Articles

1. NLP - Attitude & Methodology That Leaves Behind a Trail of Techniques

 

Let me tell you a story about magic. It's a magical story, full of wows AND woes!. It's a story of magicians and wizards and frogs turning into princes. It's an adventure into the very magic that occurs everyday in human neuro-linguistics, a story about you and the magic that's going on this very minute in your neurology.

What we call NLP is really the story of a new cutting-edge model about…

• How to run your own brain.
• How to effectively represent your experiences.
• How to map the world your world of experiences
• How to take charge of your emotional states.
• How to develop effective strategies to produce massive results.
Now what we call, "the magic," is simply the highest and best of human experiences, "excellence" in human functioning. And the magic of that magic is this: there is rhyme and reason to your everyday experiences. In NLP, we say, the magic has structure. Above and beyond the details and content of any experience-- there is a framework that explains how it operates. And when you know that, you know many of the secrets of magic.

Magic?
Yes, the magic of getting over past hurts, the magic of forging a great big compelling future and making it happen, the magic of implementing your knowledge, the magic of getting into rapport with others, working through conflicts, taking another person's point of view on things, etc. We use the term "magic" in NLP to speak about the very structure and experience of excellence. So when anybody does something in a superb and wonderful way-- from learning, decision making, staying motivated, being resilient, operating proactively, managing, making wealth, selling, etc., we know that that experience has structure and that we can learn and replicate that magic.

And that's what NLP is all about!
NLP literally stands for: Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It means that we have a mind-body system that we can program very much the way we can program software for a computer. This mind-body system or our neuro-linguistics is made up of our neurology (our nervous systems that enables us to live, breathe, think, and function) and our linguistics (the symbol systems that run the neurology). Put mind-body together - the linguistics of the neurology and we have a marvelous, mysterious and even magical human bio-computer. And the best news, it's programmable. Yes, it's hard-wired with a few basic dispositions, but for the most part, "as we think (symbolize, give meaning to things), so we are." And with that, are adventure begins.

How? What do you mean?
We mean that if you don't have a great strategy for making friends, learning, staying healthy, looking at the world with the eyes of opportunities, etc., then you just need a strategy. Because you work perfectly well. There's nothing wrong with any of you. You simply may not have the right strategy for the job, or you may have strategies running your programs of thinking, feeling, speaking, and behaving that get in the way.

NLP, as a model of human functioning, takes a very different attitude from some of the old psychologies. In NLP, we do not start from the assumption (and what an assumption it is!) that people are broken. No. Instead, we assume the opposite, that people work perfectly well, that they have all the resources that they need, and that the only problem isn't with them, but with their programming.

The Sources!
If that sounds familiar and similar to other fields, it is. NLP is a branch of the Cognitive Sciences and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology. It grew out of General Semantics (Korzybski), Transformational Grammar (Noam Chomsky), Anthropology and Cybernetics (Bateson), Reframing (Watzalawick, et al.), Family Systems (Virginia Satir), Gestalt Therapy (Perls), Medical hypnosis (Milton Erickson), and several related studies. This is most of the respectable body of knowledge from which NLP arose.

The Founders!

To understand the story of how NLP came to be, you have to understand the times of the early 1970s in America and specifically in California. In a time of social upheaval, Vietnam War protests, drugs and rock-n-roll, a young college student happened upon the work of Fritz Perls and then Virginia Satir and found that he could mimic their high-level therapy skills to a degree that surprised him. So he got a young college professor of linguistics to help him figure it out and supervise a class and suddenly they both were replicating the skills that were supposed to be graduate therapy skills.

So the student (Richard Bandler) and the professor (Dr. John Grinder) teamed up to see if they could figure out (or model) the magic of these therapeutic wizards. So there on the campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Bandler used what he knew about patterns in mathematics and computers and Grinder used what he knew about patterns in linguistics to create a model about the Perls and Satir model-- a meta-model ("meta" is Greek for "above, beyond, and about). Bandler's natural gift for mimicking enabled him to hear and replicate the language patterns by Virginia and Fritz. So he play acted with a group of students to see what he could do.

After enjoying immediate and powerful results from this initial modeling, Richard and John set out to model the hypnotic skills of Milton Erickson. And it so was that he and Dilts and others of the original group were taking classes from Gregory Bateson at the University who not only introduced them to Erickson, but to other influential people as well. Within two years, they produced the original NLP books:
The Structure of Magic, Volumes I and II
The Patterns of the Hypnotic Language of Erickson, Vol. I & II


And that's how it began. They built a communication model about human "thinking" and "processing" and used that model of how we see images, hear sounds, reproduces smells and tastes and touches in our mind to track and model the structure of subjective experiences.

NLP - The Study of Excellent Experiences
Robert Dilts was soon commissioned to write the first scholarly book on NLP. He entitled it, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Volume I: The Study of the Structure of Subjectivity. This set forth NLP as a model and the key features of the model. For example, NLP speaks about "thinking" or information processing as the reproducing in the mind the sensory components of what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch with our sense receptors. This is known as Representational Systems, the VAK systems and these stand for the "modes" by which we represent information:

Visual (Eyes) - for the Pictures, Sights, Images
Auditory (Ears) - for the Sounds, noises, tones, volumes
Kinesthetic (skin/body) - for the sensations, touch, pressure, etc.
When we think about something, anything, we encode our "thoughts" using our "senses."
So we speak about our sensory systems or modalities. This makes our "thoughts" much more specific.
Think about your home or apartment. Got it?
What does it look like?
Sound like? Any noises or sounds associated in your picture?
What about smells?


Here's an "Thought Experiment" that we have in the book, User's Manual for the Brain. Try it out. Have you ever experienced anything that you would call "pleasant?" Go ahead and recall a pleasant experience from your past. As various things may pop into your mind, just allow yourself to go with some pleasure memory for the moment and allow yourself to go with that thought.... As you experience this pleasant memory, notice its visual aspects. What do you see? Notice the images. Now make the picture larger. Let it double in size... and then let that picture double again... Notice what happens. Do your emotions intensify?

Now shrink the picture. Make it smaller and smaller. Allow it to become so small you can hardly see it... Stay with that a moment... Do the intensity of the feelings decrease? Experiment again with making the picture bigger and then smaller. When you make it smaller, do your feelings decrease? And when you make it larger, do your feelings increase? If so, then running the pictures (sounds, feelings) in your awareness in this way functions as it does for most people. However, you may have a different experience. Did you? No big deal. We all code our experiences in our minds uniquely and individually. Now, put your picture of that pleasant experience back in a format where you find it most comfortable and acceptable.

As you maintain the same picture, move the picture closer to you. Just imagine that the picture begins to move closer and closer to you, and notice that it will. What happens to your feelings as it does? ... Move the picture farther away. What happens when you move the picture farther away? Do your feelings intensify when you move the picture closer? Do your feelings decrease when you move the picture farther away? Notice that as you change the mental representation in your mind of the experience, your feelings change. This, by the way, describes how we can "distance" ourselves from experiences, does it not?

Now experiment with the color. Are your pictures in color or in black-and-white? If your pictures have color, make them black-and-white, and vice versa if you have them coded as black-and-white . . . When you changed the color, do your feelings change? What about the focus of your images? Are they in focus or out of focus? Do you see an image of yourself in the picture or do you experience the scene as if looking out of your own eyes? What about the quality of your images: in three dimensional (3D) form or flat (2D)? Does it have a frame around it or do you experience it as panoramic? Experiment by changing how you represent the experience. Change the location of the picture. If you have it coded as on your right, then move it to your left.

Playing with the Brain!
Did you like that playing with your brain? The neat thing about playing with our brains in that way is that as we change our coding, we change our feelings. The neurology of our emotions responded to the linguistics (or symbols) of our brain. When we change various features of our representations, it affected our responses. This describes, in part, how "the magic" of NLP works. As we work with the very structures and processes of representation, rather than content, we change the programming. In the Thought Experiment, you might have changed how you feel by changing the quality and structure of your images. Amazing, is it not?

And when you know the structure of experience, then we can begin to use that knowledge to create more generative processes for improving life all around. What would happen if you made all your unpleasant pictures small, dim, and far away? What would happen if you made all your pleasant experiences big, bright and up close?
To learn to play with your brain and make it do wild and wonderful things, to run it for fun and profit, to induce the kind of positive states of mind-and-body, emotional states and states of value and belief, you only need to understand some of the basic components and how they work.

The VAK Representational Systems-- Sights, Sounds, Sensations, Smells, etc. These are the basic components.
Each of these have certain Audio-Visual components. Think of a TV or Radio and we have volume, tone, pitch, location, etc. We have distance (close/ far), clarity (clear/ fuzzy), dimension (3_D or flat and 2_D), etc. The NLP term for these qualities or distinctions is "sub-modalities."

Perceptual Positions-- the point of view that you take in thinking about something: your own (first person), another person's (second position), the point of view of the larger system (third position).

Running Your Own Brain
In the past 25 years, hundreds of techniques (the NLP technology) has arisen that provide step-by-step processes for "running your own brain" to produce outstanding results. There are patterns for effecting lasting change with phobias and trauma (the Phobia Cure pattern), for changing long-term habits (the Swish Pattern), for changing old traumatic reactions to memories (Decision Destroyer), for altering meaning (Reframing patterns),

Co-founder, Richard Bandler has said,
"NLP is an attitude and a methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques."

