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Leadership, hypnosis and the art of storytelling

Are you a leader, a parent, a sports coach or anyone seeking to motivate and inspire others? Understanding hypnosis is a powerful tool you should learn and adapt in order to influence behavioural change in others. 


When you hear the term hypnosis no doubt you instantly visualise a stage act used to control people, correct? However in reality hypnosis is a universal human trait that we all experience many times a day.

So what does hypnosis really mean?

Hypnosis refers to a focused state of mind where a person enters a “trance state”.

In this trance state, the normally critical “conscious” mind that puts up a host of reasons why we ‘can’t’ do things (e.g. I’m not good enough, I’m too dumb etc.) gets by-passed and we gain access to the primary driver of behaviour, the non-conscious mind.

Our non-conscious mind seeks to create meaning from a complex external world and is constantly seeking data from which to decipher this meaning.

As leaders, if we can feed the non-conscious mind the appropriate messages directly (i.e. when people are in the trance state), we have much greater influence on behaviour.

I am sure you are all now thinking how is it possible to hypnotise someone? It all sounds very farfetched! It’s not really……. Hypnosis is best achieved through story telling that uses metaphors and strong messages of hope which resonate with your audience.

When I’m in the flow state presenting to an audience, I choose to share stories that contain themed messages that I believe will resonate with the audience and achieve the desired outcomes.

These powerful stories, metaphors and messages connect with each person as a stream of consciousness.  The seamless flow of information that I’m sharing gains direct access to the non-conscious mind via the “trance” state that people have been inducted into.

All that happens, for the duration of the trance state, is that your attention locks onto a particular source, and everything else just fades into the background for a while.

When observing the audience during this process, I encounter a sea of blank faces immersed in a journey of discovery waiting for the next message to arrive.

Despite all the mystery, then, hypnosis is simply a method for focusing the attention and turning it inwards. It is nothing more - and nothing less - than a way of working with and taking control of something which is happening already!

TIP: If you’re seeking to increase your influence, look to create an arsenal of metaphors and stories that will help you share key messages to those whom you’re seeking to influence.


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