Picking and Choosing: Power Persuasion Metaphors From Around the World
While the concept of ‘energy’ may seem new-agey, I personally find it integral to the understanding of self, which is the first step in understanding persuasion.
At a recent seminar I had in Tucson I really got deep into core drives which we can use to put our persuasion fingers on our clientele’s triggers. These triggers are universal.
The Ancient Indian concept of Chakras are definitely considered ‘woo woo’ by a great many people, but are an excellent metaphor, if nothing else, for the core values and drive within each of us. Chakras are energy vortices along the body, each corresponding to a need.
Irregardless of our spiritual or religious affiliations, these energy centers are interrelated with the notion of self mastery which is in turn interrelated, in my view, with persuasion. Simply, we, as persuaders, have the ability to pick and choose from the abundance of life, spirituality, business, economics, literature, politics, popular culture, history, or anything at all, and take what is valuable and shape our world out of what we’ve gleaned.
I also have a personal belief that there’s a certain reality to the different kinds of energy flows in our bodies. Chinese medicine practitioners would refer to that as Qi (pronounced Chi) and they can trace those energetic flows throughout our bodies in energy rivers called meridians. Meridians control different things in our body, corresponding to different organs, and to the extent that we have some awareness of this, we can use it to help ourselves. So call it DNA or Qi or Chakras or meridians. . . it’s all power.
In that spirit, how can we absorb value from chakras, as one of my students suggested, even simply as a metaphor?
The base chakra is concerned with security in the same way as core values of continuing on, fight and flight. The second chakra is about sexual reproduction as is the fourth core value which I’ve discussed. The third chakra is about power-very similar to the third core value of fight.
As we get higher on the chakras, we also get higher in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was an American psychologist in the mid 1900s who created a scale in the form of a pyramid that explained human needs. If the bottom levels of needs aren’t being met, nothing else matters.
At the bottom of the pyramid are two of the four core values in addition to biological functions. The physiological basis for physical human existence-food, water, air, sleep, sex, excretion and homeostasis (internal balance)-has extreme power where persuasion is concerned. Obviously, we’re not really able to utilize air or sleep (unless you’re selling mattresses) or excretion or homeostasis (unless you’re a doctor).
The next level up for Maslow pertains to security-the fight and flight core values-and also corresponds to the third chakra of power.
Also for purposes of persuasion, there are imperative psychological needs that are represented at the top of the pyramid including: the need to be needed, the need to feel hope, the need to believe problems are a result of something outside ourselves, the need to be noticed and understood, the ‘law of being right’, and the principle of giving people a sense of power. These fit in with the rest of the chakras-the fourth one representing love and energy, the fifth one representing communication, the sixth one requiring an inner sense of knowingness, and finally that higher spiritual plane which is represented by union, bliss, God.
When we elicit criteria and gain rapport correctly and thoroughly, we tap into these needs. When you’re really in deep rapport with someone, they feel noticed, they feel necessary, they feel listened to, and within that, we can really hone in on the core values of safety, security, reproduction and sustenance.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland