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The User's Guide to SLEIGHT OF MOUTH

How to Unleash the Magic of Language to Persuade Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere.

by Doug O'Brien

COPYRIGHT 2010 Doug O'Brien

SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Table of Contents PART ONE ........................................................................................................... 4 Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. ........................................................ 5 Perception vs. Interpretation ................................................................................. 6 Beliefs are interpretations of perception................................................................ 7 Beliefs are Shortcuts ............................................................................................. 9 Unpacking Beliefs ............................................................................................... 10 The Structure of A Belief ..................................................................................... 12 Unpacking Beliefs ............................................................................................... 16 Unpacking the Belief "NLP is a quick fix." ........................................................... 19 Sleight of Mouth Responses to the Cause/Effect side ........................................ 21 Sleight of Mouth Responses to the Effect/Means side ........................................ 23 Sleight of Mouth in Icon Graphics ....................................................................... 27 PART TWO ......................................................................................................... 32 If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else 32 The Patterns Mapped ......................................................................................... 35 CHUNK ONE ...................................................................................................... 36 Hierarchy of Criteria ............................................................................................ 37 Employing Transformational Vocabulary ............................................................ 40 Consequence Pattern ......................................................................................... 41 A Learning Suggestion........................................................................................ 43 Another Outcome ................................................................................................ 44 Metaphor or Analogy Pattern .............................................................................. 45 Redefine ............................................................................................................. 47 Chunk 1: Play Time............................................................................................. 50 CHUNK TWO ...................................................................................................... 51 Chunk Down ....................................................................................................... 52 Chunk Up or the Exaggerate Pattern .................................................................. 54 Counterexample.................................................................................................. 56
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True Life Confessions - Part 1 ............................................................................ 58 Practice Session: Close Your Eyes.................................................................... 60 Intent Pattern ...................................................................................................... 61 Model of the World .............................................................................................. 62 Chunk 2: Play Time............................................................................................. 64 CHUNK THREE .................................................................................................. 65 Reality Strategy................................................................................................... 65 Apply to Self ........................................................................................................ 67 Changing Frame Size ......................................................................................... 70 Meta Frame ........................................................................................................ 71 Chunk 3: Play Time............................................................................................. 73 True Life Confessions - Part 2 ............................................................................ 74 Practice Session: Close Your Eyes................................................................... 77 The Classic Examples of Sleight of Mouth.......................................................... 78 Home Study: Blank Sleight of Mouth Pattern Map .............................................. 83 SOM in Action - A Real Life Example ................................................................. 84 SOM in Action - Conflict Resolution .................................................................... 89 Moving Toward Mastery...................................................................................... 93 Becoming a Wizard ............................................................................................. 93 Appendix 1 - The Agreement Frame ................................................................. 101 Appendix 2 - The Precision Model .................................................................... 106 Appendix 3 - Polya Patterns of Plausible Inference .......................................... 116 Appendix 4 - Strategies for Using Sleight of Mouth........................................... 125 Appendix 5 - Logical Levels .............................................................................. 127 Acknowledgments ............................................................................................. 131 About the Author ............................................................................................... 132

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
PART ONE

HIS book will help you win arguments

and yet - it is not about winning arguments. This book will help you increase your sales and yet - it is not about selling. This book will help you be more persuasive and yet - it is not about persuasion. This book is about beliefs. It will help you discover the following:

What is a belief? How are beliefs held in place? How can beliefs be changed?

Im sure some readers are already saying, What do you mean Sleight of Mouth is not about winning!? Thats what I bought it for! Sleight of Mouth is often seen as a set of tools that will enable you to win every argument or make every sale. Ill admit that was one of my own original motivations for learning Sleight of Mouth. Well, the thing is, you will be more persuasive, and you will make more sales... and yet, its not just about that. What Sleight of Mouth is really about is communication. It depends upon a compassionate engagement - an empathic connection - with the other person where you are seeking first to understand where the other person is coming from. How is it that this person youre talking with can believe what he says he believes?

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Looking at the etymology of the word "communication helps us appreciate the word's meaning. The word contains two root words: com (from the Latin "cum" which translates as "with") and unio (the Latin for "union" from which our English word directly comes). Hence, communication means to have union with. So to truly communicate is to create a commonality where true union is achieved. It is significant that two other English words come from the same base words: community and communion.

So Sleight of Mouth starts with curiosity about people and with recognizing that communication is about listening and hearing as much as it is about speaking. Perhaps thats why we have two ears and only one mouth -- so we can listen twice as much as we speak.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. This book includes material like Polya Patterns and the meta model that technically aren't Sleight of Mouth at all. Sleight of Mouth by itself is just a way of reframing statements of belief in order to change the listeners way of looking at things. It is a means to persuade the listener to accept, or (at least) to see the merit of, a different belief system. To become truly adept with Sleight of Mouth, however, requires a deeper understanding of how beliefs are constructed. The added materials will help achieve that deeper understanding.

Let me see if I can illustrate why this is important.

Consider the following: Suppose I were to offer you $500,000 to transport a parcel from one place to someplace else - say, from some location to New York City. Lets be clear that there is nothing illegal going on here. The parcel doesnt contain drugs or anything like that. Its all perfectly legal and proper. The deal is that if you deliver the package successfully, you get $500,000 free and clear. Let's imagine that you accept the offer.

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Now lets add a small complication. What if the only stipulation was that before you could start off on this transportation mission to New York City, you would find yourself waking up one morning in the middle of nowhere? Perhaps its the middle of the desert somewhere. You have no idea where you are or how you got there. You might be in Mexico. You might be in the southwest. You might be in Canada. You dont know. You just wake up in this barren space.

In that situation, what would be the first thing you would need to do in order to get yourself to New York City? Well of course, the answer is obvious. Youd need to find out where you are. Youd need to find the nearest road or the nearest town to ascertain where exactly you are in order to start your travels from where you are to where you want to go. Sleight of mouth is like that. You need to know where you are. You need to know the territory that youre dealing with before you can start traveling to the new location.

Perception vs. Interpretation Theres an old Indian story that says that if were all sitting together in a circle and we put something in the center of that circle, like a feather or a drum, each of us would have a different perception of that object, perhaps depending on what side of the circle each of us is sitting on. Imagine for a moment that youre sitting on the eastern side of that circle, and the sun is setting in the west. Youd have this bright golden light in your eyes when you try to look at that object. Maybe youd only see that feather or that drum in a silhouette.

Conversely, if you were sitting on the western side of the circle, youd see that object bathed in a golden light. You could see it with great clarity. Youd see the faces of the people opposite you also bathed in that same golden light. And each of you, from your different perspectives, would be absolutely right in your perception. Thered be no question about it. Of course, youre right. From your perspective, from where youre sitting, your perception is 100%.

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However, raw perception is not the only thing going on there. Each person sitting in that circle naturally brings to the experience his or her own preconceived notions that color the interpretations of those perceptions. As an example, you might have had previous experiences with drum circles that were wonderful and joyous. Or maybe you were dragged to this event against your will and are just waiting for it to be over. There are countless ways you could color your

interpretations of the event. Yet the perception itself is pure.


Now, if we were to take that object out from the center of the circle - that drum or that feather - and replace it with a concept or an idea, then most likely we would bring even more preconceptions to the circle. Interpretations and ideas that we had prior to our entering the circle would influence our perception as well.

Sleight of Mouth echoes the notion that perception is 100%. In whatever way you may perceive a thing, that perception is correct from your particular vantage point. The idea underlying Sleight of Mouth is not that youre right and Im wrong or that Im right and youre wrong. Rather, its that were both right from our distinct perspectives. Given that assumption, we can then lead the other person to see things from our perspective. So we say to the other person, Yes, youre right from this perspective, and also look at it from this other perspective. You might see it in a different way.

Beliefs are interpretations of perception Lets consider for a moment the question, What is a belief? In answer to this question, many people would say something like the following:

"A belief is a conviction." A belief is something you know in your gut is true. A belief is a feeling of certainty.

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But what if someone says something like this? "I believe the world is flat."

And they believe it's true because they feel it in their gut. How could a person really believe something that is so clearly untrue?

Heres one way of answering that question. Have you ever noticed that a person always finds their keys in the last place they look? Why is that? Obviously, the reason is that they stop looking for their keys after theyve found them. Throughout the history of science and exploration, thats been the basis for a lot of beliefs. We found an explanation - an interpretation of the circumstances - that worked, and so we stopped looking.

The idea that the world is flat was a convenient explanation that worked for a long period of time... hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Most people didnt even think about it. A few people did think about it, though, and they had to be very careful... because there was a word for people who held unconventional beliefs... they were called heretics, and heretics had a tough time of it back then. Heretics were burned at the stake in the middle ages. So suggesting that perhaps the world isnt flat might not be a very safe thing to do.

For these reasons, most people didnt even think about it. Instead, they just assumed that, of course, the world is flat. The possibility that it might be otherwise didnt even dawn on them. The conventional belief was convenient, and it worked.

Until, of course, perception began to change. People started to do things like sail around the world - things that would be impossible if the world were flat. So, therefore, the world must be round. In time, of course, the belief that the world is round became the new orthodoxy that no one questioned. In that way, the cycle endlessly repeats.

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Beliefs are Shortcuts It took a lot of work, exploration and thinking to change from "the world is flat" to "the world is round." Thank goodness we don't have to go through that whole process every time we think about the world. It's much easier just to have the conclusion, "the world is round" represent all that exploration and thinking in a simple phrase. It's like we packed all that experience and cognitive deliberation into a suitcase and simply put a label on the suitcase to make it easier on us.

People often represent beliefs in their minds by means of these shortcuts in the form of a word or a phrase. Here are a few examples:

"Ah, that's better." "Life is good." "Hey, you can't do that." "Sasquatch is real." "It is important to be nice." "Greed is good."

These are all shortcuts - symbols, really - for the speaker's whole, reasoned-out belief.

Now, let's take that metaphor of the suitcase a wee bit further. Imagine for a moment a belief suitcase thats labeled I believe in Sasquatch. Also imagine

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that there is another suitcase that looks identical to the first suitcase and that has the same identical label on it: I believe in Sasquatch. The first of those two suitcases is mine, and the second one belongs to my friend Fred. Yet, because theyre identical looking suitcases and have the same labels on them, we might expect that the contents would also be identical.

Unpacking Beliefs Let's take a look at my belief-in-Sasquatch suitcase. You could ask me how I know my belief is true, or why do I have that belief. To answer that question we would open up the suitcase to see whats inside. My suitcase might have a load of things in there, such as:

Ive heard stories about Sasquatch from when I was growing up in Canada. I think I saw him once. I was with my Dad and he definitely saw Sasquatch. I saw the footprints of Sasquatch. We were always losing chickens. Every year thered be these big footprints and chickens would be gone and thered be a trail of feathers following those footprints up into the mountains.

There would be a long, long list of things inside that suitcase which, when taken together, constitute all the reasons that I believe Sasquatch is real.

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Then when you go to open Fred's identical looking belief-in-Sasquatch suitcase, much to your surprise, you find just a little pair of socks in there. The suitcase is virtually empty. The only thing backing up his belief is that he saw a picture in a tabloid once.

Which of the two people in this scenario would be easier to convince that there is no Sasquatch? Clearly, it would be contestant number two who has very
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little in the way of a support system for that belief. The lesson here is that we dont know what a person has inside their suitcases until we unpack them, and the way to do that is by asking questions. That is, we don t know how a person comes to believe what he believes until we ask questions.

What we need to do, then, is be curious about how a person holds a belief to be true. With that in mind, the first part of this exploration of Sleight of Mouth is to find out what is a belief? Or, more specifically, how is a belief actually structured? Once we answer that question, we can go on to find out how we can guide people toward other ways of looking at reality and possibly to having different beliefs.

Take a look at the illustration below:

The Structure of A Belief

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This diagram was first introduced to me by Robert Dilts. It is read from left to right, so the triangle goes to the square, which goes to the circle. These symbols are labeled "Cause - Effect - Means." (You can also look at it as a "Cause/Effect" plus a "Complex Equivalence." We'll talk more about this in a moment.) This three-part structure will henceforth be referred to as a "Normalized Belief Structure (NBS)." All beliefs have this structure, although it is rarely readily apparent that they do. You need to unpack them to discover their inner structure.

This is a somewhat new way of looking at belief structures. I'd always been taught that there were two kinds of beliefs - the Cause/Effect belief or the Complex equivalence belief. It wasn't until I was exposed to Jonathan Altfeld's brilliant work, "Knowledge Engineering," that I became convinced that there is really only one, inclusive, structure. It's just that most people don't elicit that structure in its entirety. One of the things youre going to learn in this book is how to do precisely that. Before we can get there, however, we have to take a closer look at the individual pieces that make up the structure of a belief.

The first part of the Normalized Belief Structure (NBS) is the Cause/Effect. This piece can show up in our ordinary language in more than one form. Sometimes it can be as straightforward as saying X causes Y. Or sometimes it can come in the slightly disguised forms of Y because of X, or because of X,Y, or even If X, then Y. Yet all of these forms are Cause/Effect statements because they all assert a causal dependency of one thing on another. Regardless of the form in which we find them, Cause/Effect statements are represented in the first part of the NBS diagram by the triangle connecting to the square.

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Here are a few examples of Cause/Effect statements. Im sure you can think of lots more, but these will be enough to give you the idea.

Rain causes wetness. If he calls then he likes her. If she blushes then she's feeling strong emotion. Learning causes growth.

Each of these Cause/Effect statements could be stated just as well in any of the various alternative forms we mentioned earlier. Heres what they might look like:

Because of the rain, its wet. Its wet because of the rain. If it rains, then youll get wet. Because he likes her, hell call. Her blushing is caused by strong emotion. If you learn, then you will grow.

Now lets take a look at the second piece of the NBS i.e., the Complex Equivalence. In this piece, we take the Effect from the Cause/Effect and attribute a meaning to it. In other words, the Cause/Effect gives us X causes Y. We then take that piece and add to it that Y means Z. This relationship is

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represented in the diagram by the square connecting to the circle.

Here are a couple of examples:

See, she's blushing. That means she's guilty. If it rains, you'll get wet. That means you should never leave home. Learning causes growth. So you ought to study hard.

Notice that its always a relationship. Its always one to the other. Its a relationship between the triangle and the square or a relationship between the square and the circle.

Interestingly, when something (an effect) happens, humans tend to attach meaning to it. It has been said that nothing really has an intrinsic meaning. Rather, a thing or event has only the meaning that we attach to it. For example, people see a halo around the moon and one person says, Oh yes, that means there s going to be rain tomorrow. Another person says, Oh, thats a bad omen of trouble brewing. We can give different meanings to the same cause and effect.

Now, referring back to our earlier suitcase idea (remember Sasquatch?), most beliefs will just be statements like, I believe in politics, or, That's good, or, Miracles do happen. People will simply state something like that, and thats fine. There's nothing wrong with that. Its a shortcut that represents the whole

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thing to the person. It's their label on their suitcase.

Unpacking Beliefs And while that's fine for them, its not going to help us do Sleight of Mouth one bit. We need more information. We cant do Sleight of Mouth with just the belief label. Theres not enough information to work with. So how do we get that information? How do we unpack their suitcase?

We do it by asking questions. Its pretty simple, really. As an example, we could just say, Hey, could you give me more information?

It would be more productive, though, to ask for the specific information that you desire. Theres a whole area of NLP called the Meta Model, which asks very specific questions for information thats been deleted or generalized or distorted. Well take some more time with the meta model a bit later, but for now, lets go back to do some examples, so you can see how this works.

