Advanced Influencing Skills for Business

Discover the hidden power of metaphors to help you understand how other people are thinking
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Instructed by Peter Urey Business / Communications
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  • Lectures 25
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Expert Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2016 English

Course Description

Course description: 

This course will give you practical experience in the art of listening and understanding metaphors used in normal business conversations in order to build trust and rapport and to become a skilled influencer

You will learn a simple technique that gives you an insight into the patterns of thought which control the way people behave which would place you in a much better position to influence others positively. This is a simple and effective way to “read” their minds. 

In this course, you will learn to:  

  • Build trust, rapport and understanding
  • Adapt your communication style to best fit your working environment 
  • Prevent misunderstanding in your workplace
  • Spot repeating patterns of behaviour in yourself and others and their implications

Who is this course for?

  1. It is designed for entrepreneurs, 
  2. managers, 
  3. marketers, 
  4. sales people, 
  5. HR professionals and 
  6. anyone who is required to facilitate performance improvement.

In this course you will learn a simple technique to give you insight into the patterns of thought which control the way people behave. It involves paying close attention to the metaphors which they use in normal conversation.

When you learn to listen to understand rather than listeniing to answer back you will be in a much better position to influence others in a positive way.

This is a simple and effective way to read their minds.
The technique confers obvious and enormous commercial advantages upon you especially if you are an influencer who is required to create the conditions for beneficial change. It's designed for entrepreneurs, managers, marketers, sales people, HR professionals and anyone who is required to facilitate performance improvement.

Metaphor is our primary processing language. It's the way we describe one thing in terms of something else with which we have a greater familiarity. Metaphor is the medium we use to create understanding. It's hard to overstate the importance of metaphor.

We will teach you a set of questions to explore the detail and relationships held within their metaphors. This is known a their psychoactive landscape and you will come to know it well.

The course begins by introducing you to the use of metaphor by
Sir Richard Branson, Warren Buffett and Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico.

Real life recordings of the technique in action are introduced and then we suggest ways in which you can gain practical experience including practice Skype sessions which are included with this course. You can only learn by listening and repeating which is a fun and effective way of absorbing the lessons.

The course is not about some magical theatrical effect in which you can have people reveal facts about themselves in trance but rather the opportunity for you to tune into what they reveal about themselves with every word they say.

Watch the FREE preview and enrol today.

What are the requirements?

  • You will not need learning materials - all the content is listening based
  • Access to a voice recorder would be useful but not essential
  • Practice is essential - we can help you to find practice partners
  • Transcribing recorded conversations will aid your accuracy in listening and summarising

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Teach yourself how to read minds by paying close attention to our primary processing language, metaphor, in order to build up a dynamic model of how others think and to use this insight to influence through understanding, clarity and co-operation
  • Recognise the role of metaphor in creating human understanding
  • Appreciate the distinction between obvious and complex metaphors
  • Become sensitive to the way in which individuals use unique metaphors to describe their inner thought life
  • Ask questions to prompt the use of metaphor and to add additional layers of detail to them
  • Having become attuned to a person's metaphors be able to construct a simple map of how their thought processes operate
  • Armed with all of the above and after a lot of practice you will be a Mind Reader
  • As a mind reader you will avoid the expensive errors arising from misunderstanding
  • Use your new skills to create clarity, understanding and co-operation
  • You can not use Mind Reading to influence people to do anything against their will- do not waste time trying to do as it will not work and you will harm your working relationships

Who is the target audience?

  • Influencers
  • If your job is to create the conditions in which beneficial change can occur then this course is for you

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: FREE Course Preview and Introduction to Metaphor

The preview introduces the concept of metaphor as our primary processing language. It's our way of describing our thoughts and feeling in terms of things with which we are very famiiar. Metaphor is the medium we use to create understanding.

Once you learn to pay attention to metaphor you will begin listening to understand rather than listening to answer back or even to argue.

Understanding another's mind is effectively mind reading and it makes it easier to seek clarity and co-operation in all areas of your communications. We can all do this if we make the subtle changes you will learn in this course.


Using three obvious metaphors, notice that metaphors are:

  1. Not literally true
  2. Carry meaning from the fundamentally familiar into concepts and emotions
  3. You could quickly sketch them as cartoons
  4. They make us curious when we stop to reflect on them

Exercise - watch TV and listen to the radio and ring a bell to condition yourself into spotting the use of obvious metaphors.


