You’re Getting Sleepy, Very Sleepy…

I had lunch recently for the second time with a real live hypnotist, Bill Gladwell. Neither of us could quite remember how we met on Facebook but we did and Bill was kind enough to reach out to me to have lunch. You might be wondering if he hypnotized me; I don’t think so but I did pick up the tab the first time we met. In my defense, I’d planned to do that ahead of time because he made a 30-minute drive to meet me in downtown Columbus.

I’m really glad we hooked up because Bill is a neat guy with fascinating story. As we talked I was interested to learn a little about hypnosis and what he does with his understanding of psychology. I was surprised at how much crossover there was between what he does and the influence training I do.Here’s an example where influence and hypnosis are very similar. Bill talked a lot about creating the right environment for hypnosis and in one of his videos he explained how we go into hypnotic states all the time without realizing it. If you want a familiar scenario consider this; have you ever drove to work, got there then realized you didn’t remember much, if anything about the drive? You were on “autopilot” and mindlessly made your way into work. It’s similar to the “click whir” phenomenon Dr. Robert Cialdini talks about in the opening of Influence Science and Practice.As I’ve mentioned numerous times in this blog, it’s not what you do in the moment of persuasion that’s most important, it’s what you do before that moment. In other words, how you set the stage or create the environment to give you the best chance to persuade is what’s usually most important in the persuasion process.
Play along with me here and be honest; if a total stranger asked you for your phone number and/or email would you give that information to them? I’m willing to bet everyone one of you read that and thought, “No way.” I know that’s what I’d say if you asked me that question. My conversation with Bill helped me realize that’s not necessarily true because the environment can change your response completely. Let me explain.When I was out shopping for my mom’s birthday I went to Bath & Body Works because you can’t really go wrong there shopping for the ladies in your life. After being helped and gathering up several items I waited patiently in line to pay. When it was my turn I was told if I spent a little more I’d actually save money because of a promotion they were having so I grabbed one more small item. The young lady behind the counter proceeded to ring up my order then politely asked, “My I have your phone number?” I mindlessly blurted out the number then gave up my email when asked for that.You and I both know stores don’t need that information to finalize the sale. If I’d given incorrect number or email they’d never know the difference. If I’d have said, “I prefer not to give out that information,” they would not have pushed the issue or denied making the sale. The real point is I didn’t do either and I bet the vast majority of you comply just like I did. We can’t pass off our actions because of authority because what authority does a young lady in her mid-20s have over the customer? I’d say very little to none.
It’s the environment that impacts our behavior along with social proof (a.k.a. consensus). We see and hear other customers giving up that information as we stand in line so it’s natural for us to follow along and do the same when it’s finally our turn to pay and we’re asked the same questions.If you’re like me then you don’t want unwanted text messages or more junk email so next time you find yourself getting sleepy, very sleepy and are about to go into that mindless trance WAKE UP! Quickly ask yourself if what you’re being asked to do is what you really want to do. If you find yourself wrestling with that question then the answer is probably no and you should politely decline to do whatever is being asked. It could save you more than dealing with unwanted texts or email depending on what’s someone is trying to get you to do.Brian
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
3 replies
  1. Bill Gladwell
    Bill Gladwell says:

    wireless phone headset said…

    I just want to ask one thing Is there any success in hypnotizing a person?

    AUGUST 25, 2010 9:54 AM


    I have been using hypnosis to help people for over twenty-one years. I can better answer your question if you will elaborate on what you mean by "success".

    Your question could have several meanings, and I want to make sure that I address your specific question.

    Bill Gladwell


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