Mirroring: Symbolic

Notice how we have gone beyond physical mirroring to include things of symbolic value. This is symbolic mirroring, and the symbolic behavior is often subconscious behavior. And we have seen that you can combine symbolic and physical mirroring. This combination of symbolic and physical mirroring is very powerful. 

This same sales person probably has a wardrobe that is quite different for each area of the country that he visits. There is an engineer who happens to have autism and who works in the cattle industry. She wears western clothes, complete with the trimming and pearl buttons. This helps her have rapport with the cattle industry people that she works with. Since she is autistic, it is important for her to do what she can to improve her rapport. But it is an odd idea, an autistic person in a western getup. Yet, this person became so good with rapport skills, that she was able to get the cattle industry to adopt a very stringent set of rules for the humane treatment of animals. Her name is Temple Grandin. 

She used her leverage with the McDonalds Corporation, which does business with so many of the vendors, as a powerful strategy for inducing change. This is a person who knows how to create well-formed outcomes. As an engineer with an analytical mind, she got a head start on how to establish a well-formed outcome. Isn’t it interesting how she has serious weaknesses as well as powerful strengths. 

She chose to go with her strengths to create a career and even engage in transformational leadership. Anyone who saw her as a child, unable to speak for years, and throwing tantrums because of her frustrations, would never have predicted her success.We know of an individual who wanted to become more persuasive to conservative people. So he wrote a piece that expressed some of his liberal ideas, but using the same language as the conservatives. The result was that some liberals became angry with him for writing conservative rubbish. 

That symbolic aspect of the words he used was more powerful than the actual meaning of the words. Never underestimate the power of subconscious symbols and how they play with rep systems. 

For practice in looking for subconscious symbols, look at advertisements. For example, when there is an ad for a drug on television, notice how the commercial changes when they talk about the possible side effects of the medication. Notice how the music, acting, body language, colors and other aspects change to make that portion less memorable. 

Notice how they give the impression that the drug is highly effective, whether it actually is or not. In one commercial, the main character is a cartoon of a bee with large eyes. During the part about side effects, his eyes get very droopy.