Photo courtesy of Vylia
“Catch 22: a frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions.”
In last week’s article, I revealed the secret of successful selling. In this week’s article, we’re going to uncover the ‘persuasion paradoxes’, three insidious “double-binds” that stop people being as influential as they could be. More importantly, you’re going to be discovering how to get free of them.
NB. For simplicity, I’ve used the example of a coach, trainer, therapist or consultant wanting to build their client-base, but these paradoxes seem to show up whenever people are called to step up, be an influential leader and let their light shine.
Persuasion Paradox ♯1 – The Insecurity Illusion
“I need to sign up a client / close the deal / get this job to hit my target / pay my mortgage / feel good about myself, but… That feeling of need and insecurity drives people away.”
Insecurity and neediness is like ‘client-repellent’, but how can you avoid it when you have genuine needs to be met? People try everything from affirmations to ‘acting as if’ so they can come across as secure in themselves, but nobody’s fooled. So what’s the solution? A deeper understanding of where security comes from.
Security is your nature
You see, feelings of security and wellbeing are natural for you when there’s nothing getting in the way. The only thing that ever gets in the way is superstitious thinking arising from the mistaken belief that our feelings are coming from somewhere other than our thinking (eg. Circumstances, money, the job, the deal, other people, the past, the future). But this is an illusion. You’re always living in the feeling of your thinking. You’re never feeling anything other than your thinking. The moment you wake up to this fact, your self-correcting mind will restore you to clarity and bring you back into the present.
Persuasion Paradox ♯2 – The Confidence Quandary
“Working with paying clients will build my confidence and self-belief, but… I need confidence and self-belief before I can work with paying clients.”
For many heart-centred professionals, what looks like an ‘influence’ problem actually turns out to be masking a lack of belief in their own abilities. The confidence quandary works like this: A coach, trainer or consultant says to themselves “I’ll start working with paying clients once I have more confidence and self-belief.” But of course, one of the main places where confidence and self-belief really get deepened is through your client work. Their lack of confidence gets ‘telegraphed’ to prospective clients, or even stops them having the influence conversation in the first place. So they read more books, looking for the answer, never realising that the solution is somewhere entirely unexpected.
Understanding leads to confidence and competence
Whenever you get an insight into something that’s a pre-existing fact of life, it removes misunderstanding and brings confidence where there was insecurity. Previous examples include discoveries such as the earth being spherical, the germ theory of disease and Newton’s discovery of universal gravitation. As you deepen your understanding of the inside-out nature of life, several remarkable things start to happen.
– You get more in touch with that natural sense of confidence and ease that comes from within.
– This allows you to take action and deepen your understanding, resulting in increasing competence.
– This creates a virtuous upward spiral that sees you increasing in effectiveness, value and confidence
There’s a double-whammy in this for heart-centred workers. Not only does it increase your ability to influence your clients; it also has such a profound impact in your life and your clients’ lives, that it massively increases your ‘belief in the product’, with predictable positive effects.
Persuasion Paradox ♯3 – The Influence Enigma
“I don’t understand or feel comfortable with influence so I don’t experiment with it, but… The best way to deepen your understanding and comfort with influence is to experiment with it.”
The deeper your understanding of the nature of influence, the more easily you can apply that understanding in ways that are authentic and connected. But most heart-centred professionals have such an aversion to influence that they never get the chance to deepen their understanding. But here’s the thing: the more deeply you understand the nature of influence, the better you’ll feel about influencing people in ways that feel great and make a positive difference in their lives and yours.
You don’t learn to swim by reading a book about it. The principles of influence are well-documented, but when a person’s caught up in superstitious outside-in thinking, they’re less likely to experiment with those principles and develop a facility with them. Here’s an example: A week ago, I decided to do a talk in Brighton. Last night (7 days later), the 40 tickets for the talk had sold out, and the event was a big success. The reason the event sold out was in large part due to my understanding of the principles of influence. But the insight that had me decide to do the talk and promote it with only a week’s notice? That was due to my understanding of the inside-out nature of life.
If you recognise these paradoxes, and want to eliminate them from your life and take your influence-power and business to a new level, I’m running a programme on Nov 15th & 16th called the Effortless Influence Transformational Bootcamp. You can watch a video about it and book your place here:
To your increasing clarity