I was listening to an interesting audio program by Steve G. Jones about conversational hypnosis in which he introduced several sets of what he terms alpha power patterns. He draws this collection of powerful words from alpha male language patterns, but emphasizes that they can used by anyone, male or female, to take control of conversations and direct them in useful ways. I have described some of these power patterns below with some additional examples. As with any of these conversational hypnosis patterns, it is interesting to listen to other people’s conversation to see which ones they are using (often without being aware of doing so).
1. Direct Power Patterns
The direct power patterns consist of three words: Yes, Stop, Now
Yes is a very powerful word in response to a question because it is fully committal without giving any excuses or reasons. It is best used on its own rather than in a sentence like “Yes, but …” or “Yes, because …”
Stop is obviously a powerful word and people tend to respond to it at an unconscious level because it is so culturally ingrained. It is a powerful way to change the topic or to take over the control of the conversation. When you say stop, allow only a very short break before moving on with your own utterance.
Now can be used as an addition to a command. For example, parents instinctively say to their children, “Clean your room … Now” and the now acts as a strong emphasis to the command. Now can also be used to change topic in a conversation by signaling a return to the present moment and thus a new starting point.
2. Consequential Power Patterns
These patterns are used to tell someone what to do by suggesting that there is a consequence. The example pattern that Steve gives is because.
Because you are late, class couldn’t start on time… and the other students were disturbed… and you are going to lose points.
Here, the consequences of the person’s actions are given clearly (joining them with ‘and’). The consequences need not necessarily be true.
Because you are leaving the city for the weekend, I will be alone … and I will have nothing to do … and I will eat too much icecream … and I will get fat.
There is no logical reason for all of these consequences to occur, yet the structure of the sentence implies that the consequences are real, especially if the first item in the chain of consequences is true.
3. Expansive Power Patterns
These are words that cause people’s thinking patterns to expand and to understand more possibilities. These patterns include beyond and expand.
I know that you can see beyond the little difficulty that you are having now and to a much brighter future.When you begin to expand the number of people that you meet, you will find that it is easy to go beyond your current level.
The audio program mentioned a few more similar patterns – all useful language to notice and perhaps to use in those times when you want to be a little more persuasive.