Embedded Commands


An embedded command is a command hidden within a sentence. Its purpose is to provide a command without the client noticing and therefore without getting an opportunity to not comply.

For instance, if I say 'Relax Now', chances are you would think 'How can I do that?'

If on the other hand I said 'Some people find, about now that they want to relax deeply', then I am asking you to relax, but it seems as if I am only suggesting it as an option.

Another interesting concept is in the question - 'What does it feel like to relax deeply?'. It's very difficult to respond to this question without accessing the relaxed state to at least some degree. If you pile several of this style of statement together, they can be very effective.

'When people come to me, some of them say they don’t know how to relax deeply, now I always say that you know exactly how to relax as you do it at least once every day. What does it feel like to relax deeply? Can you remember a time when you were able to relax completely' - it would be very easy to drift into the passed tense here, but this should be avoided – 'can you remember a time when you relaxed completely’ is not as effective.

For these commands to be effective they need to be marked out. This is usually done through the use of analogue marking - the words are marked out in the sentence through a change in voice tone or a gesture. A common way would be to nod subtlety when the words are delivered, or maintain eye contact.

Another key to an embedded command's effectiveness is that they must be delivered as commands. Within spoken english, changes of tone are used to provide information about a statement. Listen to the difference between statements, questions, and orders. A question always ends with a rise in the voice tone, an order has a drop in tone, and a statement usually has no inflection. An embedded command should always have a drop in tone, even when they are hidden in the middle of a sentence.