Conversational Belief-Change PatternsTM
Some Tips for Conversational Belief-change
The Structure of Beliefs
[Examine the belief from a wider or narrower
[Examine the belief from a larger or smaller time-
[Examine the belief using a larger or smaller number]
[Apply some aspect of the belief to the belief itself]
[Apply some aspect of the belief to the current
situation / interaction]
What would happen if you did / could ___?
What would happen if you did / could?
What stops you?
How do you know ___, as you sit here right now?
How would you know if that wasn’t true?
[Action] how specifically?
What purpose has this belief been serving until now?
I know you want ___, but/and ___
Isn't it more important to ___ than to ___?
The issue isn't ___ or ___ The issue is ___
Maybe it's not that ___; maybe it's that ___
[Change a disempowering word to something more
Believing this means ___, which will [could, can,
may etc] ___
Have you ever [counter-example]?
That may be true in your model of the world, but
Perhaps you developed that belief because ___
Maybe you’re just saying that because ___
[Use a metaphor / analogy / story]
Isn’t that a bit like saying ___ [metaphor / analogy]?
What happens when you imagine ___?
So what I think you’re highlighting is “How ___?”
How have you been perceiving this as ___ until
How have you been perceiving this as ___ until now?
___ haven’t you ___ [aren’t you / isn’t it / etc]
How can you [I/we/they/it] ___?
As [pacing statement], I’m wondering… [I’m curious,
How does ___ mean ___?
How does ___ cause ___?
How ___, on a scale of 1-10?
[Accept the person you’re working with exactly as
[Use their exact keywords, phrases and characteristic
When / where / in what situation or context could
___ have value?
When / where / in what situation or context could ___ have
What else could ___ mean?
What would you like to believe?
What must be true of them for them to believe that?
Why is it like that?
Who says? According to whom?
How is this a problem?
What is it that you want?
___ for what purpose?
Yes, I understand that… [presuppose that the belief is