The Role Of Time In Persuasion

The only thing that truly levels the playing field for EVERYONE is time.

Regardless of how rich, poor, educated, gifted, cursed or talented each of us may be, the amount of time in each day remains the same for all of us. It is the only true commodity.

You influence people to make different decisions by changing the perspective of time. Changing one’s perspective of time has an impact on the way they feel and make decisions about things.

Every time you meet someone for the first time they subconsciously cross-reference you with every other person that they have previously met in life.

And the truth of the matter is that they’ve probably had more negative experiences with people than positive ones. Therefore, when you meet someone for the first time, it’s important that you: a.) differentiate yourself from everyone else in their past and b.) move their filter of time to the past, present or future.

People respond emotionally to people, places or things that stimulate them; this includes you. Whether your audience realizes it or not, both positive and negative experiences are being triggered when they meet someone like you for the first time. The ironic thing is that the response that you evoke in your audience doesn’t necessarily have to be directly linked to you. It’s linked to their past experience of someone that reminds them of you.

So before you’ve even uttered one single word to your target, they’ve already formulated a subconscious opinion of you.

Here’s what’s really interesting.

 Even if you completely change the way your target thinks about you because of your powerful influential tactics, they will eventually return to their original opinion of you. This happens for a number of reasons with the first 2 being that they will come across other people who fall into the same category as you who (in their mind) solidify their assumptions as being correct and secondly, opinions don’t just diminish that quickly.

For these reasons, it’s extremely important that you become an expert in altering time in their mind. When you can effectively transition your target mentally from one time frame to another, their past thoughts, emotions or opinions won’t have the same effect on them.

People experience time in 3 ways: past, present and future. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Past: Some people use past experiences as their sole frame of reference when making decisions about the present or the future. They are very skeptical and guarded but they also make fewer mistakes because they think this way. They also sometimes miss out on some of the great things that life has to offer because they rarely take chances. This is an important point to remember.

Present: People who live in the present moment give little though to the past or future and as a result don’t worry or get stressed out much. The downside to their method of making decisions is that they rarely think of consequences and instead seek immediate gratification.

Future: People who live in the future will sacrifice instant gratification for a better result down the road. They are usually detailed planners who love to organize and think things through. To them, the past (whether good or bad) has little relevance; if any at all.

Once you understand how people relate to time, you can equip yourself to influence them adapting to how they see things – or if they are not seeing things your way – you can change their perspective by taking them to another time frame.

For example, if they are hung up on a past failure, show them why the future is different. If they are hesitant about how the decision will affect their future, show them how other people who made similar decisions benefited in the past.

21 Responses to “The Role Of Time In Persuasion”

  1. Debbie

    Mar 20. 2011

    I am really enjoying your posts … your knowledge on this subject is amazing and I appreciate you sharing it. Kind regrards.

    Reply to this comment
  2. harry

    Mar 21. 2011

    hi paul, as you already know, iam a24/7 man in senior opperations management,i realy appreciate what you are doing for us,regards,harry

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul J Mascetta

      Mar 21. 2011

      Hi Harry. It’s my pleasure. Glad you are finding it useful.

      Reply to this comment
  3. jessica

    Mar 21. 2011

    Very challenging article and quite interesting to find the different outlooks on how we interact with others. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Chareen

    Mar 21. 2011

    Thank you for the insightful post. It came at the right time in my life as I begin my journey to self-discovery all over again and as I work to build my business. Keep them coming!

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul J Mascetta

      Mar 21. 2011

      Hi Chareen. Glad you are finding it useful. The journey to self discovery is never ending! Your concious decision to acknowlege that fact already sets you up for infinite success. Let me know how I can help.

      Reply to this comment
  5. J.R.Magdos

    Mar 21. 2011

    I find your posts extremely informative and enlightening. I even print them out and am putting them in a binder for future referance, I wish to thank you for your thoughts and perspective. Sincerely: J.R.Magdos

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul J Mascetta

      Mar 21. 2011

      Hi J.R. Wow! That really made my day. I’m happy you find it useful. :)

      Reply to this comment
  6. Des

    Mar 21. 2011

    Interesting article. Are there strategies one can use to elicit another’s time perception in an everyday conversation, without obviously asking direct questions such as “what is important to you, the past, present or future?”? Also if one is trying to influence another, would you not alternate between all three, but always coming back to the present – because you want them to make a decision or adopt your perspective in the present?

