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The hypnotic gaze

By on October 16, 2014
Picture courtesy of stock images and freedigitalphotos.net

As hypnotists it is our job to be persuasive, to persuade our clients to change. An important tool that we have in this regard is eye contact. Everyone has heard of the ‘hypnotic gaze’.

But this is a tool that needs to be used with caution. Research shows that too much eye contact can actually make you less persuasive, depending on the context in which it takes place. The latest research was carried out by Frances Chen from the University of Freiburg in Germany, and demonstrated that in the absence of rapport (or ‘pre-agreement’ as the research puts it), extended eye contact actually makes persuasion and agreement less likely.

So the guidelines to follow for using your ‘hypnotic gaze’ more effectively are as follows:

  1. Decide on the direction you want to lead the client in
  2. Pre frame this, for example using metaphors
  3. Watch for unconscious agreement to what you are saying (heads nods etc.)
  4. Now gaze at your client hypnotically and lead them into a supporting trance, making more direct suggestions to them.

Here is an article describing the research and its implications.

News Making eye contact has long been considered an effective way of drawing a listener in and bringing him or her around to your point of view. But our findings show that direct eye contact makes skeptical listeners less likely to change their minds, not more, as previously believed… In the Eye of the Beholder: Eye Contact Increases Resistance to Persuasion

Picture courtesy of stock images and freedigitalphotos.net

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