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Deep Stuff (behind our thoughts)

 

Explanations > The SIFT Model > Deep Stuff (behind out thoughts)

 Needs | Memories | Beliefs | Mental models | Values | Goals | Emotional state | So what?

 

Behind our immediate processing of information are a bunch of structures and systems which support our thinking.

Needs

We do not choose whether to have needs or not -- they are genetically programmed in us to kick us into action and we spend most of our waking ours acting to satisfy them. 

See more on the needs page.

Memories

Memories are not all they are cracked up to be. We remember only a fraction of what we see (although this a debatable fact in some quarters). Memories are reconstructive -- that is, we make up a lot of the stuff we 'recall'. If you do not believe this, try recalling the detail of someone's face, write it all down, then go look at them.

Short term memory helps us handle the immediate things that face us, but we forget things really quickly from here (have you ever been introduced to someone and then forgotten their name a second later?).

Beliefs

Beliefs are assumed truths that we either deduce for ourselves or accept from other people. In fact, because we construct our own internal reality that is separate from the light and sound of the external world, you could say that everything is a belief.

Persuading people is often around changing their beliefs, even small beliefs such as 'I can't do that' or 'I can't afford it' or 'I don't want it'.

See more on the beliefs page.

Mental models

Mental models are a form of complex belief in that they are internally-created constructions which we treat as being the real thing. Mental models help us predict what will happen and what we should do in given circumstances.

Some people have very few models, and hence see the world as a very simple place. Others have a far richer experience due to the complexity and number of models that are available for them to use as lenses with which to see the world.

Persuasion may require changing the other person's models. To do this often requires that you have a good understanding of their current models, which needs good questioning, listening and perceptual skills. Essentially, you need to have models with which to understand their models, which means your models need to be more complex and adaptable than theirs. 

Values

Values are the social rules we use to determine what we should and should not do. Transgressing these rules is socially hazardous and consequently quite threatening. Values generally provide the boundaries within which a person will work. Outside the boundaries are the badlands where only bad people go.

Values are tripwire for persuaders and it is hence important to know where the other person's values lie. Sometimes persuasion is about moving the values boundaries. This can be a problem when the current values boundary will not let you pick it up to move it.

See more on the values page.

Goals

We create goals as being tasks that help to satisfy our needs. We use our understanding of the world around us to make these goals achievable. We gain satisfaction from achieving goals, especially those which have challenged us.

See more on the goals page.

Emotional state

We are at any time in an emotional state, whether it be calm and collected or frantic excitement. Our emotional state significantly affects the meaning we infer. This is a two-way effect as our emotional state is also affected by the inference that we create from our perceptions.

See more on the emotions page.

So what?

Put in real effort to understand yourself and what is going on in the back of you mind whilst you are trying to persuade someone. And also, of course, try to figure out what these things are for the other person. If you can get this right, you are more than halfway there.

See also

Motivation, Inner systems

 

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