Book Summary of Words That Change Minds: The 14 Patterns For Mastering The Language Of Influence by Shelle Rose Charvet
Life gets busy. Has The Words that Change Minds: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence been gathering dust on your bookshelf? Instead, pick up the key ideas now.
Shelle Rose Charvet’s Perspective
Charvet is a world authority on human resources.
She has worked with UNESCO, CERN, Nokia, Microsoft, IBM and the World Bank. Charvet later established a global HR consulting and training institute.
She isn’t a researcher but a natural communicator who can get along with everybody.
When you read her book, you’ll feel as if she’s conversing with you one-on-one. The things she’s discussing are more complicated than she makes them sound. Yet, she encourages you to take the initial steps with the necessary tools provided.
What is Words That Change Minds about?
Introduction to Words That Change Minds and The LAB Profile
Only a handful of books have the power to change the way you interact with others and influence them. Words that Change Minds is one of them.
The book is based on the Language and Behavior Profile (LAB Profile) created by Rodger Bailey. It is a tool that highlights how unique each individual is and can help you predict, understand, and influence someone’s behavior by identifying what motivates them, how they think, and how they make decisions.
Scientists studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) developed personality archetypes in the 1970s to describe how people communicate. Biological and environmental factors constitute the programming part of NLP. They determine how we program ourselves to perform well or poorly at certain tasks. How people communicate verbally provides insight into how they think neurologically. By using NLP, you can gain a better understanding of how people make decisions, including how to build rapport with them and how to help them overcome their limiting beliefs.
Based on the NLP research, the book covers 14 different “LAB Profile Pattern” types. These patterns describe what triggers and maintains someone’s interest in a given situation, and on the other hand, what demotivates them. For example, if you prefer to take initiative at work, you may soon become frustrated if you are forced to wait for a long time.
It is much easier to have a motivated team member or to re-engage a former customer by identifying what they need and meeting their requirements.
In a given situation, LAB Profile Patterns describe what someone prefers. They reflect a person’s motivation and behavior and are not a personality profile, so as people’s behavior and motivation change depending on the context, so will their LAB Profile Patterns.
Context is king. When someone is on vacation, their patterns are probably different from those when they are in the office, or while buying groceries.
There are two kinds of LAB Profile Patterns:
1. Patterns of Motivation: These describe how people get motivated and what it takes to get them interested.
2. Patterns of Productivity: These describe people’s internal mental processes, what makes them productive and how they become convinced of something.
There are six motivation patterns and eight productivity patterns. The motivation patterns are: Level, Direction, Criteria, Source, Reason and Decision Factors. The productivity patterns are: Scope, Attention Direction, Stress Response, Style, Organization, Rule Structure, Convincer Channel and Convincer Mode.
The book will help you detect and expect language in everyday conversation. You will learn how other people would behave in a specific circumstance. You will also learn how to influence people’s opinions as you speak using your personal traits.
Words That Change Minds is a must-read when it comes to career coaching, recruitment, identifying corporate culture, training, negotiations and even parenting.
StoryShot #1: Two Motivation Attribute Patterns Will Get You Going And Thinking
Using appealing language and avoiding upsetting language will help you influence people. In reality, “Influencing Language” is about choosing the words that will have the greatest impact. Different people have different motivations. Explore these categories of motivation patterns to influence people: Level, Criteria and Direction.
The Level category means identifying whether you or someone else is proactive or reactive. These two unique motivation attributes may both get you going and thinking.
People with a Proactive pattern take initiative. They tend to behave impulsively and without careful consideration. They may irritate some people because they charge ahead and disregard other people’s feelings. Likewise, they may be seen as “bulldozers.”
“Proactive” people have a knack for getting things done on the front lines. These people don’t sit back and wait for others to take the lead.
People with a Reactive pattern enjoy waiting for others to start or for the proper conditions to arise. They contemplate and ponder without taking any action. They want to completely comprehend and evaluate the problem first. Likewise, they may wait for a long time.
These people may aggravate Proactive people because they take their time before acting. When they’re at their most extreme, they exercise extraordinary care. They research every detail of a scenario. Hence, they’re skilled at analyzing data.
People generally fall somewhere along the proactive-reactive spectrum at work. Your keywords will influence whether you attract proactive or reactive candidates when you advertise a new job opportunity. A proactive candidate will respond to “take the initiative,” or “take the lead,” whereas a reactive candidate will respond better to “you might want to consider,”, “once you’ve analyzed it,” or “let’s think it through.”
About 60% of people are both Reactive and Proactive.
StoryShot #2: Certain Words Known As “Criteria” Cause A Physical And Emotional Reaction
People describe their values in a given context through Criteria.
Setting Criteria is about distinguishing between good and bad. They are “Hot Buttons” that determine what is dreadful, evil, or good.
