power, similar to the third core value of fight.

When we get higher in the chakras we get higher in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist in the mid 1900s. He created his Hierarchy of Needs in the form of a pyramid. If the baser needs are not met, then we don't advance well to the higher needs. If we don't breathe, sleep, eat or drink water, we're not going to require self-actualization such as spontaneity, creativity, morality. . .why? Well, because if we don't eat, breathe, sleep or drink water, we're not alive.

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.

Through the elicitation of criteria and rapport gaining, we can correctly and thoroughly tap into these needs. When you create rapport with your prospects and clients, they feel noticed, necessary, listened to, and with that we can get to the real core of safety, security, sustenance and reproduction.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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