The Persuasion Zone
We’ve all heard of athletes who say they were really in ‘the zone’. The zone is that perfect point where whatever we’re doing is accomplished with ease and elegance whether it be playing an instrument, driving down the perfect road at the perfect speed on the perfect motorcycle, or selling to one prospect after another.
There are days when I’m speaking to my students on a coaching call and days when I’m giving in person presentations where I’m “on”, where I know I’m affecting people deeply and meaningfully. Of course I strive for that each and every time and hit the mark most days. (I also know that we all are prone to an off day and instead of getting down on myself for the rare off day, I view them as lessons on what to improve instead of dwelling in the ‘oh woe is me’ mentality.)
I have a friend who’s a massage therapist. She told me a story about how after nine years of doing massage, she finally felt she gave a really phenomenal massage for the first time recently. She said, “I have known on several occasions when the massage I’m giving is awful, where I’m not going to see the person again under any circumstance because I’m absolutely not connecting with them or they aren’t connecting with me, but I never could tell when I was giving a really good massage and I think that’s because I wasn’t giving really good massages. I think I was giving mediocre massages that people were appreciative of just because most of the time when we’re touched in a healing way, it feels good whether it’s amazing or not.”
I was absolutely blown away. I had to know what it was after nine years that she did differently that switched what she considered a mediocre massage into a phenomenal massage, so I asked, “What did you do differently?”
“It’s the strangest thing,” she said. “I didn’t have my mp3 player in the office. And usually when there’s no music, the client wants to talk, but I made a conscious decision to have it be completely silent. And then I imagined myself on the table, almost as if I slipped into their skin, and simply listened to what their body wanted. And when I was done, I felt I had been in a trance for an hour.”
This is the zone, and I’ll take it a step further and suggest that this is the persuasion zone. It’s the essence of matching a person to ‘slip into their skin’. It’s what powerful persuasion is based on — empathy, relating to another person on whatever level they’re on and not trying to push our agenda from our level but first creating the level of simpatico on their level and then pulling them with their approval to our level.
This can be done in absolutely every one-on-one work situation or personal situation, it can be done in absolutely every group situation, and the first step is to become aware that this is what needs to happen.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland