Persuasion Through Rocky Terrain

Hi Persuader,

I’m sure I’ve used this quote before while writing a blog post, but it’s an incredible quote and it is worth repeating.

While I’m sure that you’re familiar with the notion that the map is not the territory, I’m wondering if you have fully realized that as human beings, we will forever experience only the map and not the territory. We but alter maps. That is, we change people’s subjective experience of the world, not the world itself.” — Leslie Cameron Bandler

Let’s think about that for a moment. If we don’t experience the territory, but we only experience the map, then what are we?

We are walking map makers, cartographers of our own lives and in a sense, we are map makers for the people we persuade. That’s an awesome and powerful place to come from.

The issue is this: when we look at anything and everything, we can only see it through our own filters. All we have is our own filters. We don’t see anything directly. We see the world and each specific interaction we have through our biases, our filters, our values and our beliefs. We see them through who we are as a person. The only way that we can do anything is to see through our filters and to that end, everything we experience through sight, through hearing, through touch, through taste, through smell — absolutely everything — builds our maps more.

Children build maps at high speed because at that point in development, we are a blank canvas. Everything we are navigating is new. The older we get, the more detailed our maps become and to a certain extent the less we change them which can leave us stuck in a rut.

Now this is good news and bad news. It’s bad news if you don’t know that you or your prospect or client is in a rut and don’t know how to persuade your way out of it. It’s good news for anybody who knows this because you can un-stick them if you want to do it.

This is a large part of what got me into this field, the idea that I wanted to be able to smoothly get people from where they are to where I wanted them to go. I didn’t want to be afraid anymore that I couldn’t do it, or I didn’t want them to hear no and not know why I got it or almost worse, hearing yes, and not understanding why I got it.

This isn’t a simple thing to learn how to do. There’s no way I can sum it up in a blog post or e-mail. It’s true, some things worth having don’t come easily. But with realization comes opportunity. You are your own map maker and can choose to start making that map more expansive and inclusive of so many things including say, learning how to persuade your way through the current rocky economic terrain we’re finding ourselves in at this point in history.

To learn more, drop Kim an e-mail at

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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