The attitude of NLP involves one of intense and excited curiosity. It involves the desire to know what goes on behind the scenes. With this kind of attitude of curiosity, we want to know what makes the human mind work. So NLP runs on an attitude of experimentation. This attitude leads us to try all kinds of things. After all, we do not sort for "failure," but only for "feedback." If we find that something doesn't produce the results we want, we just try something else. When you get the attitude or spirit of NLP, you'll experience a wild and wonderful passion for exploration, experimentation, and innovating. It will make you more creative, more open to the world of possibilities, and more of a pioneer. The methodology of NLP is that of modeling: copying and replicating how something works.

 

2. Celebrity Weight Loss Secret Finally Uncovered

 

Can you guess what the secret really is about losing weight quickly and naturally?

It’s not about any specific exercise requiems, or doing cardio until you feel like a wet sponge, or weight training to build muscle mass, and to your surprise, it's not even about the food you eat. Can you guess? Do you know what truly thin people know that you don't...YET?

What IS the Challenge?

Have you ever tried in vain to lose a few extra pounds, or even many of them? Silly question because we all have, at some point, wanted to rid our body of an amount of unnecessary pounds. I’m sure in the past you’ve set goals, made a commitment to yourself AND others, started out with great intentions only to find after a couple months or even weeks, you’re back to the same old negative patterns of over eating again, or something like this, am I correct?

In order to achieve ANY change in our behavior, we must FIRST make the change within our own mind. Example; have you ever tried to WILL YOURSELF into doing something? If we could we’d be able to accomplish EVERYTHING we set our mind to just by thinking about it, couldn’t you?

It’s for this reason that dieting, even coupled with exercise cannot possibly work out unless you’ve engaged your SUB-conscious mind working towards shedding those extra pounds you’ve accumulated. Ninety percent of who we are and who we’ll become is regulated by your unconscious mind. Thoughts generated from our subconscious mind have the most powerful effect on your body. Because your subconscious minds prime directive is to protect the body, therefore it’s always working to keep you consistent and resolute with your daily actions. What you program into your subconscious computer shows up in your outside world. Where attention goes, energy flows, results show!  Knowing this is the hard pill to swallow because it means that ANY diet will work when you’re subconscious is aligned with the results you desire. (Search; Twinkie Diet – Dr. Mark Haub)

Motivation IS The Answer!

The number one reason people overeat is they’re trying to avoid or suppress their emotional pain. Because of this, in order to lose weight, we need to learn to develop a higher self esteem, forgive ourselves, and practice more self-love. Hypnosis for weight loss requires that we affirm a new empowering self and release our old eating behaviors and over-weight mindset by interrupting these patterns and conditioning into the subconscious mind new behavioral patterns such as; eating half, self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. Then a more healthy, happy and fit you will emerge!

Hypnosis can literally shift and jack-up your motivation to help the mind affect the body the same way that eating healthy food and drinking clean water eliminates fat and toxins. It also teaches you how to utilize deep breathing which activates your body’s metabolism to burn extra fat more rapidly.  

What IS Hypnosis?

The real secret to losing weight and keeping it off for good is to “teach” your subconscious mind to do the work for you. By far, the easiest method for “re-programming” your subconscious mind so you can easily lose weight and keep it off for good, is by using hypnosis. Hypnosis is nothing more than a light state of trance, which we’ve all experienced; right before dozing off, passing your exit, or even zoning out watching TV are all examples of light trance/hypnosis.

“The subconscious mind moves in the direction of your currently dominant thoughts.”

So the real secret to finally losing all the weight you want AND keep it off is to start cultivating EMPOWERING thoughts and turn your subconscious mind into your best fitness partner that WANTS you to LOSE WEIGHT, feel amazing, and keep those results for life!

Can I Learn To Re-Program MY Subconscious Mind?

Back to your “million dollar” question that you’ve probably been asking yourself right now,
“Will hypnosis work for ME?” The answer is YES!  YOU CAN be hypnotized and you can reap all the benefits of transforming your subconscious mind quickly and easily into a weight loss machine, because hypnosis is simply accessing your deepest thoughts and beliefs, that in the past, have limited you in becoming the very best YOU. Relaxing your body/mind using hypnosis and activating the belief that you are who you are truly meant to become is the where all change begins with empowering suggestions that are embedded and accepted by your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind then responds and acts to help achieve this new, thin, you.

Can you now, imagine yourself, using hypnosis and losing all the weight you want easily… being able to just listen and lose? If this is something that you’d like to be. do and have, go to our weight loss hypnosis site: www.JustListenAndLose.com We'll be up and operating VERY SOON with this site!

 

3. 6 Reasons To Take Our NLP Training

 

1. Real-World Experience
First and foremost, which may not seem to be of importance on the surface is, we bring decades of REAL-WORLD corporate and clinical "in-the-trenches" work experience to your NLP training. This benefits you, our graduates, by maximally preparing you for doing truly effective work with people once you're out in the field. You'll find most trainers have NO real world experience what-so-ever! They get certified and then go on to train others but never USE what they have in a corporate or clinical environment. LANLP offers you the expertise and education from an experienced professional speaker & trainer IN THE SPEAKING BUSINESS! Ask questions of us like, "when and how" the techniques and exercises truly apply to real people within our world. John works closely with each and every student making sure you receive the very best information at a conscious as well as UN-conscious level so you receive more for your time and your investment!

2. Convenience To Learn
We work around YOUR schedule! Our program is designed so you'll become certified over the course of six weekends, so you can have a life and take only the necessary time off to train and learn with us.

3. Full Integration Of Material
Because you'll train only on the weekends, it gives you plenty of time to practice and integrate the information in between classes, form out-of-class study groups with fellow students during the week to learn the information at a deeper level. Many students have experienced that the short/advanced courses which other companies offer are leaving them with no real practical memory or benefits of the traditional pure 12-day, 120-hr program. Because this is how Richard Bandler and John Grinder developed and founded GENUINE NLP, we acknowledge and respect the model they created because IT WORKED! Don't be fooled by other courses giving you reasons why they cannot give you the traditional 12-day 120-hrs of face-to-face time with the trainers. Yes, the CD's, reading and studying are necessary, but not a substitute for pure hands-on instruction. You become certified as a practitioner of NLP the way is was originally designed, and we plan on remaining true to NLP roots. Come learn from the best!

4. Enhance Business Performance

With an NLP training course you will be able to influence others, increase sales, learn leadership, coaching, and management skills. NLP training for business is best suited for Managers, Sales People, Marketing Professionals, Human Resources, Recruiters, and Corporate Trainers.

5. Develop Professional Coaching Practices

NLP training will help with setting goals, communication mastery, techniques for motivation and achievement, techniques to resolve fears and phobias, and weight loss techniques. NLP Training for coaching is best suited for Business Coaches, Life Coaches, Personal Coaches and Fitness Trainers. Or for therapy; our training will give you a mastery of communication techniques to help resolve deep rooted issues, fears and phobias, habits and addiction, and moving people from unresourceful states to resourceful ones. NLP Training for therapy is best suited for Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Doctors, Nurses and Dental Professionals. With our NLP training course you will learn techniques for instilling motivation, understanding learning and coding of experience, how to enhance memory and create faster learning. NLP Training for Education is best suited for Teachers, Professors, and parents.

6. Further Self-Improvement Skills
Some people decide to take an NLP training course simply for self-development and empowerment. And still some people just come because they have heard that NLP can fix certain very big problems very fast. On average there are up to 3 phobias cured per course, in less then 10 minutes! NLP training can help with trauma, fear of public speaking, motivation, weight loss, insecurity, and more. Our NLP training course helps to give you a mastery of communication which can be used for media interviews, influencing others, and giving you the ability to appear to be charismatic and a great public speaker.

 

4. How do YOU do stress?

 

How often during your week do you feel really stressed out? If more than two or three times, then you’re within the national average! A 1996 Prevention magazine survey found that almost 75% of people feel they have "great stress" one day a week, with one out of three saying they feel this way more than twice a week. Job stress tends to be the leading cause of stress for adults. Children, teenagers, college students and the elderly experience an ever-increasing level of stress from a multitude of causes. It is estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems. No doubt this number will continue to rise as the decades progress.

Hans Selye (father of the “stress theory”) describes stress as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand made upon it.” Stress can be either physiological or psychological in nature. Stress is a response to events in our environment. First come the stressors (cause) and then the stress ( the effects.) If stress isn’t controlled or alleviated it can literally be stored up in the body and may lead to physical and emotional disruption such as sicknesses, cold, flu, headaches, insomnia or more severe such as chronic pain, depression, heart attacks, cancer or even suicide.

It is important to understand that it is not the ‘stressors’ of our environment which cause us to become stressed. Our response to the stressors, rather than the actual events, produce our stress. Think about it. How can the same experience, such as losing or transferring your job, garner such a dissimilar response from two separate individuals? In simple terms, it’s the meaning we place upon the events that cause the emotional reactions we experience. Clinical research has shown that stress is “the perception of not being in control.” Since we cannot control all of our outside circumstances or events, the only way to regain a sense of control is to effectively manage our emotions.