As we do this, keep in mind that what were trying to do is to elicit enough information to cast the belief were working with into a full, three-part NBS. Once you get a belief into that structure, sleight of mouth becomes easy.

Heres the first of our working examples. Suppose we have someone who has the belief, I believe in Santa. We need more information, so one way we can start is by asking a very simple question: "Why?"

Them: "Well, because I do."

You: "Oh, that's OK, many people do. I'm curious as to how you've come to believe in Santa."

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Them: "Well, cuz he brings me stuff on Christmas."

Excellent! By asking these questions weve elicited from our person the Cause/Effect part of their belief. So we have the square and the triangle.

*REMEMBER* Whenever you hear the word "because," they are telling you their "CAUSE." So- "...cuz he brings me stuff on Christmas" is the cause. Thus, the "effect" is that he must exist, or, "I believe in him."

We've now retrieved enough information to do Sleight of Mouth on this belief. We have enough information because we have a relationship of the triangle to the square - the Cause to the Effect.

That's enough to get started with Sleight of Mouth, if you want to, but we still don't have the complete belief, do we? It's most often useful to find out the complete NBS before getting started. It's like finding out exactly where you are before you start traveling. So, Id want to know whats in the circle. That is, what meaning does the person attach to this cause and effect? In order to get that information, you might say something like this:

You: "So, if you get gifts from him on Christmas morning then he must exist, is that right?"

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Them: "Of course."

You: "OK, and what does that mean to you?" (Note: to retrieve the "Means" information, you can just ask, "What does that mean to you?")

Them: "Well, that means magic is real."

All right, so hes attributed a nice, beautiful, meaning to this thing, based on this structure, and weve gathered much more information from him. In this particular example, it's questionable whether you'd actually want to do Sleight of Mouth to change that belief. Maybe it's perfectly fine to leave that belief the way it is. But we have the information we need, just in case.

By the way, while we might want to leave the guy alone, we could also use Sleight of Mouth to reinforce or expand on that belief. We could say, Yes, magic does happen in life; life, itself is a miracle, if we stop to think about it that way. Its almost like every day is Christmas, isnt it?

In other words, you can help the person to expand upon that belief and make it even better using Sleight of Mouth. You dont have to change their belief. Instead, you could use the patterns to expand or reinforce their existing beliefs.

All this comes down to finding out enough information to get the belief into the NBS structure. If you want more insight and practice in doing this, I recommend Jonathan Altfeld's CD set on Knowledge Engineering. Jonathan developed Knowledge Engineering out of his work in Artificial Intelligence where the outcome was to model the thinking process of humans in order to make computers smarter. He uses this exact same NBS structure as a way of finding out how beliefs are put together. Its very cool, very hip, and he spends a lot of time explaining and demonstrating this process very clearly.

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Unpacking the Belief " NLP is a quick fix." Lets have a go at another belief. Keep in mind that we can have no definitive way of knowing where the suitcase label will end up in the NBS until we unpack the belief by asking questions. It really could be anywhere - cause, effect, or means. Dont make the mistake of assuming you know. Remember the Sasquatch example.

Imagine yourself in the following situation. You are an NLP Practitioner, and your potential client is not yet convinced to utilize your service. The dialogue might go something like this:

I need to think about it.


OK. No problem. Can I ask what it is you are considering?

Its just that everyone says NLP is a quick fix.


A quick fix?

Yes.
And if its a quick fix, how is that a problem?

Well, if its too fast, it wont last.


I have heard people say that before. How do you see that?

Well, that means its not worth doing.


So now we have elicited, conversationally, a complete belief statement although its possible the structure is a bit hidden. Do you see it? Lets look closer at whats there.

The first clue the client gives is, everyone says NLP is a quick fix. That statement alone sounds like a belief, but it is incomplete, isnt it? We dont know how they are thinking about that piece of evidence. So we ask a very nonleading question. We basically just repeat what they said with a questioning
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tonality. A quick fix? The client doesnt bite. They just say, Yes. So we have to probe a little more explicitly, but we want to be careful not to reinforce a false belief so we carefully add an if. The full question is, And if its a quick fix, how is that a problem?

At this point they change their language, but they give us a clear if/then, even though the word then isnt stated. Well, if its too fast, it wont last. You could go in a lot of different directions from there, but sometimes if you just question the statement, the person will counter it themselves. In this case, they go further and add the complex equivalence. Well, that means its not worth doing.

So, mapping it out looks like this:

Excellent. Now that weve elicited the entire belief we can do Sleight of Mouth. Remember - you are well advised to know where you want to go with the belief before you start using Sleight of Mouth. In this example, the belief well attempt to lead the client towards will be one that says, in effect, "Quick change can be the best kind of change when it is a good, effective change."

When you actually DO Sleight of Mouth, you first chose to respond either to the cause effect side of the belief or to the complex equivalence side. That choice, in turn, will depend on where the most obvious fallacy lurks or where you feel it would be easiest to begin.
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Sleight of Mouth Responses to the Cause/Effect side Let's imagine that we elect to enter the system on the cause/effect side of their belief. Having made that choice, we can now generate appropriate Sleight of Mouth patterns in order to lead them in the direction we want to take them. Well go into considerable detail a bit later on how to generate those patterns. For now, however, and perhaps to whet your appetite just a bit for the good things to come, well just list some of the possible Sleight of Mouth patterns we could generate around this belief:

If - it's too fast - then - it won't last.

Apply To Self (Cause) Well, don't jump to conclusions so quickly.

Apply To Self (Effect) That belief won't last for long as you see the deep changes that take place.

Change Frame Size Many breakthroughs in the history of science have met with that same skepticism. Yet, over time, their worth has been validated. Hierarchy of Criteria
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Isn't the depth and effectiveness of the therapy more important than its duration?

Consequence Having a belief like that will ensure your problems will last a long time because you refuse to allow for possibilities.

Another Outcome Whether it's too fast or will last isn't the issue but rather how to assist the client in nding appropriate new patterns to relieve suffering now. The more they do that, the more they'll form that new habit.

Metaphor/ Analogy So you're saying a dentist should drill teeth slowly? The best ones I know work fast and effectively and cause minimal pain to their patients. Rede ne (Cause) It's not that being fast means it won't last, being fast means it will be less painful so people will be more likely actually to do it. Rede ne (Effect) It's not that it's too fast; it's that it is highly effective. It only seems fast by comparison to conventional methods.

Chunk Down How fast is too fast? How slow should it be? How specically does length of treatment lead to quality? How long should change last?

Chunk Up So unless a therapy treatment lasts for years it's just a total waste of time and energy and should be avoided at all costs?

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Counter-Example Really? Have you never heard of any therapeutic intervention that happened quickly and was permanent? Many advances in medical history have seemed like miracles until people understood the science behind it.

Intent I know you're saying that because you sincerely want to make these changes permanent. We can take as much time as you need to be certain, inside, that the change is yours to keep, now.

Model of the World Many psychologists used to believe that and some still hold to that model of the world. Most modern theorists and practitioners believe that it is the thoroughness of the work that creates change, not the duration of the treatment.

Reality Strategy Wow. That's fascinating. How specically do you represent that belief to yourself? Do you make pictures in your mind? Is it a feeling? How would you know if it weren't true?

Meta Frame You're only saying that because you don't understand the internal mechanism of true change and are buying into the out-of-date Freudian belief systems our Grandmothers were sold.

Sleight of Mouth Responses to the Effect/Means side Those are some of the patterns we could generate around this belief if we were to enter the system on the cause/effect side. Alternatively, we could opt to enter the system on the complex-equivalence side. In that event, we could generate patterns like the following:

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It won't last - means - it's not worth doing.

Meta Frame You're only saying that because you're trying to avoid taking responsibility for you own state of mind. Most people I know are willing to do whatever it takes to make change last.

Reality Strategy How would you know if that weren't true? How many counter-examples would you need to convince you?

Model of the World Well, maybe in a loser's model of the world that's true. In my model of the world, major change often starts with small steps.

Intent I know your intent is to avoid wasting your energy on futile pursuits, but what you're doing is avoiding any progress at all.

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Counter-Example So even if we accept the possibility it might not last forever, is something temporary never worth doing? Besides, what if it does last? Thousands of people will tell you it has for them.

Chunk Up (exaggerate) So if a change doesn't last for all eternity a person might as well do nothing ever and just stay in a painful situation?

Chunk Down How specically do you know that? How specically do you make positive changes worthless?

Metaphor/ Analogy (two examples below) That's like saying relationships won't last so it's not worth dating or falling in love. So a migraine sufferer shouldn't take an aspirin because the relief is temporary?

Another Outcome The real question isn't whether it will last or is worth doing - the real question is how long will you avoid change because of fear?

Consequence Having a belief like that will keep you from ever doing anything because you are always focusing on what won't work rather than what does.

Hierarchy of Criteria Isn't it more important to make any change even if it may be minor, rather than to reinforce the old pattern of behavior that is creating the painful situation in the rst place? Apply To Self (Evidence) Well then, don't make change last, make it rst.
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Change Frame Size Well, in the bigger picture any change from a destructive pattern is worth doing because it leads to new patterns.

Apply To Self (Value) Aren't you worth doing whatever it takes to change? What you have been doing isn't working, is it? Rede ne (Evidence) It's not that it won't last; it's just that it's fast. The two are not equivalents. Rede ne (Value) It is worth doing because it works. If you need it again you just do it again.

Graphically, it would look like the diagram on the following page. Remember, the complete belief is divided into two bits.

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Sleight of Mouth in Icon Graphics

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Here it is with the belief example we've been looking at specifically:

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Here are all the patterns for the Cause/Effect, laid out graphically.

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And here are all the patterns for the Complex Equivalence, laid out graphically.

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Now, I don't know about you, but personally, I nd it just a little daunting to try to grasp all those patterns when presented as a whole like that. I'm much more able to grasp them when theyre presented one at a time. That's what we'll do now in part two...

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
PART TWO If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else Now, to do sleight of mouth, you need to know where youre leading a person. Its great to use the agreement frame. (See appendix 1) But once youre pacing them so nicely, you need to know where youre going to lead them. You need to know what belief you want them to adopt.

For example, suppose the person with whom youre dealing has the belief, Cancer causes death. We know we dont want the person to believe that, but what specifically do we want to lead them to? We could say, Hmm, if you do exactly what the doctors tell you, youll be OK. Or we could say, Well, that used to be true, but now most people live from todays modern therapies. The underlying idea is the same: do what the doctors tell you.

Alternatively, perhaps you want them to believe that alternative therapies and a positive mental attitude are what will help them prevail. So youll want to lead them to that way of believing and doing things. Or you could say, Hmm, OK, cancer causes death? No, it doesnt cause death; it just causes diminution of ones quality of life. Science these days we can slow death indefinitely. This would not exactly be my first choice, but its a choice, and choices are what you have to make. You have to make a choice about where youre going to lead the person, in order to begin to formulate the sleight of mouth patterns.

Its worth repeating here that sleight of mouth is not limited just to changing beliefs. As we mentioned earlier, you can also use sleight of mouth to reinforce a belief thats already there and is a good one but that perhaps hasnt yet become sufficiently entrenched.

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Suppose, for example, that someone has just learned how to ride a bike for the first time. Theyre 50-years-old, they never learned how to ride a bike and theyve felt bad about themselves their whole life for this reason. Lets say they took lessons to learn how to ride a bike. Having acquired that skill, they feel pretty good about themselves. They might think, OK, Im not so bad. Im not such an inept bike-riding failure anymore. Im OK. Ive learned. Good for me.

You could use sleight of mouth to reinforce that positive belief by saying something like the following: Yes, that is good, and isnt it more important to focus on your successes rather than how long it took you to learn? Because, after all, you'd never had the opportunity before. Once you were given the opportunity and you focused on it, you learned very quickly. And as you do that more and more, youll find that thats a pattern that really becomes you.

You can also redefine the key ideas by saying, Its not that youre just an OK bike-riding expert now; youre a modeler and you can model any behavior and learn that. In this way you can begin to generalize much more broadly than just that one definition theyve given themselves. So you can use the sleight of mouth patterns, both to reinforce a belief that just needs to be made better, as well as changing the belief from A to B.

So now weve got their belief. We know what it is. We have it in the formula that we want. We have it as a complex equivalence or a cause and effect. A equals (or causes) B, and B means C. We also know where we want to go. In other words, we know what belief they have and what belief we think would be better for them i.e., we know where we want to take them. So now what? What do we do with this information?

Now is the time to utilize those sleight of mouth patterns. As we proceed, youre going to notice that some of these patterns are familiar to you. Thats fine. The idea is that were going to give them names and put them in locations so we can get hold of them easily and know exactly where they are. All of this
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preliminary work has been crucial for getting us to this stage.

It reminds me of the story about the guy who knew where to tap. The story is about a multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier that was built and it just wasnt working right. So they hired this expert to come in and do some troubleshooting. This guy comes in carrying a little black bag with him and he starts walking around. Hes looking and listening, reading gauges and stopping and listening some more.

Finally, he walks down this corridor, puts down his little black bag, reaches in, and pulls out a wrench. Up above him theres a pipe with a valve in it. The guy reaches up with his wrench and taps the valve about a quarter of an inch. All of the sudden, this billion-dollar aircraft carrier thats been making all sorts of terrible noises suddenly starts to hum. Its just humming away perfectly with everything in sync.

The guy puts his wrench back in the bag, goes up to the admiral, says, OK, thatll be $10,000, please. And the admiral says, Excuse me? Youve been here for what, an hour maybe? You tap on a valve and youre done? $10,000? I dont think so. I need an itemized bill, please. The guy says, OK. So he reaches in his black bag, pulls out this little pad, writes on it, and hands it to the admiral. The admiral looks at it and it says, For tapping on the valve, $1.00. For knowing where to tap, $9,999.

So the important thing is knowing where to tap. All this preliminary work has been about figuring out where to tap. Its been about determining the entry point for the belief and where we can make the most elegant shifts in the other persons belief system. The rest of it is easy, especially if you know these patterns.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
The Patterns Mapped

Now were going to go through these patterns one by one. As we examine the patterns, well display them in the form of series of Pattern maps in order to make them easier to remember.

Were going to start with one belief and one pattern. Well then go on to another belief using the same pattern. Well use this same pattern on four different beliefs so you can see how that pattern works no matter what the belief might be. In each case, the stated belief we're arguing with is in the center of the page in the darker squares. The stated belief is EITHER a cause effect statement OR a complex equivalence.

In order to make things easier, we'll take these patterns in groups of five. The first group of five patterns will start with the Hierarchy of Criteria, which is found in the upper right hand corner of the chart. Well then proceed around the chart in a clockwise direction. You'll find the complete Pattern Maps for these four beliefs on pages 78 - 82, "The Classic Examples" by Dilts and Epstein.

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CHUNK ONE

PLEASE NOTE: Were going to start with the pattern in the upper right hand corner only because youve got to start somewhere. This is not to imply that theres any sort hierarchy to using these patterns. There isnt. Rather, you use the patterns in whatever order works best in a particular situation.

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Hierarchy of Criteria

The symbol for the Hierarchy of Criteria. pattern is drawn in a shape that resembles the 10 Commandments tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain. The Commandments express a system of values that are arranged in a kind of hierarchy. Thats why the 10 Commandments tablet makes such a nice symbol for the hierarchy of criteria pattern. The pattern deals with a hierarchy of criteria -- a hierarchy of values -- that the person will respond to.

The first belief well deal with is one of the classic Robert Dilts examples: Saying mean things means youre a bad person. The hierarchy of criteria response to that could be, Dont you think its more important to be genuine or honest than to tell people only what they want to hear?

