Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

Latest Articles:  Stopping the Black Swan Can You Become a New Person?

1. The Principle of Entrenchment

Context: Every person you talk to is either:

a)relatively in favor of your proposal, b) moderately opposed to your proposal, c) polarized to your proposal.

How do you communicate with people who are in the latter two categories, particularly when they have a friend or family member by their side who is polarized vs. moderately opposed to you or your proposal?

Moderately opposed? If the other person is going to be moderately opposed to an idea you present, then having them present their current point of view will allow the person to “have their say” (argue with you) and reduce the resistance they experience!

Caveat: Never become disagreeable in the presence of your (potential) client while a second person who is polarized to your view is present. The Passionate Polar  is someone who is going to have *strong* opinions that differ from what you are going to present. Their opinionated friends arguments only reinforce that Passionate Polar’s own certainty about a topic and ingrains the person you are attempting to influence further into their own beliefs.

The same is true if you are communicating solely with a Passionate Polar without an ally.

Critical: If your client is the Passionate Polar, NEVER ask for their verbal opinion or begin to debate the issue, or any other issue with them. When this person is strongly opposed to an idea you present the person will counter argue and will become MORE resistant short AND long term from the argument. (No sale today…or ever)

Quick scenario:

You are religion X.
You are very committed to religion X.
If someone says that religion X is bad or not “right” you resist that.
You become “aroused.” (Irritated, angry, upset, fearful…emotional)

(Usually in psychology “arousal” means emotionally hot, and doesn’t mean the fun kind of arousal, but it can…)

Arousal triggers your Flight/Fight to kick in.
Remember: You are committed to X.
You are being *threatened!*

What happens?

You will counter argue (fight to DEFEND).
You are attached to your belief. Your commitment.

The greater the commitment to X (whatever), the greater the arousal is experienced to the threat of changing the attitude.

So the question we must answer if we want to reduce resistance and possibly get to yes, is…HOW do you reduce arousal?

A few ways.

Time to be patient? Studies at University have shown that when students write essays that disagree with their current belief about something, they become aroused. (No surprise.) But later, to self soothe, to reduce their own arousal they adjust their attitude to come more in line with what they wrote in the essay.

Remember: Arousal is caused by counter attitudinal information.

Critical: Arousal causes attitudes (beliefs, ideas, thoughts) to become further entrenched and resistant to persuasion.

First Desired Outcome: A crucial goal to accomplish successful persuasion is to reduce arousal first. Do not persuade, instead generate calm.

This situation happens a lot in relationships.

Dr. John Gottman, renowned relationship expert and scientific researcher, has isolated three key factors that can predict divorce with 90+% accuracy. You can determine the factors in less than 10 minutes in a relationship.

Gottman told me that when you become “flooded” (*upset*, *extremely aroused*) your heart rate increases and so do your respirations. At this point you become resistant to persuasion. (I’m paraphrasing from conversations.) In these situations his advice is to STOP persuasion attempts or you will make things worse. Wait til things are calm to influence.

Tactic: Another way to change attitudes is to have people perform the behavior you want them to without talking about the attitude (their point of view).

The Magic? Once people ACT one way and THINK another, they tend to change their thoughts (or their thoughts tend to change…if you will) to be more congruent with the actions.

Actions > Attitudes

Brainwashing 101: Get people to do the actions without asking for attitude change.

More Magic: Interestingly, getting people to perform an UNRELATED helpful behavior can cause them to later accept your proposal even when there is significant resistance.

Now, THAT is amazing.

Example: If you want someone to do something or buy something and before THAT happens you ask them to help you with the dishes, (and they do indeed help!) they are more likely to help you do the next thing…their attitude is more likely to change, their arousal reduces!

OK, before we go on, let’s quickly go through the “take home’s” I showed you earlier.

Take Home: People who are REALLY COMMITTED to X (their idea, product, belief, religion, whatever) counter argue more and their commitment becomes stronger.

Take Home 2: On the other hand, people who are only a LITTLE COMMITTED to X counter argue more weakly and the ability to counter argue reduces their arousal (intensity) and ALLOWS THEM TO AGREE WITH YOU.

Thanks to Dr. Sekar Raju (U. Buffalo) and Dr. H. Rao Unnava (Ohio State U.), we now know that allowing people to disagree could be the best thing to happen with people who have modest commitment (investment in the religion, the relationship, the product) while getting to the debate/argument stage with highly committed people makes them even MORE committed!