Two things predicate our behavior; focus and physiology. Focus, the meaning we place upon the events in our world and what we choose to focus on internally. Physiology, how we use our bodies to respond to those outside conditions. Either we control our emotions or we allow our emotions to control us! The most effective way to handle stress or anxiety is to change our physiology, specifically our body posture and breathing. Our state of mind is tied directly into the positioning of our body. Think about how you stand or sit when you’re depressed. Slumped and slouching? Breathing shallow and restricted? How is your posture when you’re happy or excited? Upright and open? Breathing full and deep?

Knowing that stress can be managed by our response to demands made upon us, we each have the capacity to alleviate unnecessary stress. Whenever you are confronted with a challenge in life, STOP, and ask yourself “what does this mean?” Then immediately change your posture and your breathing. Since each emotional state of mind has a specific physiology associated to it, it only seems to reason if we shift our physiology to a more resourceful posture then our emotional state will change, and vice-versa. Your thoughts or comments?

 

5. Relationships Are Like New Shoes…

 

... they look great in the store but once you get them home they become really uncomfortable!

As a success coach, I work in many areas of life; career desire, fitness and weight management, goal clarity, emotional mastery and relationship balance. I find relationships the most interesting and yet the most complex. Everything we in life we engage in IS a relationship. There’s a direct correlation as to how we react in an intimate relationship and how we respond to our friends, family, and social or work environments. With relationships the challenge is never the other person, it’s your choice of that person in the relationship! And because we’ve all had an opportunity to engage in good and bad ones, everyone can relate to the intention of this article. I’ve interviewed thousands of people in relationships to find what ingredients make up a great recipe for success.

Relationships can be challenging, but marriage can be overwhelming if you are not with the right partner. Yes, I know, there will be bad and tough times as well as good and great times. But it’s not if those experiences will happen, it’s when and how will you react to them that will determine the survival or growth of the relationship. There’s a cute joke that is; “It’s true that love is blind but marriage is definitely an eye-opener.”

But you know all this already don’t you? So why then do we repeat the same mistakes again and again? Habit? Genetics? Insanity? Einstein’s definition of insanity was; “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” Sound familiar? Well, the real answer is because it’s what we’re most comfortable with. Our nervous system, our body/mind, as Deepak Chopra calls it, is stuck on auto-pilot. It’s constantly searching out our environment for what we KNOW! What looks, sounds and feels familiar… comfortable! The challenge is we do not recognize our mistakes until it becomes UN-comfortable for us, usually about 6 months to 2 years down the road. Deep into the relationship is too late to be asking yourself, what am I doing here?

In life, everything we are and will become will be predicated upon one thing; the decisions we make. Every moment of your life you’re making decisions, deciding on something. Making simple and complex decisions shape the course and direction of your life. Decisions are the basis for the quality of life you lead. Each decision you make; to go left or right, buy this or that, take this job instead of that, go out with him or her, produces the results we live with every day of our lives.

The challenge is most people utilize poor decision-making strategies. We make decisions based on the emotional state we’re in at the moment we are deciding. We typically decide in the moment rather than taking into consideration how the results will impact our future. It’s like blaming the shoes for being too tight!

I often say to my clients and when presenting my NLP workshops, “it’s literally impossible to make a logical decision.” Think about it, every decision we make is predicated upon what? How we feel at the moment we are making it! Logic plays a secondary role within our decision making strategies. Regardless of the quality of information we’ve gathered, we often decide based upon our feelings about the choices before us.

Our best decisions are made being mindful of our values; what is most important to us. Therefore, it is critical to understand your personal values before making life-changing decisions. When you are aware of your values and criteria, and faithfully follow them in selecting a partner, your chances of success improve tremendously. You will no longer be running by the soles of your feet!

Below are 50 characteristics which will help you recognize what is most important for you in your current or next relationship. Looking at the list before you, circle 20 traits that you desire in a mate. Of those 20, choose and write out 10 on a separate sheet or on the back. Prioritize those 10 traits from 1 being most important to 10 being of lesser importance. The top 3 traits are the ones you require in a relationship. These are your deal-breakers!

Humorous...................................................... Age
Sensitive/Considerate .................................Tall/Short
Understanding............................................... Blonde/Brunette
Open minded .................................................Hairy
Communicative .............................................Skinny/Heavy
Goal oriented .................................................Blue/Grn/Brn Eyes
Morals/Values ................................................Kind/Caring
Positive attitude .............................................Secure
Charming .......................................................Sexual
Financially secure .........................................Romantic/Nasty
Outgoing/Extroverted .....................................Passionate
Athletic/Physically fit ......................................Generous
Health conscious ...........................................Independent
Honest .............................................................Drug-free
Loyal/Monogamous .......................................Non-smoker
Integrity .............................................................Cleanliness
Handsome/Pretty ............................................Personal hygiene
Dress’ well .......................................................Great cook
Religion ............................................................Interests
Family oriented ...............................................Organized
Been married or not .......................................Sexually safe
Has kids ...........................................................Spontaneous
Worldly ..............................................................Educated

Using these 10 values as a template for your wants, desires and needs will give you a better understanding and awareness when selecting a prospective date/spouse the next time you go shopping. Now knowing what is most important to you, you will shop with confidence -- as you’ll have no delusions about what you’re looking for. And, yes, the secret is in making a quality decision based upon knowing your deal breakers and choosing wisely. Do a little "sole-searching!" You will find someone who's head over heels for you!

 

6. What Is NLP?

 
Neuro- Linguistic Programming is defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience and what can be calculated from that and is predicated upon the belief that all behavior has structure. People such as Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls had amazing results with their clients. They were some of the people who's linguistic and behavioural patterns Richard Bandler built formal models of. He then applied these models to his work.

Because these models are formal they also allow for prediction and calculation. Patterns that may not have been available in any of these people's work could be calculated from the formal representations he had created. New techniques and models were (and still are being) developed.

Since the models that constitute NLP™ describe how the human brain functions they are used in order to teach them. NLP™ is not a diagnostic tool. It can only be applied and can therefore only be taught experientially.

Well trained Neuro-Linguistic Programmers™ will always teach by installation, not by teaching technique after technique. Techniques outdate themselves too quickly to base the field of NLP™ on a set of techniques. It is based upon the attitude, the models and the skills which allow for constant generation of new techniques which are more effective and work faster.

Although many providers make certain courses prerequisite to the attendance of other courses, Dr. Bandler has no such prerequisites for any of his seminars. Learning does not come in levels. Once the underlying pattern, by which something can be learned has been taught, the material becomes not only easily accessible but a logical extension. For example, once somebody has learned how to read it no longer matters whether a book is five pages or two-hundred pages long. Similarly, once someone has been taught the spelling strategy it does not matter whether the word is two or five letters long, you just have to look at the picture. Each seminar is based upon different sets of knowledge. Therefore it is not necessary to do them in any specific order.

Each seminar that Dr. Bandler teaches is different. Once someone has attended one practitioner course it does not mean that the practitioner material has been learned and that person should therefore go to a different course. You have to remember that the names and certificates are only names and certificates not the material nor the knowledge!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming™ was specifically created in order to allow us to do magic by creating new ways of understanding how verbal and non-verbal communication affect the human brain. As such it presents us all with the opportunity to not only communicate better with others, but also learn how to gain more control over what we considered to be automatic functions of our own neurology.
 

7. Anchoring

 
In our Los Angeles NLP Training, "anchoring" refers to the process of associating an internal response with some external or internal trigger so that the response may be quickly, and sometimes covertly, reaccessed. Anchoring is a process that on the surface is similar to the "conditioning" technique used by Pavlov to create a link between the hearing of a bell and salivation in dogs. By associating the sound of a bell with the act of giving food to his dogs, Pavlov found he could eventually just ring the bell and the dogs would start salivating, even though no food was given. In the behaviorist's stimulus-response conditioning formula, however, the stimulus is always an environmental cue and the response is always a specific behavioral action. The association is considered reflexive and not a matter of choice.

In Neuro-Linguistic Programming this type of associative conditioning has been expanded to include links between other aspects of experience than purely environment cues and behavioral responses. A remembered picture may become an anchor for a particular internal feeling, for instance. A touch on the leg may become an anchor for a visual fantasy or even a belief. A voice tone may become an anchor for a state of excitement or confidence. A person may consciously choose to establish and retrigger these associations for himself. Rather than being a mindless knee-jerk reflex, an anchor becomes a tool for self empowerment. Anchoring can be a very useful tool for helping to establish and reactivate the mental processes associated with creativity, learning, concentration and other important resources.

It is significant that the metaphor of an "anchor" is used in NLP terminology. The anchor of a ship or boat is attached by the members of the ships crew to some stable point in order to hold the ship in a certain area and keep it from floating away. The implication of this is that the cue which serves as a psychological "anchor" is not so much a mechanical stimulus which "causes" a response as it is a reference point that helps to stabilize a particular state. To extend the analogy fully, a ship could be considered the focus our consciousness on the ocean of experience. Anchors serve as reference points which help us to find a particular location on this experiential sea and to hold our attention there and keep it from drifting.

