Book Summaries

Words that Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet

By Shelle Rose Charvet

Words that Change Minds is based on the Language and Behavior Profile (LAB profile)a tool to predict behavior from language.

Check out Words That Change Minds: Mastering the Language of Influence 2nd edition at Amazon.

People put their experience together neurologically to be excellent, mediocre or awful at the things they do. What is the person paying attention to or ignoring to be able to do the things they do? What will make or prevent a person from acting in a certain way?

We have all have filters that let in certain parts of the real world. We delete, distort and generalize to create the world we live in. People who use the same language patterns have the same behaviors


Motivation traits

Shelle’s definition of proactive and reactive is quite different from my understanding of proactive (from Steven Covey) of taking the initiative after reflection and consideration of long term consequences as opposed to the firefighting stance that she uses.

Do you take the initiative will wait for others?


Proactive make up 15 to 20% of the population. They act without thinking or analyzing, but get things done. They have difficulty sitting still, and use short sentences with nouns, active verbs and tangible objects. They can get impatient and bored, and will usually buy when they get to do something right away.


Reactive makes up 15 to 20% of the population. They use incomplete or long convoluted sentences often with the subject or verb missing. They tend to use passive verbs and nominalizations. They need to understand and analyze, and consider ramifications and alternatives.

Taking the initiative stresses them. They will buy when the product allows them to gain understanding. Because they are waiting for something to happen before they decide, you can say, “this is what you’ve been waiting for”

Equally proactive and reactive makes up 60 to 65%

How much of the job consists of responding, analyzing and depending on the actions of others?

Pushing hot buttons – criteria

Criteria are the labels we give to our values. They incite a physical and emotional reaction. If you have 15 to 20 criteria, with no idea which ones are most important, it will be difficult to make decisions. What are your criteria for success for instance?


Motivation Direction, using the carrot or the stick


Toward makes up 40% of the population. They consider goals to be achieved. They are good at managing priorities, and excited and energized by goals. They can have trouble considering potential obstacles.

Away From

Away from makes up 40% of the population. They consider what should be avoided and gotten rid of and problems to be solved. Threats and deadlines energize them (they call targets deadlines). They are easily distracted, compelled to respond to negative situations, and often forget priorities and focus on the crisis. You can influence “Away Froms” by presenting in terms of preventing or solving problems.

Insurance is mainly away from while investment is mainly toward.

Equally toward and away from makes up 20% of the population.

Motivation source

This relates to our frame of reference for knowing whether we have done well. We have different frames of reference in different situations. Learning something new requires an external frame.

Internal Frame of Reference

Internal frame makes up 40% of the population. They gather information from the outside and decide based on internal standards. They take orders as information, and don’t need praise or feedback. They provide their own motivation and judge the quality of their own work for themselves. They can become demotivated when they don’t get to decide anything. You can influence them by asking them to consider information and letting them decide for themselves.

External Frame of Reference

External frame makes up 40% of the population. They are likely to interpret information as orders, and are motivated when someone else decides. They need outside feedback or results because they gather standards from the outside. In fact, they become demotivated and unsure of themselves in the absence of feedback. When they receive criticism or negative feedback, they question themselves. Because they are good at adapting what they are doing based on outside requirements they are great in sales and customer service.

Equally internal and external makes up 20% of the population.

Motivation reason


Options makes up 40% of the population. They look for opportunities and possibilities. They create procedures and systems but don’t follow them. They like breaking or bending the rules. They like starting things, development and setup. They don’t like reducing their options.

When you ask, “Why did you choose?” they give you a list of criteria. They are good at developing and testing safety procedures and process engineering. They are good at training design but not delivery. Unlimited choice motivates them.


Procedures make up 40% of the population. Procedures believe there is a right way to do things. They are interested in how to do things. They like to finish what they start.

They answer, “Why did you choose?” with, “how did it come to be?” They give you a story or series of events. Anything to do with safety and security needs a procedures person. To influence them talk about “the right way”.

Telemarketers with a procedures pattern sell three times more than options people. Sales requires honing procedures until they work.

Motivation decision factors

More commonly called the Relationship Filter – Sameness and Difference.

This relates to how often we need to change things in a particular context. Does the successful fulfillment of objectives demand creating a revolution, building upon what is already there, or maintaining the status quo. A combination of options and difference can lead to compulsive change.


Sameness is 5% of the population. They may accept major change every 10 years and will actually provoke change every 15 to 20 years in a given context.

Sameness with exception is 65% of the population. They prefer evolution over time, improvements, and need change every 5 to 7 years.


Difference is 20% of the population. They resist static or stable situations; need major change every one to two years and like change to be revolutionary.