    Reply to this comment
    • Paul J Mascetta

      Mar 21. 2011

      @ Des. To anwser your first question, the key is to pay attention to the way they articulate things. See if they talk mostly about the past, present or future. You can use questions to lead them to that articulation. For example, rather than saying “Do you see things in the past, present or future?” you can instead ask them their opinion on a subject matter and how arrived at that conclusion.

      You will see that in many cases, they will refer to the past, present or future in how they support their opinion.

      For the second question, yes it’s important to come back to the present but only in the context of how it impacts their dominant perception. Hope that makes sense.

      Reply to this comment
  7. James z

    Mar 25. 2011

    Is there not four major personality types like the social salesperson, the introverted intellectual, the dominant leader and..(forgot the fourth).
    Do these personality types lean towards past, present and future thinking? What do you think?

    Reply to this comment
  8. james hodges

    Apr 11. 2011

    Paul,
    your analyses of human behavior are timeless. I’m working on a book proving that ancient folk used your techniques although not formalized like yours. Thanks for organizing them so well for our use today. I’m jealous that I’m not as, well, brilliant as you. I look forward to more of your wisdom. Best wishes, Jim

    Reply to this comment
  9. Dave

    Apr 11. 2011

    these are insightful techniques, i’ll put them to use right away, thanks

    Reply to this comment
  10. Tram

    Apr 13. 2011

    The article is interesting. I’ll be successful at communicating with people surrounding me. Thanks for your amazing sharing. Best regards, Tram

    Reply to this comment
  11. Ridwan

    May 03. 2011

    I am new to your postings but ifind them very enlightening and educative. I have so far been exposed to things I used to take for granted. The relevations are amazing. This is just marvellous.

    Reply to this comment
  12. survivor

    May 07. 2011

    Howdy, Paul, hearty THANK YOU for so
    elegantly sharing your point of
    view and pretty nice analyze of all
    supposing “well-known” Laws,Powers&Triggers
    within small fractions.

    “Remember, of the 3 sources of power,
    time is the one you will never get back.
    That’s why it’s so vital that anyone
    learn as soon as possible
    to optimize your/our time.”

    Who don’t value their personal time, will
    never value YOUR time.

    •••”Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t
    own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep
    it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it
    you can never get it back.”
    - Harvey Mackay

    •••”Happiness is not a reward – it is consequence.
    Suffering is not a punishment – it is a result.”
    - Robert Green Ingersoll

    “A great Aikido teacher once said that “you must
    learn the rules and operate within them, and then
    this paradoxically grants you freedom.”

    “The Inescapability of Action/Reaction” is a
    truth any of us can observe. Rather than feel
    bound by it, once we learn to operate within it
    we are freed.”

    And am a proud brain-infarctus’survivor
    thanks to Aikido technique. And am freed.

    So saying – ACTION or EXCUSES?
    Because nobody can’t take sides
    since the World is ROUND! ;-D

    So hit-or-miss?

    Take care for cognition.
    THX, Paul.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Eric CEO

    May 25. 2011

    Great article. It took me back to a time just reading it. I want more…..:)

    Reply to this comment
  14. Frank de Villiers Oxford

    May 29. 2011

    This article has hit the nail on the head. I am a Financial Advisor and do a lot of planning with people who directly fit into the mentioned three categories. What a revelation, just shows when you think that you are at the top of your game there is so much more to learn. Thank you so much Paul.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Lanny Faerber

    Jun 18. 2011

    Son of a gun! Everybody is aware of that these are the hot guidelines in the make any difference of.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Trish

    Oct 09. 2011

    Paul, I am so grateful to you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us. The information and new awareness your message is bringing is profound for those of us who realize their truths. This is reality of which you speak but most ignore. Keep it coming my friend.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Jamison Magedanz

    Feb 05. 2012

    Nice tutorial…. thanks !!!

    Reply to this comment

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