The process of establishing an anchor basically involves associating two experiences together in time. In behavioral conditioning models, associations become more strongly established through repetition. Repetition may also be used to strengthen anchors as well. For example, you could ask someone to vividly re-experience a time she was very creative and pat her shoulder while she is thinking of the experience. If you repeat this once or twice the pat on shoulder will begin to become linked to the creative state. Eventually a pat on the shoulder will automatically remind the person of the creative state.

Anchoring and Learning - A good way to begin to understand the uses of anchoring is to consider how they can be applied in the context of teaching and learning. The process of anchoring, for instance, is an effective means to solidify and transfer learning experiences. In its simplest form, 'anchoring' involves establishing an association between an external cue or stimulus and an internal experience or state, as in the example of Pavlov ringing the bell for his dogs. A lot of learning relates to conditioning, and conditioning relates to the kind of stimuli that become attached to reactions. An anchor is a stimulus that becomes associated with a learning experience. If you can anchor something in a classroom environment, you can then bring the anchor to the work environment as, minimally, an associative reminder of what was learned.

As an example of this, they did a research study with students in classrooms. They had students learn some kind of task in a certain classroom. Then they split the class in half and put one of the groups in a different room. Then they tested them. The ones who were in the same room where they had learned the material did better on the exams than the students who had been moved to a different room. Presumably this was because there were environmental cues that were associated with the material they had been learning.

We have probably all been in the situation of experiencing something that we wanted to remember, but when we go into a new environment where all the stimuli are so different, it's easier to forget. By developing the ability to use certain kinds of anchors, teachers and learners can facilitate the generalization of learning. There will certainly be a greater possibility that learning will be transferred if one can also transfer certain stimuli.

There's another aspect to anchoring related to the fact Pavlov's dog had to be in a certain state for the bell to mean anything. The dogs had to be hungry; then Pavlov could anchor the stimulus to the response. Similarly, there is an issue related to what state learners are in, in order to effectively establish an anchor. For instance, a transparency is a map, but it's also a stimulus. That is, it gives information, but it can also be a trigger for a reference experience. An effective teacher needs to know when to send a message or not to send a message. If people have a sudden insight - an "Aha!" - and you turn on a transparency, it is going to be received in a different way and associated in a different way than if people are struggling with a concept.

Timing can be very important. It is important for a teacher to time the presentation of material in relation to the state of his or her learners. If the teacher has a cognitive package to present, such as a key word or a visual map, he or she must wait for the moment that the 'iron gets hot'. When the teacher senses that there's a kind of a readiness, or a surge, or an openness in the group, at that moment he or she would introduce the concepts or show the key words. Because the point of anchoring is that a teacher is not just giving information, he or she is also providing stimuli that gets connected to the reference experiences of the learners. This is why stimuli that are symbolic are often more effective anchors.

 

8. Anxiety and NLP

 

Why do anxiety "sufferers" run these annoying synesthesias? Ericksonian therapist David Higgins (in Yapko, ed, 1989, p 245-263) points out that all of us live in an "As if" world. In order to act, we make certain guesses about what will happen. These guesses are all "hallucinations", but they have the potential to generate hope or fear, happiness or pain. This is an active ongoing self-hypnotic process, and is potentially healthy. In anticipating future challenges, we estimate the significance of the challenge, and the strength of our resources to respond to that challenge (Beck and Emery, p 3-53). Some fear is a realistic appraisal of serious challenge level, and usefully mobilises the body to deal with such challenge, by increasing the pulse and breathing rate, and mobilising the muscles etc. Severe anxiety is a disorder of the "As -if" process. The anxious person (as opposed to the person who is realistically afraid of a current threat) demonstrates certain "cognitive distortions" (to use NLP terminology, they make certain key submodality/strategy shifts). These are:

Sorting for the future. By attending to potential future events to the exclusion of present and past, the person is unable to access resourceful memories, or effectively use resources at hand. Thus, a person who spoke to a crowd of 1000 people and loved it last week may panic as they think about repeating that tomorrow. Sorting for danger. The person pays more attention to potential risks and less to potential safeties. They do this by using focused "tunnel vision" and its auditory and kinesthetic analogues (eg a person afraid of public speaking may see only one angry looking person staring at them, and not notice those smiling. A person with chest tightness may pay attention to that and speculate about its cause, rather than feeling the comfort in their hands).

Associating into their internal representations of danger. This is the key SMD changed by the NLP Phobia cure. Increasing the significance of the danger. The anxious person increases submodalities such as size and closeness on the feared object/situation, so that the threat seems greater than their resources. They diminish submodalities on their own resources and memories of success. The person afraid of public speaking may see a room of huge eyes staring at them, as they shrink into the floor. They may do this in auditory digital by "talking up" the power of the audience to reject and humiliate them.

Unrealistic evaluations as a result of 4). Rather than grading risk (eg "On a scale of 1-10 how risky is this?") the anxious person tends to act as if any danger = total danger. Persons with a phobia of flying, for example, may estimate at normal times that the risk of harm from a flight is one in a million (1:1,000,000). At the time when the airplane takes off they may estimate it as 50:50, and with slight turbulence at 100:1 in favour of a crash (Beck and Emery, 1985, p 128). They may then bring into play a series of beliefs about what "has to happen" in such situations (eg "I have to get out of here.", "I have to take my pills."). Another such set of beliefs may involve the estimate of the importance of what others think of them and their responses. Doing something embarrassing in public may be estimated as likely to result in physical consequences every day for the next sixty years. Thus, in the state of anxiety, the person generates a whole separate set of beliefs which they respond to, in NLP a sequential incongruity.

Not being "at cause". Synesthesias are available in all people. The anxious person runs them more frequently and with less conscious awareness, leading to a belief that their feelings just happen, or are caused by the environment, rather than being a result of their attention to representations of "danger".

Physiological activation. The anxious person acts in several ways to activate their body. They attend to their in-breath rather than their out-breath. They walk and move more, and often allow less time for sleep than other individuals. They breathe through their dominant nostril (Rossi, 1996, p 171-2). Ernest Rossi points out that this is part of their remaining in the alertness phase of the normal rest-activation cycle for prolonged times. Where anxiety peaks at a certain time in the day, Rossi suggests that this indicates a damaged rest cycle reaching critical level at that time.

Anxiety and Depression

In a previous article we discussed NLP treatments for depression. Someone can run strategies which generate anxiety and strategies which generate depression. Both conditions involve the person sorting for what is wrong, and associating into unpleasant experiences. However the two sets are different, and it may help to distinguish them before we consider how to resolve anxiety.

In the case of depression, the focus is on past experiences - failures, losses and defeats which have already happened and are thus fixed facts. The depressed person may not even have a future time line to be anxious about, let alone to have goals in. Their comments about life and their own self are thus based on a "permanent pervasive style" of explanation ("This is the way I and other things are; everything is like this, and it always will be"). The depressed person has understandably little interest in doing anything, because they expect failure ("What's the point, it only gets you to the same place I've always been - nowhere."). They may get hopeful about specific tasks (and then use the patterns we are calling anxiety), but generally the depressed person has given up trying to avoid the kind of pain that the anxious person is running from.

In the anxious person, the focus is on potential future defeats, failures and losses. The anxious person considers these disasters as being possibly avoidable, if they can only escape in some way from certain feared events. Their style of explanation is thus more tentative, conditional and more focused on particular events ("If I can only avoid elevators / crowds / thinking about death, then I might be able to escape this terror."). The anxious person has objectives, then, but is unable to reach them. They fear failure. The anxious person does not give up on doing everything (unless they finally got depressed about their anxiety) but gives up on doing the things they fear (the triggers for their anxiety).

How Do We End Anxiety?

There's more to this question than meets the eye. Anxiety itself is driven by an attempt to avoid some feared consequence. The "simple" solution to anxiety for the person with a spider phobia seems to be never to think about or come into contact with anything to do with spiders. For the person with anxiety about loss of self-control the "simple" solution would be to never be in a situation where loss of self-control was remotely possible. Of course these are impossible goals, but many people with anxiety clutch at the illusion of such solutions in the form of drugs, distractions, lifestyles totally organised around their fears and dependent relationships where the other person cannot be out of their sight or reach. What is usually called "secondary gain" (the accidental advantages which the problem brings to the person's life, in terms of sympathy, avoidance of challenges etc) is really primary gain in anxiety conditions. It is often the immediate aim of the person who has anxiety.

As an NLP Training Practitioner in Los Angeles, your first role is not to create such illusory solutions. One example of an illusory solution would be presenting NLP as a series of tools which will automatically solve the person's problem, regardless of what they do. Another example would be offering to be the person's total life support system ("Call me any time!"). Being a "magician" can be very satisfying, but this satisfaction is small compared to the joy of empowering the anxious person to learn their own magic. Your role, then, is to be a kind of coach or consultant.

The anxious person is hiring us to give them advice and support to put into action a plan that will change their life. This will be a collaborative relationship, in which they will need not only to "help", but also to experimentally follow the advice we give. We have no magic way of solving their problems for them. But if they do the things we suggest, we believe that they will experience change. This is the same deal a consultant in the business setting makes. We often say "NLP doesn't work. You work... NLP just explains how you work, perfectly.". This is a time-limited arrangement, and it is important to arrange at the start to meet for a specific number of sessions.

