What I Learnt on Conversational Programming from a Five-year-old?

Published: August 13, 2013

Antano Solar John is the creator and developer of the most advanced technologies to design and fast-track personal evolution and an investor in startups that have access to cutting-edge solutions for personal excellence.

“Close your eyes and go to sleep. And as you do, move your fingers in the left hand to let us know you are ready.”

There are the words (translated and simplified) we whispered to a five-year-old girl as she was drifting to sleep in her father’s lap. I met Nidhi (name changed) two days earlier as her parents wanted help, getting her to walk. To the best of the developments in medical technology, doctors examined Nidhi to report that as per medical knowledge she has to walk like any other child. But Nidhi wasn’t walking. She even stood up only with support. And we had this enormous responsibility in encouraging her using unconventional methods to help her walk.

We decided to adopt some NLP patterning for Nidhi. We wanted her to go to deep altered state and start communication using finger signals. That would be considered as communication from the unconscious (subconscious  mind or whatever you call it. The part of your neurology that takes care of everything outside your conscious awareness)

The challenge remained how we get a child who is five years to go into a deep altered state.

The opening line you read in the beginning of this article

“Close your eyes and go to sleep. And as you do, move your fingers in the left hand to let us know you are ready”

was a big success because she dropped into a deep sleep and twitched a finger in her left hand. We spoke to her and said, “If this is a response for what we are speaking, move the same finger again.” And she twitched it the same way again. And then we followed with the rest of the patterning.

And here is something that I learned from all of this. The success of that statement has to do with everything that happened MUCH MUCH before those words were said.  And three things were critical:

1. Framing – Giving meaning and purpose to an activity.

2. The Setup – The internal and external conditions and environment.

3. Time for Re-Orientation (TOR) – Time to wait/allow the neurology to respond to the suggestion fully.

In this article we are going to focus our attention on Framing.

The first two days, I got two of our practitioners and friends to attempt an induction on her. It was during an intensive training, so I was not able to be there. And they did manage to get her into micro trance states and then she would wake up and do whatever she did before. So, I went down to investigate what was going on.

And we started attempting an induction. Harini spoke in Kannada asking her (I do not know Kannada and Nidhi speaks only Kannada), “Do you want to Walk?” Nidhi said, “Do not touch my legs”. Harini continued, “I will not touch your legs. And do you want to walk?” Nidhi said, “Do not touch my legs. My shoes hurt.” Harini continued, “I will not touch your legs. And we won’t wear shoes. Do you want to learn to Walk. I can help you. Do you like to do this awake or sleeping? Will you be ready now or in 5 minutes?”

Harini repeated the above in a few different ways along with the full force of conversational programming for her to get ready for some real deep trance. And then, we let her do whatever she wanted for a few minutes. And there came the moment when we knew her unconscious was ready! And Anand started by saying some stories, and finally, we finished with the statement you read in the beginning of this article. (I have simplified the description of the entire sequence so that we can focus our attention on framing.)

So What is Framing?

What is framing in the above sequence?

“I will not touch your legs. And we won’t wear shoes. Do you want to learn to Walk. I can help you.” That is framing. It is letting the unconscious know the purpose and meaning of whatever you are going to do next.

Many times, novice hypnotists and amateurs think about conversational programming as tricking the unconscious of the person. I think of it as Working along with the Unconscious of the person. Framing means creating the big picture – What is the reason for the unconscious of the other person to be your Ally for whatever you are planning to do next? (This does not mean you have to convey consciously the meaning and purpose of what you are proposing as well. In articles to follow we will discuss how to communicate the frame to the unconscious while keeping the conscious out of the loop, and the possible use from such a disguise.)

The better frame for conversational hypnotist is to consider the unconscious of the subject as an Ally, instead of it as being someone who is being tricked. This is what happened with Nidhi. As soon as her Unconscious recognized our purpose, we had to do very little. Her unconscious took care of the rest, to lead her consciousness to sleep, so that we could communicate uninterrupted.

