- Thoughts for inspired living

February 27, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:32 am

There is a pattern of behavior that people learn that has been labeled as “Polarity.” Seems everyone has it to a degree.

The garden variety version of full blown polarity is when you say “white” and the person with tons of polarity says “black.”

Polarity begins at around 2 years of age when a child begins to say, “No.” It’s when resistance begins to form in a human being. A child figures out, other than consciously, that they can exact some form of control over these big, scary adults by being contrary.

As we grow older, this polarity pattern calms down for most and seeks a manageable level. For some, it remains at the 2 year old level. I’m sure you have plenty of experience with some people who have high polarity.

There is even a sales training method that uses peoples’ polarity as the foundational piece of their teaching. Sandler Sales Institute
uses people’s natural polarity when they ask questions that, on the surface, sound like statements. One of those techniques that my old pal, Terry Butler used to get past the secretary with was this:

The secretary or assistant would answer the phone and say, “Hello, this is Bob Smith’s office.” The normal response to that greeting would be something like this: “Hi, this is John Morgan and I’d like to speak with Bob.” That response may get you a version of this: “I’m sorry Bob’s in a meeting. Can I take your name and number and have Bob get back to you or would you like me to put you through to his voice mail?” The secretary may be trained to say that, no matter what, unless it’s Bob’s girlfriend on the line.

Terry would respond to the secretary’s greeting like this: “Bob’s not in.” The natural polar response to that is an unguarded answer, like yes or no. Terry used the person’s polarity to establish that Bob was there. He would then move forward with something like: “This is Terry Butler. You probably can’t put me through right away.” Again, Terry worked the polarity. It’s a highly effective strategy when used judiciously.

I got an email from marketing guru, Dan Kennedy yesterday that put another spin on polarity. He wrote:

“I’ve often said that everyone on Earth is here for a

purpose even if only to serve as poor example. If you

had no successful example to emulate you could observe

the bad examples and do the opposite. In terms of

marketing strategies that’s a pretty good approach.”

This blog is to get you curious about your own polarity. We all have some. Taking Dan Kennedy’s marketing strategy and applying it to your own life could provide some eye-opening perspective.

Take a peek into the areas of your life that lack success. You will notice, if you are honest with yourself, that there is a pattern of behavior that supports each area that you are lacking in. Make a list of the patterns of behavior that are contributing to your continued lack. Next, list the opposite or polar behavior right next to it – the behavior that would support success. Prioritize your list (see prioritizing method here). Then go to work on the polar behaviors one by one. Start with the easiest one first so you can build comfortably and gain confidence in the process.

Just the recognition of the polar pattern needed may be enough to get you curious about creating a new strategy that gets you what you want.

I doubt you could begin this process today.

All the best,


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