The other side of this is that if we are not hired as a consultant, we accept that. We do not carry on trying to "sell our services". This becomes important in practice if we suggest some task (such as having the person, at the end of each day, identifying three things they achieved that day) and the person does not actually do the task. In this case, we don't carry on suggesting other such tasks hoping to "find one that works". Often, in that situation, we will explore with the person what they did instead of the task, and help them discover how that got them the results they complain about.

The following five sets of NLP tools are intended to be used inside this context, to reverse the "cognitive distortions" of anxiety. The tools are:

1. Reframe Anxiety and its Symptoms
2. Access Resources/Solutions
3. Teach Trance and Set Relaxation Anchors
4. Alter The Submodalities
5. Create More Integrated Beliefs

 

9. Communication Skills; Why Are they So Important?

 

The purpose of communications skills is to get your message across to others. This is a process that involves both the sender of the message and the receiver. This process leaves room for error, with messages often misinterpreted by one or more of the parties involved. This causes unnecessary confusion and counter productivity. In fact, a message is successful only when both the sender and the receiver perceive it in the same way.

By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you convey do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communications breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals – both personally and professionally.

In a recent survey of recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees, communication skills were cited as the single more important decisive factor in choosing managers. The survey, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School, points out that communication skills seminars, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factor contributing to job success.

In spite of the increasing importance placed on communication skills, many individuals continue to struggle with this, unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively – whether in verbal or written format. This inability makes it nearly impossible for them to compete effectively in the workplace, and stands in the way of career progression.

Getting your message across is paramount to progressing. To do this, you must understand what your message is, what audience you are sending it to, and how it will be perceived. You must also weigh-in the circumstances surrounding your communications, such as situational and cultural context.

Communications Skills workshops - The Importance of Removing Barriers:

Communication barriers can pop-up at every stage of the communication process (which consists of sender, message, channel, receiver, feedback and context - see the diagram below) and have the potential to create misunderstanding and confusion.

To be an effective communicator and to get your point across without misunderstanding and confusion, your goal should be to lessen the frequency of these barriers at each stage of this process with clear, concise, accurate, well-planned communications. We follow the process through below:

Sender...
To establish yourself as an effective communicator, you must first establish credibility. In the business arena, this involves displaying knowledge of the subject, the audience and the context in which the message is delivered.

You must also know your audience (individuals or groups to which you are delivering your message). Failure to understand who you are communicating to will result in delivering messages that are misunderstood.

Message..
Next, consider the message itself. Written, oral and nonverbal communications are effected by the sender’s tone, method of organization, validity of the argument, what is communicated and what is left out, as well as your individual style of communicating. Messages also have intellectual and emotional components, with intellect allowing us the ability to reason and emotion allowing us to present motivational appeals, ultimately changing minds and actions.

Channel...
Messages are conveyed through channels, with verbal including face-to-face meetings, telephone and videoconferencing; and written including letters, emails, memos and reports.

Receiver...
These messages are delivered to an audience. No doubt, you have in mind the actions or reactions you hope your message prompts from this audience. Keep in mind, your audience also enters into the communication process with ideas and feelings that will undoubtedly influence their understanding of your message and their response. To be a successful communicator, you should consider these before delivering your message, acting appropriately.

Feedback...
Your audience will provide you with feedback, verbal and nonverbal reactions to your communicated message. Pay close attention to this feedback as it is crucial to ensuring the audience understood your message.

Context...
The situation in which your message is delivered is the context. This may include the surrounding environment or broader culture (i.e. corporate culture, international cultures, etc.).

Removing Barriers At All These Stages. To deliver your messages effectively, you must commit to breaking down the barriers that exist in each of these stages of the communication process. Let’s begin with the message itself. If your message is too lengthy, disorganized, or contains errors, you can expect the message to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Use of poor verbal and body language can also confuse the message. Barriers in context tend to stem from senders offering too much information too fast. When in doubt here, less is oftentimes more. It is best to be mindful of the demands on other people’s time, especially in today’s ultra-busy society. Once you understand this, you need to work to understand your audience’s culture, making sure you can converse and deliver your message to people of different backgrounds, cultures within your own organization, & in this country and even abroad.

 

10. Rapport; The Basis Of Mirroring & Matching

 

Rapport is the foundation for any meaningful interaction between two or more people - rapport is about establishing an environment of trust and understanding, to respect and honor the other person’s world. Which gives a person the freedom to fully express their ideas and concerns and to know that they will be respected by the other person(s). Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened to, and heard and it doesn’t mean that they have to agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world. When you are in rapport with another person, you have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from; and as a result, enhance the whole relationship.

A 1970 study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle concluded that 93% of our communication transpires non-verbally and unconscious. NLP rapport skills teach us how to communicate at that unconscious level. Mirroring, matching, pacing and leading skills will enable you to become "like" the other person. Anthony Robbins stated: “People who like each other tend to be like each other.” Neuro-Linguistic Programming in Los Angeles teaches how to mirror and match physiology, tonality and predicates (process words).

Researchers at the Boston University Medical School studied films of people having conversations. The researchers noticed that the people talking began (unconsciously) to co-ordinate their movements (including finger movements, eye blinks and head nods.) When they were monitored using electroencephalographs, it was found that some of their brain waves were spiking at the same moment too. As the conversations progressed, these people were getting into rapport with each other.

The key to establishing rapport is an ability to enter another person’s world by assuming a similar state of mind. The first thing to do is to become more like the other person by matching and mirroring the person’s behaviors -- body language, voice, words etc. Matching and mirroring is a powerful way of getting an appreciation of how the other person is seeing/experiencing the world

For words, match predicates. If your partner is using mainly visual words, you should also use mainly visual words and similarly for auditory, kinesthetic and auditory digital words. To the extent possible, you should also use the same words as the other person. For example, I may say something is ‘awesome’. In your model of the world, you may interpret ‘awesome’ as ‘outstanding’ and use this word when speaking to me. For me ‘outstanding’ may have a different meaning or evoke a different feeling than ‘awesome’. In this case, you would not be matching but mismatching my words.

Some people find the idea of matching another person uncomfortable and they feel that they are trying to fool or take advantage of the other person. To overcome this uneasiness, realize that matching is a natural part of the rapport building process and that you are doing it unconsciously every day with your close family and friends. Each day gradually increase your conscious use of matching at a pace that is comfortable and ethical for you. Matching and NLP is done with integrity and respect creates positive feelings and responses in you and others. Rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s world, to make him feel you understand him, and that there is a strong connection between the two of you.

The purpose of the following exercises is to provide some experience with the basic processes and procedures of modeling. They primarily focus on the information gathering phase of the modeling process, and cover a range of modeling skills, including "implicit" and "explicit" modeling formats, and the use of multiple perceptual positions to gather different types and levels of information about a particular performance.

To mirror another person, merely select the behavior or quality you wish to mirror, and then do that behavior. If you choose to mirror head tilt, when the person moves their head, wait a few moments, then move yours to the same angle. The effect should be as though the other person is looking in a mirror. When this is done elegantly, it is out of consciousness for the other person. However, a few notes of caution are appropriate:
Mirroring and NLP is not the same as mimicry. It should be subtle and respectful.
Mirroring can lead to you sharing the other person's experience. Avoid mirroring people who are in distress or who have severe mental issues. Mirroring can build a deep sense of trust quickly, a responsibility to use it ethically.

Mirroring is as if you were looking into a mirror. To mirror a person who has raised his right hand, you would raise your left hand (i.e. mirror image). To match this same person, you would raise your right-hand (doing exactly the same as the other person). Some practitioners see a time difference between mirroring and matching. For example, if someone makes hand gestures while they are speaking, you would wait until it was your turn to speak before making similar (matching) hand gestures.

The fact that you've read this far means that you can see the benefits of increasing your rapport skills. Reading is sadly not enough - practice is the key to building skill, so do the exercises. When you first start the practice of mirroring, you may have to pay some conscious attention to what you're doing. After a while, however, you will start to catch yourself doing it unconsciously. This is where you really begin to build rapport elegantly!

And at times when a gesture is idiosyncratic to that person or otherwise to obvious, you can do crossover matching. Meaning, if they adjust their glasses, and you don't wear any, then just move your foot. When you crossover match/mirror, you match/mirror a portion of the other person's body, with a different portion of your own body. This is best to do when you are matching someone's rate of breathing. You can use your finger to pace the rhythm of their breath. When matching or mirroring someone's voice, do that with their tonality, volume, and the rate at which they speak. And remember you don't have to do all of these things, just one or two will be enough to create rapport in most cases.

Practice - You may wish to start with family members and begin to match different aspects of their posture, gestures, voice and words. Have fun with it and see if they notice what you are doing. At work or socially, start by matching one specific behavior and once you are comfortable doing that, and then match another. For friends with whom you really feel comfortable, notice how often you naturally match their postures, gestures tone of voice or words. Matching comes naturally, what you need to do is learn how to do it with everyone, then matching will become automatic whenever you wish to deepen your rapport and NLP skils with someone.

 

11. Hypnosis and NLP

 

Milton Hyland Erickson, MD (* 5th December 1901 in Aurum, Nevada, † 25th March 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona) was an American psychiatrist specializing in medical hypnosis and NLP. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association.