In the previous articles on Conversation Programming, I have explained how to time the suggestions right and how to form suggestions that work. In this article, I am proposing that much before you plant in these suggestions, set the right frame – to win – the unconscious support of the person you are influencing with conversational programming.

For Example:

You want to convince someone to go on a holiday. Think of what is the purpose the holiday will serve for the other person. And subtly communicate it (in a way the unconscious recognizes the intention and not necessarily the conscious mind). On my first post most of the comments I received to the question ‘Where do you want to use all this?’ reads ‘With my children’. So, figure out a frame within which all your suggestions will have a stronger impact.

Once you have the unconscious willingness of the other person to support you in your efforts, you are half way there already. And then, you can stack it with all the suggestion techniques you may be learning from this blog and/or the Milton Model. Setting the right context will make conversational programming much more fruitful.

Another Example:

You want to resolve conflict between two employees. So before you stack up Milton Model with hypnotic suggestions, set the Frame, subtly. “So, I understand that it is important for you to Grow in your Career and you are concerned about your reputation about what ABC is speaking about you and you want to resolve this. And you want me to help you by … “, followed by conversational programming with embedded suggestions in the direction you want to navigate the attention.

In the above statement, very subtly, the frame is set that all this is about your growth in the organization.

My favorite example of framing is a story about Leslie Cameron. Leslie was once working with a client who had an Obsessive Compulsion for keeping her house clean. She went to the limits of placing sheets over her carpet and asked her children to hop over them to avoid dirt. So, Leslie as she started working with this client – asked her to look at a – very clean and spotless house where the carpet is without a spot -and Leslie whispered in her ears – “Do you know what this means? It means you are very lonely and there is no one in the house to make it dirty”.

With that framing in place, Leslie had the full cooperation of the client’s  unconscious to set her life in a new direction.


As with every article so far. This one has a practice exercise as well.

Think of situation where you want to use conversational programming. And think – what framing will make this influence much much much easier… And you can share some of your frames in the comments below and/or post some challenging situations and I can comment on it with some possible frames.

Ps: This is a series of articles designed to help you become a Master Communicator who can change mindsets and belief structures conversationally. Each article will provide the exercise that build in mastering the skill of conversational programming. On this specific article, I want to give credit to Anand for his super fluency and translation of hypnotic language he learnt in english to Kannada. And also to Deepak for his extra-ordinary trust and faith in us and for all the initial change work. 

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The Antano Solar Voice  is one of the most cutting-edge blog and podcast in the world with fresh insights from validated life experience. The Solar Voice season 1 podcast has been ranked #3 in Apple iTunes News & Noteworthy. And the posts have been published in over a dozen publications including Business World, YourStory, Hindu Business Line, Economic Times and  many more. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page. And to read the past article, check out the blog page.

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  1. Hey Antano, This is indeed a very good READ. So i would like to use Conversational Hypnosis in selling my product to clients. So i would frame it as – I understand you would like to buy this product because it is important for you to become the best teacher . . Do let me know if this is right.

    1. @51fef755ddb470386b979dc9838e8470:disqus – Can you give me more details – what are you selling? Who is the buyer in this example? And assuming he/she is a teacher – chunk it up – what is the purpose or what is the benefit for this specific person in becoming the ‘best teacher’?

  2. This shows that NLP is limitless!!! Everyday I am amused by the little sparkles that keep sprinkling on me…its a magical feeling :) And when I am feeling delighted, I pass this to every person I meet and the chain of positivity keeps growing:)
    After the course Life has changed completely and I know this is just the beginning….!
    Just wanted to ask you, if I can pen down my experiences in my blog?
    Have a wonderful day ahead!

    1. @gayatriaptekar:disqus – Thank you for sharing your experience from the course. Please pen down your experience in your blog. And share you link with us (you can also link back to any of our articles). If you prefer we can publish your articles on blognlp.com Gayatri – I have a request. Today, everyone calls what they do NLP and there are so many bad NLP training in the market, so if you are referring to the NLP Course with School of Excellence (SOE) – please call it uPwithNLP in your articles :)

  3. Hi Antano,

    Firstly, I wish to thank you for all your efforts in helping me move steps towards becoming good practitioner…whether its in terms of your programs, articles, support system for coaching….. I believe I am blessed to have your expertise and guidance. Thank you Antano.