David Grove described metaphor as our primary processing laguage.

We now know that our thoughts are constructed in the sub-conscious by making connections between our most fundamental brain centres. They control those processes which are so ancient and familiar that they operate below consciousness.

However they find form at the conscious level as metaphors, especially when we it comes to our understanding of concepts like time, love or happiness.

Time is usually linked metaphorically to money "I can't spend too much time on that."

Hence if we train attention onto metaphor we get a window into the mind.

9 questions

In his book, Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff takes a closer look at some of the ways in which we describe one thing as another. Forexample, we routinely make a connection between Warfare and Argument because the structure of both is so similar even if in reality they are markedly different.

We also make the connection between a very dificult to convey concept like Time by using the language of the very familar language of money. We are happy to say with questioning it too deeply that Time is Money.

Our earliest experiences, for example, watching a galss of milk being poured, lead us to equate more milk with the rising level in the glass. Hence we tend, in metaphor to rely on the notion that More is Up.

In this quiz, try to guess the missing word which gives meaning to the sentence in the suggested context.

Section 2: Expanding our appreciation of metaphor and how to apply it practically

We now train attention onto the metaphors which might normally pass us by. Using a TV transcript as suggested in the previous exercise we experience how metaphors work in normal conversation.

We also learn what the metaphor is saying about the way an individual inteprets the world. They reveal the metphors they live by. This provides the basis for reading their minds.


This simple illustration demonstrates how different experiences produce different orientations in work role and how they are reflected in metaphorical language.

We suggest that it's easier to influence others once you hear their metaphors and communicate using metaphors which will register in their minds because they are familiar to the way they think and feel.

Exercise - listen to leaders in your place of work to gauge what the metaphors they use tell you about how best to communicate with them.

Message us if you have specific questions after this exercise.

9 questions

We may refer to some metaphors as being less obvious than similes, which follow the form, as quiet as a mouse, and are easy to spot.

The notion of a less obvious metaphor is confused because the expressions themselves are in very ovious and common usage.

Fo example "we are living in hope" is so common an expression we don't stop to thinking that we are not living inside a thing called hope. You could sketch a cartoon of a person inside an area labelled hope. The concept of hope acts as a "container" for our feelings and experiences of a state of mind in which positive outcomes might be expected even if we have to wait for them.

Do you think that the follwing expressions are metaphors or not and would you agree with my explanations of why they are metaphors if indeed they are? If you disagree how woud you represent them.

Section 3: Getting curious with the metaphors of business leaders

Exercise - listen to Indra Nooyi and decide how would approach her if you were presenting a new business opportunity to her.

In what ways do her metaphors make you curious about how she operates in the world?

Have you heard other CEOs use similar metaphors?
How does knowing about their metaphors help you to work with leadership figure like Indra?


Exercise - compare and contrast Sir Richard's metaphors with Indra Nooyi's.

Does Richard's choice of metaphor affect the way you think and feel about him?

How would you present a new business idea to Richard knowing something about the way he relates to the world.


Exercise - compare Warren's metaphors with Indra's and Richard's.

How would you make a presentation to Warren in the light of his use of metaphor.

If you worked for him how would his description of reputation affect the way you work.

Section 4: Listening and Summarising

Here we explore the importance of listening in a new way. We encourage listening to understand and very accurate summarising.

Exercise - listen to recordings and try to recall precisely what you heard then go back into the recording and check how accurate you really were.

9 questions

Having listened to the three video clips of Indra Nooyi, Sir Richard Branson and Warren Buffett test you ability to listen and summarise accurately. Fill in the missing words.

Accurate listening and summarising lets people know they have been heard and understood.

Section 5: Challenge assumptions - we are all different

Exercise - set up The Elephant Game with friends.

Notice the differences.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how surprised were you with the varied images people have of "elephant?"

How does knowing we are all so different affect the way you will listen to and communicate with others?

Section 6: Questions to prompt for metaphor

An introduction into the questions which will prompt others to use metaphor. The questions are designed to prevent you from influencing or steering the way others think and feel.

Exercise - memorise the questions and use them in normal conversation when you spot a metaphor which makes you genuinely curious.

Section 7: Modelling behaviours

This is a transcript of a radio interview with Caitlin Walker on Malaysian business radio exploring metaphors to model the interviewers mental model ofworking at her best. Will load links to the talk into additional resources.


