Saturday, September 24, 2016

The best language for motivating action

If you want to be effective in motivating action, choose sensory language that represents your desired outcome.

That's a tough start to a post. But I wanted it to be tough and straight-forward and clear (all of these words direct you into your senses, even if they are not specific). I wanted you to know that I mean what I say when I say that to motivate action you need to put yourself or others into their imagined bodies.

Neurologically, when you use sensory language you direct people to activate the parts of their brains that would be active when they were having that kind of sensory experience. It's like you are creating an echo of lived experience that also resonates (both echo and resonate are auditory words) so that it prepares the listener (or reader - or thinker if the language is internal) to make this experience happen in reality.

The best way to get the result you want is always to decide what you want and test it by imagining that you have stepped into the future and are seeing and hearing and feeling the new situation. If it is what you want, then describe this future to others in terms of the sights and sounds and feelings that will let them know when they have arrived there.

Imagine trying to drive through a new city where all the road signs told you where not to go. It's hard, isn't it? That's what it's like trying to follow instructions from someone who is clear on what they don't want instead of telling you what they do want.

You don't get someone from point A to point B by telling them where not to go. You give them a map that shows them what roads to take, and what they might see on the way. This is the best way to give instructions on getting from now to the future you want. Tell people what steps they need to take and what they will experience along the way.


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