One of the questions I am often asked when people find out that I possess a senior qualification in hypnotherapy practice is “Can you hypnotise anyone, to do anything?”

Sadly the answer is no. Not “anyone” and not “anything” but that equally doesn’t mean no one or nothing!

So knowing that you have the potential to adjust how someone is thinking, to persuade and influence them in positive ecological ways, what would you do?

I mention ecology because if you plan to get someone who doesn’t fancy you into bed with you, or try to get your best friend to rob a bank, it wouldn’t end well, even if you were successful. Firstly the likelihood of success to get someone to do something they do not want to do, or which goes against their preferences or moral values is low, unless of course they do have a desire to do it and you employ some hard core brain washing techniques (which is not the same as using hypnosis). But beyond that, there is still ecology. Ecology is like the universes way of providing terms and conditions. You can have what you want but if you have gone about getting in a shady way, or a way that is detrimental to others, your efforts will be sabotaged eventually.

So can you use powerful hypnotic language on your boss to get a pay rise or any other action you would like them to take?

It’s possible.

As we have mentioned ecology, lets start there.

If giving you the pay rise (we will stick with pay rise as an example) could bankrupt the company or it is undeserving for some reason, then good old ecology is likely to step in. That could mean that your boss, mindful of the current staffing budget simply says no, or it could be that the HR team flag up her decision somewhere down the line and put the brakes on things.

You must also have rapport with your boss. Not necessarily all of the time, but certainly in that moment when you ask for a pay rise. They would need to feel a sense of comfort with you when you pop the question or make the suggestion.

In addition, you need to be congruent and confident. If you’ve seen the star wars films when the Jedi ‘make’ someone do something, you’ll note that their powers only work when they give their command with an air of authority and expectation of a result. Their powers do not work when they sound uncertain or expectant of rejection. This is the same!

If you want to be a Jedi influencer, you have to be expectant of the result you want. Any hint of uncertainty will be heard, seen or felt and will put you in a position of weakness, making it easier for your boss to reject your request.

Another useful tip is that of creating a link between what they already agreed upon and what you want them to do. In hypnosis (and sales) we call this a ‘yes set.’

If you have ever seen the Robert Dyas adverts on TV, they start by offering a load of free stuff and then tell you what to buy. It’s along the lines of “Would you like this free gardening set? With a free bag of compost, and a free watering can? Just spend £49.99 on this amazing shovel that has been ergonomically tested and the gardening set, compost, watering can and shovel will ALL be yours!”

If you are green fingered, you’ll be saying “Yes” to all the freebies. Having got into a pattern of saying yes, you’re more likely to say yes when it comes to the investment part.

So think about what you want from your boss, then think about what you already do or could do to demonstrate value to her.

Once you have 3 or more things you can discuss with her, bridge the conversation to your proposition between the ‘yes set’ and your request with something that aligns with her values. “I know how you like to get the most from your staff”, “I know you value loyalty”  or something else that floats her boat. Tying your proposition to their values will also swing the odds in your favour.

“So these are the successes I’ve bought about in the last quarter and I can see how big a difference it has made to the team. Now they are working more efficiently. For me, I’d like to address how making that progress can now be reflected in my salary. Can we schedule a time to discuss this?”

She might say no, she might have no budget available, but if you have really made a difference or are valuable to the company (remember it breaks the ecology rule if you are taking what you can get with no ROI for the employer) then in the face of objection, do not give in.

A great question to ask if “What can you do for me?” Perhaps you can adjust your outcome to include flexible hours or additional leave and request that your efforts are honoured in that way instead. How can she demonstrate that she values your work?

Remember typically people do not seek to influence just for the heck of it. You don’t ask for money just because you like big numbers more than smaller ones. It’s about what that money represents to you. Maybe it would buy you more freedom, or a healthcare plan (security) or something else. If you don’t get exactly what you want, think laterally and consider what that thing you were hoping to influence them into doing, really represents to you and see how you can get your outcome met in another way.

By Gemma Bailey