Category Archives: Donald Trump

The Language of Trump & Kim

Reading what Trump and Kim each said about their meeting, it occurred to me that they were using typical LAB Profile® Trigger Language.

Trump uses Toward language and Kim uses Away From language.
Take a look for yourself, from the New York Times:

“I feel really great,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s going to be a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success. I think it’s going to be really successful, and I think we will have a terrific relationship. I have no doubt.”

Mr. Kim said: “It was not easy to get here. The past worked as fetters on our limbs, and the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward. But we overcame all of them, and we are here today.

And then later, as the two leaders reconvened with top aides, Mr. Trump declared of the nuclear impasse, “Working together, we will get it taken care of.”

Mr. Kim responded, “There will be challenges ahead, but we will work with Trump.”

Trump mainly uses language indicating what he wants to gain, achieve or get. This is Toward language.
Kim mainly uses language indicating what was a problem, an obstacle or things to be solved/avoided/prevented. This is Away From language.

What this means, as they go forward, is that even when they are talking about the same things, they are each moving in different directions, one trying to get something and the other wanting to prevent something from happening.

Let’s see what happens next.
Please leave your comments below!

Why this probably isn’t the end of the world as we know it.

If you are getting the news, hanging out on Facebook, or just having conversations about current events you’ve probably noticed that the tone has changed dramatically. Depending on one’s point of view, people seem to be elated, panicked or have gone into hiding as a result of the 2016 US elections. There is a lot of shouting going on.

Protests in the US went on for days after the election. Many of my friends on Facebook are predicting dire consequences of a Trump Presidency. Media from around the world has been alternately between blaming Clinton campaign strategy, the FBI director, third party candidates for this election result and engaging in hand-wringing or panic-based predictions.
As I’ve been in Berlin for a little while, I caught the cover of Der Spiegel, Germany’s weekly news magazine with the title: spiegel-trump

The End of the World as We Know it” from R.E.M.’s famous song.
(Transparency alert: I would never have voted for Donald Trump and have been an ardent Hillary support, but I’m Canadian and British, so it is irrelevant.)
BTW for a completely different explanation of the result,
check out my niece Jessica Rose’s piece posted on the Berkeley School of Law Blog.

I think we all need to chill out and accept the result of the US election. Why? Because it is just possible that this is not actually the end of the world as we know it.

These events have been going on right when I am in the middle of
putting myself through Byron Katie’s self-inquiry process.

And if there is one thing I am learning about from this psychological cleansing process,
it’s that whatever is happening,
IS the current reality
and that
we make ourselves miserable by thinking
about what should have happened instead
,
bemoaning the lamentable current state of affairs,
and whining about how we want it to be – but it isn’t.

These are hard lessons to learn. Many people really believe that this result shouldn’t have happened. Maybe they are right – but it’s irrelevant. It did happen.

Here are some of Byron Katie’s inquiry questions
that force us to face reality as it is,
instead of suffering because of our thoughts and beliefs about it.

So if you’ve been thinking as I did:

“This is a terrible outcome for planet earth in general and the good American people specifically,”

Byron Katie would ask: “How do you react when you have that thought?”
I feel worried, anxious, and stressed out about all the terrible things that could result from a Trump presidency – naturally.

Then she would ask: “Who would you be without this thought?”
I would be more relaxed and able to see all the positive events that are happening in the world to make it a better place, and not only the events that I believe are depressing.

I’d be able to remember great things that are happening such as:
– advances in our understandings of how people function and what they need to be fulfilled,
– people who have been isolated from the world, getting access to broad band internet, enabling them to connect, earn a living and more fully participate,
– women more fully taking leadership roles in key corporate and government positions,
– greater awareness of how our habits affect the environment and what we can do about it
– being able to keep in touch with people I love all over the world, whenever I want.

Once I got to this place – one of being able to see what else of a more positive nature is going on in the world – I suddenly realized that when I was participating in the growing awfulizing, I was completely denigrating the capacity of people to be creative, resilient and forward-thinking.