A case study from Caitin Walker's "Contempt to Curiosity."

Exercise - think about your own metaphors for collboration at your best and try to sketch them.

Think back to past experiences of good and bad collaboration and think of metaphors to describe team collaboration in both cases.

How did you move from bad to good collaboration?

What would be a good metaphor to describe that transformation?


Going live, modelling a specific function in the restaurant business.

Exercise - based on listening to the interview, what sort of development plan might you put in place which would help the interviewee the most.


Benefits as described by the directors of the software development team in the case study.

Exercise - think of additional benefits based on your personal experience of collaboration both good and bad.


The technique can be used to model any aspect of our thought lives. There are no real limits. If we think about something then we can model it. The process of modelling becomes more revealing omce we get curious about the relaltionships between the symbols or component parts of the metaphors.

- think of three activities at work which you would like to model. "Ask - when I'm doing that thing at my best that's like what?"

Checkout the link in additional resources to hear more of the questions in action.

Take time to review the new questions and try to use them as you get curious about metaphors you hear people using in busines conversation.


Nothing to add, so enjoy listening to a master in this technique help a person model their stress reaction.

Section 8: Turning the model into a dynamic landscape

We now move beyond the questions and start to populate the "psychoactive landscape" with symbols from metaphors.

Exercise - do you conceive of the way a person thinks as being like a landscape?

Think of a metaphor which more perfectly fits your conception of the operation of somebody's mind.
How does your metaphor improve on the landscape metaphor.
Please share with us your metaphor of mind.


You are now stepping beyond mind reading and using metaphor and Clean Questions to prompt for next steps. It's important to get plenty of practice in before moving on to these questions.


A practical example of benefical influence. A military metaphor which was producing adverse outcomes was changed to an orchestral metaphor with improved results.

Section 9: Example of a modelling session in a workplace setting

An authentic in workplace modelling session.

Exercise - based on what you have heard how might you be able to assist Steve in his work on complicated tasks and procrastination?


Exercise - do you agree or disagree with my conclusions?

Think of questions that you would like to ask Steve if you got curious about his procrastination.

Section 10: Advanced skills and the power of practise

We can describe one thing in terms something as basic as a physical gesture. It makes perfect sense to interrogate gestures in exactly the same way as with verbal metaphors.

Exercise - first on TV or in films with the sound off and then in the work environment, train your attention onto gestures. Wear headphones in public so that you are forced to pay more than average attention to gestures.


Please take us up on our offer to practise at no cost to you. We usually do this over Skype - we both learn from the experience. Message us and we will help you to find a practice group in your area or link you into the Clean Community in the best way that we can.

Section 11: Summing it all up and Thanks to You

Summing it all up.

Metaphor is our primary processing language.
It's the medium we use to create understanding.
To understand the minds of others pay your full attention to their metaphors.
Explore them with Clean Question and accurate summarising.
Adapt your behaviour in the light of what you learn to become more influential in positive ways.
Practise, Practise, Practise - message us to find practise partners.


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Instructor Biography

Peter Urey, Business Coaching Courses for when it's hard to ask for help

googleefc1be9633e509e9.htmlgoogleefc1be9633e509e9.html1. There are many times in life when we know we need some guidance but it's tough to ask for help.

2. Fear of what others might think, pride or embarrassment can hold us back.

3. Our courses deal with subjects which are difficult to talk about to your boss or other people.

              * Motivation
              * Bullying
              * Dealing with difficult people
              * Confidence
              * Anxiety about basic skills
              * Alcohol issues

We offer the soft skills for hard times

4. They are affordable and accessible any time and any place on the internet.

5. You can learn in total privacy.

6. We are on-hand to offer personal support via Skype should you need it. We've been where you are now.

We can help you to uncover the sub-conscious forces driving unhelpful patterns of behaviour and create the conditions for you to create a long-term solution.

Preview our courses before you enrol today.

About Peter Urey.
Trained to advanced level in personal coaching techniques including Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling, Hoshin Planning, Business NLP and HP's Leadership Development Programme.
Experienced coach for Hewlett Packard, Symantec, Canon, Epson plus many more.
Educated in Law at University of Oxford.
Aged 56, married 29 years, 3 adult children.
Student of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling under Marian Way, author of Clean Approaches for Coaches.
Black Belt in Karate.

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