    I want my 12 yr. old son to learn managing time and work hard in his studies. The intention in my mind or the frame is that once time management and hard work gets into his system, he will never feel the pressure of time/targets and working hard will come very naturally without he feeling he is working hard. This will help him in long run. Its like learning cycling takes effort initially in terms of balancing, keeping handle straight, then attending to passers by at the same time.Later, all this comes very automatically – even without thinking.

    When Vinay is watching science program or sports, he often gets into micro trans states. I think that in one of these trans states I can set the frame saying ‘ I sure you want to lead happy and successful life Vinay ‘ and then allow him to continue watching (he does not like too much talking on my part when he is watching the program). With a time lapse of about 15-20 minutes while he continues to watch, I can communicate with his ucs saying that -‘setting targets and working hard is the best way to success and happiness.’ If he is watching science program or sports where he is seeing achievement, I think it will be the right time to give this command

    Please guide me if this is fine. But here I have another query, where is TOR in this scenario- is it the lapse time of 15-20 minutes.Does this exercise need repetition in similar at different points in time till the results are seen.

    1. @paruldiwan:disqus – Thank you for the appreciation. It is readers and practitioners like you that give me and the entire SOE team motivation to continue to provide support in all possible channels. It is very encouraging to notice how you are directly applying all the benefits to every area of your life.

      Regarding framing – what I understand as the benefit from you above description is making success effort and easy(not feeling pressure) . As in if you do certain things systematically it will become a habit and hence appear effortless and easy. The question to you – how does this translate as a direct benefit to him right now (from his point of view)?

      And most importantly, as a parent, you may have to set some routine for Vinay and STRICTLY enforce it. And in a variety of different ways – this also is framing (non-verbal). This is letting his UC know – that this is important for him. And for the specific case that you have mentioned – I recommend that you set a routine where there are no micro time boundaries but there are other form of boundaries. An example would be – today, you have to show me, you have learned ABC very well. This also sets a frame for him to plan time management for the day. And you can stack it with conversational hypnosis to make it a big success. And you can gradually increase the chunk of time – from day to day enforcement to week to week. And then month to month. And then exam to exam. And finally he will be ready to set a target for a year and Go For It.

      The alternative/or addition to the above method would be – if you know – what he wants to become – engineer/ doctor / pilot / musician – whatever it is.

      Then the framing will be – “Do you know what has to happen for you to be the best doctor/engineer/pilot”. Followed by stacking the full length of conversational hypnosis to suggest time management. Ex: “How surprised will you be when you set target and finish them in half the time?”, “What are your targets for this week?”

      TOR – you have to calibrate non-verbal responses. If he is watching tv and you set the frame as above. Then notice for any non-verbal indication that his attention is shifting back and forth. That may be the right to stack suggestions.

      Repetition – The rule of thumb is the more the repetition in shorter successions, the better. However, keep all repetition interestingly different. You may want to read this specific article on repetition.


  4. Hi Antano,
    Thinking on lines similar to Parul. My daughter is good at whatever she undertakes. But thinks its just cool to stay up late night and then race against time to catch the school bus in the morning. She is passionate about dance and music and whenever she is choreograhping a number in her head she is in an altered state. Should I seize the opportunity to set the frame saying “Do you want to be just as energetic as now at all times”. Then let her do what she wants and while she is still forming the steps in her head continue to suggest to her unconscious that getting a good night’s rest and sleep will keep her energy levels high through out the day??????
    Looking forward to your comments and suggestions

    1. @jayaranganathan:disqus – Very nice utilization. Yes, that is a frame that can work wonders based on your description. And following that when you are suggesting to the unconscious to sleep well – make sure you do this using indirect suggestions (milton model) like – metaphors, presuppositions, cause and effect, ambiguity, quotes and so on…

  5. Hi Antano,

    This was a wonderful read that gives a lot of insight about conversational hypnosis. This is in line with a 5-year-old asking his parents that School is boring, and why should I go to school. This kid was perfectly fine the last year. All of a sudden, since beginning of this school year seems to have lost interest in school. He likes music and dance and when he watches songs in TV, he goes to an altered state. Can we use this time to set the frame saying “Do you really want to enjoy your school by studying different things everyday?.” Then probably let him be in his world for a few minutes and continue to suggest that “going to school is a great way to learn different things and enjoy with his friends???
    Looking forward to your comments and suggestions eagerly.
    Thanking you in advance !!!

