Words That Open Minds, Words That Close Minds

Some people don’t like to be told what to do. They want to decide for themselves. Depending on how you say & do something (or don’t say & do it), your ideas will be considered or immediately dismissed by them. When people are in this mode, they are have an Internal Motivation Pattern.

When people are in Internal Mode, they like gather information and evaluate it for themselves and hate having someone decide for them. In fact, they love to make their own decisions, based on what is important to them.

So here are the Top Ten Things to Avoid Saying to an Internal
Words That Close Minds

  1. You should …… (almost guarantees they won’t)
  2. I need to talk to you. ( especially unhelpful to say to your partner in life)
  3. I have the solution to your problem.
  4. I know what you did wrong.
  5. I know why that won’t work.
  6. I told you so.
  7. I have a better idea.
  8. You should have an open mind about this.
  9. Here’s what everyone thinks about what you did/do/will do.
  10. No one is doing that any more.

Top Ten Suggested Things to Say to an Internal
Words That Open Minds

  1. I have an idea that I’d like to run by you to find out what you think.
  2. May I make a suggestion?
  3. What would you think if we ……?
  4. When you are deciding about X, what are the most important things?
  5. I have an idea that may not be completely useless.
  6. Here’s what I think….. what is your opinion?
  7. You said that X, Y, and Z were important, so that’s why I’d like to suggest ….
  8. Here is something that you may wish to consider.
  9. Here is something that you may wish to avoid.
  10. You be the judge.

It’s interesting to note the differences between the two approaches. The first list is mainly about deciding for the other, while the second encourages the other person judge for his/herself.

What other differences do you detect between the two lists?

Want more ways for how to communicate with and influence an Internal?
Check out my MP3, Presenting Ideas to Skeptical People.