Category Archives: Political Strategy

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!

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

 

 

 

Ways of Thinking: When Business Meets Politics by L. Michael Hall

I’m so delighted to share with you this excellentarticle by my friend and colleague Michael Hall. Reprinted with permission.

WAYS OF THINKING: When Business Meets Politics by L. Michael Hall

 How a person thinks determines how that person talks and acts.  We all know that and, strange as it seems, we all also tend to forget it.  Continue reading

The Motivation Triggers Behind the Scottish Referendum

On Sept 18, 2014, 85% of the Scots got off their duff, and went out to vote in a referendum on the future of their country. They had different desires, fears, unknowns to face, promises to evaluate, and over 300 years of history with Britain behind them.

Wouldn’t be interesting to look behind the positions, the emotions, etc to uncover the LAB Profile Triggers driving each side? This kind of analysis is useful to understand some of the forces driving political, social and military movements around the world.

The Yes Side used a combination:

First moving Away From the inequalities and lack of autonomy over the past. Then moving Toward the aspirations of an independent Scotland. They end with Difference and Options language to talk about the new opportunities of an independent Scotland, including oil revenues etc.

And of course, painting the pictures so that people can See compelling images.

This order is important to create movement. People who are dissatisfied have lots of emotion and energy; they are angry about the injustices they experience and want to move away from these. This is the bus stop where you can pick up them up, using Away From language: don’t want, never again, problems of the past, unacceptable, etc.

This is Push Power: Using words and images that help push people away from the things they believe are unacceptable. Here is an example where a celebrity commentator starts with a positive example to set up the Away From critique of the current UK status.

“Swedes, Norwegians and Danes remain on amicable terms; they trade, co-operate and visit each other socially any time they like. They don’t need a pompous, blustering state called Scandinavia, informing them from Stockholm how wonderful they all are, but (kind of) only really meaning Sweden.” – novelist Irvine Welsh.

If you only use Away From language several issues arise which can prevent this momentum from gaining traction. At some point people will be asking about the alternatives to the past, something to rally behind and move toward. When politicians use only Away From language, as in attack ads, they have no control over what viewers move away from. Often they just don’t vote as a result of the very negativity of attack strategies.

Following Away From words and images with Towards helps people see a desired destination. This is attractive and reassuring and creates Pull Power, pulling people to the outcome. Here is an example of both Pull and Push Power, combining Toward language while reminding people of the negative past in Away From language:

“Scotland’s Future is an exciting, informative and insightful vision of what an independent Scotland will be, without the controls, mistakes and unwanted one-size-fits-all policies of Westminster governments.” – Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland.

And of course the Yes campaign is all about selling change (Difference) and possibilities (Options). Check this Yes ad out; even the visual design is filled with Options.

Yes

Their campaign and the polls before the actual vote were convincing enough to panic all three British political parties into making last minute offerings that had never before been put on the table.

The No Campaign

The No Campaign had a different approach to ensure the votes of people who had already decided for No and more importantly to convince the undecided.

Even though their primary slogan was “Better Together”, they used Away From language fairly consistently throughout the campaign, coupled with Sameness and Difference in combinations.

Away From and Difference: for people who are afraid of change and unknowns. “Why would you take a chance with no guarantees and risk your pension?” This is from a video ad from the “Better Together” campaign:

 “I will not be gambling with my children’s future.”

This is from the controversial ad showing a Mum thinking about the referendum.

And of course appealing to people who want things to stay the same; the Sameness Pattern. Here’s an ad that shows all these patterns:

No thanks

The No Campaign also encouraged people to be External (needing outside guidance), by having economists and other authorities clearly state the dangers of independence.

The Scottish people will take a “massive risk” with their economic future if they vote for independence, former chancellor, and leader of the No campaign, Alistair Darling has warned.

In an interview with the Observer, Darling says that if the Scots vote to leave the 300-year-old union and then keep sterling, adopt their own currency, or join the euro, the country will be plunged into unparalleled economic uncertainty.

“The downsides are immense, the risks are amazing, the uncertainties I just don’t think are worth gambling on, Darling said.”There are times when you should gamble and there are times when you shouldn’t.”*

*From The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jan/14/scottish-independence-alistair-darling

We know the end of the story: 55.3% No, 44.7% Yes. This tells us that moving Away From the risks and uncertainties was more popular, but only by a little over 10%.

And perhaps there will be change after all, if the British politicians keep their last minute promises for more devolution of powers.

I was so impressed with the civility of this campaign! An inspiration to dysfunctional democracies everywhere.

World Shift 2011 Version 1.0

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The events in the Arab world and beyond are advancing so quickly that it is difficult to write coherently about what is really happening. There are clearly many elements involved, technological, political, cultural, sociological, physical and psychological underpinning and supporting what is unfolding. It defies a simple analysis, but I would like to share my thoughts about the psychological aspects of these revolutionary movements.

There is no doubt that without the advanced communication technologies afforded by Facebook and Twitter, the fires of protest would not have spread so quickly. And these technologies were the kindling that made it possible for the peoples of these countries to find out how wealthy people are elsewhere in the world and how many opportunities others have in comparison to themselves. Is it merely a case of the oppressed seizing an opportunity? Why now?

L. Michael Hall PhD suggests in his newsletter[1] that the uprisings are an example of the need for control over one’s life; from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, level 2. Good point. In the NLP community, we often speak of the questions that operate consciously or at a below-conscious level that enable people to take action Continue reading

Canada: Liberals take a well-deserved dive in the polls

On September 8, 2009 the CBC released it’s latest Canadian political poll. The Liberals under Michael Ignatieff dropped sharply to 25.7% and the Harper Conservatives jumped to 37.7%, putting them in the ballpark to finally get a majority government if elections were held now.

What went wrong for Ignatieff and the Liberals? Continue reading