    1. @disqus_3idXntL6D4:disqus – I would recommend probing further before deciding on a frame. Ask him what did he enjoy the last year in contrast to it not being boring? (That question itself is framing. You are letting him know that you are interested in helping the school experience non-boring for him.) Ask him is school is boring, what is interesting instead? Let me know more details – and I will suggest how to set a frame that can win the support of his unconscious fully. And after that it is a only a matter of any NLP technique to change perception.

      1. Sure Antano.
        Feeling more confident after your suggestion. I am meeting the kiddo today. Will keep you posted in a day or two about what I got from him.

        Cheers !!!

  6. this is truly an insight antano. through NLP i am able to do little deeds of positive impacts on staff and students of my school. today i addressed an audience of 300. for the first time i felt i could reach out to every individual through rapport building , pacing and leading and above all being my natural self giving out love and affection, my intention was clear in my reframing. am i right Antano?

    1. @savitavenkat:disqus – Thank you for sharing your experience. Your natural self giving out love and affection has been very evident during the 6 days I was with you. I am glad that in addition to that the uPwithNLP experience has given you more tools for positive impact on staff and students. And also Savita, this is just the beginning and am eager to hear all your further progress :) Regarding framing in this specific context – the audience forms a frame – as early as when the announcement for the program is made. The subject of the program and title – all of them help in setting a frame. I am curious to know what was your program called?

      1. antano,
        i had to speak to the students teachers parents and other staff of my school on 15th august. i simply spoke on connect your brain with your heart. everything will look different, sound different and feel different. it was an interactive session which lasted for one hour.

  7. Dear Antano,

    I have been experienced most of this during my last 8-9 years of meditation & reiki effect. but all this happens miraculously, will there be more on this that can bring some hidden quality of oneself?

    NLP is not new but why, now there are so many different claims from different people?

    1. @achal_kumar:disqus – I have no idea by what you mean by ‘most of this’ in your comment. It may be beneficial to be more specific of the ‘action’ and ‘consequence’.

      This article and my interest in it, is in teaching anyone who is interested to learn conversational hypnosis along with NLP patterning by reading these descriptions.

      Please note: I have no interest in convincing or letting anyone know – when and how NLP works. So, Regarding you last statement – ‘NLP is not new but why, now there are so many different claims from different people?’ – please choose an appropriate forum where this can be answered. In this blog of mine, my only interest it to help those who want to learn these patterns already.

      1. Your right Antano, convincing can never support claims, when you analysis the circumstances and think meticulously to understand other view and constraints, then bring him to your point of view, is part of NLP, the pattern to read other mind works well, even it works well in most of situations, but why in some cases despite of all this one do not able to reach to desired result?

        In that case that is what? failure or something else need to done or its part of your destiny?

  8. very very interesting, antono always keeps pointing out subtle things that we beginners tend to miss out. As he said in the workshop, its all about calibration. On the same lines, I’ve been wondering that probably most of the great religious leaders – buddha,jesus etc were probably extremely good at hypnosis & thats how they could perform “miracles” such as instant healing of the “lame/crippled”. I’ve also started noticing that so much of our hindu religious rituals involve a lot of deep hypnosis where they suggest a lot of good stuff :) what do u think about this antono? it would be interesting if u could also post an article giving a basic outline on how religious rituals produce “magical” effects.

    1. @83d2bc92e243d12358e94972fa1d7771:disqus – Thank you. And regarding your question on religious leaders – I am not going comment anything on that in a open forum. I myself, am a believer in God. And I also believe that there are people who do extra-ordinary things beyond hypnosis by the grace of God.

