Vol. 8 – February 21, 2005

Ericksonian Hypnotic Language Patterns

Pattern 9. Quotes —
The pattern entitled “Quotes” is one of the easiest patterns to apply effectively. It is a pattern that allows the speaker to deliver a message to the listener in a way that is beautifully indirect, because the listener consciously hears the suggestion as being directed to another person, while their unconscious receives it virtually as a direct command.

Very often the quote will occur in the middle of a story or metaphor, where one character addresses another. “…and the cobbler said to the boy, ‘Remember, you’re only as happy as you make up your mind to be.'”

The quote can appear as the thought or sudden realization of the main character. “…and Alice suddenly realized that it’s not how hard you work, it’s how you work hard.”

Quotes can be attributed to famous people. (It’s even better when they actually said it.) “Benjamin Franklin always said, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you’ll be.'”

Referring to a previous client is useful in a variety of ways. “And as our client listened to us talk, she realized how true the old saying is that, ‘when you are in trance, you learn rapidly and effectively.'”

Please note that in all of the above examples, the part of the quote that is the suggestion is put in the second person, present tense. In other words, because you want to tell your listener to do something, make sure the suggestion is in the form of “you do this,” or “you learn that.” NOTshe did this,” or “he learned that.”

Over the years my students have often told me that ‘Quotes are a simple, fun and effective way to deliver a message to your listener.’

So, now, write your own examples. The best way to learn is by doing. Write them out. Say them aloud to a human being with the proper tonal shift. (See lesson One if you need more clarity on that) Write at least ten. Use them with your spouse, your pet (she’ll listen), and your clients. Use them with anybody with whom you speak.

Use them. Make them your own.

Have fun. See you next week.