When you can help the subject, client, customer, friend, family member or whoever else find the resources and power within themselves to take the actions they need to take to improve their lives…
You become the hero.
But first you have persuade them to take action or think differently.
And the challenge is that people are organically wired to resist any kind of change, influence or persuasion.
You see, Erickson was very aware of that dirty word resistance.
And he knew that most people were naturally resistant by design.
And he also knew that someone could not be hypnotized unless they lowered their resistance.
So his main goal above all was lower the resistance of the subject before he attempted to hypnotize them.
You see where 'classical' hypnosis is authoritative and direct, and often encounters resistance in the subject, Erickson's approach was accommodating and indirect.
For example, where a classical hypnotist might say "you are going into a trance", Erickson would say something like "you can comfortably learn how to go into a trance".
In this way, he provided an opportunity for the subject to accept the suggestions they are most comfortable with, at their own pace, and with an awareness of the benefits.
The subject knows they are not being hustled, and takes full ownership of, and participation in their transformation.
And just like that…mission accomplished!
Erickson reduced the resistance, got the client to comply and as result became the client’s hero.
This fascinated me.
I began reading anything and everything that I could get my hands on that related to Milton Erickson and his work.
As studied his communication strategies I realized that all those thoughts I had conjured up in my mind about trance were dead wrong.
Trance is nothing more than a heightened state of awareness.
And all people (including you and I) are entering trance states every single day.
Erickson was able to use this to his advantage by using an indirect approach to influence.
He would distract the conscious mind by using something called “artfully vague” language and was able to influence his clients on a subconscious level with ZERO resistance.