Sameness with exception and difference is 10% of the population. They like change and revolutionary shifts. They are comfortable when things are evolving and need major change every 3 to 4 years

Working traits

These patterns show how people deal with information, what types of tasks and environment they need to be most productive in the given context. In addition, how they get convinced about something. How to maintain someone’s motivation

Global Specific or Chunk Size

Whether overviews and grand designs or details make more sense


Specific makes up 15% of the population. They need small pieces of sequential information. They may need to start over if the sequence is interrupted. They use lots of modifiers, adverbs and adjectives and speak in sequences step-by-step. They get frustrated with summaries and may have difficulty prioritizing this is a useful filter for bookkeeping, contractual agreements working on an assembly line or as a pharmacist


Global, or big picture makes up 60% of the population. They prefer overviews and summaries, concepts and abstracts, and may present things in random order. They tend to use simple sentences with few modifiers or details, speaking in vague terms.

Sometimes they don’t specify the link between items and ideas, which can be confusing. They can get bored or feel overwhelmed with lots of detail. This pattern is useful when deciding on financial strategies, dealing with people and project management.

Equally general and specific makes up 25% of the population. They can handle complex tasks and analysis

Attention Direction Filter – Sorting by Self or Others

Whether a person can perceive and respond automatically to the body language and voice tone of other people


Sorting by Self makes up 7% of the population. This filter experiences a gap between receiving a stimulus and responding to it. They have difficulty with rapport, they don’t notice other people’s body language and queues, instead, the content of what people say convinces them.

Because they have little or no facial expression or voice variation, they often find interpersonal communication difficult. This pattern is not suited for customer service, does well where technical expertise is required


Sorting by Others makes up 93% of the population. They consciously and unconsciously receive responses from other people and are good at creating and maintaining rapport. Their body language is animated, and they respond to both content and nonverbal aspects

Stress response

This pattern is about how people respond to typical work pressures.


Feeling makes up 15% of the population. This pattern visibly and vocally has an emotional response while describing a difficult situation. They can overreact or be hypersensitive and find it difficult to handle rejection. This pattern is well suited for artistic and creative work. They need tasks they can get passionate about


Choice makes up 70% of the population. They have an emotional response and then return to an unemotional state. They feel emotions and therefore can empathize with others and are therefore good people managers.

Thinking makes up 15% of the population. They don’t have emotional responses to normal stressful situations and have trouble empathizing with others. This enables them to keep cool in most emergencies. It is useful with occupations like air traffic control or pilot, anywhere where it is necessary to present logical facts, or think clearly.

Working style


Independent makes up 20% of the population. They like to work alone and have sole responsibility. They can lose their train of thought if interrupted they need space and time to themselves and can forget to consult with others.


Proximity makes up 60% of the population. They want a clear territory of responsibility but like to have others involved. They don’t like to work totally alone but don’t like to share responsibility and authority.


Cooperative makes up 20% of the population. They want to work and share responsibility with others. They have trouble with deadlines and finishing tasks if they have to work on their own and like open concept offices.

Facts and feelings

also known as the task/relationship Meta program


Person makes up 15% of the population. This pattern focuses on people and their feelings. They talk about people’s emotions and feelings and are good at rapport. Feelings can become the task itself and they may become preoccupied with the emotions of others. This pattern is useful and customer service and reception


Thing makes up 55% of the population. They concentrate on products, ideas, tools, tasks and systems and tend to treat people and ideas as objects. They believe emotions have no place in the world of work and will talk about people impersonally.

Equal makes up 30% of the population

Rule structure

What are the rules for behavior that people apply to themselves and others? This pattern relates to the ability or willingness to manage self and others.

Convincer Channel

How do you know someone is good at their work?

See makes up 55% of the population. They need to visually see a product service or idea to be convinced.

Hear makes up 30% of the population. They need an oral presentation or to hear something to be convinced.

Read makes up 3% of the population. They need to read something to be convinced.

Do makes up 12% of the population. They have to do something to be convinced.

Convincer Mode

After someone has gathered information in a specific sensory channel, she needs to process it to become convinced. What do you need to be convinced that you know something?

Number of examples makes up 52% of the population. Advertising is based on the theory that if you repeat a message six times in a given time, most people get the message.

Automatic makes up 8% of the population. They give things the benefit of the doubt and tend to jump to conclusions.

Consistent makes up 15% of the population. They are never convinced and need to reevaluate every time. You need to reestablish rapport and credibility at each contact.This is useful for quality control.

“Period of time” makes up 25% of the population. They are convinced after a period of time such as after seeing someone in a particular job for six months.


  • Negotiations
  • Market research
  • Building a high-performance team
  • Hiring employees appropriate for the job
  • Career counseling
  • Sales, particularly motivation traits and convincer channel and mode. With sales is necessary to be proactive and also to follow a procedure.
  • Political campaigns — measuring the mood of the public and indicating the language to which people will be most receptive
  • Presentations

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