He is noted for: his often unconventional approach to psychotherapy, such as described in the book Uncommon Therapy by Jay Haley and the book Hypnotherapy: An Exploratory Casebook by Milton Erickson and Ernest Rossi (1979) New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc. his extensive use of therapeutic metaphor and story as well as hypnosis coining the term Brief Therapy for his approach of addressing therapeutic changes in relatively few sessions his use of interventions that influenced the strategic therapy and family systems therapy practitioners beginning in the 1950s including Virginia Satir and Gregory Bateson his conceptualization of the unconscious as highly separate from the conscious mind, with its own awareness, interests, responses, and learnings. For Erickson and NLP, the unconscious mind was creative, solution-generating, and often positive. his ability to "utilize" anything about a patient to help them change, including their beliefs, favorite words, cultural background, personal history, or even their neurotic habits. His influence on Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), which was in part based upon his working methods.

Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening, and that, whether or not the patient was in trance, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence, as long as those suggestions found some resonance at the unconscious level. You can be aware of this, or you can be completely oblivious that something is happening. Now, Erickson would see if the patient would respond to one or another kind of indirect suggestion, and allow the unconscious mind to actively participate in the therapeutic process. In this way, what seemed like a normal conversation might induce a hypnotic trance, or a therapeutic change in the subject.

Ericksonian hypnosis was an irrepressible practical joker, and it was not uncommon for him to slip indirect suggestions into all kinds of situations, including in his own books, papers, lectures and seminars.

Erickson also believed that it was even appropriate for the therapist to go into trance. I go into trances so that I will be more sensitive to the intonations and inflections of my patients' speech. And to enable me to hear better, see better. Erickson maintained that trance is a common, everyday occurrence. For example, when waiting for buses and trains, reading or listening, or even being involved in strenuous physical exercise, it's quite normal to become immersed in the activity and go into a trance state, removed from any other irrelevant stimuli. These states are so common and familiar that most people do not consciously recognise them as hypnotic phenomena.

The same situation is in evidence in everyday life, however, whenever attention is fixated with a question or an experience of the amazing, the unusual, or anything that holds a person’s interest. At such moments people experience the common everyday trance; they tend to gaze off—to the right or left, depending upon which cerebral hemisphere is most dominant (Baleen, 1969) —and get that “faraway” or “blank” look. Their eyes may actually close, their bodies tend to become immobile (a form of catalepsy), certain reflexes (e.g., swallowing, respiration, etc.) may be suppressed, and they seem momentarily oblivious to their surroundings until they have completed their inner search on the unconscious level for the new idea, response, or frames of reference that will restabilize their general reality orientation. We hypothesize that in everyday life consciousness is in a continual state of flux between the general reality orientation and the momentary microdynamics of trance...

Erickson & Rossi: Two-Level Communication and the Microdynamics of Trance and Suggestion, The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1976 Reprinted in Collected Papers Vol.1

Because Erickson expected trance states to occur naturally and frequently, he was prepared to exploit them therapeutically, even when the patient was not present with him in the consulting room. He also discovered many techniques for how to increase the likelihood that a trance state would occur. He developed both verbal and non-verbal techniques, and pioneered the idea that the common experiences of wonderment, engrossment and confusion are, in reality, just kinds of trance. (These phenomena are of course central to many spiritual and religious disciplines, and are regularly employed by evangelists, cult leaders and holy men of all kinds).

Clearly there are a great many kinds of trance. Many people are familiar with the idea of a 'deep' trance, and earlier in his career Erickson was a pioneer in researching the unique and remarkable phenomena that are associated with that state, spending many hours at a time with individual test subjects, deepening the trance.

That a trance may be 'light' or 'deep' suggest a one dimensional continuum of trance depth, but Erickson would often work with multiple trances in the same patient, for example suggesting that the hypnotised patient to behave 'as if awake', blurring the line between the hypnotic and 'awake' state.

Erickson believed there are multiple states that may be utilized. This resonates with Charles Tart's idea (put forward in the book 'Waking Up') that all states of consciousness are trances, and that what we call 'normal' waking consciousness is just a 'consensus trance'. NLP also makes central use of the idea of changing state, without it explicitly being a hypnotic phenomenon.

 

12. NLP Modelling

 

Webster's Dictionary defines a model as "a simplified description of a complex entity or process" ­ such as a "computer model" of the circulatory and respiratory systems. The term comes from the Latin root modus, which means "a manner of doing or being; a method, form, fashion, custom, way, or style." More specifically, the word "model" is derived from the Latin modulus, which essentially means a "small" version of the original mode. A "model" of an object, for example, is typically a miniature version or representation of that object. A "working model" (such as that of a machine) is something which can do on a small scale the work which the machine itself does, or expected to do.

The notion of a "model" has also come to mean "a description or analogy used to help visualize something (as an atom) that cannot be directly observed." It can also be used to indicate "a system of postulates, data, and inferences presented as a formal description of an entity or state of affairs."

Thus, a miniature train, a map of the location of key train stations, or a train schedule, are all examples of different possible types of models of a railway system. Their purpose is to emulate some aspect of the actual railway system and provide useful information to better manage interactions with respect to that system. A miniature train set, for instance, may be used to assess the performance of a train under certain physical conditions; a map of key train stations can help to plan the most effective itinerary to reach a particular city; a train schedule may be used to determine the timing required for a particular journey. From this perspective, the fundamental value of any type of model is its usefulness.

Overview of Modeling in NLP
Behavior modeling involves observing and mapping the successful processes which underlie an exceptional performance of some type. It is the process of taking a complex event or series of events and breaking it into small enough chunks so that it can be recapitulated in some way. The purpose of behavior modeling is to create a pragmatic map or 'model' of that behavior which can be used to reproduce or simulate some aspect of that performance by anyone who is motivated to do so. The goal of the behavior modeling process is to identify the essential elements of thought and action required to produce the desired response or outcome. As opposed to providing purely correlative or statistical data, a 'model' of a particular behavior must provide a description of what is necessary to actually achieve a similar result.

The field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming has developed out of the modeling of human behaviors and thinking processes. NLP modeling procedures involve finding out about how the brain ("Neuro") is operating, by analyzing language patterns ("Linguistic") and non-verbal communication. The results of this analysis are then put into step-by-step strategies or programs ("Programming") that may be used to transfer the skill to other people and content areas.

In fact, NLP began when Richard Bandler and John Grinder modeled patterns of language and behavior from the works of Fritz Perls (the founder of Gestalt therapy), Virginia Satir (a founder of family therapy and systemic therapy) and Milton H. Erickson, M.D. (founder of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis). The first 'techniques' of NLP were derived from key verbal and non-verbal patterns Grinder and Bandler observed in the behavior of these exceptional therapists. The implication of the title of their first book, The Structure of Magic (1975), was that what seemed magical and unexplainable often had a deeper structure that, when illuminated, could be understood, communicated and put into practice by people other than the few exceptional 'wizards' who had initially performed the 'magic'. NLP is the process by which the relevant pieces of these people's behavior was discovered and then organized into a working model.

NLP has developed techniques and distinctions with which to identify and describe patterns of people's verbal and non-verbal behavior ­ that is, key aspects of what people say and what they do. The basic objectives of NLP are to model special or exceptional abilities and help make them transferable to others. The purpose of this kind of modeling is to put what has been observed and described into action in a way that is productive and enriching.

The NLP and modeling tools of Neuro-Linguistic Programming in Los Angeles allow us to identify specific, reproducible patterns in the language and behavior of effective role models. While most NLP analysis is done by actually watching and listening to the role model in action, much valuable information can be gleaned from written records as well.

The objective of the NLP modeling process is not to end up with the one 'right' or 'true' description of a particular person's thinking process, but rather to make an instrumental map that allows us to apply the strategies that we have modeled in some useful way. An 'instrumental map' is one that allows us to act more effectively ­ the 'accuracy' or 'reality' of the map is less important than its 'usefulness'. Thus, the instrumental application of the behaviors or cognitive strategies modeled from a particular individual or group of individuals involves putting them into structures that allow us to use them for some practical purpose. This purpose may be similar to or different from that for which the model initially used them.

 

13. Forgiveness Pattern

 

Forgiveness; A great deal of therapeutic effort goes into struggling with anger and resentment, because this "unfinished business" causes so much difficulty both for the person who has it and for other family members, friends, and associates. All of us can think of clients who spend much of their time preoccupied with old hurts, interfering with their ongoing relationships and preventing them from getting on with their lives. How often have you wished that there were a quick and easy way to help a client give up this preoccupation with the dead past and refocus on present and future living?

In a fascinating and elegant videotape made in 1986 (4), Virginia Satir demonstrated that it is possible to resolve long-lasting resentment quickly. Linda, the 39-year-old client, started with great anger and resentment toward her mother. But at the end of the session she feels only love and compassion, and says, "I think you're right that I won't ever be able to look at my mother in the same way again. I feel clearer, and much more loving. I'm in love with everyone in the room." In a three-year follow-up interview, Linda goes into great detail about how well she got along with her mother after the session. At one point she says, "In fact, I felt like I was her best friend, which was really something I would never ever have said before."

Some might be tempted to dismiss this as only a single case, that it was a result of Virginia's consummate skill, impossible for ordinary therapists to emulate, or that Virginia got lucky, and that Linda was an easy client. But although Linda was cooperative, she was a very tough client, as a careful review of the videotape will show. At one point Virginia says to Linda, "One of the things I sense about you is you have a highly-developed ability to stand firm on things." (How's that for a reframe of being "stubborn"?)

