Shorter Video of PM Julia Gillard Using Anchoring Gestures in Election Debate

Here is a shortened video (at the bottom of the post) without my preamble about what to look for.   This is one of the best real world examples of the use of anchoring in politics I have come across.     Just watching the video will give you a better understanding of anchoring.

Remember it is not good or bad that the PM is learning to use these skills.   Doing it well is akin to singing and dancing well at the same time.  Or learning to play the harmonica while singing, playing the guitar, and doing a little dance.

Remember also that before I  pointed this out – most people thought she was just waving her arms around, and that her “body language” coach had gone over the top.   We naturally miss the creation of anchors when we are focused on what is being said – which is why they are powerful.

To keep things simple I have only covered a couple of the things the PM was doing.  How many more can you see?  Is there anything unusual in her head movements?  Or the way she says certain words?

Perhaps it is time to run a class for politicians on secret persuasion techniques?

Does this make you wonder what else you are not seeing?  Know anyone who waves their arms around when they talk?  Are they hypnotizing you?  Or are they just being expressive?



About the Author Business Coach James Hooper

Townsville based James Hooper: The term "rainmaker" is becoming regularly used in business context as someone whose role is to 'make rain' or 'create growth' in your business. In some senses the term 'business coach' is limiting as it is primarily about optimizing the effectiveness of the owner/operator. Sometimes the leverage is in the business systems rather than in the operator - and focus on that produces the preferred outcomes. Business is a game, a puzzle, a tool to get you what you want in life. Call me for a second opinion (other than yours) on how to make your business give you what you want it to.

Leave a Comment:

Wez Hone says 08/01/2010

Very interesting video analysis James… She spends the whole time using mind control techniques (my opinion) and yet makes mistakes…kind of defeats the purpose… pehaps she could use her energy on valuable policy?

Business Coach James Hooper says 08/01/2010

Thanks Wez,

One view of the persuasion process is that it is like walking. Walking is literally falling to the left, then falling to the right, and repeat. Each step takes us off our (strictest) path, and the following step corrects but takes us off the other side of the line.

Providing that we can keep our main objective in mind – we usually end up where we were intending to walk to.

One (surmised) objective is to position herself and her policies in the minds of the viewers. The planning she put into her anchoring would have been tactical use of her time pre-election. And – it will have worked to some degree.

The longer tail strategic issue on using it – is that people will sometimes believe what we tell them, but will always believe what THEY conclude. One conclusion is that after the past performance of the government, the PM is desperate and needs all the help she can get?

Another conclusion might be that Mr Abbott did not need to use such techniques – because he has a stronger position?

Or that Mr Abbott simply does not know about this stuff – what else does he not know about?

Which comes back to the walking analogy. Fall forward to the left, and correct by falling forward to the right. Gillard has fallen forward to the right, and if she is off target – she can correct to the left. For example – if challenged on her anchoring by an opposition who suggested it might be cynical – she could “go meta” and explain the positive intent behind its use. And then ask gently if the opposition might be better off investing its time in some policies rather than watching what she is doing with her hands? She could then use the metaphor of a conductor – where movement helps the orchestra follow what is going on while still playing great music?

The other side can do similar steps. Eg Suggesting that her hand motions are just another example of her habit of giving more attention to the “spin” than to the substance and results?

One of the things that makes the current political scene so dismal is that the falling to the left/to the right and so on – CAN be done as a dance – not a tedious “SLOG”.



Business Coach James Hooper says 08/29/2010

Hi David -thanks for your comments. Good question. Check out the longer version of the video [the previous blog] that has some explanation before the video of Julia Gillard. It is one of the best live examples of anchoring in space I have come across.

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