Criteria are words, phrases and images that elicit a strong physical and emotional response. They are tied to a string of emotionally associated life experiences. Criteria can be positive or negative. Seeing or hearing our Criteria leads to an emotional or physical response.
None of us can agree on a single definition for each Criterion. It is impossible to put a Criterion into a single box.
Market researchers typically look into people’s preferences to tailor marketing efforts. If you want someone’s attention, you must relate your message to their Criteria.
StoryShot #3: Two Motivation Directions Influence The Ability To Achieve Goals
As for Direction, people either move “Towards” their goals or “Away From” their problems or a negative consequence.
People with a Toward pattern focus on what they want rather than what they lack. Their desire drives them to get something.
Toward-oriented people can prioritize well. They see the big picture. Achieving a goal energizes them.
On the downside, they may not see what should be avoided or what is wrong. Others may consider them naive if they go too far and ignore potential issues.
Those with an Away From pattern prioritize avoiding and eliminating. They are triggered by an issue or something they want to avoid.
Threats and deadlines energize these people.
People with an Away From pattern are adept at spotting potential snags. They can help resolve issues and identify possible stumbling blocks.
Yet, they may struggle to focus on their goals due to their impulsive nature. This is the kind of person who will drop everything to fix something that’s broken. They lose sight of priorities and only deal with crises. If this person is in charge of a department or an organization, crisis management may be the norm. They may struggle with prioritization because they tend to focus on the negative.
The Toward people can perceive Away From people as jaded or cynical.
Use verbal and body language to identify Direction. Words such as “gain, achieve, get, have, goals” are common in the Towards language. On the other hand, people with Away From pattern use words such as “gotten rid of” or “situations to be avoided.”
StoryShot #4: Two Motivation Patterns Influence Our Judgments And Decisions
People use two Source patterns to make judgments and decisions. How do we judge? Is it internal or external?
An inner drive drives Internal people. Their work standard is up to them. They have trouble accepting other people’s opinions or following directions. They often question those who criticize their works. They act on their own.
They can collect data and make internal judgments. They seldom seek approval or praise from other people, so they perform poorly at giving feedback as managers.
To soften the extreme Internal pattern, use language such as “as you probably know,” and then state what you are unsure they know. Or say “you may want to consider” and “others have done this,” and then provide examples.
To fuel their motivation, externals seek the opinions of others, feedback, and directions from outside. They may be unaware of their performance if they don’t receive feedback at work. It’s always as if you’re giving them directions.
External people like it when others make decisions for them. They need external support to start or continue an activity. They always seek affirmation, feedback, or results. Many people in this mode struggle to change habits or behaviors.
StoryShot #5: Two Patterns Affect Our Reasoning
People show two patterns when it comes to their Reason. The Reason category describes how a person reasons: One is in constant search of new solutions (preferring countless choices and sometimes struggling to choose one option). The other prefers to stick to established rules (having a clear step-by-step process to complete).
People with an “Options” pattern require new ways of doing things. They can always find a better way to achieve their goals.
The Options people enjoy creating systems. But they are not as keen on following them.
Options people can’t help breaking or bending the rules. They are excited to start anew. But they may be unmotivated to maintain or finish a project.
They may be reluctant to commit due to uncertainty. They may even make no decisions.
Procedures people prefer detailed step-by-step instructions. They believe in a correct way to do things. They can repeat the procedure once they’ve figured it out. Instead of asking why something is the way it is, they focus on the mechanics.
Without a process, a Procedure person becomes disoriented or frustrated. They always strive to finish a process they started.
Procedure people tend to be perfectionists. Telling them they can break certain rules may offend them.
StoryShot #6: Two Patterns Influence How We Manage Views And Grand Designs
The Scope category measures a person’s capacity to deal with the big picture or details. This category includes the following two patterns:
Specific people are good at managing bits of information. At their worst, they can’t form or perceive an overview. They want everything all laid out in order, from start to finish.
A Specific person only sees trees, limbs, and twigs, not the entire forest. They may struggle to prioritize. When a story ends, they usually start again from the beginning.
Specific people are good at planning events. They thrive on meticulous attention to detail.
Procedure people use steps, while people with a Specific pattern prefer sequences. A procedure can have multiple start and endpoints, as well as branching options. Sequences occur in the same order, for a limited time, and only one way.
General people’s work tends towards an overview or conceptual level. They can focus briefly on details. People with a General pattern may work in a random order because they see the big picture.
25% of people are equally Specific and General.
StoryShot #7: Two Patterns Affect Our Ability To Respond
The Attention Direction category measures one’s ability to respond to stimuli. It examines whether people externally focus on other people or internally focus on themselves. There are two patterns for this: “Self” and “Other.”
Self-focused people care more about what people say than how they say it. They don’t pick up on tone or body language. They are apathetic in their expression of feelings. It’s hard for them to react and absorb stimuli simultaneously. They respond in a way they think is appropriate.