Now, you may have noticed that I left out some words that are included in the diagram. Theres a veritable shopping list of possible responses listed there. Its very much like a listing program written out. If I had included all the responses that are written in the diagram, it could be kind of overwhelming to a person. But it could also work, so you give them a whole bunch of things that they could pick from and theyll pick the value that actually works for them.

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The next belief well work with is, Cancer causes death. Look at the same pattern up in the upper right-hand corner of the diagram. The hierarchy of criteria response to that belief could be, Dont you think its more important to focus on what would make life worth living and how to make it more worth living for everyone, rather than to focus so much on ones own death? Are you beginning to see the pattern now?

The third of our sample beliefs is, Your being late means that you dont care about me. Going once again to the upper right-hand corner of the diagram, there it is in those tablets. Isnt it more important to fulfill my responsibilities to the people who are depending on me than to be punctual?

We have one more example: Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. The hierarchy of criteria response might be, Dont you think its unmanly or unfair or dishonorable to bully people by using excessive force when they are unarmed or unprepared?

Now Id like you to notice something here. In all of these cases, the language has started with either, Dont you think its more important . . .? or, Isnt it more important . . .? In other words, weve been using the pattern in the form of a question. Certainly, you could also phrase it as a statement by saying something like, Well, you know, I think its more important . . . . But by phrasing it as a question, the language is softened up a bit and creates more of a sense of a discussion rather than of a lecture.

Its also important to note that in any communication, whether involving sleight of mouth or not, a significant percentage of your message is delivered by means of your tonality and your physiology. For that reason, your communication could have very different effects depending on what tonality you use and the way you present yourself. If you were to speak with a sarcastic tonality, for example, the effect would be quite different than if you were to speak the same words in a conciliatory tone.
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Another thing thats important to notice about the hierarchy of criteria is that in some cases you get a kind of shopping list of values. In that event you can use the shopping list of different values and let your listener pick one. Perhaps youll hit one that works for them out of three that dont. Also, if you know their values, its much easier to pick a value that you know works for them, and the effect can then become that much more powerful.

As an example, consider the belief we used above that says, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. If youre talking with a very scientific person with a very analytical mind, an argument that centers on values like unmanly, unfair, and dishonorable, would likely not mean a thing to him. Of course, such an argument might work, but chances are that those arent values he really cares about. What he values instead is detached, scientific thinking.

Theres an interesting history behind this example. It was created back in the early 1980s by Robert Dilts for none other than Timothy Leary. At that time Timothy Leary was on a college lecture circuit with, believe it or not, G. Gordon Liddy. The two would visit college campuses and debate one another on such things as nuclear arms proliferation.

Both of these men were very intelligent, but they operated out of very different systems of beliefs and values. G. Gordon Liddy was, of course, one of the Watergate conspirators. He was a very tough ex-Marine and former FBI agent who placed high value on martial virtues such as manliness and honor. Timothy Leary, by contrast, was the quintessential hippie. He promoted the use of LSD back in the 60s, and he coined the phrase Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out. In fact, Liddy had actually arrested Leary during the heyday of Learys drug use in the 60s.

In short, this was a very odd pairing of people, but they were both very intelligent. To his consternation, Leary kept losing their debates. Liddy was kind
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of an unusual character in his own right, but he was not stupid at all, and he was winning these arguments every time.

But Leary was smart enough to go to Robert Dilts and ask for help. Together they created this pattern map to help Leary argue that nuclear arms dont cause strength, protection and safety. Instead, he argued the very opposite. One of the patterns that worked best for this argument was the hierarchy of criteria because Liddy, an ex-Marine, placed high value on honor. Leary exploited this by saying things like, Dont you think its unmanly, unfair, and dishonorable to bully people by using excessive force when they are unprepared or unarmed? In other words, he was hitting Liddy right where he lived, and it was an extremely effective tactic.

The lesson here is that if you know the values of the person with whom youre speaking, use them. If you dont know the values, you might have to give the person the shopping list that we mentioned earlier and take more of a scattershot approach to winning. Just remember the story about tapping on that valve. If you know and can tape in the right place, it makes your effort that much more powerful.

Employing Transformational Vocabulary Its also important to note here that some of these patterns use what could be referred to as transformational vocabulary. In other words, we change some of the words in order to suggest other meanings.

In order to illustrate what I mean by this, lets look again at the example, Your being late means you dont care about me. If you go up to the hierarchy of criteria pattern that we just learned a few moments ago, youll see the response, Isnt it more important to focus on getting my job done effectively to help the people that are depending on me than to be punctual?

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Notice that in our response we changed the word "lateness" into "punctuality." This change has the effect of diminishing the strength of the initial accusation, so it helps to bolster your side of the argument. This happens in many of the various examples offered. Notice it and use it.

Consequence Pattern

Now lets look at the next pattern: the "Consequence Pattern." On the pattern map youll find the consequence pattern by moving clockwise downward from the hierarchy of criteria. The symbol for the consequence pattern is an arrow, going from left to right. This is to indicate a movement in time. The idea is that in using the pattern youll be talking about the consequence in time of having the particular belief youre dealing with or the consequence of having not taken a particular action.

As before, our first sample belief is, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. Keep in mind, Saying mean things means youre a bad person, is being said to you by someone whos accusing you of saying mean things. Youre using sleight of mouth to defend yourself. Here are some of the many possible responses you could give based on the consequence pattern: Im only saying these things to make them better. If I didnt say mean things, Id do them. Or, If there werent bad people, then who would tell us our faults?

In the next example, a person says, Cancer causes death. You want to
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lead them out of that belief, so you might use the consequence pattern to say something like, You know, beliefs like this tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies because people stop exploring their choices and options. In other words, youre suggesting to them a negative consequence of holding onto that belief.

In the next example, Your being late means you dont care about me, youre once again being verbally attacked by someone. The consequence pattern might point to a response like, Well, if I hadnt been late, I might have lost my job, but I cared too much about you to risk it. You could also say, You know, having a belief like that probably does make caring or not caring just a matter of time. Thats a really good one to demonstrate.

So lets move on to the last of these four classic Dilts examples: Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. A consequence pattern response might be, Believing that nukes are the only way to be safe can lead to weakness because we fail to see other possible choices. This belief leads to paranoia, which makes people act irrationally.

You can see how some of the patterns are about the consequence of holding the belief. Some of the patterns are about doing or not doing a particular behavior based on that belief. Either way, its the consequence of something having to do with the belief. You can use the consequence pattern to help the person change their belief by helping them see the consequences of that belief or of the behavior based on that belief.

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A Learning Suggestion

At this point Id like to suggest that the best way for you to learn these patterns is to write out your own. When I first learned how to do sleight of mouth patterns with Robert Dilts, I took the patterns home and photocopied 20 of these blank pattern maps. The shapes were all there, but they were blank. I then came up with my own examples. I did one a day for 20 days. If you do that as well, youll find that the patterns become engrained in your brain. Youll be able to look up and see the pattern map as a Plexiglas screen right in front of you, three feet wide by two feet high. In fact, do that now. Just close your eyes for a minute and imagine the pattern map right there in front of you. Reach up with your left hand and your right hand and just touch that A equals B or A causes B image in the center. Then reach up with your right hand to the upper right-hand corner and touch the hierarchy of criteria pattern. See it in your mind and touch it. Get this spatially anchored in your brain. Then move down in a clockwise motion to the arrow going out to the right, the consequence pattern. Thats all weve done so far, but I want you to do this for all the patterns that we discuss. With each pattern we do, youll stop and write out your examples. In that way youll engrain them in your brain. Youll get these patterns anchored for yourself so youll be able to access them and use them when you need to.

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Another Outcome

Now lets get back to the patterns. The next one is called, Another Outcome. Going clockwise around the pattern map, youll find the another outcome pattern in the lower right-hand corner. In using this pattern, we shift attention away from whatever topic the other person has brought up and onto something else entirely. In effect, its like changing the subject.

Lets take a look at our first example, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. A response based on the another outcome pattern might be, The issue here is not whether Im saying mean things or whether Im a bad person. The issue, rather, is what responses your communication elicits. Do the ends justify the meanness? Thats a very cute little verbal sting there at the end, isnt it?

The next example is, Cancer causes death. One possible another outcome response could be, The real issue isnt what causes death, but rather what causes life and health? Lets focus on that.

The third of our four standard examples is, Your being late means you dont care about me. Another outcome: Whether Im late or uncaring isnt the issue, but rather whether we can meet each others needs in this relationship without laying any unnecessary trips on one another.

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And the last example, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Heres a possible response: You know, the real issue isnt whether nukes make us safe, but rather, number one, whether what were trying to protect is worth protecting. Number two, whether theres a better choice. Or number three, whether were acting honorably and logically and not just out of fear.

So that was another outcome. Its a very powerful pattern because it provides you with an elegant way of changing the subject and kind of sidestepping the other persons whole argument. With this pattern, you say in effect, Thats not the real issue. You might be right about what you said, but were not talking about that. The really important thing is this other issue. Lets focus on this instead.

Metaphor or Analogy Pattern

The next pattern were going to go to is a delightful pattern called the " Metaphor or Analogy Pattern. Now if youre familiar with Ericksonian hypnosis, or if youre familiar with the teachings of Jesus Christ, youll recognize that both Erickson and Jesus used stories, teaching tales. For Erickson, they were therapeutic metaphors. For Jesus, they were parables. But theres power in the stories. In this pattern were going to be using metaphors or analogies to
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illustrate our side of the argument or to illustrate the belief to which we want to lead our client.

So lets take a look at, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. A metaphor or analogy might be, Would a dentist be bad or mean if they told someone they had a cavity?

The next example: Cancer causes death. Response: You know, cancer is like a grassy field and your white cells are like sheep. Stress or excessive chemotherapy, a bad diet, etc. reduce the amount of sheep in the field and the grass gets overgrown and turns to weeds. But if you concentrate on growing and adding more healthy sheep back into the field, it would reach ecological harmony again.

By the way, Im told that this particular metaphor was used directly by Robert Dilts while working with his mother who had cancer a number of years ago. She was not given a particularly good prognosis, but through the changing of her beliefs and, of course, other things, she lived a good, long life after her diagnosis. So this is an actual metaphor that was used to help someone overcome their belief that cancer causes death and move on to some healthy choices.

The next example: Your being late means you dont care about me. Response: Well if a surgeon is late for dinner because hes saving someones life, does that mean he doesnt care about eating? Theres a kind of joking quality in this example, and that can be a useful thing.

Finally, our last example: Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Heres one possible response: Nuclear weapons are like cancer. The immune system might not realize the danger before its too late. So, again, with this pattern youre using a metaphor or analogy to illustrate your rebuttal point.

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Redefine

The next pattern well be working with is called Redefine. Its represented on the pattern map by two squares located beneath the main belief. The idea of this pattern is that were going to redefine the meanings of the very words that are used in the belief.

We can illustrate this by recalling our first example, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. You can redefine one side of the belief as follows, Im not saying mean things. Im telling the truth. Im expressing my point of view. Im stating the facts. Thus, youre redefining mean things as telling the truth.

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You can also redefine the other side of the equation by saying, Im not a bad person; Im just flexible. Im honest. Im genuine. We could also play the sympathy card: Im unhappy; Im not as sensitive as you.

The next example is, Cancer causes death. A redefine on the first side might be, Its not that cancer causes death, its the breakdown of the immune system that causes death. So lets explore ways to bolster that. If you want to address the second side, you could redefine death. Cancer doesnt cause death; it causes loss of hope or fear. Beliefs like this that bring depression are what are dangerous.

Heres our next example: Your being late means you dont care about me. One redefine could be, Im not late. I was delayed. In this instance youre redefining the word, late, and turning it into delayed. A redefine on the other side might be, Its not that I dont care; its that I show my caring differently.

Lets move on to our next example, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Redefining the first side gives us, Its not that nuclear weapons protect people; its the fact that they deter people from taking aggressive action. What other things could stop people from wanting to take aggressive action? Redefining the second side suggests, Nuclear weapons dont cause safety; they cause death, which creates fear within people who dont
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have such weapons, so they have to sneak around.

One way you could represent this pattern to yourself generically in a kind of formula would be to say, A doesnt equal B; A equals C, and thats D. Or, stated as a cause/effect the equation would be, "A doesn't cause B, A causes C and that's D." So to take one of our examples as an illustration, Cancer doesnt cause death; cancer causes loss of hope. And that brings depression and thats whats dangerous. It suppresses the immune system.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Chunk 1: Play Time Now that weve described the first group of patterns, its important that you practice using them by writing your own examples. The goal of this book is for you to master these patterns; to have them at your finger tips to use in your real life. The only way to accomplish this is by practicing. So now is the time for you to make up your own examples. Write them in the boxes, and don't move on until you do this. Here's a sample complex equivalence for you to practice on.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
CHUNK TWO

Speaking of chunks, this section of patterns starts with the Chunk Down pattern and the Chunk Up pattern.

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Chunk Down

These patterns are a lot of fun. Chunking down is incredibly simple. Whenever you ask for more specific information, thats chunking down. To explore this a little further, lets forget about sleight of mouth for a moment and just think about this idea of chunking down.

If we take a category of something, like cars, for example, and we chunk down from that, were getting more specific information. In the case of cars, this more specific information could be things like steering wheels, tires, etc. Alternatively, we could go to the type of car like Maserati, or Lincoln Continental, or whatever. On the other hand, if we were to chunk up from cars, we might go into something like modes of transportation. In other words, cars are just one example of many modes of transportation. Chunking up from there, we might even get to different types of movement. The point is that in chunking up were getting more general, while in chunking down were getting more specific.

You can see, then, that chunking down is very simple. The chunk up pattern, however, is a little trickier. In fact, I believe the chunking up pattern is misnamed because in using the pattern were not really chunking up in the strict sense of that term. That is, were not really becoming more general, so the name is misleading. As youll see shortly, the chunking up pattern should really be called something like the exaggerate pattern. Nevertheless, the name

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chunking up has become standard for this pattern, so well continue to use it.

Lets look first at chunking down in the context of each of our four example beliefs. The first one is, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. To use the chunking down pattern on this belief, all you have to do is say, How specifically? A somewhat more elaborate application might be, How specifically am I saying things that sounds so bad or to whom?

This might be one of the easiest of all of the sleight of mouth patterns to understand. Notice, however, you can chunk down in either the A, the B, or the meaning. Thus, you could say things like, How do you know it means that? How specifically does it mean that or make that happen?

The next example: Cancer causes death. Here are some ways to chunk down on this belief: Which cancers, specifically? How specifically does it cause death? Dying? How, specifically? Its worth mentioning here that there are lots of other words you could use instead of specifically. For example, you could ask, How particularly, or how exactly, do you mean that?

The next example is, Your being late means you dont care about me. Some chunking down responses might be, Late? Define that, please. Dont care? How, specifically? How specifically does lateness mean not caring? How do you draw that correlation between them?

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Heres our last example: Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Chunking down responses: How exactly do they make us safe? How do they specifically protect us? Which nuclear arms are we talking about, the bombs or the missiles?

Chunk Up or the Exaggerate Pattern

As mentioned previously, " Chunking Up" (or the Exaggerate Pattern ) is a little bit different. To my mind, its one of the most fun patterns of all. Go back to the first of our examples, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. Heres one way a chunking up response might look: So you mean if somebody slips up and happens to be irritable in their communication, then theyre doomed to be evil for the rest of their life?

