The Root of Objections

When talking to people they respond and engage with what you are saying on different levels of consciousness, partly dependent on what type of lens they have on the world and partly dependent on how topical is the issue you are discussing (they will be either more open or more closed depending on whether a referendum has been called or not).

There are three levels of consciousness at play in a conversion discussion but you can only engage on two of them:

  • The unconscious level unthinking, emotional responses, they state their gut feel and this is driven by how circumstances trigger their core beliefs – the system then focuses their lens on the world. Most arguments go quickly to this level; they bring you into that level and you start scoring points against one another. It stops being a conversation and starts being a debate. Even if you win, you have not engaged on anything other than a surface level so their core beliefs that generate the objections to your arguments are left in place.

    Never confuse winning an argument with winning a vote – in fact, often the opposite is true.


  • The conscious level – thinking, cognisant, intelligent, open, honest and trusting. When you engage on this level it’s about informing, educating and influencing and they will ask searching questions so you need to have answers for them. You are not debating nor selling, you are informing them and helping change their mental picture of an independent Scotland.

  • The subconscious level – the subconscious of the person is where their gut feelings, values and core beliefs reside and those are the sum total of the information, data, life experiences and conscious learning experiences.

    • When you engage at the unconscious level, the person simply calls upon the core beliefs and memorised objections from their subconscious.

    • If you win the argument they will still reject your ideas because they cannot fit with their core beliefs and so they will look for evidence / seek guidance of people from their side that are better at arguing, and that will reinforce their core beliefs and make them harder to convert.

    • This also makes them more vulnerable to fake news because they so desperately want to believe it.

    • If they don’t lose the argument then you have just proven their core beliefs are true.

    • Unconscious and thinking discussions are often emotional, require nothing more than tribal loyalty and are driven from the subconscious of the person you are talking to.

So, if debating with your friends or arguing with people in the pub or at work is counter productive, then how do we convert people? The answer is that you need to help them reprogram their own subconscious. The only way you can do that is to have a conscious level conversation with them so that your intercourse is a conscious learning experience that influences their core beliefs. The ability to do that is the key concept we explore throughout this Ambassador resource.

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