Words alone can sway the Self mindset, regardless of the speaker or their level of rapport. They struggle to form relationships because they can’t read other people’s body language. They’re blind to minor cues.
Self people often lack interpersonal communication skills. They can become technical experts in fields where communication skills aren’t required.
People’s behavior triggers involuntary responses in people with an Other pattern. They read other people’s facial and body language quickly. They tend to animate when talking and will respond with facial expression, body language and tone.
With the right approach, these people can build and maintain relationships.
StoryShot #8: Three Patterns Influence How We Respond To Stress
There are three ways to examine a person’s stress response, whether at work or elsewhere. Note that it’s not about how a person would react to significant life crises. Nearly everyone would experience an emotional response anyway.
Here are the patterns in which people react to “normal” pressures:
Those with a Feeling pattern have strong emotions and stress triggers high emotional reactions in them. Long-term employment in high-stress conditions may be difficult for these people.
Feeling people appear overreacting or hypersensitive. They excel at creative endeavors that rely on the power of emotion to fuel their work. They don’t cope well with rejection, so they would make poor salespeople.
Choice is the most common pattern: Either people respond emotionally to normal stressors and then return to a rational state, or they become stressed.
Choice people constantly search for options when deciding. They don’t base their decisions on only one factor. Their ability to empathize with others results from having felt emotions themselves. They tend to do well as a people-manager. They can balance the personal and professional aspects of the work.
Stress does not affect those with a Thinking pattern. They don’t respond emotionally to normal stress.
Because they are not driven by their emotions, Thinking people find it difficult to relate to others. In most situations, they won’t freak out and remain calm. Those who work in high-pressure environments can rely on them for consistent results. For example, they perform impressively as an air traffic controller or pilot.
If you are searching for someone who is not afraid to speak their mind, go no further than these people. However, you shouldn’t count on them to establish rapport with people who are experiencing strong emotions since they are unlikely to feel empathy and they tend to keep to themselves.
StoryShot #9: 3 Patterns Influence Our Working Style
Three patterns determine how someone can work best. Note that some people may have more than one style.
Independent people prefer to work alone and take sole responsibility. Having others around or taking on more responsibilities reduces their productivity. Interrupting them could lead to losing their train of thought.
These people would rather work in a room with a closed door. They tend to forget to consult others when they’re deciding. They can go for long periods at work without interacting with anyone else.
An independent person is suitable for managerial positions. But because they do most of the work independently, they struggle to build relationships.
Proximity people want a defined area of responsibility. But they also need other people to be involved or nearby to make this work. They want clear responsibilities that involve others to be effective and motivated. If they are forced to work alone, their productivity will decrease.
Proximity is the best pattern for people and project managers. They’ll make it clear to everyone what’s expected of them.
Proximity people do well in leadership jobs in well-defined domains.
Cooperative people would like to work together and share responsibility. They adhere to the Synergy Principle, which holds that “the whole is larger than the sum of its parts.”
Without supervision, they have difficulty meeting deadlines and completing tasks. Since they don’t have a distinct area to govern, they’ll want to delegate as much as possible.
StoryShot #10: Two Patterns Affect Working Organization
What methods do people use to plan their daily tasks? Do they focus on thoughts and feelings or concepts, systems, tools, and jobs?
You can organize workplaces in two ways: productively or sentimentally.
Person people give attention to their own or others’ feelings and thoughts. Feelings become so important that they become the task. They will structure their job to rely on individuals and their sentiments. People in this category are skilled at building relationships.
Thing people focus on things like products, ideas, tools, and tasks. They see emotions as irrelevant in the workplace. They are task-oriented and eager to get things done.
Final Summary and Review of Words That Change Minds
Shelle Rose Charvet wrote “Words That Change Minds” after thoroughly testing the LAB Profile in various settings. The book not only helps you communicate more effectively but also shows how Rodger Bailey’s tool may help you understand how people communicate. To achieve many of your goals, you must avoid or overcome communication barriers.
Using these skills will make a noticeable impact on your life and the lives of others around you. Communication may be accomplished in a variety of ways. Your actions may have a big influence while also strengthening what is already great. You can also maintain vital personal relationships.
This book will help you understand what people say and how they act in fresh ways. It can evoke emotions as well as intellectual thought.
Take these tools with you and use them to help you comprehend how people are different. Finding out what drives and sustains people might help you predict and influence their behavior.
Criticism and Rating
The book is intended for the workplace. It will not help you create rapport in your (purely) social circles. Relationship building is not the same as influencing someone you met at a bar.
Even though the content is presented in a fun manner, it reads like a textbook to many. It comes with in-depth explanations and NLP jargon required for the LAB. Various checklists, examples, definitions, forms, and templates are made available.
An important theme in the book is to use your particular traits to influence others. Yet, humans are far too complex to be analyzed with only a few questions and answers. Hence, while it is a beautiful concept, it is more difficult in practice.
This article is an unofficial summary and analysis.
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