Now that I think about it, this planet has more potential than problems. Every time one of us makes a real connection with another, we improve something. When we communicate online to many, we have the possibility of making a positive difference.

As the late Canadian politician Jack Layton said in his last letter to Canadians:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.”

We can do this!

The Language of the First Debate

What is really behind the candidates’ statements in the first US Presidential debate of 2016? While analyses have been made about who won, who fell into the other’s trap etc., I was curious clinton-trump-1st-debateabout who was using which Motivation Triggers™ and how effective they were. Were they able to use words that change minds, and if so who’s?

Motivation Triggers™ describe what motivates people, how they think, how they make decisions and how they act. They show up, hidden inside the words people use, and in their behaviour.

Here are the Motivation Triggers™ that our patented software, Libretta®, scientifically measures:

Toward Motivation Trigger™

People who have a Toward Motivation Trigger™ need a goal to be motivated. They want to achieve something and focus on where they are heading.

Away From Motivation Trigger™

When people have an Away From Motivation Trigger™, they easily notice what is wrong or should be prevented and avoided. They are motivated to get away from the things that bother them.

Internal Motivation Trigger™

People who have an Internal Motivation Trigger™ decide for themselves, based on what is important to them. They tend to reject ideas when told what to do.

External Motivation Trigger™

People who have an External Motivation Trigger™ are motivated when they are appreciated, recognized and get feedback. When making decisions they are influenced by outside people or information.

Options Motivation Trigger™

People who have an Options Motivation Trigger™ love having lots of choices and alternatives. They start things and often then start another something else, instead of completing the first activity.

Procedures Motivation Trigger™

People who have a Procedures Motivation Trigger™ prefer to follow a step by step process and often believe there is a “right” way to do things. Without a procedure they may get stuck. When they start something, they are driven to finish it.

Using the transcript from the first presidential debate in 2016 I ran each candidate’s statements, topic by topic through the Libretta® analysis.

Donald Trump used mainly Away From language when he spoke about the following topics:
the economy, trade deals, government regulations and cutting taxes. He recognizes what the issues are without focusing on solutions or goals to be met.

When talking about jobs he uses Toward language mentioning that he wants to “create tremendous jobs”, but this is a relatively rare use of Toward language compared to the number of times he used Away From and Internal language.

This indicates that he is much more concerned with problems, things he does not like and the strategies that he does not approve of. The language he uses resonates with people who are angry and upset about unemployment, and economic disparity. They respond well to someone who matches their level of anger and frustration, which Donald Trump clearly does.

Hillary Clinton, in her opening statement used more Toward and Internal language, talking about what she wanted to achieve and the goals she thought were important.

When criticizing Donald Trump, she used Away From and internal language fairly consistently and, particularly when she attacked his attitudes actions and behaviors. Her main Motivation Trigger™ was Internal – speaking from her point of view about what she thought was important for the country, but not in problem terms (Away From) nor about moving toward goals (Toward).

She finished the evening with Toward and Internal language in her closing statement, again speaking to what would be important for her to achieve during her presidency.

When Hillary Clinton used Away From language it was mostly directed at Donald Trump, and only rarely directed at issues that need to be solved. For her to attract people who respond well to Away From language, she would need to express more of the outrage at the issues that are faced by Americans who have not yet decided to vote for her and talk about how people are suffering.

This is the strategy that Barack Obama used in his “yes we can” speech. With the exception of that tagline the vast majority of his speech was identified to be in away from language.

To attract some of the Donald Trump supporters or the undecided voters, Ms. Clinton might consider switching the direction of her language (she can still say the same messages) from Toward to Away From for these particular audiences. Being selective about the language patterns per audience what would help her attract some of those undecided and some of the weaker Donald Trump supporters.

Let’s see what happens!
Please let me know what you think.
For more information on my Libretta® software: go to www.weongozi.com