There are actually several things going on here. First, in terms of the A equals B belief structure as represented in the NBS, the chunking up pattern has us verbally diminish the A part and then wildly exaggerate the B part. Second, that one-two punch of diminution and exaggeration is facilitated by the notion of transformation of vocabulary that I mentioned earlier in reference to the hierarchy of criteria.

So instead of saying mean things, were saying, Someone slips up and happens to be irritable in their communication. That diminishes the A part. I wasnt saying mean things, I just slipped up and was irritable in my

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communication. On the other hand, we also say, So if anyone ever does that, theyre doomed to be evil for the rest of their life? Thats a massive exaggeration of the B part. The chunking up pattern, then, starts with the diminishing and then follows up with the exaggerating.

Lets move on to the next example: Cancer causes death. Heres one way of using the chunking up pattern on this belief: Are you saying that a change in mutation in some small part of the system is going to automatically cause the destruction of the entire system? Its that same pattern as before. We begin with the diminishing and end with the exaggerating. Do you see how it works?

Next example: Your being late means that you dont care about me. Are you saying that the most fundamental aspect of our relationship is simply a matter of time? This is not necessarily recommended for use in a real life relationship, but its kind of fun to think about.

Finally, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Well, since nukes and weapons cause safety, then lets give them to all the peoples of the world so we can all be safe. Thats chunking up, and you can see how its not just getting more general. It really is, in a sense, taking the first part of the A equals B and diminishing the A part verbally and then wildly exaggerating the second side. Its a lot of fun.

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Counterexample

Continuing to progress around the pattern map, we come to the left-hand corner, the " Counterexample." This, by the way, is one of the patterns that I discovered I did very naturally, myself. Maybe you will, too, or maybe you will find other ones that youre just naturally good at. Remember, though, its having all of them at your fingertips that gives you the real power.

So lets take a look at the counterexample pattern for Saying mean things means youre a bad person. A response might be, Well isnt it possible to say mean things and not be a bad person? Or, Isnt it possible to be a bad person and not say mean things?

Example number two: Cancer causes death. Counterexample response: You know, there are more and more documented cases of people who have had cancer and are surviving just fine. People die of many other things than cancer. In fact, most medically treated cancer patients die from the severity of their treatment rather than from the cancer itself. Or you could ask, Have you ever heard of anyone who has had cancer and lived?

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This example illustrates the fact that you can use the counterexample pattern in two ways. You can offer counterexamples that form a statement, or you can ask questions and help the person draw from their own references and resources. If you can do the latter, its sometimes even more powerful because theyre bringing up their own arguments for themselves. So if you ask them the question, they come up with an answer that can be even better and more powerful than the statement you might have given them.

Next, Your being late means you dont care about me. You could say, Isnt it possible to be late and still care? Or conversely, Isnt it possible to be uncaring and punctual?" I think so.

Next, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Response: Is it possible to have nuclear weapons and not be safe? Or, Is it possible to create safety without nukes?

Another very effective way of doing counterexamples is to exaggerate the premise of the persons statement and ask it as a question. Let me give you an example. If someone says, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety, you might say, So, are nuclear weapons the only way you can be safe? Is that the only cause that can have that effect? Is that the only way that could ever happen? You ask that as a question and let them answer it because, of course, its not the only way to be safe, and theyll come up with their own counterexamples. Sometimes thats even more powerful.

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True Life Confessions - Part 1 It was a few days after Valentines Day, many years ago. I'd been away over the holiday and, while I was gone, my at-that-time girlfriend had secretly begun a new relationship. Perhaps you can appreciate that, when I found out several days later, I was a wee bit upset. Especially since her paramour had supposedly been a mutual friend of ours.

The thing is, I have never been one to give up easily. So I called up the guy and confronted him with this betrayal. Truth be told, I was livid. How could he have done such a thing? I was morally outraged and knew I was right. I knew this argument would be a slam dunk.

Amazingly, however, as I argued more and more with this guy, I found myself losing! How could this be when I was so clearly right? His point of view was that he and she were soul mates and were meant for each other. He believed this made normal rules not apply.

Did you ever notice that, under pressure, people often resort to old patterns? I was falling right into this phenomenon and my old patterns were not working. Now I'm sure you know that if you do the same thing over and over again, youre likely to get the same results. It would be like a baseball pitcher who always throws in the same spot. People will hit him every time, no matter how fast he throws it. Its always the same pitch.

Of course, I should have known that, too. Especially since the reason I'd been away is that I'd been attending an NLP Master Practitioner training with Robert Dilts and Todd Epstein where they'd taught Sleight of Mouth.

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So finally, almost as a last resort, I was able to step back in my mind and get a perspective on what I'd been doing in this argument. I realized I'd been doing the same two patterns over and over again. I'd been using Counter Example and Hierarchy of Criteria. Remembering the NLP adage that if what you're doing isn't working, try something else, I decided to make an effort actually to use other Sleight of Mouth patterns I'd just learned. I visualized the Pattern Map in my mind and picked one of the patterns pretty much at random. To my shock and amazement, he was thrown for a loop. It was like the old pitcher had suddenly thrown a curve ball.

This illustrates the point that one of the reasons sleight of mouth is so powerful is that there are so many different patterns to choose from. I sometimes use the analogy of James Bond being a powerful guy, not because hes the biggest and strongest or fastest or quickest, but because he has the most toys. Hes got the fountain pen that is actually a breathing apparatus for swimming under water. Hes got the wristwatch that does any number of things from satellite positioning to all sorts of stuff. Hes got that car that does any number of things. It can be a spaceship or an underwater

vehicle. So many different possibilities are available to him that of course hes going to win.

If youre always doing the same thing over and over again, youre going to get the same results and then become predictable like a Major League pitcher who always throws in the same spot. People will hit him every time, no matter how fast he throws the ball. So youve got to have change-ups, youve got to have sliders, youve got to have different approaches to take.

As you start learning the sleight of mouth patterns, youre going to notice that some of these patterns are familiar to you. Some of the
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patterns are ones youve already been doing.

Sleight of mouth

gives you strength in having more than one choice.

You need to be able to use all the patterns that are available to you. You also have to be able to step back and look at the patterns as if they are on a wall chart or on something like a clear piece of Plexiglas thats in front of you so you can grab hold of the patterns and utilize them. Its going to make your use of the patterns much, much more powerful.

Practice Session: Close Your Eyes

Practice that now. Close your eyes for a minute (after you read the directions, of course) and imagine the pattern map right there in front of you. Reach up with your left hand and your right hand and just touch that A equals B or A causes B image in the center. Then reach up with your right hand to the upper right-hand corner and touch the Hierarchy of Criteria pattern. See it in your mind and touch it. Get this spatially anchored in your brain. Then move down in a clockwise motion to the arrow going out to the right, the consequence pattern, and do the same thing - see it in your mind and touch it. - get this spatially anchored also. Continue with all the patterns learned so far... the Another Outcome, the Metaphor, the two Redefines, Chunk up and Chunk Down, Counter Example. Actually use your hands and reach up into the space in front of you as if you are touching a large Plexiglas representation of the Pattern Map. This helps to spatially anchor the patterns in your mind.

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Intent Pattern

Now looking at the pattern that has the arrow going to the left, its still kind of indicating time in a way because in a sense, were stepping back and looking at the intention behind the person saying that particular argument. If you take that step back and think about it, there must be a reason for what they said. They must have an intention behind it. Thats why this is called the Intent Pattern, or the Intention Pattern.

Lets look at, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. Once again, defending yourself, you could say something like, My intention is not to be mean, but to teach you something, to make you better, to be realistic. My intention is to protect myself.

Next example, Cancer causes death. You might say to the person, I know your intention is to prevent false hope, but you are preventing any hope at all. Lets find some good alternative choices.

For the belief example that, Your being late means you dont care about me, you could say, My intention wasnt to be late or uncaring, but rather, to finish my work so I could spend the highest quality time with you.

And the last example here, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Since your intention is to create safety and protection, Im sure youll join me in finding as many choices and alternatives as possible.
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With this pattern, of course, youre going to have to do some mind reading and say, I know your intention is this or that or the other thing. You might not really know. You might be hoping; you might be fishing. If you can hit it, thats great. If you know what their intention really is, you might just wonder to yourself what would cause them to believe a thing like that. What would cause them to think this way? OK, I know your intention is such and such. If you can just do that, you can create a nice intention sleight of mouth example.

Model of the World

Lets continue around the pattern map. The next one up is Model of the World. A model of the world response for Saying mean things means youre a bad person could be, Well, it might be mean or bad in your model of the world, but in my family, thats how we showed that we cared. I had a friend once who married this woman, and they came from very different families and very different models of the world.

In his model of the world, when they argued in his family, they got intense. They raised their voices. They emoted. They told what their true feelings were loudly. It was expected they would do that. For them, thats simply what one does in an argument. The worst thing you could do would be to walk away. Instead, you handle it, you get intense until its handled, and then its done.

Now his new bride came from a family where they never did that. They were a very proper family and if anyone ever raised their voice, that was the
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worst thing that could happen. So, of course, if you raise your voice, it means youre getting out of control. In that event you must leave the situation and come back later and talk about the matter rationally when you have your emotions under control.

So these two people got married. Eventually, of course, they had their first argument. Guess what happened. He starts getting intense. He starts raising his voice. Thats the worst thing that could happen in her model of the world. So, of course, she leaves to make it so that everyone could have an even temper when they come back. But leaving is the worst thing you could do in his model of the world, so he chases her and makes it even more intense. The situation escalates like this. Its very interesting, very comical, really, from the outside. But it probably didnt feel that way from the inside.

Lets go to the next example, Cancer causes death. In the model of the world, you could say, Not all medical people hold that belief. Many people believe that all of us have some mutant cells all the time and its only when the immune system is weakened that it becomes a problem.

The next example is, Your being late means you dont care about me. Well, many people I know judge caring on the basis of sensitivity to anothers feelings, not their awareness of time.

And the next example, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Well, you might call it safety and protection. I call it paranoia and fear. Again, the model of the world pattern deals with the reality that the person lives in. What might be true for you might not be true for them.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Chunk 2: Play Time Let's have some more fun writing our own patterns and playing with a different belief. This one is a cause/effect.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
CHUNK THREE

Now we come to the third and final group of patterns. Continuing clockwise around the pattern map, we find the Reality Strategy.

Reality Strategy

In NLP, a strategy is defined as a mental sequence used to achieve a goal. Strategies are usually described in a sequence of sensory-specific terms of the
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representational systems and submodalities employed. As an example, whenever Alice hears gossip, she first listens to what's being said, then she pictures the people involved in her mind, imagining them doing what was said, then she compares that with what she knows about the people from her past experience of them, and decides whether the gossip is plausible or not.

That is how she decides to believe gossip or not. In NLP, thats called a strategy. A "Reality Strategy" concerns how a person creates a sense of reality in their mind. So if the person says, Oh, thats real, thats true. You can ask questions about how they know its real or not?

So Saying mean things means youre a bad person offers the following reality strategy rebuttal. You could say, How specifically do you know that its bad or mean that I said them? In other words, how do you represent that in your mind? How do you understand this to be real that its bad or mean?

And the next example, Cancer causes death, How do you represent that belief to yourself? If the person doesnt know anything about NLP, thats going to be the kind of example that puts them into a deep trance. How do you represent that belief to yourself? Its an interesting question.

One of my favorite questions follows right on here. How would you know if it werent true? Thats such a great question. And, of course, they have to start searching their minds files to find out how they would know if it werent true.

The next example: Your being late means that you dont care about me. You could say, How do you know that lateness and caring are equivalents?

The reality strategy for Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety, could be, Well, how specifically do you know that in your mind? Or, How would you know if that werent true? You can always come back to that one, by the way.
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Apply to Self

The next pattern is the Apply to Self pattern. Like the redefine pattern, the apply to self pattern can be applied to either the A side or the B side of the NBS. So you see two examples of this same pattern, one being applied to the A side, and one being applied to the B side. Youre applying the belief to the person expressing the belief. There are a lot of examples of this throughout history. Jesus Christ liked to do this. He said, Physician heal thyself. Or Take the log from your eye before you talk about the moat in somebody elses. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Now this is really, really fun because it can also sometimes become nonlinear, which is to say it can be a pun. We can just use the words and go off in a very non-linear way. It can be really ridiculous sometimes. Therefore, you might find this right up your alley if youre a punster or if youre a person who loves to do plays on words and find different meanings in that way.

In some situations, it will be immediately obvious as to how you can apply the belief back to the speaker. Other times it might not be so obvious, and if youre not naturally a punster, it might take a little stretch to start getting into these and understanding these. Just go with it; its fun. Youll get it as you go along. The more you do it, the easier its going to be.

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Lets start with our first example, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. The first example on the left side could be, Saying mean things? Well thats a pretty mean thing to say. The idea is that youre playing whatever they said right back to them.

So lets take the same example, Saying mean things means youre a bad person, and apply it to self on the second side, Bad people always tend to find only the bad in others. You can see how were applying the criteria to each side.

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Lets go on to the next example, Cancer causes death. The A side might be, That belief has spread like cancer over the past few years. It would be interesting to see what would happen if it died out. And the B side, Thats a pretty deadly belief to hold onto. It can only lead to a dead end street. Now, whats a deadly belief? Whats a dead end street? Whats that have to do with cancer? It doesnt really have anything to do with cancer, but the words are very similar, dead end and death, deadly belief. Its a little non-linear, but its also pretty content-oriented, as well. Some of these other examples might not be so much.

Lets take a look at, Your being late means you dont care about me. I love this one on the first side, Well now you tell me. I wish youd cared enough about me to tell me earlier. Again, youre applying the criterion to the self on the first side. On the second side you could say, A really caring person would be able to overlook a little tardiness now and then. Again, theres that transformation vocabulary. A little tardiness? I might have been a half hour late. Hey, its just a little tardy. A really caring person could overlook that.

And the last example is, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety, One response might be, The fallout that this belief might have as a byproduct could be as devastating as an atomic blast if it bombs. Applying to self on the second side might result in, Are you sure thats a safe belief to hold onto so strongly? In all these examples, you can see how they can be applied to the criteria, but some of them perhaps a little bit more directly than others, and in some of them a little bit less directly.

There are some other examples that could be very non-linear, very punny and thats OK. When that happens, just go with it. Sometimes when youre doing sleight of mouth, a single rebuttal wont be enough and the apply to selves can either be just perfect or they can knock the other person off balance a little bit. Apply to self can be very subtle, but useful.
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Changing Frame Size

Were moving on now to the next pattern. Its called " Changing Frame Size," and its located right in the middle of the pattern map at the top. Changing frame size is like taking a larger viewpoint. Theres a great example of this in the film, Cabaret. The scene is set in an outdoor caf, and it starts with a tight shot, a closeup of this young, beautiful looking boy, probably 16 or 17 years old, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Hes very forthright looking, almost innocent and inspired. Hes looking up in the sky and singing a song. The camera angles from the bottom up, so the sky is behind him. The boy starts singing with this lovely voice something about the sun in the valley is summery warm, the stag in the forest runs free, and so on. Its a beautiful, touching scene. Then the camera starts panning back and you see that hes dressed in some sort of brown uniform. The camera keeps panning back, and as it does so, more and more of the picture is being shown until you see that hes got a red arm band along his arm. You then see that the armband has the black Nazi symbol on it. Finally, as the camera pans back even further, you see the boy in full uniform and realize that hes a member of the Hitler Youth. The people in this outdoor caf are all sitting in terror, trying not to show their fear. The scene is just chilling as you pull out like that, but its a great example of changing frame size. In the first frame, its one way, but as you look at it in a bigger picture, its very different. Lets look at our examples. Saying mean things means youre a bad person. How might we respond in a way that changes the frame size? Well it

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may seem mean now, but if you look at the bigger picture, youll see it was necessary. You can think about changing frame size as a change in context. Your statement may be true in this context, but in a different context, it might well be different. Or a change in frame size could address same action over time. Changing frame size is looking at things in the bigger picture. It may seem mean now, but if you look at the bigger picture, it was necessary to say those mean things, in order to help make things better.

