One of the most powerful and persuasive techniques that NLP has to offer is known as the nested loops, which was invented by Milton Erickson. This induces a trance state in a conversational manor. It is a stealthy way to induce a trance that involves the telling of five simple stories
You can use the nested loops technique in any someone without being obvious about what you are doing. You could use for example next time you are applying for a raise or if you want to motivate one of your employees into doing something. You can even use the nested loops in your written communication in order to persuade someone to take action.
In the nested loops method you are going to be engaging in storytelling. You will select five stories which are of interest to your intended audience. It is important that your audience will be interested enough in these stories that they pay close attention. You will open each of the stories one after the other. On the final story you will include your hypnotic suggestion and then close out the nested loops.
There are a number of reasons why this technique is effective. Firstly because the person is concentrating on the content and the details of the story this will cause their mind to drift. When you reach the fifth story they will be fully receptive to hypnotic suggestion.
As well as this the nature of the five story structure serves to overload the brain. Our brains naturally search for completion, when one story moves into the next the brain will not be able to make this completion, as such it will become overloaded and ready for suggestion. And because you are not consciously showing any signs of hypnotizing the person there will be no reason for them to be on their guard and thus they will be open to your suggestions.
Finally your subconscious wants to close out the loops. When you close out the last nested loops in story number five the unconsious mind will be expecting you to close the previous 4 nested loops as well. You will follow this by closing out the remaining nested loops and the brain will be satisfied. It will allow all of the information including the suggestion an its subconscious. It is less concerned with the content of the story and more concerned with you bringing a close to the nested loops.
The Erickson Nested Loops Method
Nested Loops – Step One : Decide What You Want
The first step is to decide what it is you want to achieve from the nested loop. What is the outcome that you would like to achieve i.e. a raise. You should not set your specific suggestion yet just what the desired outcome is.
Nested Loops - Step Two : Evaluate Your Audience
Next evaluate the audience for your suggestion. Will you be dealing with one person or a group? What are the needs and motivation of this audience? What stories would be most appealing to this audience. This will provide the framework for the stories you choose to tell. You should also evaluate whether or not you are in rapport with them yet. If not you may need to go through the rapport exercises in this blog and develop this first.
Nested Loops - Step Three : Select Your Suggestion
Now you know what you outcome is you can select the suggestion that you are going to implant in your listener. It is a good idea when starting out to only implant a single suggestion but as you become more experienced you may be able to implant multiple suggestions. For example in the case of asking for a raise you might have a suggestion “I know that you value hard work, and that you want to see it rewarded, don’t you?”
Nested Loops - Step Five : Develop Your Stories
The next step is to develop the stories that you are going to tell. It is important that when you are developing these stories that you don’t use stories that involve the person that you are telling the story too. People have their own memories of the story which may conflict with the one that you are telling. Instead use stories from your own past that will be of interest to your audience. Having an interesting story is crucial for maintaining the audience’s attention long enough to have the suggestion embedded. The length of your story is not that important the main point is that it is interesting. You should practice telling your stories ahead of time. See if the delivery of these stories can be improved in anyway so that they are more entertaining.
Step Six : Begin Your Story
To start your story it is good idea to introduce to your audience the idea that you are about to tell a story. For example you might say “Did I ever tell you the time..” There are certain key phrases that we usually use to begin telling a story. This will signal to your listener that it is time to be quiet and listen to your story. If you do this you will find that you are far less likely to be interrupted while you are telling it.
Nested Loops - Step Seven : Tell the Stories
You are now going to move through your stories in the order that you set ahead of time. You should know exactly what story that you are going to tell and in what sequence. As your story comes to an end you will use a cue point to move it into the next story. Remember the crucial point here is that you do not close out the story but instead segue into the next story without finishing the other one.
A common way to segue between your nested loops is to use “By the way..” For example if story one was about how you used to go fishing as young boy and story two was about the time you were helped out by a police officer. You might end that last story by going “and that was when I was just about to reel in the fish, when suddenly a police officer tapped me on the shoulder, by the way, did I ever tell you about the time my car broke down..” The first story doesn’t finish but you move smoothly into the next story anyway.
Nested Loops - Step Eight : Give Your Suggestion
This is where you will work your magic and embed the suggestion that you want to give them. This time around midway through the fifth story add in your suggestion naturally so that it goes unnoticed and continue on with the story. The persons mind is overloaded from the previous stories and will no longer be analyzing the content of what is being implanted into their subconscious.
Nested Loops - Step Nine: Close Out The Loops
You must now go back through the stories closing out all of the nested loops. The subconscious must be satisfied that all of these nested loops are closed so that they can accept all of the content that was within them including the suggestion. Start with number five and work backwards concluding each story one by one until all nested loops have been closed.
Now that you know how to create nested loops go out and practice these. Make your stories engaging and they will elicit strong emotional responses. In this way you can create powerful nested loops in which you can install your hypnotic suggestions. In order to do this use alot of “sense” words when you develop your nested loops. Tell what the character in the story was feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling or tasting. Remember to leave all the nested loops open until the very end and to install your suggestions before closing all the nested loops.
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