Trying on Someone Else’s Skin
You’ve heard the saying; you can’t know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. This is a technique on how to gain rapport by jumping into another person, stepping in, sliding in, moving in, being in that person, figuratively walking a mile in their shoes. Harper Lee wrote in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
We are going to learn to climb into the skin of our prospects, experience them, their decision making mechanisms, their emotional states—so that we can better give them what they need and get what we need.
Our unconscious mind is a goal-seeking mechanism, and it’s a pattern recognition device that is incredibly brilliant and it can immediately pick up characteristics of others so that when we step into them, it already has formulated what we’re going to be experiencing.
How are we going to do this? The way I do it is I just look at you and jump in. I imagine in my mind that I am now you looking at me. It’s that simple. When I look at you, my unconscious, knowing that I’m going to step inside you, can very quickly build a pattern of who and what you are, such that when I step inside you, it already has constructed what’s going to happen. Once I’m inside you, I’m modeling you, or mirroring you so completely and so powerfully that the results can be startling both for you and for the person that this is being done with.
Is it real? I don’t know. I don’t really care. It’s a mental construct. I am making it up in my mind. I’m making up that I’m now in your body looking through your eyes.
Another option, one that I’ve had students tell me about, is building a picture the person you’re ‘becoming’, then you turn around so you’re facing the same way I am and just step in. This can be thought of as mirroring and this is one of the fastest ways of gaining rapport I have ever seen or used.
What if you work with people on the phone and you have no idea what they look like? Could you do the same thing anyway? Sure. What is it that you know about that person when you’re talking to them? They’ve got a phone to their ear, and they’ve got a voice, and their voice has characteristics, and those characteristics have conditions that your unconscious mind has seen before.
If we assume that there is a finite number of patterns that exist, and if we chunk up a little bit, go to a bigger level, we can say, for example, there are twelve astrological signs. There are seven major personality types, depending on the system that you’re working with. There are all sorts of different classification systems that will seek to limit the number of possible combinations.
Of course, humans are infinite. However, wouldn’t it be interesting to know that your unconscious, in its vast experience of dealing with all the people it has dealt with, has come across most all of the major patterns and major characteristics of the people that you’re dealing with? It knows what that other person can be like. Could you build an image of that person? Sure you can, you absolutely can, and you can step right in, even if you’re just on the phone.
This is a construct. We are constructing an image. Will it be accurate? Not exactly, but that’s okay, because if we’re in front of them, and we’re hearing them and we’re seeing them, and if they’re moving, we keep changing our construct until it’s identical to what they are, so for every minute, every second that goes by, ours gets better, and more complete and more powerful, and we’re locking right in to that person.
When you step in, you want to leave yourself behind and see through their eyes. When you do this, it establishes rapport at a very, very profound and deep level. Once you’re in them, you’ve really moved along the process of rapport, and you’ve moved it along because you’re so completely identifying with all of their behaviors, and all of who they are.
You can make this more powerful in a couple of ways. First, marvel at what it feels like and what their clothes feel like. If the person is of the opposite sex, you might feel what it feels like to be a woman or a man, whatever the case may be, and actually take on those characteristics.
What are their physical characteristics? How does it feel to have those characteristics? Notice when you step into the other person, where you feel the connection to them. Do you feel the connection in your stomach, in your feet, in your hands, in your chest, in your head? Where do you feel the connection? By asking yourself these questions you’ll deepen the rapport.
Before trying this, here’s something to keep in mind: if the person’s sick, if they have something considerably wrong with them, if you know that they’re not a particularly good person or they are someone you just don’t like, you might not choose to use this level of rapport, because you may not be able to shake it all the way off.
This is incredibly powerful. Even if you’re not particularly in touch with your energy, you can still use this effectively.
All the best!
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