The next example is, Cancer causes death. We could change frame size by saying, Is that a belief youd like your child to have? If everyone had that belief, wed never have any hope of finding a cure.

Next example: Your being late means you dont care about me. Changing frame size: Better late than never. With the warm caring reception I get when I do get here, I ought to be risking my life to get here every spare minute.

And finally, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Changing frame size: Well for how long or how many nukes or for whom, from what? You can see with those particular questions, youre really asking for an examination of the different context in which the statement might be true or not true. Yet overall, changing frame size is looking at things in a bigger picture.

Meta Frame Now lets go on to the " Meta Frame" pattern. Its up at the top of the pattern map and is drawn over all the other patterns. I think of this pattern as representing a kind of Gods eye view. Its as if you were up above it all, looking down from the heavens. Another way of thinking about it could be that youre like a great psychiatrist, like Sigmund Freud and you can just know what a persons really thinking, you can just get inside. Its really about claiming to know what the persons thinking, what their motivations are behind what theyve said.

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Lets turn now to our examples beginning with, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. Heres one possible meta frame response: Well, youre just saying that because youre over-sensitive or you dont understand. Youre imperceptive; youre stuck in your own way. Or, Im the only one that cares enough about them to say these things.

Now look at Cancer causes death. Our meta frame response might be, You have that simplistic belief because you dont have a model that allows you to explore, track and test all of the complex variables that contribute to the life and death process. Tonality could make that into an okay statement. It could also make it into a nasty kind of statement, depending on how you say these things.

Heres a case in point, Your being late means you dont care about me. Well, youre just feeling that way because you build unrealistic expectations about other people and then blame it on them when you get disappointed. Dont try this at home. These are professionals here. This could be dangerous.

And lastly, Nuclear arms cause strength, protection and safety. Youre only saying that to cover the fact that you dont have the understanding, technology or debate skills, or personal power to change people and protect yourself without intimidating or coercing others.

To reiterate, the meta frame is the place where youre acting like God. You adopt the stance that you know the other persons true motivation for believing as they do, and you give it to them right in their face. Its not necessarily a pleasant choice all the time. However, sometimes it can be so powerful that, if youre right, the other person might not be immediately receptive, but they might come back after theyve cooled off a bit and say, You know what? Youre right. I do create those unrealistic expectations and then, blame other people, and Im sorry. It might not be likely, but it could happen, it could happen.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Chunk 3: Play Time Now let's have some more fun writing our own patterns and playing with a different belief. This one is a Complex Equivalence. Go ahead and write right inside the boxes. It's all right. You have the right, it's your book. Right?

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True Life Confessions - Part 2 Remember my story about the Valentines Day learning experience? When we last saw our hero, we'd made the point that one of the reasons Sleight of Mouth is so powerful is that there are so many different patterns to choose from. I had just had the epiphany that I could employ more than one or two patterns. I had an entire arsenal available to me!

So before he even responded to that new pattern I'd used, I went to "Another Outcome." I said, Because you know, were not even talking about whether A equals B or not. What were talking about is C equaling D. Which, actually, I wasn't sure I even fully bought myself. But it didn't matter. It was a great segue to my next pattern, the "Intent" pattern. I said, "Since I'm sure your intent is to do the right thing... blah blah blah..." Followed closely on its heels by a "Reality Strategy." I said, "Besides, how would you know if you really weren't soul mates?" I was using connecting words (like because, since,

besides, so, and, by-the-way, etc.) to connect one pattern with the
next and hitting him with every pattern I could think of as fast as I could think of them.

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And pretty soon, the tide had turned. I was starting to win this argument, and ultimately, did win the argument. Im not going to tell you details about what was said. Its immaterial. The names haven't been changed to protect the innocent because they havent even been mentioned. It was a long time ago in a different universe. . .

The point is this: Use more than one pattern.

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Practice Session: Close Your Eyes In order to really do Sleight of Mouth and be persuasive, you'll need to be able to use all the patterns that are available to you. Youll be much better off if you have them all. That's why I suggest you frequently practice the visualization exercise we did earlier. You will then be able to step back and look at

the patterns as if they are on a wall chart or on a clear piece of


Plexiglas thats in front of you, so you can grab hold of these suckers and utilize them. Its going to make it much, much more powerful.

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The Classic Examples of Sleight of Mouth created by Robert Dilts & Todd Epstein
* Copyr ight by Rober t Dilts 1984 -- Repr inted with per mission

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Home Study: Blank Sleight of Mouth Pattern Map

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
SOM in Action - A Real Life Example This is an edited transcript of a real life Coaching session between a Personal Success Coach (let's call him Doug) and a client (let's call him Phil). The specific details of the situation and the names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

- (Answering phone) Good Morning.

- Hey Doug, It's Phil.


- Hey Phil. Great to hear from you. Thanks for being so punctual.

- Well, I owe it all to you and your brilliant coaching.


[Editor's note: the actual transcript here was "no problem," but the author elaborated on it a little bit for clarity of meaning. ;-) ] - So Phil, before we delve into today's agenda, is there anything you feel a need or desire to focus on today?

- Well, yeah, actually, I need help with organization.


- OK. Which organization is that - the scouts?

- No - me! I'm just totally disorganized.


- Really? You're totally disorganized?

- Yes I am, and it's really frustrating.


- Hmm. It's interesting to me that you say that because in the little time we've worked together that hasn't been my experience of you. You call right on time. You haven't missed a scheduled appointment. You seem pretty together. What am I missing?

- Well, yeah, I'm on top of it here cause I'm paying you and I really want this to work, but my office is a mess. I've got piles of papers everywhere. Stacks of mail. I can't find anything.
- I see. So why is that? What makes it that way?
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- I dunno. It's just too much. I get tons of junk mail, catalogs... - And when you get junk mail you just pile it on your desk?

- Yup.
- and then it breeds and multiplies?

- Exactly!
- You've got to sterilize them first. Practice safe mail. Wrap them in plastic bags first. Cold water helps.

- Right.
- So let me see if I understand... You're saying that if the mail comes then you put it on your desk and that means you're disorganized?

- Uh huh, but it doesn't with end with the mail. I've got piles of papers, books, magazines, receipts, whatever.
- and it all goes on your desk?

- Well, on my desk or some other piece of office furniture.


- Ah ha. The picture is becoming clearer. Do you have filing cabinets?

- Ha ha ha ha (crazy sounding laughter)


- (Chuckling) pretty full, are they?

- I can barely open them.


- How long would you guess since the tomb's been opened?

- God only knows.


- Whew. Ok, so... If your mail or papers or receipts or whatever comes in, then you put it somewhere in your office where it remains for some time, and that means you're disorganized?

- Yes, I'd say so.


- Well, it's hard to argue with that. You've got a considerable pile of evidence to support your claim. Maybe you should just cart it all to the woods some place and burn it. Start over.

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- I've thought of that.


- I bet you could get the scouts to help you with that.

- Ha.
- You know, I'm curious about something. How is it that you are always right on time? That requires some degree of organization, doesn't it?

- Yeah, but that's different.


- How do you figure?

- Because it's easy. You just pick up the phone.


- Easy for you. I have many clients for whom it seems impossible.

- hmmm.
- Really. Somewhere around 10-after I usually call them.

- ok.
- Why do you suppose it's easy for you?

- Because, if it's an important appointment, I'm always on time.


- Always?

- Pretty much always, yes.


- So what do you think it means about your organization vis-a-vis appointments?

- (tentatively) That I'm organized?


- Yes! So it's not that YOU'RE disorganized. It's that you need better strategies in certain areas. And remember, if you are organized in any area, then you can be organized in ANY area you choose. All you need do is discover appropriate strategies for those particular areas.

- OK (pause) I think I followed that. - so how do we do that?


- Now THAT's an excellent question. That's exactly the sort of modeling question that makes NLP so effective.

- So what's the answer?


- We'll get to that in a minute, but let's just stop for a second and be sure we're
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clear on this... Earlier you'd said that if the mail came and you dumped it into your office it meant you were disorganized. And you also said that if you have an important appointment then you're always on time for it and that means you are organized.

- When it actually means I'm nuts.


- heh heh, well let's not jump ahead. NO! Because you can't be both organized and disorganized at the same time. If you are organized in any area, then you can be organized in any area IF you learn how. And that's the first question you asked, wasn't it? "How do I do that?" Clearly you have a highly organized intellect and you'll be able to apply that to this challenge, won't you?

- OK, so what's the first step?


- See what I mean? Asking what's the 1st step is a perfect strategy question. You're a natural. ANALYSIS The previous example shows how seamlessly both the meta model and Sleight of Mouth can be employed conversationally.

At the beginning of the conversation, Phil said he was totally disorganized. Clearly that is easily recognized as a belief statement, but it is only a piece of the whole and we don't know what piece. So instead of doing the obvious and asking the easiest meta model question - like "How specifically are you disorganized?" I presented him with a counter example to indirectly get him to expound on his conjecture. He became more specific and and offered more details. In so doing we discovered that he wasn't "totally disorganized," he was disorganized in a certain context under certain conditions. It was the papers in his office area. So we asked "What makes it that way?" This is a question that usually elicits the cause. We almost didn't get it though. At first his answer was a non-committal "I dunno," but he went on to say he received a lot of junk mail.

I tested the cause effect by asking, "So when or if you get junk mail, then you put it on your desk?" He said yes, so that was our cause/effect. I then tested the whole NBS and asked, "So, if you get mail, then you pile it on your desk and that means you are disorganized?" He agreed but offered a fuller picture by
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saying that it wasn't just junk mail but a variety of printed matter. So we revised the NBS to

"IF any printed matter arrives THEN I put it on some surface in my office and that MEANS I'm disorganized."

Then I immediately began using Sleight of Mouth to open up some new ways of thinking about the situation.

I've included this example because it's kind of an interesting situation. I don't want to use Sleight of Mouth to make him believe the opposite of his current belief. It's not one of those situations where one person says "X is good" and the other person says, "No, X is bad." It's not that simple. I don't want him to believe he's NOT disorganized and that leaving his office in dysfunctional chaos is OK.

Rather, I want him to adopt the attitude that he's totally capable of being organized by virtue of the evidence of other circumstances where he is. I also want to impress on him that he just needs a new strategy for this circumstance of office paper management and to encourage him to believe that it's easily accomplished.

The patterns used in this example were "counter example," "redefine," and "counter example" again. I also overtly stated the belief I was attempting to lead him to, which was, of course, "if you are organized in any area, then you can be organized in any area you choose when you find the right strategy."

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
SOM in Action - Conflict Resolution Although SOM is often thought of as a persuasion skill employed to win arguments, it is also a profoundly effective tool for conflict resolution. In the classes I teach on SOM we often conclude the class with an exercise where two class members play-act that they are a couple experiencing relationship issues and a third class member acts as their marriage counselor. The couple are meeting with the counselor for a session to sort out their differences. Each participant is assigned certain SOM patterns and must stay within those patterns for the duration of the exercise . The following imaginary conversation is an example of how that might go. Any similarity to a real couple is purely coincidental.

In the example below you will see the meta model in use and at least one example of each Sleight of Mouth pattern. Each time a pattern is used there will be a superscript number like this1. At the end of the section will be the key, listing the patterns used. It might be fun to test yourself and see if you can name the patterns. Canny readers will notice that the occasional Ericksonian Hypnotic Language pattern is mixed in, as well.

Please notice how the counselor occasionally strings more than one pattern together in a row. This tactic seems to work quite well. Counselor: Good morning Mr and Mrs. Smith.

He - Hi. She - It's a pleasure to meet you.


C - Please have a seat. Now - how may I help you?

She - Oh my, I don't know what to say.

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He - well that would be a first.


C - Well, both of you have made the effort to be here. If one thing could be improved in your relationship, what might that be?

He/She - (Silence)
C - If there was one thing that could be made better - Mrs Smith?

She - We're just not close anymore.


C - OK - so you want more closeness. More intimacy?

She - Yes.
C - And Mr. Smith, do you agree that you just aren't close anymore?

He - I do,
C - And you want more closeness, more intimacy?

He - That would be nice, yes.


C - Great. So Mrs. Smith, let me ask you, what would "more closeness" look like? What would you see, what would you hear, what would you feel differently that would indicate you were having "more closeness?"

She - Well, I think, if he were not so deeply in debt, then we could take some time to be together... maybe go to the shore once in a while. He - I'm only in debt until these business investments I'm involved with start paying off. It's like a farmer who's planted a crop - there's a long time between the planting and the harvesting.1 She - That's a lot of crop! What farmer ever waits five years for a crop? You've never harvested anything.2 He - Never? What about that trip we took to Aruba last January?3 She -Your "working vacation?" I don't call putting a trip on a credit card "reaping the rewards of investing," I call it going deeper into debt.4 He - It's not that I'm going deeper into debt, it's that I know how to position my corporate earnings and losses to get the maximum tax write off possible. That's responsible book keeping.5 She - Wow. How do you even represent a belief like that in your head?6

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C - Let me just stop you there for a moment. You both agreed that more closeness and intimacy was your major outcome. Isn't it more important to focus on the areas of your relationship that promote that goal rather than on areas of your disagreement.7 Because when we stop and look at the bigger picture, intimacy is built, trust is earned, and you two have really invested a lot in each other, so it's worth taking the time and making the effort to make this relationship as beautiful as it can be.8 Besides, if you continue in the same way you have been going for all these years, you'll never have more intimacy and it could end up even worse.9 You don't want that, do you?

He - No. She - No we don't.


C - So Mr. Smith, let me ask you, what first drew you to Mrs. Smith? Remember back when you were first dating.

He- I loved her energy and vitality. She was always up and engaged in life.
C - Great. And Mrs. Smith, what drew you to Mr. Smith?

She - He was charming and funny and so handsome.


C - Excellent. Now just stop for a moment, both of you, stop - please, now close your eyes, take a breath and remember those times. Remember one of your first dates or a special time early on and float back there now in your mind's eye. See things that you saw then now - as if looking through your own eyes. Be there now, hearing the sounds you heard then... now, and the sound of each other's voices... the humor, the vitality, the energy, the charm... be there now and feel those feelings of attraction. (pause) Now open your eyes and see that same person is right here with you now. And I know your intent is to rekindle that passion and intimacy with each other again, so let's find ways of doing that together, won't you?10

He - How specifically can we do that here in the present when she constantly puts me down?11 She - You mean anytime I make a suggestion about how you can improve you hear it as me totally emasculating you?12
C - Now if I could just stop us there for a second. Mrs. Smith, I really think you're responding that way because you're both stuck in some old patterns of responding that come across as condescending and certainly not going to foster intimacy.13 What you both need to do is find some new ways of responding to each other and to begin to appreciate that the issue, really, is not who's right and who's wrong. The real issue is how to forgive the past, learn from the past so you preserve the goodness that's there while you rekindle the old flame and move into a better future.14 The good news is that this is totally doable. The only
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question is are you both ready and willing to do that? Mr. Smith?

He - Yes I am.
C - Mrs. Smith?

She - Sure
C - Excellent. I think we have made some excellent progress today. Thank you both for being open and willing to change. That's all the time we have for today. See you next week.

