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How to mind read your client

By on August 18, 2014

Many of you will have had the experience of mind-reading your clients. Perhaps you choose a metaphor that turns out to have been their favorite story as a child, or you simply know what they are going to say before they say it. Whatever the cause, these ‘psychic moments’ can take even the most experienced practitioner by surprise.

In fact mind reading is much more common than we usually think. It may be something simple like your favorite waiter bringing exactly what you want before you asked for it (“Well, that what I usually get”), or several of your friends and acquaintances raising the same issue within the same week. Whatever it might be there is actually a solid scientific explanation for these phenomena that we will get to shortly.

When training our students we introduce them to various calibration skills from NLP, things like ‘eye accessing cues’, gestural anchors, predicate choice and so on. Paying attention to these messages from the unconscious mind can make you, the practitioner, appear psychic to your client. But how do we surprise ourselves with acts of synchronicity?

It turns out that the human brain is uniquely designed to be psychic. There are specific areas of the brain (the right temporal lobe (TL) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)) that light up both when sending an unconscious communication, and when receiving one. Our brains are designed to be psychic! See the research here:

Neural mechanisms of communicative innovation, Arjen Stalk et al.

The really interesting part of the research is that these two brain areas began to ‘light up’ before the communication task began. The brains of the ‘sender’ and ‘receiver’ began to synchronize before any message was sent. To use this in practice, the trick is that you and your client must synchronize these brain areas. The means you have to get into non-verbal and verbal rapport so the two brains can begin to ‘spin in the same direction’.

Try this out and see how ‘psychic’ you can become! Here’s an article from the UK Guardian explaining the effect in more detail.

A rough guide to mind-reading | Laurence O’Dwyer | Science mind-reading, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to communicate no matter how strange or illogical so long as you have reached a consensus. That last sentence might read like an oxymoron, but mind-reading is commonplace; and like many things we are very good at, we are hardly even aware that we are doing it. A raised finger can have infinite meanings as a warning, a reproach, a sign of agreement, or in this case, a request for a drink. A rough guide to mind-reading | Laurence O’Dwyer | Science


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