But another way to think about this session is that Virginia showed us that it is possible to deal with a client's long-standing resentment in a very short time, and then go on to wonder, "What are the crucial elements in her work that could be teased out, tested, and taught to others?"

About eight years ago, my wife Connirae and I, along with participants in an advanced seminar, modeled out the essential components in the process of reaching and resolving forgiveness, and developed a pattern, or experiential recipe, for teaching clients how to do this.

I am grateful to Paul Watzlawick for pointing out the crucial difference between descriptive language and injunctive language. Descriptive language is exemplified by the DSM IV manual. Over 700 pages describe the different kinds of disorders that people have, but not a single page tells what to do to resolve them! In contrast, injunctive language tells you what to do in order to have a particular experience. George Spencer Brown (3) said it well:

"The taste of a cake, although literally indescribable, can be conveyed to a reader in the form of a set of injunctions called a recipe. Music is a similar art form; the composer does not even attempt to describe the set of sounds he has in mind, much less the set of feelings occasioned through them, but writes down a set of commands which, if they are obeyed by the reader, can result in a reproduction, to the reader, of the composer's original experience." (p.77)

There are two major processes on the path to forgiveness:
1. The first process is discovering the specific mental transformations that a particular client needs to make in order to reach the state of forgiveness. This is determined by a gentle exploration of internal images, voices, etc. comparing how the client represents a person who has already been forgiven with how they represent someone they are still angry at. This provides information about the internal structural changes that need to be made for this particular client. Once this is known, the changes can be made in a few minutes.

2. The second part of the process involves dealing with the objections that a client has to going ahead with reaching forgiveness. These objections often have to do with wanting protection against the expected consequences of forgiveness: "If I forgave him, then something bad would happen" that I'd be tempted to reconcile with him, that he could hurt me again, etc. Objections about consequences need to be met by eliciting or teaching specific protective coping skills. "If you forgave him, how could you still maintain your resolve to stay separate and be protected against future hurt?"

Other objections have to do with the meaning of forgiveness to the client. "If I forgave her, that would mean something about me" that I'm a wimp, that I condone what she did to me, etc. Objections about meaning need to be met by changing the client's meaning through some kind of reframing. "Can you see that far from being a wimp, your forgiving her would mean that you have accomplished a change that takes great courage, compassion and understanding one that only a few human beings are capable of?" A short mind-experiment can provide you with a very compact experience of the forgiveness process:

1. First think of two people in your life:
a. someone you like very much, and b. someone you dislike very much.

2. After identifying these two people, think of them simultaneously.

3. Continuing to think of these two people in your mind simultaneously, notice how you represent them differently in your mind.
a. First look at your images. One image is probably larger than the other one, farther away than the other, one brighter or more colorful than the other, one more to your left than the other, one higher or lower than the other, etc.

b. Next notice your auditory experience of these two people. Is there a voice with one image and not with the other, or are there differences in the volume or tonality of the two voices, etc?

c. Finally notice differences in your feelings in response to these two images. Besides feeling like for one and dislike for the other, do you feel colder/warmer, more connected/disconnected, etc. with one than the other?

4. Now comes the really interesting part. Try exchanging the locations of the images of the two people in your mind, and notice how your feelings change in response to this little experiment. For instance, I represented the disliked person small, far away, dim, on my right and silent. The image of the liked person was large, close, bright, on my left, with a clear voice. If I exchange the two, the disliked person is on my left, large and bright, with a clear voice. Many people simply refuse to do this experiment. Those who are willing to try this, at least for a few moments just to see what it is like, typically feel uncomfortable and unsafe, and want to quickly put the images back where they started.

There are four main points that I'd like to draw from this little experiment:

1. The location / other process traits of internal images are vitally important in determining our responses to them.

2. Since these process characteristics are completely independent of the content of the image, they can be used with any content, and constitute interventions that are totally content-free.

3. When you tried the experiment of exchanging the images, you found that it was relatively easy to move them around and change their characteristics.

4. Before you would be willing to make such a change permanent, we would have to find some way to satisfy your felt objections to making the change you would need to feel completely comfortable and safe with the new arrangement.

These four main points are true of all therapeutic work. In the following, they are illustrated by an edited transcript of an audiotaped demonstration (2) of the forgiveness pattern with a woman who was angry with an ex-boyfriend.

Steve: Ann, you have someone you're still angry with, and you also have in mind someone you have forgiven. Think of those two experiences; how are they different?

Ann: (briskly) The anger is here on the right; it's close, larger than life. (softly and more slowly) Forgiveness is pretty far out in front of me, 10 or 12 feet, perhaps three or four inches high. Anger is in really bright, stark, angry colors. The forgiveness one is pastel, softly lit from the back. I feel soft and warm and connected with that person. Forgiveness is real quiet. The angry one has lots of dialogue, with "Yeah, buts" and rationalizations; it's argumentative.

Steve: OK, now what objection do you have to transforming anger into forgiveness?

Ann: (thoughtfully) It feels like leverage, a way that I can get the change that is needed.

Steve: So, you have some outcome, and by remaining angry you think that will help you get it. What is it about remaining angry that helps you make progress toward the outcome?

Ann: By remaining angry, that creates, literally, distance between us, and he doesn't want the distance; so as long as I'm angry, then he needs to do something.

Steve: You strike me as a fairly resourceful woman. Is there any way that you could maintain distance without having to be angry, so that you could enjoy it even more?

Ann: The objecting part is saying, "If I let go of this anger, then I'll let him come back, and he won't have made the requisite changes. And then we'll be right back where we were before.

Steve: It sounds like that part doesn't believe that you, Ann, have the strength of mind or character, or whatever, to maintain a particular outcome and go for it.

Ann: Not without a lot of struggle.

Steve: OK. What makes it difficult?

Ann: It just seems like there's such a discrepancy in our value systems.

Steve: Given that you recognize this discrepancy in value systems, it sounds like you've made a fairly congruent decision that distance is the best thing, at least for now. And you said something about leverage that this person wants to be back with you, and that as long as you can say "not now" you have a way to create some motivation for him to maybe make changes.

Ann: Right.

Steve: Now given that's a decision you've made, what do you need the anger for? It seems to me it would be even easier to do all that without anger. It would give you even more of a feeling of power and upholding your own values.

Ann: It appears easier with anger.

Steve: What makes it appear easier? Is it just that it's familiar?

Ann: (thoughtfully) There is an element of familiarity in there.

Steve: Try traveling into the future. Imagine that over the next week, you have no anger, and that you're very clear, and your mind is set on this goal, and you could be even more comfortable in just simply saying "No," to any possible encroachment, or whatever. Do you have any objections to that? (No.) Does any part have any objection? (No.) OK, are there any other objections? (No.)

It sounds like you still have some connection with this person, that there are some valuable parts of this person that you also respect and have warm feelings toward as well. A lot of people think that if you feel warmly toward someone, that means you can't feel angry at them, or you can't deny them something. To me, it's even more respectful of them as a whole person if you can say, "Look, this part of you fits for me beautifully; that part over here doesn't fit for me and I don't want it." And just be really clear about that. It's not that you're bad or that I'm good. It's just, "This fits for me and that doesn't."

It can be even easier to say what doesn't fit if you acknowledge the parts that do fit, so that you're not rejecting him as a whole. That has got to be hard for him; he's going to be defensive, and then you're going to have to be defensive, and so on. But if you can say, "Gosh, the way you do this is wonderful, and this over here doesn't fit for me, and I refuse to do it." Does that make sense to you? (Yes.)

OK, let's go ahead and change your anger to forgiveness. As we do this, I want you to be very sensitive to any other objections that might come up. Take this representation of him on your right, and move it down here and farther away, and see what other changes occur spontaneously. Find out what it's like to represent this person in pastel hues, softly lit from the back, just like that other person you have already forgiven.

Ann: (softly, thoughtfully) I feel a loss of power; the powerlessness of not being able to say "No."

Steve: And what is it that prevents you from saying "No" to future harm?

Ann: (happily) I just fixed it. I brought him closer, so he's life-size, so then we're equal. When he was smaller than life-size, then I felt pity and I couldn't say "No."

Steve: And now, what's your feeling toward him? Do you have that warmth, and sense of connection?

Ann: Yeah, and I can have a conversation with him as equals, rather than having to play topdog or underdog.

Steve: Great. Now close your eyes for a minute, and jump into next week or whenever you might have an interaction with him and see how that goes. . . . (Ann is smiling and relaxed.) That looks pretty good from here!

Ann: Yes. (quietly) I feel softness, and tenderness, and understanding, and a real connection that wasn't there before. When you used the word "fit" earlier, that was absolutely perfect for me, because the objection part was being judgemental, making him wrong, and those things he did be bad, whereas just to see it as not a fit makes a big difference.

In a follow-up interview ten weeks later, Ann said, "At the time of our session, he was in Vermont, and as far as I was concerned, he could stay there. Now he's back here and we're setting a wedding date! How's that for results! There are two other things that I'm specifically aware of. One is that there's no bitterness on my part, and there's no reservation. I find it easy to have the same level of intimacy and trust as I did before. . . . And I've also used the forgiveness process in my own practice with couples, and it works."