THE PATTERNS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Metaphor/Analogy Apply to Self Counter Example Model of the World Redefine Reality Strategy Hierarchy of Criteria Change Frame SIze Consequence Intent

10 11 12 13 14

Chunk Down Chunk Up (exaggerate) Meta Frame Another Outcome

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Moving Toward Mastery So thats the presentation of sleight of mouth. Youve got the complete deluxe tool kit. Now its up to you to use it and to master it. In order to do that, I want you to find a belief about something that comes up in your world so that youll be armed and ready to use the sleight of mouth patterns the next time you encounter that belief. I want you to write out that belief and then write down responses to it based on all the different patterns weve examined. Write out the hierarchy of criteria, followed by the consequence, followed by another outcome, etc., etc. Go through the whole set.

As you do so, keep in mind that the order in which you use the patterns in real life does not have to be the same as the order in which theyre listed on the pattern map. The patterns will come out fluidly in a variety of different ways, and theyll go from one pattern to another pattern to another pattern to another pattern to another pattern, asking questions, giving statements on a variety of different things that happen all at once.

Sleight of mouth gives us the ability to be flexible with belief systems. It gives us the ability to influence other people in their belief systems. When we get down to it, it really begins to show us that belief systems themselves are flexible. When we realize that, we have to start asking ourselves questions about what we believe and why? What is a useful belief, as opposed to a non-useful belief? And how do I change my own beliefs? When you start getting into things like that, it can get pretty unsettling for some people.

Becoming a Wizard Im reminded of the story of The Magus, by James Fowles. I first read it when it was used as a preface to Patterns 1 by Bandler and Grinder. I'll be paraphrasing. Its a story of a prince who grows up in a kingdom and his father,
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the king, has told him of three truths. He said, As you grow up, son, three things you must remember. There are no princesses, there are no such things as islands, and theres no such thing as God. He grew up believing these things. It had always been true. It was just like basic presuppositions, just knowing that this is true. He didnt ever question it.

One day as he got older, he was about 17, 18, or 19 -- old enough to strike out and have some adventures of his own -- he left the kingdom. He went wandering. He was just riding through the forest and came out the other side, went through the hillsides on his horse. One day, he came to the end of the land and came to the ocean. Standing on these cliffs overlooking the ocean he saw an incredible broad expanse of water hed never seen before. And there out on the ocean were some land masses, little bodies of land out there. He didnt really understand what those things were. They looked kind of like those mythical islands hed heard about, but he knew they didnt exist because his father had always told him so.

So what were they? He was confused; he was puzzled. And even more puzzling were these creatures that inhabited those islands. They were close enough that he could see they were pretty interesting. They looked an awful lot like princesses, but he knew there couldnt be any princesses because his father had always told him so. So he didnt know what they were.

Then along came this man walking along the shoreline. He was a very tall, dramatic looking man, wearing a long black robe with his sleeves rolled up. And the boy said, Excuse me, sir, can you tell me what those things are out there, those land masses? And the man said, Certainly, those are islands. The boy said, Islands? I didnt think they existed. What are those strange and beguiling creatures on those islands?

The man said, My boy, those are princesses. The boy replied, My goodness! Well if there are islands and there are princesses, then there must
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also be a God. And the man bowed and said, Yes, I am God. The boy was quite impressed with this. He went running back to his kingdom and said, Father, father, youll never guess. I saw real islands, real princesses, and I met and spoke to God!

His father laughed a little bit and then he said, Im afraid, son, you have been deceived. This God person, was he by any chance wearing a long, black robe? The boy remembered back and said, Well yes, as a matter of fact, he was. The king said, By any chance, were his sleeves rolled up? The son said, Yes, yes, they were. And the king said, Well that was not God, my boy, that was a wizard and you have been deceived. That was just an illusion. They were not real islands, they were not real princesses, but an illusion created by that magician.

So the son left the kingdom again and went back out through the forest, over the mountains, and back to the cliffs. He still saw those islands and there were still beautiful princesses on them. It was pretty interesting that this illusion would still be there, but, eventually, the man came walking along the shoreline again. And the boy accosted him and said, I know who you are. Youre a magician. Those arent real islands, those arent real princesses. You fooled me. Those are illusions.

The man said, Actually, no, those are real and I am God, but you, good lad, have been deceived. Your father all these years has told you hes a king. Hes no king. You dont live in a kingdom. Hes a magician. Ask him. So the boy goes back home, and hes very troubled and very confused.

[page xiv, xv John Fowles] When he saw his father, he looked him in the eye. "Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?" The king smiled and rolled back his sleeves. "Yes, my son, I'm only a magician."
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"Then the man on the other shore was God." "The man on the other shore was a magician." "I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic." "There is no truth beyond magic," said the king. The prince was full of sadness. He said, "I will kill myself." The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses. "Very well," he said, "I can bear it." "You see, my son," said the king, "you, too, now begin to be a magician."

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
OUTRO-DUCTION
A Brief History of Sleight of Mouth Robert Dilts created Sleight of Mouth back in the late '70s and early '80s while exploring belief systems and how to change them. You could say that Sleight of Mouth is the result of Dilts modeling the modeler, in that he applied this most essential NLP skill to Richard Bandler's remarkable ability to win any argument.

Dilts was an early student of Bandler and John Grinder, the co-creators of NLP, and would assist at their NLP certification trainings. During these trainings, Richard would sometimes challenge the class to see how persuasive they could be using their new NLP skills. He would adopt a belief system that was clearly inaccurate and perhaps irrational, and challenge his students to get him to change it. As an example, if there was a flower arrangement on stage, he might say, "OK, who put these flowers up here? Everyone knows I'm allergic to them so someone's out to get me. I want that person identified, and I want them out of this seminar now!"

Now, Bandler was an excellent actor and would play his part with conviction. When people would say to him, "Gee Richard, the person who put that up there was probably trying to be nice. They probably thought you'd like them." Bandler might reply, "Hey, if you go around just naively believing that people are trying to be nice all the time, you're bound to get stomped on because you'll have no defenses."

Nobody ever persuaded him because he always seemed to have something

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else to say... one more convincing than the next. Pretty soon people were siding with Richard and looking for the saboteur. (Actually, I made that part up.)

Over the course of many similar trainings, with Bandler repeating this exercise with a host of different adopted beliefs, Dilts noticed that Bandler would come back to the same patterns of responses. One was a pattern of response in which Bandler would describe the consequences of a belief or action (as in our example above). So Dilts gave this pattern a name. He called it, the "Consequence Pattern."

Naming Names Have you ever noticed an interesting thing about names, that if you name something, then you can track it? A scientist discovers a new Butterfly, names it the "long-tailed blue Lampides boeticus," and all of a sudden people are seeing the "long-tailed blue Lampides boeticus" everywhere. So if you say, "That's a 'consequence pattern,'" then you can more easily notice other consequence patterns. This reminds me of a story...

Back in the Roman Empire, the Romans didn't have a symbol for zero. Roman numerals, as you probably know, start with a single line for one (I) and two lines is two (II), three lines is three (III). A "V" was five and an "X" was ten, and so on. But the Romans didn't have a way to represent nothing. They didn't have a zero. Why bother? There's nothing there, so they didn't represent it.

This system worked pretty well but it had its drawbacks. The Romans couldn't multiply or divide with their number system. It wasn't until Arabic numbers came around where they had a zero, a symbol that meant no thing, that they could track nothing. And they could have a column for ones and a column for 10s. Then they could have one in the 10s column and no thing, a zero, in the ones column. So it became a whole new system because they'd labeled something differently. Labels are good things for this purpose.
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So when Dilts - getting back to more modern history now - coined the term "consequence pattern," he became able to track other times when Bandler used it. He started noticing and naming other patterns Bandler used as well.... the "intent pattern," the "redefine pattern," the "chunk down pattern," etc. Sleight of Mouth was born because Dilts began to notice that he could employ these patterns, too.

Finally Dilts took these patterns he'd named and arranged them in a iconic representation chart as you've seen in this book. He placed "A equals B" (or "A causes B") in the center and arranged the icons representing different patterns in a circular fashion around them.

Keep in mind, there's no real order or syntax to how they get used. It's just a circular layout, not a flow chart. When learning Sleight of Mouth, we usually start in a particular place because you have to start someplace. When using the patterns you can start anywhere and go anywhere. The possibilities are limitless.

Magic The name, Sleight of Mouth, comes from Sleight of Hand. Magic takes advantage of our brain's way of making sense of the world around us. Our five senses take in billions of bits of information on a regular basis. We can't possibly make sense of all that data, so we filter it. We distort, delete and generalize this information about the world around us.

But the problem is when we filter things, we make an interpretation - a judgment - about what's important to focus on. That's where problems come up because we can make wrong interpretations. We might notice something, think it's important and focus our attention on it, meanwhile missing something else that is actually more important.
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In magic, that's fun.

In Sleight of HAND a magician directs your attention. He says, "Now, look here what my left hand is doing and focus all your attention there." Of course, he doesn't say that directly, but essentially that's what he's getting you to do. He's doing something like making gestures with his left hand while, meanwhile, his right hand is secretly going into his coat pocket and getting a different card out. He palms the coin and pretends to pull it from behind the kid's ear. Attention is directed in one place, while the action is happening someplace else.

Sleight of MOUTH sort of does that same thing, too, by directing attention to particular frames of reference. As a Sleight of Mouth-matician, you're directing your listener to another way of looking, thinking and appreciating. Sometimes it seems like magic and really, as by now you are completely aware, it is a totally organic process.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Appendix 1 - The Agreement Frame Id like to discuss now some things that are really important adjuncts to sleight of mouth. These are things that will make your sleight of mouth work much more effectively. One of these adjuncts is rapport. If youve studied NLP at all, you know rapport is part and parcel of NLP, and the idea of rapport is to establish and maintain a sense of connection with the other person.

When I describe and explain sleight of mouth patterns, I sometimes say things like the argument is formed in a particular way. When I do that Im talking about the patterns from a logical construct point of view. The subtlety I want to add here is that although the use of a particular sleight of mouth pattern may take the form of a logical argument, you dont have to be argumentative in your delivery of the pattern. You can have that sense of rapport while still maintaining your position.

Actors go through many months, even years, of training, where they look at a single line and discover how they can say it in a million different ways. The choices an actor makes in that regard are extremely important to the success of the eventual performance. The same thing applies to your use of sleight of mouth. If youre going to say something like, If you continue to believe that, youll never find any happiness, you can say it in a way that drips with sincerity. Tony Robbins once said, The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, youve got it made.

But seriously, you can make the same statement in a variety of ways. You could say it sarcastically; you could say it sincerely; you could say it with a great deal of compassion. You could just say it as if you were reading a menu. There are a million ways. So bear that in mind throughout all these communications. The impact of a communication depends much more strongly on how you say it

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than on the words themselves.

Another highly useful adjunct to sleight of mouth is called the agreement frame. Just for the record, I was taught the agreement frame by Anthony Robbins. I dont know whether he made it up or whether he got it from someone else, but I learned it from him, so Im grateful. Its very, very valuable. The agreement frame is kind of like verbal Aikido. In the martial art of Aikido, when someone attacks you, you align with the attack. The agreement frame is very much like this.

Lets say someone is going to attack you with their fist. A person trained in Aikido would respond by sort of stepping aside and helping the fist to keep going past the attackers point of balance so that the attacker ends up on the floor. Its not like you try to block the fist or hit back at the attacker. Instead, you just redirect the attack somewhere else, and the floor is a great place for that attack to end up.

The agreement frame works in very much the same way. Rather than verbally blocking or directly confronting what the other person has said, you align with it. You say things like, I agree with you. Thats true, youre so right. And if you look at it from this perspective, it could be something different that you want to appreciate.

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The Agreement Frame


I agree...and... I respect .... and... I appreciate ... and...
You can do this in one of three ways. First, you can say, I agree with such and such and such, and align with it in that way. Second, you can say, I appreciate . . . something about what theyve said or about their intention behind saying it. Or third, you can say, I respect . . . again, something about their intention or what theyve said.

There are endless stylistic variants that are possible with this. You could say, I agree with you. Thats absolutely right. Or, I appreciate your point of view. Its so good to hear somebody speaking their mind so clearly and honestly. And [blah, blah, blah, blah, blah] . . . . Or you could say, I respect your intensity of emotion with this. Its great to see somebody who is really so passionate about what they believe. And [blah, blah, blah, blah, blah] . . . . You lead from there.

The essence of the agreement frame is that the word and is what leads the other person from wherever hes at to wherever you want him to go. By contrast, the word but has a very different effect in that it negates what came before. Most people tend to use the word but a lot. I know I use it all the time. Sometimes I use it intentionally because I mean to negate what came before it. A lot of times, however, I use it just because Im not thinking about it and it just comes out. Its a common habit.

When youre using persuasion skills, though, youre usually more attuned what exactly youre saying. Thats a good thing. You want to be attuned to when youre using the word and or the word but because sometimes you want to
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negate what came before what you said. In those instances, you use the word but. Most times, though, you dont want to do that, particularly if youre using the agreement frame. In general, then, you want to use the word and rather than the word but.

Earlier we discussed the idea that perception is 100%. The agreement frame utilizes this truth that people see things from their own perspective and that theyre right, from their perspective. The agreement frame acknowledges that fact. You can actually just come out and say, Look, yes, I agree with you, youre right. From your perspective, I see it absolutely that way, too. And if you look at it from this perspective, I think youll begin to agree with me that there are other ways of looking at this that can be equally important.

Or you could say, I appreciate what youre saying. Im really glad that you brought that up. And I know were both on the same side and we want to resolve this, so lets look at it from this perspective, as well. You can appreciate or respect something about the other person or what theyve said and then use it in the sentence or agree. It will work really, really well, and I would encourage you to do that.

When we do a workshop with sleight of mouth, we do an exercise with the agreement frame where we have the participants argue about an issue on which people usually hold passionate beliefs. It might be something about war, or abortion, or something like that. Many times during this exercise, the participants will forget the game and start saying, Yeah, but [blah, blah, blah] . . . . As soon as they say the word but, the other person is supposed to jump up in their chair and shout, You said but!

Interrupting the pattern in this way helps the first speaker regain his or her bearings. They can then say, Oh, yes, youre right. I said but. Let me try that again. Yes, I agree with your position (or I dont). Well, I respect what youre saying (I actually dont). Hmm, well I appreciate the fact that youre a human
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being and you have a right to breathe, and . . . . In other words, you find something you can agree with and then take it from there.

I dont think you can necessarily do that exercise just on the streets. If the bus driver says, Im sorry. I could let you off here, but theres no bus stop, you cant just shout, You said but! to the bus driver. You can, however, become more aware of the word but. Perhaps you can create an exercise for yourself, or get a partner to do this with you, and use this exercise to train yourself to use the word and more often in conversations.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Appendix 2 - The Precision Model Below youll find a drawing with a couple of hands. Its called the precision model. This model is a kind of simplified version of the Meta model. If youre familiar with that in NLP, then you dont need to look at this page. This is a simplified version of it. If youre not familiar with NLP, though, heres a brief explanation.

The Meta model and the precision model are ways of extracting or eliciting lost information from a persons belief systems. People often generalize in their beliefs. They also do whats known as distort, and they delete information. As an example, suppose someone says, Its just crazy. On the face of it, this statement is not very informative. We dont really know what the person is talking about, so we have to find out by asking questions like, Whats crazy? Whos crazy? What do you mean by that?

The Meta model is comprised of a whole list of specific questions to ask in specific situations to recover this lost information. To continue with the above example, if a person says, Its just crazy, you might want to say, Crazy according to whom? Who says its crazy? Thats called a lost performative. Or you could say, What do you mean by crazy? Thats called an unspecified noun.

