Have you ever felt like you were being ignored after giving someone good advice? Have you experienced another person, or group, disagree with you when it’s clear that you know the best or most obvious way to go about something? Well you wouldn’t be alone. Many people experience this every day. It seems a part of life that people will not change their behaviour, stance or viewpoint no matter what advice they get. But why?
The majority of people find it hard to change, especially when given advice. It’s not because they refuse to, or that they’re awkward or stubborn, which is a natural conclusion to arrive at. People resist change simply because they don’t know how. You may have all the answers for them, but still they don’t change.
But they could learn how, couldn’t they? Well some people do, but they tend to be the minority; those who have worked out that their future success and happiness will require some personal change along life’s amazing journey. You may have heard the Buddhist take on this ‘change comes from within’, or you might say ‘you have to work out your own way through personal change.
People who resist personal change are held back by self-limiting beliefs that take the form “I couldn’t do x” or similar. So you challenge the limiting belief by replying “but of course you could, if you only …” and state your condition or reasoning why.
But what’s often missing from these limiting belief statements is the word ‘because’, such as: it’s because I’m too old, too young, I don’t have qualifications, I’m not bright enough, not confident, they won’t let me, I would fail etc. This language pattern is prevalent in people who seem to get stuck at some stage in their lives. The pattern may not always be outwardly expressed, but their self-talk is likely to consist of frequent negative belief statements. They are unable to move on because ….. Well you can make the rest up. Call them excuses if you like that act to validate “I couldn’t do x”.
So how do you get someone to change their unhelpful behaviour, their viewpoint or negative beliefs? First of all you have to accept that your suggestions or answers are unlikely to work. In fact they may well work against you as the other person could strengthen their resolve to stay just as they are. So show an interest in the person, listen to them, be respectful and build rapport. Keep an open mind and avoid making a judgment. Use some powerful questions that (when done well) can result in the other person creating their own change. With the right questions you can really open up a person’s closed mind.
This type of questioning requires certain knowledge about how language works, an ability to detect the various language patterns that make up any conversation, and an understanding of the psychological impact specific patterns have on motivation and well-being. With a little practice you will be able to ask the perfect question to open up possibilities for change in the mind of the other person.
NLP Practitioners become expert linguists. They learn how to use language, and their voice for a desired effect, in any context. Not only do they have this amazing set of tools to create change in others, they use them to clean up their own negative self-talk and create new language structures that makes personal change easy, and a highly pleasurable experience.
We have place just for you on our next NLP Business Practitioner program – Learn in a highly supportive, stimulating, safe and fun environment where your personal expectation is our key focus.