Speaking a Language Examples
There are several languages that we know can reach the unconscious. These include various NLP processes such as submodalities, anchoring and time-series techniques. Different forms of energy work can also access the unconscious. It is known that “knocking” or EFT has some effect. One of the most powerful languages of the unconscious is the metaphor.
A metaphor is a story with levels of symbolic meaning.
The father of hypnosis, Milton Erickson, unconsciously used to make a powerful change by merely telling stories. These special stories were metaphors for what the customer was experiencing. In one case, he was working with an overweight woman complaining of overeating. As she sat in the office with him, Erickson told her a story about his garden and how the plants absorb only the nutrients they need and nothing more. People talked to Erickson about their work and said that while they were there, he told some nice stories and somehow they got better.
Storytelling has been part of our human heritage since our time as a caveman … according to what I have read in the cave bear clan! It is definitely important to us to enjoy stories.
To find or create a suitable metaphor for the change work, we can use a simple formula. Take, for example, the weight loss. Your customer wants to stop eating too much.
1. Define what the problem is an example of – in this case you are absorbing too much of something.
2. What is an example of the desired condition? For Milton Erickson, there were plants in a garden. They only record what they need.
3. Tell the story. In this case, Erickson talked about his garden and how the plants absorb only the food they need and how healthy and alive they are.
One of my favorite metaphors is by Thomas Edison. This is a great story for business people who have a hard time deciding to market their business in a challenging economy. Thomas Edison said something about the effect of: “I have not failed 700 times, I have not failed once, I’ve been able to prove that these 700 ways will not work, if I’ve eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work. ”
This metaphor goes through my head when I’m working on something new. After failing three or four times, I remember his words and am motivated to use more creativity and try again.
The power of the metaphor is that it speaks to us on a kernel level, on the subconscious level. When confronted with a situation that resembles this metaphor, it tends to make an impact. Think of the power of metaphor when working with your customers. Collect stories that you can use. These are tools that can change lives.