Advertising
Advertising

How to Plant an Idea in Someone’s Mind

How to Plant an Idea in Someone’s Mind

If you’ve seen the movie Inception, then you’ll know that DiCaprio’s character is a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious minds of his victims. However, his criminality leads him to become an international fugitive. Because of this, he accepts a deal for one last job that will see his criminal record being wiped clean. The job? Rather than stealing information from people’s subconscious minds – he’s asked to implant an idea into one.

Of course, Inception is just a movie – pure fiction. But the idea of planting an idea into someone’s mind is not.

You can’t necessarily access someone’s dreams, but you can have access to their subconscious, where their most influential thoughts and ideas come from.

It’s where inception can take place.

The Subconscious Mind’s Secret

Advertising

    The subconscious mind is a like a giant memory bank that stores all your beliefs, memories and life experiences.

    And the information stored in your subconscious mind affects the way you behave and act in life.

    Interestingly, the way the subconscious mind works is that, as well as affecting your behavior and actions, it can also affect your perception of events. To give you an example of this, think back to when you were at school. If you loved school, positive memories will quickly come into your mind. Conversely, if you hated school, negative memories will pop into your mind. (You may also notice that it’s virtually impossible to stop the memories coming back to you.)

    The subconscious mind is more than just a storehouse for our thoughts and emotions, however. It’s also constantly at work perceiving our surroundings and experiences.[1]

    Inception in Reality

    Advertising

      Since the subconscious mind picks up little things it’s exposed to, influencing it involves some subtle ways.

      Step 1: Find the nugget

      Try listening and observing closely to see what a person cares about most.

      If you do this, you’ll quickly understand that almost everything a person does will be based around the things and people they care most about. In fact, this is how our identities are formed.

      One trick to find out a person’s interests and motivations is to ask them lots of questions. Be curious about their lives, and you’ll learn about the things they are concerned about. For example, just by asking what their plans are for the weekend, you might discover the places they like to go, and the people and groups they like to hang out with.

      Step 2: Build the dream

      Once you’ve formed a clear picture of a person’s identity, the next step is to frame your ideas in their particular language.

      Advertising

      By understanding a person, you’ll know how they talk, what they like, what they don’t like, and what their hopes and dreams are. With this knowledge, it’s easy to start with their needs and wants, and continue to talk in a way that they will accept and feel comfortable with.

      For instance, if you wanted to sell an accountancy service to a freelancer, you’d have the best chance of succeeding if you spoke in their language. In this case, it would most likely involve you talking about freelance work, and the inherent risks and benefits of it. If you showed that you understood their world – they would be open to listening to you.

      Step 3: Inception

      Next, instead of telling them directly about the perks of your idea, talk around the outskirts of the idea.

      To do this, toss hints, but don’t say everything. Instead, let the person think that it’s them discovering it. It’s always easier for people to execute an idea if they think it has come from themselves.[2]

      Continuing the example of selling an accountancy service to a freelancer, if you’ve managed to grab their attention through your understanding of the freelance life, then the next and final step, is to leave some positive suggestions in their mind. You could do this by explaining how your service has helped other people save time, hassle, and penalties for late tax declarations, etc.

      Advertising

      The idea is that you drop just enough hints to the person that perhaps in a day or two their subconscious mind will prompt them to take action. In the example above, this means they’ll likely contact you asking to take up your service.[3]

      Persuasion Is a Superpower

      In life, it’s vital to be able to persuade others.

      A good example of this, is when you need to interview for a job you really want. If you’re nervous and unconvincing, you’ll leave the wrong impression – and most likely fail to land the job. If, on the other hand, you know how to plant the right ideas and impressions into the interviewers’ subconscious minds – you’ll have a great chance of securing the role.

      So, follow the three simple steps above, and start to become a powerfully persuasive individual. Your success in life depends on it.

      Reference

      More by this author

      Anna Chui

      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

      How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

      Trending in Social Animal

      1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 How to Raise a Confident Child with Grit 3 How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing 4 Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work 5 7 Signs of Manipulation in Relationships (And How to Handle It)

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

      Example 1

      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

      Example 2

      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

      Example 3

      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

      Advertising

      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

      Example 4

      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

      • Understand your own communication style
      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
      • Communicate with precision and care
      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

      1. Understand Your Communication Style

      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

      Advertising

      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

      3. Exercise Precision and Care

      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

      Advertising

      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

      Advertising

      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

      The Bottom Line

      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

      More Articles About Effective Communication

      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next