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As I mentioned before, the precision model is a simplified version of the meta model. On the finger chart youll see nouns on the index finger of the right hand. This is the category of unspecified nouns. On the middle finger of the right hand it says, Unspecified verbs. Consider, for example, He went to the store. That sentence contains an unspecified verb because it doesnt specify how he went to the store. To recover that information you could ask things like, How did he go? Did he drive? Did he skip? Did he run? How did he go to the store?

We need to know information like this, and the Meta model is a way of getting it. The precision model tries to make the Meta model a bit easier to get a hold of, to get your fingers on, so all this information is right at your fingertips, literally. Thats what I mean by saying the precision model is a kind of simplified version of the Meta model.

I recommend that if youre serious about learning NLP, you should study the Meta model in its entirety. There are a number of good books available on the subject. However, even though the precision model is a simplified version of the Meta model, its still very useful for us for a couple of reasons. First, it imparts the idea of the Meta model i.e., of getting more specific information out of a person. Second, it helps us get the other persons beliefs into the NBS structure that we need as a prelude to doing sleight of mouth.
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If you take a look at the precision model diagram, youll notice an illustration of two hands, a left hand and a right hand. Ultimately, the hands will go together so that whats on the left hand will coincide with whats on the right hand. Well get to that in a minute. But first, take this diagram and put it up on the left side of your body. Put it up so that your eyes are looking up at it. According to NLP, the upper left is where we usually store visual memories. So put the diagram up there where you can see it, and itll be stored there more readily.

Put the diagram up there and you hold it up with your left hand so that your thumb is lined up with the thumb in the illustration. Do you see that little phrase that says, Compared to what? Reach over with your right hand and squeeze your left thumb and say, Compared to what? Do this while youre looking at diagram. By doing this youre encoding the information in three different modalities: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Do this several times. Squeeze your left thumb and say, Compared to what? Squeeze your left thumb and say, Compared to what? Squeeze your left thumb and say, Compared to what? Keep doing that until its anchored. How do you know if somethings anchored? You squeeze your thumb and see if it automatically comes up as compared to what? If it is, then youre done.

Now go on to the left index finger. If you look at the diagram, there are two lines with one sentence above the line and another sentence below the line. For now, lets just do the one thats below the line. In this case it says, Who or what, specifically? Again, reach with your right hand, squeeze your left index finger, and say the phrase thats written on the diagram, Who or what, specifically? See it and say it as you squeeze the index finger, Who or what, specifically? Who or what, specifically? Do it over and over again until youve got it anchored in there, Who or what, specifically?

Then go to the third finger, the middle finger. The phrase for that one is,
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How, specifically? Just as before, squeeze the middle finger with your right hand and say, How, specifically? How specifically? How, specifically? You squeeze it, see it, and say, How, specifically?

Go to the ring (i.e., fourth) finger. Squeeze that that finger with your right hand and say the corresponding phrase on the diagram, What would happen if you did? What causes or prevents? Squeeze. What would happen if you did? What causes or prevents? Squeeze. What would happen if you did? What causes or prevents? Dont worry about what this means for now. Just anchor it in there so that when you squeeze that ring finger, its an automatic response, What would happen if you did? What causes or prevents? What would happen if you did? What causes or prevents?

Finally, lets go over to the pinkie finger, the fifth finger. As you squeeze that finger with your right hand, say the phrase from the diagram, All, every, never? Squeeze. All, every, never? Keep doing that until the response is automatic. Thats it for the left hand.

Now youre going to do the same thing with your right hand. Youre going to take your right hand and reach across your body and put it up on your left side. You still want to be looking up to your left because you still have a visual memory of the diagram to your left. Its a little awkward, perhaps, but do it anyway. Reach over with your right hand, squeeze your right thumb with your left hand, and say the phrase, Too much, too many, too expensive. Squeeze again and say, Too much, too many, too expensive. Squeeze. Too much, too many, too expensive. Squeeze. Too much, too many, too expensive. As before, keep doing this until all you have to do is reach over and squeeze the right thumb, and youll automatically say, Too much, too many, too expensive.

Well do the same thing with the right index finger. The word for that finger is Nouns. Squeeze the right index finger and say, Nouns. Squeeze it again and say, Nouns. Repeat until the response is fully anchored. For the middle
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finger, the word is verbs. So youre looking up to your left, squeezing your right middle finger with your left hand, and saying, Verbs. Squeeze. Verbs. Squeeze. Verbs.

Lets move on to the ring finger of the right hand. The words for that finger are, Should, shouldnt, must, cant. Once again, squeeze the ring finger of your right hand and say, Should, shouldnt, must, cant. Squeeze. Should, shouldnt, must, cant. And so on.

Finally, reach over and squeeze your right pinkie finger with your left hand. The word for the right pinkie finger is Universes. Squeeze the right pinkie finger and say, Universes. Squeeze. Universes. Squeeze. Universes. Keep repeating as needed.

Now test your progress. If you havent got it so the responses are anchored automatically, then go back and repeat the ones that are giving you trouble. Keep doing this until its just automatic. Once youve got them fully anchored, take the left hand and the right hand and put them together. Clasp your hands together so theyre lined up thumb to thumb, index finger to index finger, third finger to third finger, ring finger to ring finger, etc., etc.

Notice what we have when we do that. We have the right thumb saying, Too much, too many, too expensive, and the left hand thumb saying, Compared to what?

The right hand index finger says, Nouns. The left hand index finger asks, Who or what, specifically?

The right hand middle finger says, Verbs. The left hand middle finger says, How, specifically?

The right hand ring finger says, Should, shouldnt, must, cant. The left
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hand ring finger says, Well, what would happen if we did? What causes or prevents?

The right hand pinkie finger says, Universes. The left hand pinkie finger says, All, every, never.

Lets say youre in a sales situation and the person to whom youre trying to sell says something like, Oh, I cant afford this; its too expensive. Your response would be, Too expensive? Compared to what? Compared to our competitors inferior product? That really wouldnt give you value for the dollar. So the immediate response to too much or too many would be, Compared to what?

Of course, you can make up your own sentences. You dont have to stick with the Compared to what? But that should immediately flash in your mind. It should immediately flash there because a comparison is being made, and you just want to know its too much, compared to what? Too much what? Compared to whom?

When you hear nouns that are unspecified, you know to ask Who specifically? For example, That guy just makes me so mad. Your response would be some variation of, Really, who specifically? Or if someone says, Gosh, thats terrible, your response might be, Well, what specifically is terrible?

This can be used in combination with generalizations, which youve anchored to the pinkie finger with the word, universes. Suppose someone says, Everybody in your company has an attitude. Your pinkie finger response would be, Everyone? The index finger response might be, Who specifically has attitude? They might then explain that, Well that receptionist was short with me once. Thats a very different thing from everybody has attitude all the time. By using these Precision model questions, youve narrowed down the other
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persons belief to something thats much easier to handle with sleight of mouth.

Now that you have the Precision model and the Meta model there at your fingertips, lets go back to the structure of a belief and see how that can be applied. We said earlier that often a belief will be stated only in the circle part of the structure. In other words, the speaker will give you only the meaning part of the NBS.

People will say things like, I believe in Santa. That was one of our examples. Or, I believe in miracles. Or, I believe in this. I believe in that. Theyll just state the meaning part of their belief while leaving the other parts unstated. Those other components are in their brain someplace, but you dont know what they are, and you need to find out.

We do that by asking the Precision model or Meta model questions. Lets say someone says, Miracles are real. Thats their circle statement. Initially, you dont know in which part of the NBS that statement should be placed. It might go in the circle, or it might go in the square, or it might even go in the triangle. You simply dont know until you ask some questions.

You might begin by asking, How do you know that? That question will recover their lost criteria. They might then respond with something like, Well my friend is alive today; my friend is cancer-free. Thats how they know that miracles are real. That response gives you their square information.

Then you need to ask, What makes it that way? That will help you to recover the cause of the effect. The person might then answer with something like, Well, she drank water blessed by a faith healer. At that point youve got the whole belief: My friend drank water blessed by a faith healer. That caused the cancer to go away, and my friend is alive today. That means miracles are real. Thats their entire belief system on that topic.

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The lesson here is that if you ask these questions, How do you know that? What makes it that way? youre going to uncover information thats going to be useful for you. You must get information into this structure in order for you to be able to do sleight of mouth.

Its also important to remember here that a belief is structured as a cause and effect combined with a complex equivalence. Some sleight of mouth patterns operate on the cause and effect component i.e., the triangle to the square. Other sleight of mouth patterns operate on the complex equivalence component i.e., the square to the circle. In other words, each of those two relationships can be the target of sleight of mouth patterns.

In addition, you may have noticed that just by using the Meta model, youre already in a sense challenging the other persons belief system. The simple act of having to think about their belief in order to answer the Meta model questions causes the other person to loosen their grip on this belief system that theyve been holding onto. The sleight of mouth patterns will further that process.

For example, when you hear someone say something like, Its good, or, Its bad, or Its crazy, or, Its poor, or any other value judgments of that sort, theyre using what in the Meta model are called lost performatives. By asking the Meta model questions, Who says its bad? or, Who says its crazy? According to whom? youre already asking questions that are going to challenge their belief. In a sense, youre already doing sleight of mouth just by doing the Meta model.

In fact, the Meta model and sleight of mouth are both elegant ways of doing reframing. Another example of this would be comparative deletions. In terms of the Precision model, comparative deletions and the appropriate response to them are represented by the thumbs.

People often will say things like, This is the best. Once again, that kind of
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statement is a judgment. As such, its place in the NBS is in the circle. That is to say this kind of statement represents the meaning part of a complete belief. One of the features of such statements is that they typically do not specify to what the thing under discussion is being compared. In order to recover that information, you could ask the Meta model question, Well, compared to what? Again, simply by asking that question youre already doing sleight of mouth on the person.

Another Meta model distinction is called nominalizations. These are processes that have been made into nouns. One great example of a nominalization is the notion of a relationship. When you think about it, theres really no such thing as a relationship. That is, a relationship is not a concrete object that you could put in a wheelbarrow and carry away. Instead, a relationship is really just a process of people relating to one another. Its an activity. Its something that people do rather than a thing that exists. In order to turn that nominalization back into its proper verb form, you could ask, How do you relate to that person? The act of answering that question requires the other person to unpack the nominalization and describe it as a process.

Yet another set of Meta model distinctions are called universal quantifiers. These show up in language as words like all, every, and never. Universal quantifiers often function as the cause of an effect. As such, they are located in the triangle part of the NBS. Suppose someone says something like, Everybody hates me, or Everybody is doing this. In those statements the person is using a universal quantifier. You can challenge the universal quantifier simply by asking, Oh, everybody?

A similar Meta model distinction is that of modal operators. These are expressed by words such as I should, I shouldnt, I must, or I cant. Modal operators also are often to be found in the cause and effect area of a belief
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system i.e., in the triangle part of the NBS. To challenge a modal operator, you can ask, What would happen if you did (or didnt)?

Weve now described several tools that you can use to extract information. Weve discussed the Meta model, the Precision model, and our two basic questions: How do you know that? and What makes it that way? These tools all work together and enable you to take a persons belief system and refine it in your mind so you can put it into the NBS structure and then do sleight of mouth on it effectively.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Appendix 3 - Polya Patterns of Plausible Inference One of the things were interested in with sleight of mouth is how beliefs are held in place. Back in the 1950s, another person who was intrigued by this same topic was a Princeton mathematician named George Polya. In particular, Polya was curious about how people come to believe things that are not provable. Its one thing to say, I believe in the existence of a coffee cup, if the cup is sitting there in front of you. You could argue maybe its a teacup or something, but its a tangible thing. Its another thing altogether to profess belief in something thats not strictly provable. How does that happen?

In an effort to answer that question, Polya began investigating what he referred to as plausibility. He wanted to see how things can became so plausible that at some point a person will say, I now believe this to be true. In other words, an idea becomes plausible up to a certain threshold and then, boom, I now believe it. Polya was interested in what makes an idea so plausible that it can take a person up to and then over that threshold?

The result of Polyas investigation was what he called patterns of plausible inference. Well now look at several of them.

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Polya: Patterns of Plausible Inference*


1. Meta Pattern: Probability - The likelihood that something will occur again based on its past performance (measured by occurrences opportunities). A. The more something occurs the more we believe it will occur again. B. If something which is not very probable cause-effect

occurs it tends to validate the belief which predicted it.

2. Verification of a Consequence - If a particular belief (B) implies a particular consequence (C) and we verify that consequence then it makes the belief more plausible (it does not prove it however). The degree of plausibility will be stronger if there is a lack of other probable causes. IF B implies C AND C is true THEN B is more credible.

A. Successive Verification of Several Consequences. B. Verification of an Improbable Consequence (Extremes).

3. Contingency - If a belief (B) presupposes (or requires as a precondition) some event or phenomenon and we verify this contingent event (C) then it makes the belief more plausible. The degree of plausibility will be stronger if the contingent phenomenon would not probably occur in and of itself. IF B presupposes C AND C is true THEN B is more credible.

4. Inference from Analogy - A belief (B) is more plausible if an analogous conjecture (A) is proven true. If the analogy cannot be shown to be true but it can be shown to be credible then it still increases the plausibility of the analogous belief.

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IF B is analogous to A AND A is true THEN B is more credible.

5. Disprove the Converse - The plausibility of a belief (B) increases if a rival conjecture (C) is disproved. IF B is competing with C AND C is false THEN B is more credible.

6. Comparison with Random - If a belief can be shown to predict a particular result with better than random accuracy then it is more credible.
*G. Polya, Mathematics and Plausible Reasoning Vol. II, Patterns of Plausible Inference, Princeton University Press, 1968

The first pattern is quite straightforward. Its called the pattern of probability, and it is simply the perceived likelihood that something will occur again based on its past performance, measured by occurrences divided by opportunities. In other words, the more that something occurs, the more we believe it will occur again.

By way of illustration, lets say you go out on a date and you bring flowers to the person with whom youre going out. You go out with them a second time, and you bring them flowers again. You go out with them a third time, and again you bring them flowers. The fourth time you go out with them, you bring them flowers yet again. Finally, you go out with them a fifth time, but this time you dont bring them flowers. The response you get on that fifth date is likely to be something along the lines of, Hey, where are my flowers? Theres something wrong here. Im supposed to get flowers. Thus, the more often something happens, the more likely we are to believe it will happen again.

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Lets look at number two, verification of a consequence. This pattern states that the verification of a consequence of a conjecture renders the conjecture more plausible. In other words, if a particular belief, B, implies a particular consequence, C, and you verify that C is true, that makes B more plausible. Its important to note that the verification does not prove that B is actually true; it merely increases the plausibility of B. Also, the degree of plausibility will be greater if there is a lack of other probable causes for B.

The third pattern, closely related to the previous one, is called successive verification of several consequences. This pattern is the same as the previous one except that instead of verifying just one consequence, you verify several in a row. Thus, suppose that B implies C, D, E, and F. If you then verify that C, D, E, and F are all true, that makes B even more plausible than if you had verified only C. Each time another consequence is verified, Bs plausibility increases.

The fourth pattern is called verification of an improbable consequence. This one says that if something that is not very probable occurs, that occurrence tends to validate the cause effect belief that predicted it.

An example of this that I like to use comes from the work of Anthony Robbins. I used to work for Anthony Robbins and Ive done a lot of fire walks with him. A fire walk is a fascinating thing because everyone has the belief that when we touch fire, we get burned. Its amazing, then, to walk across hot coals and not get burned. Because that outcome is so unlikely to occur, it really does tend to validate all the cause-effect beliefs that Anthony has set up to prepare his students for the fire walk.

