Reading time: 85 Seconds

– Sometimes getting people to move from one emotional state to an entirely different one can be difficult. For example, if you intend to move someone from indifference (“I’m busy; I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind; can’t this wait?”) to excitement (“Great idea—let’s do it!”) in one fell swoop, you may be in for a challenge.

Try linking emotional states

Persuasively gifted people, wittingly or unwittingly, link three or four emotional states together in order to move people from one state to another. For example, instead of going directly from state A (indifference) to state D (enthusiasm), they lead them from A through states B and  C to  D. So rather than attempting a direct shift from indifference to enthusiasm, an experienced persuader might move them from indifference to curiosity, then to openness, before arousing their enthusiasm. This is called linking states, and it’s a powerful way to get people emotionally connected with you and your ideas.

Once you’ve decided on the states of mind to be employed, the next thing you would do is to get yourself into  the first link on the chain. You won’t be convincing if you’re not congruent. The simple act of adjusting yourself into a state of curiosity will make your body language, tone of voice, and choice of words rub off on the other person. Practice rotating through the feelings of curiosity, openness, and enthusiasm over and over: ten  seconds each will do.

This is the secret of the great communicators. Find an opportunity to listen to a speech that moved a nation, be it by Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Nelson Mandela, and identify the states they led their audiences through before rousing them to action.