10 NLP Tools to Instantly Gain Trust

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Can NLP be used to gain trust? Absolutely! And in more ways than one.

When I go to a party, people always assume that I am using NLP. I probably do, but not
consciously. When people have heard a little bit about NLP, they typically have an awareness that it covers the subject of rapport building. While I personally find it one of the least “sexy” NLP tools out there, I do understand the appeal. Unfortunately, we aren’t taught this skill in school – or anywhere else. (Outside of an NLP classroom, that is.) Also unfortunate is the fact that the NLP tool to build rapport also often comes with a lot of resistance, or misconceptions as to intent.

The reasons that the rapport-building technique in NLP meets so much resistance are typically:

1. It is often presented in the context of sales, or as a way to “pick-up” a person – basically convincing a person to do something they do not technically wish to do.

2. People mistake a person who builds trust intentionally with being a person who cannot
be trusted.

If someone was raised by their parents as emotionally intelligent and good communicators, they are bound to build trust more easily than someone who was not. They inherently build trust intentionally, because (often unconsciously) they understand that a mutually satisfying relationship of any kind needs to have a foundation of trust.

It is true, however, that sometimes someone who is trained in tools to build trust can not be trusted! This is not universal, though and should not be equated with the fact that anyone who seeks to learn rapport-building skills is untrustworthy, or has “ulterior motives”. In fact, the overwhelming majority who invest in our NLP training actually have honorable motives – such as, being in service, becoming a better leader, or just being a happier, more well-balanced person with mutually satisfying relationships.

Tool 1 to Instantly Gain Trust: Building Rapport Through Mimicry

Physically building rapport can be done by copying someone in several different ways:
Matching their movements or even breathing patterns. For example, if they cross their right leg, you cross your right leg.
Mirroring is the same thing, except that you copy by creating the mirror image. For example, if they put their left hand on their knee, you put your right hand on yours.
Crossover mirroring: When they move one part of their body, you move another part of your body. For instance, if they tap their foot on the floor, you tap your finger on the table.

Tool 2 to Instantly Gain Trust: Copying Words And Phrases

Another way of “matching” and mastering the ability to gain trust is by using someone else’s word choice. You are unconsciously indicating to them that you are speaking the same language. For example, if they use the words “trash can”, you should also use those words – rather than “garbage bin”.

Tool 3 To Instantly Gain Trust: Copying Gestures

People tell a story with their hands. Using the same type of “language” with your hands
creates a feeling of “we are the same.”

Tool 4 To Instantly Gain Trust: The Second Perceptual Position

People are more likely to trust if they sense that you are compassionate and that you
understand them. This can most easily be achieved by floating your awareness
out of your own body, and into theirs. Imagine what they see, hear, and feel. Imagine what it would feel like to be having their day and further – their life. Truly reflect on what it would be like to walk a mile into their shoes.

Tool 5 To Instantly Gain Trust: Eliciting a State

When you trust someone, what emotions come to mind? …. Safety? Security?
Protection? Comfort? Relaxation? What about connection or trust itself? An easy way to get someone to trust you is by stepping into these emotions first, and then actively communicating from that space.

Tool 6 To Instantly Gain Trust: Future Pace

A small technique you could use to re-code and use your brain more effectively is by imagining what you will see, hear, and feel the moment that you have gained this trust. From that emotional state, then determine what is required to get there.

Tool 7 To Instantly Gain Trust: Smile More

This is not an NLP tool specifically, but in an indirect way it is. When people smile at us, we feel better. Even as babies, when adults smile at us, we smile back. People tend to be more trusting and feel connected to people who smile and have a friendly expression.

Tool 8 To Instantly Gain Trust: Find the Smooth Handle

We all have a rough and smooth handle in conversation. You can not use the rough handle
unless you gain trust first. So in the choice of topics, pay attention to someone’s verbal and non-verbal cues. Follow their smooth handle, and then when you think you have sufficient rapport, subtly test a rough handle. I especially recommend doing this for coaches!

Tool 9 To Instantly Gain Trust: Values

Pay attention if someone gives away any of their unconscious “values”, which are essentially their internal criteria or the rules of what is good or bad for them. These are typically unconscious to them, but are always:
1. Stated in the positive.
2. Words where it is unclear who is doing it, and how it is being done.
3. Words you can not see, hear, touch, or put in a wheelbarrow.
4. Often end with -ity, -ess, -tion, -dom, -ence, -ance.
Examples: freedom, connection, love, authenticity, acceptance, wisdom, empowerment,
productivity, power etc.
Make sure you meet this person’s values, and allow it to help you understand what type of
conversation someone may like to have. Do not do anything that conflicts with their values.

Tool 10 To Instantly Gain Trust: Understanding If Someone is Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic

Pay attention to a person’s predominant system based on their vocabulary.

Example of visual words: see, look, bright, focus etc.

Example of Auditory words: hear, silence, resonate, noise, chatter etc.

Example of kinesthetic words: rough, hard, soft, feeling etc.

Check if It slants to 1 or 2 out of the 3, then make sure you speak into their preference. For example, if someone uses a lot of visual words, you do too. You would then describe things as much as possible using words that resonate with the visual system.

Though this list of 10 tools is a great jumping-off point for instantly gaining trust with someone, as I wrote this list I realized that I could have written at least 10 more ways that NLP is a uniquely effective tool when it comes to gaining trust.

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