2. Principle of The Favor

The power of asking for and receiving a favor lays the groundwork for effective persuasion.

Favors are fascinating and complex tools of influence. There are two aspects of the favor. The first is that on average people fulfill favors for other people. There are many different results in different contexts which we’ll talk about next week.

The second is the reciprocal value of the favor, and that is what you’ll see here.

Favors generate solutions and also unique problems in influence.

When you do a favor for Jacob, the time you want Jacob to reciprocate the favor is NOW. In Jacob’s mind each day that passes, the value of the favor you did for Jacob REDUCES for Jacob.

If you loaned Jacob $1000 yesterday, and you want him to cut the lawn today, he probably will do so. If you wait until next month, he will probably NOT do so.

The desire to reciprocate FADES with time.


The ironic highlight here is that in YOUR mind, the value of the favor goes UP over time.

In other words, you loaned Jacob $1000 last month and TODAY that favor is MORE VALUABLE in your mind than it was on that originating day!

This means as time passes and Jacob forgets about your good deed, YOU feel that Jacob has betrayed you. In fact, he HAS in your mind because he has lost connection with the fact that you did something nice for him!

This causes you to experience resentment and anger and as often as not, relationship shifting behavior on your part.

These facts dovetail with research that shows that people who have been given a favor typically soon feel negatively toward the giver of the favor.

There are some fundamental rules of thumb you can use when dealing with people.

  • If you are going to loan money, either set up a payment book where each week they pay you $X back. In this scenario, at least you get your money.or
  • If you are going to loan money and don’t want to establish a payment book, simply assume you’ll never see your money again…and…that Jacob probably won’t be your biggest fan going forward.

The Favor  Key Points

Key Point: From the context of persuasion, you must get the returned favor committed to and then completed as quickly as possible.

When people have complied with a small favor, they then become far more likely to comply to requests that are m

ore significant than the original favor.

Key Point: Favors can bind people together if they are reciprocated quickly. If they aren’t, the opposite effect will occur.



New Techniques of Covert Hypnosis: “Live”! 

The keys to unlock the unconscious mind.

You step inside your counterpart’s mind and sow the seeds of Instant Cooperation and Compliance.

Covert Hypnosis: Live in Boston! Six DVD Set

It only took a decade….

Filmed with a studio camera before a live audience, I pound out mostly new material for a full day, starting quickly with a thorough discussion of what Covert Hypnosis is, how it works, when it can be used, and how to use it.

Moods and Persuasion.

Personal, business, relationships, therapy, marketing, sales.

I personally went through the video tape and made only one major edit moving from a small audience to a huge audience on one of the DVD’s to eliminate replication of material. (I did a special preview of the full day event the day before to a packed house.) So on DVD 6, you get bonus material!

There is SOME overlap between this event and the material in Covert Hypnosis 1-8 CD set….but not much. In fact, about 80% of the material in the DVD set is not in the original ground breaking CD program. It’s that cool, that fresh, that neat.

And it’s packed with techniques.

* The Intended Suggestion

* Spatial Anchoring Halo’s

* Permanent Anchors

* The First Heard Story

* Flagging with Intended Suggestion

* Captivation Loops (detailed to the precise instruction)

* The Covert Model  (similar to the CD set)

* The Fiber of Being Technique

* The Cognitive Dissonance Break Technique

* Distraction for Amnesia Technique

* Confusion Technique

* Leading Questions for Belief Change Technique

* Emotional Future Proof of Present Statement Technique

* Thinking with Things

* Creating False Memories


There’s a bunch more. but this is a preview, not a review.

Because there is very little replication, this is particularly good material for people who have listened to a Science of Influence,  Covert Hypnosis or perhaps similar work I’ve released.

And best of all it starts at square one and takes people down a completely different path than the best selling CD program did.

I’m totally happy with what this will mean to you when you watch it. You will feel very satisfied and get a lot of questions you’ve been wondering about answered andthat makes me happy too!

Let’s get right to what’s included in the DVD program…

Covert Hypnosis “Live”

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Author of The Psychology of Persuasion, Irresistible Attraction, and The Science of Influence, Dr. Kevin Hogan is trusted by organizations, both large and small, to help them help their people reach their personal peak performance and maximize influence in selling and marketing. Kevin is an internationally admired keynote speaker and corporate thought leader. In Coffee with Kevin Hogan, he shares his research, observations, and how you can apply them in your life – both in business and at home.

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