Another example I like to use is that of acupuncture. A lot of people believe acupuncture, and the reason they believe it is because theyve had a verification of the improbable consequence. They go to an acupuncturist and are told that, You have a headache, so Im going to stick this needle in your foot. And because of these meridians that run through your body, the needle in your foot is
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going to make your headache go away.

Obviously, that doesnt make any sense. You cant perform an autopsy on a cadaver and point out the meridian lines. Theyre not there. Weve got nerves; weve got bones; weve got veins. You can see those things, but wheres the meridian line? It doesnt seem to exist, right? So its not likely that anything is going to happen when the needle gets stuck in your foot.

But then the needle gets stuck in your foot and your headache does goes away. So youve verified the improbable consequence. The inference that many people tend to draw based on experiences like this is that you must really have meridians after all, and the whole acupuncture thing must be true.

Incidentally, people have gone so far as to have major surgery done using acupuncture as the only anesthetic. It would be hard to imagine a more dramatically improbable consequence than that, so when it does indeed turn out successfully, it greatly increases the plausibility of whole explanatory apparatus of acupuncture that predicted it.

The fifth pattern is called contingency. This one says that if a belief presupposes or requires as a pre-condition some event or phenomenon and we verify that pre-condition, then it makes the belief more plausible. The degree of plausibility will be stronger if the contingent phenomenon would not probably occur in and of itself.

A variation of this pattern is used all the time in criminal prosecutions. Suppose, for example, that believe a particular person committed the crime. Suppose further that in order for them to have committed the crime, a certain precondition would have to have occurred. The verification of that pre-condition increases the plausibility of the belief that they did indeed commit the crime.

Heres a more concrete. Lets say Alice is accused of blowing up a ship.


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Now, Alice is a nice lady who has no criminal record and has never done anything wrong in her life. Our initial reaction might be that she couldnt possibly have done this horrible thing. Besides, where would she get the explosives? However, if the prosecution comes up with a receipt from Explosives R Us showing that Alice did in fact buy explosives, that evidence increases the plausibility of the belief that she really was guilty after all.

The sixth pattern is called inference from analogy. According to this pattern, a belief, B, be is more plausible if an analogous belief, A, is proven to be true. If the analogy cannot be shown to be true, but it can be shown to be credible i.e., plausible then it still increases the plausibility of the analogous belief. Its interesting that much of science is based on analogy. This is because so much of scientific research employs animal testing, and animal testing is depends upon analogy.

Test animals have certain biological features that are similar to our own. Still, lab rats are not humans. Despite these similarities, theyre still different from us in many ways. Thats why the use of test animals is an analogy. If you give drug X to a rat and he has a particular response, the inference is that its very likely humans will have the same response. So if you can prove the analogy, it makes the belief more plausible.

The seventh pattern is called disproving the converse. This pattern says that the plausibility of a belief increases if a rival belief is disproven. Now this, of course, works best when there are only two competing beliefs. If B is competing with C and C is proven false, then B becomes more plausible. This happens all the time in politics. We often hear candidates say, in effect, Vote for me. Im not him. Hes bad; hes wrong. Therefore, I must be good. The fact that this approach works so well is why we have such negative campaigning.

There was an election not too long ago, I believe in New Jersey, where candidate A was running pretty solely on the platform, Vote for me because my
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opponent, candidate B, is a crook. Interestingly, candidate A was right; his opponent was a crook. When that fact came to light, candidate B withdrew from the race. Of course, that meant that candidate A had no more platform. His whole campaign had been, Im not the other guy. Suddenly, the other guy was gone.

The opposing party then replaced the withdrawn candidate with someone better who actually had a track record and was a good guy. Candidate A had spent all his money on advertising that said, Im not candidate B. He did succeed in proving he wasnt candidate B, but with B out of the picture A had nothing left to offer, and he lost the election.

The eighth and final pattern is called comparison with random. This pattern also is used in science a great deal. It says that if a belief can be shown to predict a particular result with better than random accuracy, the plausibility of that belief is increased.

Now that weve learned the Polya Patterns, lets have a little fun with them. Im going to present a couple of test questions and youre going to try to figure out which Polya pattern is being represented.

In the first one there are actually two patterns, so see if you can get both of them. Here are the facts for the first question: In order to prove Dr. Rathbone and not Dr. Firsthammer, turned into the Incredible Green Monster last weekend, Dr. Firsthammers assistant examined footage from the security cameras at the Witchs Supply Store. To his surprise, he found a video with images of Dr. Firsthammer buying dried newts. Which patterns did you spot?

Question number two: Neurolinguistic programming is based on the proposition that because your brain is like a computer. It has input and output channels, hardware (i.e., the gray matter), and software (thoughts and beliefs). Everyone knows you can program, deprogram, and reprogram a computer. You
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can do the same thing with a human beings subjective experience.

Question three: I never thought Id believe it but since last week, every time my dog Fido hears the National Anthem, he stands at attention and gets mistyeyed.

Question four: People behave just like Pavlovs dogs, no different. If you squeeze someones knee at the same time that theyre feeling an emotion and repeat that like Pavlov, soon just squeeze their knee and theyll feel that same emotion.

Question five: I was told that either drinking a Coke or drinking a ginger ale would settle my stomach, but I couldnt remember which one it was. So next time I had an upset stomach, I drank a Coke, but it didnt work. So thats why I know drinking a ginger ale will do it for me next time I have an upset stomach.

Im not going to tell you the answers to these test questions. You can figure them out for yourself. The important point is that once you start hearing the Polya patterns at work, youll remember their main function. They make beliefs plausible. They dont prove anything; they just increase plausibility. There may be many other reasons Dr. Firsthammer bought the newts. Ginger ale may be just as effective or ineffective as Coke for settling a stomach. Fido may be responding to an inaudible to humans pitch that the stereo emits when tuned to the radio station that broadcasts the game. People sometimes (maybe even usually) stop searching for answers once theyve found one that satisfies them, whether or not its actually true.

So as a sleight of mouth sleuth, when you hear a Polya pattern, you can immediately start searching for ways to demonstrate to the person youre trying to influence that their search for validation isnt over yet. Counterexamples work brilliantly with Polya and any complex equivalences. For example with our test questions, you could ask, So is the only reason Dr. Firsthammer could buy
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newts is to turn into the Green Monster? Is it totally impossible that he might have purchased them for Dr. Rathbone? Or, Dr. Rathbone couldnt possibly have acquired newts on the black market? And that somebody else entirely was involved here?

This series of counterexamples injects doubt into the other persons mind. By asking these the questions, youre helping to loosen the persons firm grip on this belief that might not be so useful to them.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Appendix 4 - Strategies for Using Sleight of Mouth Lets look now at four basic strategies for sleight of mouth. The strategies are as follows:

(1) Change the meaning, (2) Change the causes, (3) Change (or challenge) the comparisons, and (4) Change logical levels.

The first of these strategies is aimed at changing the meaning component of the other persons belief. Recall the example that says, Saying mean things means youre a bad person. We change the meaning a lot with that one. It wasnt that Im mean; I was just saying things to help them. Or, Its not mean; its simply being honest. That example illustrates the strategy of changing the meaning.

The second strategy is to change the causes. You remember the example, Cancer causes death. You can change the causes by saying things like, No, cancer doesnt cause death; its the loss of hope that causes death, or toxins that cause death, or overaggressive cancer therapies that often cause death. In other words, were rejecting the cause that the other person has identified and substituting different causes.

The third strategy is to change or challenge comparisons. Suppose for example that a prospective customer says, Your service is way too expensive. You could use the change or challenge comparisons strategy by simply saying, Compared to what? A more elaborate and potentially more effective response might be, Compared to whom? Anthony Robbins charges $5,000 an hour for a consultation. Im just 200 bucks. Thats nothing compared to that. You could
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buy a whole week for an hour of his time. You could also challenge another aspect of the comparison by asking, In what way is it too expensive? That question provides a slightly different angle on the comparison.

Finally, the last strategy is to change logical levels. This strategy was demonstrated perhaps most succinctly in the example, You being late means you dont care about me. The redefine for that was, Im not late; I was delayed. What the speaker is really doing in that redefine is taking whats called an identity level statement i.e., Youre late and shifting it to an environmental level statement i.e., I was delayed by outside forces. Thats a shift in logical levels from identity to environment. The effect of that shift is to diminish the culpability of the speaker.

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SLEIGHT OF MOUTH
Appendix 5 - Logical Levels Logical Levels have become a bit controversial in some circles of late. Critics have said Robert Dilts logical levels do not fit the conventional meaning of the term based on class inclusion as used in logical arguments or mathematics. That may well be accurate AND whether they fit the conventional meaning or don't fit the conventional meaning isn't this issue for our purposes here. We include them here because they are very useful in recognizing the way people hold certain beliefs and hierarchies. They also are useful in fully understanding some of Dilts' strategies when it comes to using Sleight of Mouth. Robert Dilts has a fun and easy way of understanding logical levels that he calls the ABCs of NLP.

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The first thing to understand is that logical levels are arranged in a hierarchy. The interesting feature of this hierarchical arrangement is that beliefs at higher logical levels in a sense trump those at lower logical levels.

The highest logical level, at least for our purposes here, is comprised of beliefs about who we are. They are beliefs concerning our identity. In Diltss ABCs scheme, the identity level is designated by the letter A, as in the phrase "Who I AM."

The hierarchical nature of logical levels can be illustrated with the following example. Suppose I say, I am a good person. Thats an identity level statement in that it expresses a belief about who I am or what kind of person I am. If I nevertheless act like a jerk sometimes, that fact exists at the level of

behavior. Because behavior is at a lower logical level than identity, the identity
level belief trumps the belief about my behavior. As a result, a person can sometimes act like a jerk and yet still hold onto the belief that theyre a good person.

Interestingly, you may have noticed that when we look at that person from the outside as hes acting like a jerk, we might think about him, You know, he says hes a nice person, he thinks hes a nice person, but look at what he does. Actions speak louder than words, so hes not really a nice person at all. Its curious how the priority of identity over behavior gets reversed when we apply it to other people as contrasted to when we apply it to ourselves.

The second highest logical level, designated in Diltss scheme by the letter B, is home to our beliefs about what we believe. Now, that definition might be a bit confusing. Perhaps an easier way to think about it is that this is the level that is concerned with values. For example, I believe that this is more important than that, that honesty is more important than expediency. These are statements that express my values.
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Its interesting to note, by the way, that values themselves are arranged in a hierarchical order in which we rank some values more highly than others. The very act of saying that value X is more important than value Y necessarily implies such a ranking. Thats why the "hierarchy of criteria" sleight of mouth pattern works so nicely with statements at this level. The third logical level deals with capabilities. This is where we classify statements concerning what Im capable of. The capabilities level is designated by the letter C.

You might expect the next level down, the level of behaviors, to be marked with the letter B, but B was already taken, so we use the next available letter, which happens to be D. It might help you remember this to note that my behavior is what I do. Just think of D as standing for do. Finally, the letter E is for the environment. These are things that are outside me. They are environmental factors, such as where I do things, when I do things, with whom I do things, etc.

So these are the logical levels, and theyre really, really good to know because the more you can change logical levels in sleight of mouth, the more effective your use of sleight of mouth will become, whether applied to yourself or to others. Heres an example of applying sleight of mouth to oneself.

Pretend youre in the fifth grade, and you had a spelling test and did poorly on it. One way you could preserve your identity belief that youre a good speller might be to claim the room was too noisy and distracting. Thats why you did poorly on the test. In other words, youre really a good speller, and it was just an environmental factor that tripped you up.

Alternatively, you could move up a level and talk about your behavior. You
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could say to yourself, Hmm, this is the only test that I did poorly on. All the other ones were good, and this is the only one I did poorly on, so this one must just have been a fluke. On the other hand, if youve done poorly on more than one spelling test, you might move up to the level of capabilities. In doing so you might say to yourself, Hmm, evidence is beginning to indicate that my spelling capabilities need some work. Im still a smart person, and Im a good speller. I just need to learn a more effective spelling strategy.

You can also use logical levels and sleight of mouth as a therapist, working as a professional people helper. Suppose someone comes to you and says, I am depressed, or, I am sick. You could use the sleight of mouth pattern of apply to self by responding, Thats a pretty sick thing to say.

You could use a response based on shifting logical levels. If a client says to you, Im depressed, you could say, Oh, really? Im Bob. Nice to meet you. Tell me, what are you acting depressed about? Thats a great response because it takes the clients identity statement and shifts it down to the behavior level. The implication of that shift is that the client isnt really depressed at all; hes just acting that way, and thats significant because behavior is much easier to change than identity.

Logical levels and sleight of mouth are both powerful tools. When used in conjunction with one another, the power of each is enhanced.

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Acknowledgments
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the invaluable help of Aaron Spurling who not only edited this transcript but also gave many valuable suggestions concerning layout, order of chapters, the best wine with fish, and any number of things that have shaped the way this book has come together. I maybe could have done it without him, but not nearly so well. I'd like to thank my good friend, NLP Trainer Jonathan Altfeld, who's work "Knowledge Engineering" informed and deepened my understanding of the structure of beliefs and thus improved the quality of this book. Thanks to designer Phillip Devita who did the fabulous cover art, putting up with my seemingly endless revisions throughout the process, and also helped redo and clean up some of the illustrations. Thanks to Serena Stean of Salad Seminars., who I asked to make the Table of Contents perform as hot links with the chapters and ended up making the entire book look really good. Thanks also to good friend and NLP Trainer Kevin Creedon, who generously helped redo and clean up some of the illustrations. Most of all, it must said that most of the information and charts contained in this book are compiled from or inspired by the work of Robert Dilts. Although everyone with whom I have ever studied has taught me much, Robert taught NLP in such a way that I really understood it and, perhaps more importantly, modeled excellence and integrity so truly Ill forever be inspired to follow his lead. Robert Dilts's excellent book on Sleight of Mouth is called Sleight of Mouth: The Magic of Conversational Belief Change, Meta Publications, Capitola, CA, 1999. To contact Robert Dilts: NLP University PO Box 1112 Ben Lomond, CA 95005

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About the Author


Doug O'Brien is a Certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, certified by The Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. As a Hypnotherapist, he helped found the Department of Complimentary Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the mid-nineties, under Dr. Mehmet Oz. Doug worked directly with pre-operative and post-operative patients on stress management and pain reduction as well as long term behavioral change to generate healthy living.
*Photography by Gene Hirschel

Doug now conducts numerous trainings around the country in stress management, "Sleight of Mouth" patterns of persuasion, Neo-Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and NLP Certification Training. He also has a private practice, utilizing these techniques for behavioral change. Doug is classically trained in music, and was a professional musician before becoming the New York Center Manager for Robbins Research International in 1987. In 1988 he founded NCI east (later Doug OBrien and Associates) and devoted himself to creating and developing a Training Center for NLP and Hypnosis in New York. For ten years Doug was a Master Trainer for Robbins Research International, assisting at their Certification training and at Mastery University. You can enjoy the finest in Neo-Ericksonian Hypnosis training and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Take classes from: Doug O'Brien & Associates Center for NLP and Hypnosis 371 First Street Brooklyn, NY 11215 718-768-4098 or toll free 877-362-7436 (DOBRIEN) e-mail: Doug@Ericksonian.com For Schedule information and to register for classes, visit our web site at www.Ericksonian.com

Also visit www.Ericksonian.info www.dougobriensblog.com www.SleightofMouth.org


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