This transcript presents a typical example of guiding a client through the forgiveness process. However, it is an example of someone who already believed that forgiveness might be useful. With someone who has no interest in forgiving, some preparatory work would be needed to deal with objections and motivate the client to at least consider forgiveness. Some common objections, and brief examples of dealing with them follow:

1. "The other person doesn't deserve forgiveness." Perhaps not. But forgiveness is not for him, it's for you, so that you can live in your body with more comfort and congruence. Forgiveness is so that you don't have to continue to be burdened by angry feelings, occupied with obsessive thoughts about revenge, etc.

2. "Anger makes me feel powerful; I don't want to give it up." Yes, there is a certain feeling of power in feeling angry, in being courageous and willing to stand up for yourself and your values. But usually there is also a sense of lack of choice in having to be angry and having to be preoccupied with thoughts of that person who harmed you. When someone says, "He made me angry," what they are really saying is, "He can control my feelings; I have no choice but to get angry." I'd like to offer you more choices, so that you can be the one in control of your feelings and behavior, and really stand up for yourself.

3. "I need to get even first." What would getting even do for you? Often people say that they feel personally diminished by the harm that was done to them, and that getting even would help them feel powerful and good about themselves again. I want you to feel powerful and good about yourself, and I'd like to offer you other ways of doing this. For instance, I'd like you to learn how to cope effectively with possible repetitions of this kind of behavior, so that you feel safe and strong in knowing what you can do to prevent a recurrence.

4. "I refuse to forgive and forget." I agree with you. I don't want you to forgive and forget. If you forgot, then you'd be completely vulnerable to a repetition of the harm that was done to you. I want you to forgive and remember. I want you to remember so that you are protected against possible recurrences, and to remember in a way that provides you with feelings of strength, choice, and resourcefulness, instead of being provoked into choiceless anger.

5. "If I forgave him, then he'd think what he did didn't matter and he could feel comfortable doing it again." So you want him to know how terrible it was for you, and so that he won't do it again. I think that it is important for you to communicate that to him. I don't know about you, but I find that when I'm angry I don't communicate very well. Often the other person gets defensive and doesn't listen, and maybe "blows it off," thinking "Oh, he's just upset; it doesn't mean anything." I'd like to help you find ways to really get through to him, and my guess is that will be much easier if you're not angry and upset.

The common theme in all these examples is to completely respect and align with the positive outcome that underlies the client's objection, and find a way that the client can see that reaching forgiveness would actually support that outcome. With a few minor modifications, this same process can be used for forgiving yourself for harm done to others. There are two additional understandings that are usually very important in self-forgiveness: 1) That everyone always does the best they can in a given situation, and 2) The healing value of atonement.

1. The presupposition that everyone always does the best they can is basic to all our work, and is best illustrated by a brief experiment. Think of a time when you harmed someone else, and you now regret it. Looking back on that situation, think about your motives, your knowledge, your perceptions, capabilities and limitations at that time. Considering all this, at that time could you have done anything different?

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, and subsequent learnings, etc. you may be able to do something different next time, but at that time you did the best you could. Understanding this can also be a useful part of being able to forgive others, but it is an absolutely essential part of forgiving yourself.

One of the results of Virginia Satir's "Family Reconstruction" process (in which the client directs and observes a vivid reenactment of the parents' childhoods) was to be able to see the parents' harmful behavior as the best that they could do in the context of the limitations and difficulties of their own upbringing.

2. Atonement can also be spelled "at one ment," becoming "at one" with, rejoining with what has been alienated. Anything that can be done to compensate for the harm that was done helps the healing, because it transforms regret into positive action. This can range from a simple heart-felt apology to taking steps to make up for the harm that was done. If the actual person who was harmed is dead, or otherwise unavailable, one can do good to others in the same kind of situation.

We have been teaching the forgiveness pattern for about eight years now, and I'm happy to report that it has been put to the supreme test: it has been successfully used even by someone with a complete misunderstanding of the principles involved! Like any good recipe, if the steps are followed carefully, the results are good, whether or not the cook has an understanding of what function the different components serve.

The healing power of forgiveness is a very ancient teaching, but typically this teaching has been to point to a goal, without much information about what to do to get there. Now that we know how to do it, this ancient teaching can be manifest in the world.

 

14. Five-Step Sales Process

 

Have you ever been in an . . . . intimate relationship? Yes, INTIMATE!
Let me ask you this, “HOW do you know?”

I know, stupid question and what’s this got to do with sales? Well, nothing really. Unless you’re a mover and shaker.
Then you understand the psychology of seductive sales.
Or should say seductive BUYING! So, were you able to answer the question, “How do you know? “

The answer is, “you FEEL it!” You know because you have a feeling deep inside about what it is that you’re so sure about, the same way people BUY! They just KNOW it. They can’t tell you what that ‘thing’ is but if you ask the right questions, eventually you’ll get an answer like, “It’s just a gut instinct” or “ I just KNOW.” Or “ I had a feeling it was the right decision.” These are the real keys to selling folks. This is how people BUY. And if you are of the premise that you’re a people person, smart, know your product, and how to close, you are far mistaken – leaving mounds of money on the table as they say. Don’t get me wrong here, you MUST know all those things as well, though if that’s all you have in your tool belt, you’ll never be able to create a buying environment for your clients. Let’s take a deeper look inside at some of the main factors in HOW people buy products and services. I promise, if you incorporate some of these simple skills into your tool belt, you’ll be able to construct an exciting ambiance for your clients to FEEL good about who they are and the decisions they make about their buying strategies.

The speed of todays business is consistantly increasing at a rapid rate. Companies are looking to increase their communication efficiency to maintain an edge over their competition. In the past 30 years a new model of communication and excellence has risen in the field of human behavior, a science that enhances the components between what we think, understand and how we communicate to people. Great sales people know this, because they’re flexible and change their presentation style to match the needs of their prospects, which they can influence. When you have the ability to influence anyone, at anytime your business and income will soar through the roof.

Effective communication skills are the most important tools we can learn in life. Yet, most have never learned to adequately become an effective communicator. Most will have theories, but no real answers. Many will state years of experience and practice are the only way to master these skills or it’s something you’re born with. The same goes with selling, if you do not learn to become a good communicator, your selling will not become any better either.

Most sales courses teach you to remember closing scripts and have you believe the words we speak are the primary source of our communication. But based on a 1970’s study from the University of Pennsylvania, 93% of our communication is on a non-verbal level. Learning powerful physical and non-verbal skills, allows you to change how others perceive what you are saying and influence anyone at anytime; because it’s the response we receive back from the client, not our given intention. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed from a model of change and success – HOW people do what they do to succeed. When you fully and competently understand how your clients buy, are sold to, and how to influence them by understanding that 90% of the unconscious mind, which is responsible for every decision they make, you’ll begin to naturally influence others to your point of view which means closing more sales. NLP offers some of the most powerful communication tools available in the sales training marketplace today. Simple, yet effective, tolls of awareness, skill, and perception make this technology a hidden resource of influence. NLP is the cutting edge tools of human development; the most influential communication and personal change technology yet available. It is the fundamentals of 'how' our brain operates. Individuals and organizations across the globe are using Neuro-Linguistic Programming/NLP in Los Angeles to enhance their personal and professional lives. NLP is a new field providing a wide range of both step-by-step methods in developing your ability to reach highly effective levels of communication and understanding within yourself and with others.

Once you have effectively mastered these simple techniques. Your ability to help people buy a product or service will escalate to new heights like you’ve never imagined.

Have you ever done a great job of solving your prospect's problems only to find they eventually bought from someone else? In the end, you really wasted a lot of valuable time. Or, has a potential customer told you exactly what he needed and you tried to SELL him on something other than what he KNOWS he wants. Forget, for the moment, your ability to overcome objections and your favorite five closing phrases. People are more likely to purchase if you first know how they made buying decisions in the past. Here’s a typical scenario;

Carol, I very successful agent of Real Estate and NLP in Los Angeles thought she had a SLAM DUNK sale. Her prospect John, realized that as a self-employed professional, he needed home/office space that was larger than what he currently lived in, to do more business out of his home. Carol determined John’s average monthly income level, how much house he could afford, and then showed him several homes that fit his financial needs. She got agreement from John that this was something he could afford, then closed the sale. Carol did an effective job of selling, right? Wrong! John procrastinated for a week and then bought from Carol’s competitor. Sound familiar? Why? Because Carol didn't determine John’s psychological buying strategy.

Do you ever think to ask HOW your prospect decides to buy? When you're booking an appointment, do you find out quickly how they will decide to give you an appointment, OR decide to buy your product?

Once you learn to ask the right questions, you’ll tap into exactly HOW they BUY from YOU! Yes, we all have a very specific buying strategy, and once you understand how your clients buy products and services like yours, you’ll have their key to unlock the doors to closing more sales. If you don't find out, ahead of time, HOW your prospects will buy or WHAT their decision-making strategy is, you'll never even come close to 100 percent closing rate. But, if you learn to ask the right questions, your prospects will let you know, in advance, how they will buy, from YOU! For more information about learning “HOW TO” communication and influence others to buy exactly what they desire – email us at www.JohnSantangelo.com

 

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