  9. Hi Antano,

    I am yet again amazed at all the possibilities using NLP or with upwithNLP!!!
    Had a question – the 5 yrs old child , when u asked, ‘do u want to walk/ I can help you walk’ , mentioned something to the effect ‘ dont touch my legs’….just trying to understand, was she hurt or injured sometime because of which there was this response? Also, how long did it take for her to start walking? Can you please share any video on this? Would love to watch and learn…:-)
    I have tried this with my daughter …just before she is going to fall asleep completely or maybe 5 mts before, I start by using some metaphors and then tell her how wonderful it would be..when she finishes all her tasks ( eating, homework etc) on time and use the extra time to play or do whatever she wants to do….I have noticed that (on 2 occasions) when she woke up in the morning, she did exactly what I had suggested the previous night. And on other occasions, there is no response….Why is there this discrepancy ? Maybe I can try out the TV option which was mentioned earlier…your thoughts pls….

    1. @e03df1aa123973883bff85c7d006b145:disqus – We are documenting more on this and will share whatever is possible further. The focus of this article is on ‘Framing’ – so, I am shifting my attention and yours to the following question – ‘You used conversational hypnosis! Perfect, it worked. Now, how can you frame what you are doing better, so that it works more consistently?’ – You may want to read the article again with this specific question in mind.

  10. I have one more important question : when nidhi told u “do not touch my legs”how did she communicate this to u? the way the article is written, it seems as if she was in micro-trance state. if so, how was she verbally communicating “my shoes hurt” ? i thought she’d only communicate yes/no with her fingers.

    1. nanda kishore – If you read the sequence – she went to sleep much later. The framing was done when she is awake! (And that is the whole point) much before using the language patterns to suggest involuntary responses. (And micro trance means – a specific short states of altered focus – when someone is – awake)

      Copy/pasting the an extract from the description below:

      And as we started attempting an induction. Harini speaking Kannada asked her ( I do not know Kannada and Nidhi speaks only Kannada) – do you want to Walk? Nidhi said – “Do not touch my legs”.

  11. hi antano, thanks for sharing the great experience,NLP changes your thinking and approach as is evident with me,thanks!regarding framing my simple query was to how to frame the audience present in front of you just before the speech,if you can elaborate on that it will be of great help!!

    1. @nileshpartani:disqus – The name of the program. The sales and marketing messages. All of them set the frame for the program. In addition, the trainer can also re-establish the frame by asking questions like – “What is your purpose for being here” and following it up by accepting/changing or expanding the frame :)

  12. Awesome article Antano …. willing to attend the practitioner course… Was busy this august…luking forward for Dec’13 Batch of delhi… wanted to discuss some cases with you inperson…..

  13. Hi,

    I am really fasinated by the wonders of UPwith NLP in your sharing. Your article gave me a lot of hope for my friend’s son (currently 7 year old) who was diagnosed with rheumatic fever about an year back and has been taking penicillin injections every 28th day since an year now. Doctors say that he would have to take the painful injections till the age of 21. The child has mentally prepared himself for this long painful process and doesnot react to injections now. However, his behaviour has become a lot passive aggressive type. He has started lying, is not interested in studies, teachers are complaining that he disturbs others in class.

    Now, when I asked my friend that when this fever came up did something drastic happen in his life about an year before.. Surprisingly the child who was sitting along with her responded that no.. Not 1 year but 2 years before that… and when I asked the child.. He shared with me that about 2 years before the fever came.. his parents shifted to a new house and he was seprated from his grandparents whom he loved alot.

    Please help me to help this child using conversational hypnosis…

  14. Hi Antano,

    I read through the entire article, but want to know what finally happened to the girl… did she learn to walk and is she walking now?

    Please respond to my curiosity!

  15. Hi Antano,

    I am really touched by your article and really excited to know more about the little girl.

    Did she finally started walking, and is she walking normally now?

    I don’t know the last time I asked this question in this forum, and it automatically got vanished from the comment list?? Wondering how!!

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