Consider the world you’d live in if everyone did as you said. You’d certainly have less stress and, if you’re a business person or a negotiator, chances are you’d rally more people to your side. Short of world domination, employing embedded commands is a powerful technique for creating consensus and reducing tension. You probably already do this, but considering the examples below will add some firepower to your style.
Think of embedded commands as a covert operation. You’re telling people to do something, but they don’t know that. And guess what. They do it.
Embedded commands work by softening language.
For example, saying “exercise every day” is likely to cause resistance. But change that to “I’ve been feeling a lot more energetic since I’ve started exercising,” and your couch potato won’t block the information out.
Do you want someone to save money? Try this:
- You could travel to Spain within one year when you stop going to Starbucks every day.
Embedded commands come in handy in virtually all aspects of your life. Try using them to make plans.
- We can go to that steak place you like around six. Just imagine how good your meal will taste after a long day at work.
More than just getting someone to do the dishes or go out to dinner, you can also use embedded commands during negotiations.
Here’s one way of doing so. A great salesman once told me to ask questions a person couldn’t say no to.
- Did you want me to deliver the product on Tuesday or Thursday?
- Should the terms of the contract be 30 days or 45?
Making people feel good about themselves has the added benefit of encouraging them to stay on task.
- Since we’re so good at creating plans, we can finalize the merger strategy by Friday.
- You’ve been so great at meeting deadlines in the past. You’re really good when you plot out your actions in advance.
Embedded commands are effective because they break barriers. They reduce tension simply by being unobtrusive. No one wants to be told what to do. It’s good to note, however, that embedded commands shouldn’t be abused or overdone. People don’t like to feel manipulated either.
Embedded commands are powerful. Use them wisely. (That is an embedded command!)
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