Conversational Postulate Questions – Words, Questions & Actions
This week I’m super excited to share one of Milton Erikson’s ingenious language patterns.
I wonder if you, like me, are ever faced with resistance when making a simple request or enquiry? You know the sort of thing, I’m sure:
- Parent: Tidy your room! [Young person says no or simply ignores]
- Parent: Have you done your homework yet? [Answer is often “No” and there’s no action]
- Partner: Make the coffee [Sounds quite harsh and gets the partner’s back up]
- Sales: What are you looking for? [Sounds presumptuous and interrogating]
With a conversational postulate, you can initiate the response you seek without upsetting your audience. And this language pattern is one of numerous persuasion techniques when you choose to learn NLP.
The following phrases sound less bossy, presumptuous, and interrogating, do they not?
- Parent: Can you tidy your room?
- Parent: Can you get on with your homework?
- Partner: I wonder if you can put the kettle on.
- Sales: Can you tell me what’s important to you when you’re buying a car? House? Outfit?
Not doubt you’ve noticed that the questions above all elicit a “Yes” or “No” answer, and here’s the magic…
Most often, they cue the action just like the age-old question: Have you got the time? Some people will joke and say, “no” but the greatest majority will give you the answer that you’re looking for.
Top tip: If you weave a number of conversational postulates into your discussion, you’ll be even more effective in achieving the results you want.
My invitation to you is to experiment and let me know how well it goes.
And, I wonder if you know anyone else who is curious about NLP? Can you think of a friend or colleague who loves to use words for effect? And does that person enjoy persuading others in learning, sales, or something else? Do you think they’d love you to share this blog?