Have you ever noticed that when you tell someone NOT to do something it is the very thing that they go and do?
How good would it be if you could increase the chances of getting the result you want with someone with just one simple change to your language?
Well let me share with you the power of the word ‘NOT’ and how to use it or NOT use it!
Did you know that the unconscious mind does not process negatives?
If I say don’t think of a blue tree what do you think about? A blue tree! That’s right. You have to think of a blue tree before you can NOT think of a blue true.
The Unconscious Mind drops out the ‘NOT’ and so people do the opposite of what is being asked.
Now we can all process a ‘NOT’ consciously but the truth of the matter is that most people are not consciously listening to us when we talk – sorry! So if you want people to follow a suggestion or instruction then you have two options:
1. Leave the ‘NOT’ out
Make sure you make the suggestion or instruction so it is in the positive and state what you do want them to do. So for example instead of saying:
Don’t forget to take out the rubbish
Say: Remember to take out the rubbish
Don’t be late for the meeting
Say: Make sure you are on time for the meeting
Get the idea?
This will help you achieve the result you really want!
And if you find you use a ‘NOT’ out of habit by mistake just follow it up with the positive statement straightway. It can take a bit of time to get used to NOT using the ‘NOT’!
E.G. Don’t leave it too late, please leave enough time to do it!
2. Leave the ‘NOT’ in
You can use the ‘NOT’ so that when the ‘NOT’ gets dropped out by the listener it leaves a positive suggestion or instruction. This is great for displacing resistance someone may have to a request.
E.g. you want some one to close the door quietly
Don’t shut the door quietly (i.e. Do shut the door quietly)
Don’t think this is going to be easy (i.e. Do think this is going to be easy)
I am not going to suggest that you find it easy to use the ‘NOT’ to improve the results from your communication!
So I am going to suggest that you find it easy to use the ‘NOT’ to improve the results from your communication!
The ‘NOT' is a powerful part of any communication tool kit – use it or ‘NOT’ use it with intent and you will start to achieve very effective results when communicating with others. Just test it and see!
If you wish to know more about the use of ‘NOT’ and how it or any other NLP technique can help you please contact us.