How Would You Apply NLP Skills

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This video is an interview of three of the students from last year’s NLP Practitioner Course on their last day. It is an active demonstration of how internal filters completely change perspective and it is a great exercise to practice spotting how your language frames your experience.

 NLP Practitioner Course 2012

During the practitioner course we interviewed the students. I was going through some of the videos when I realised that there is a really valuable exercise in spotting linguistic models for you to try out here. Before watching the video just have a quick scan through the rest of this article so you can see the few bits I have spotted and then see what else you can spot in the language of these students.

Juggling; a Metaphor for Learning

The course is set up to use learning to juggle as a metaphor. But notice how powerfully Annemieke talks about juggling. You can hear how she creates what I would call an inductive pattern for herself. My definition of an inductive pattern can be summarised by the phrase, “Now that I can do this, what else can I do?”

Annemieke goes even further by taking the strategy for learning to juggle, places it over how she has learnt things in the past, and reconstructed her model of learning to take on the new strategy. In fairness she probably did that before the interview but notice her language and you will hear her talking herself through the new strategy.

The course was deliberately structured to overlay this metaphor, but how could you use the same idea in a different context?

One example if you were in sales might be to tell the story of a previous prospect turned client. As part of the story you could detail any common values for the industry and link them to the product as well as take key objections and reframe them.

A teacher for another example might create a story where the hero demonstrates a problem solving strategy and after the telling of the story you might send the class to solve maths problems using the strategy.

Internal Communication

All communication is communication with yourself. Think this through for a second. When you talk to someone you are not actually talking to who they actually are; you are talking to who you think that they are. A simple and obvious example is that you speak differently to a police officer to your best friend, to your mother, a lover a foreign tourist that doesn’t speak your language well.

The fact that you do that means that you are tailoring your language to suit who you think that person is. The reality is that however much you try not to the whole situation is packed full of assumptions that you are making. Hence my statement that all your communication is self-communication. You are only communicating with who you think the other person is.

As you watch the video notice how Billy explains the impact of being able to communicate with himself. The interviewer Ali, runs a great inductive pattern on Billy. My idea of an inductive pattern can be summed up by the phrase, “Now I can do this, What else can I do with it?”

Once Billy explains what he got from the course Ali is straight in with, “…and how is that going to affect the work in the saloon?” She takes Billy’s grand concepts and drives him straight down to the reality of how does this make a difference in your work place.

There are two things you can do with this concept immediately. Firstly; if you change who you think someone is in your head you will change how you communicate with them and their reaction to you will change. This is a more specific, detailed version of a lot of the airy-fairy new age tree hugging philosophy and is a quick way of making your communications more effective. The second thing you can do is keep asking yourself and anyone else variations on the question Ali uses on Billy e.g.

[box color=”white” type=”round” icon=”lightbulb”]

Now I can do this what else can I do with it?

How / Where  else could I use this ?

What specifically changes now that you have this new idea / concept / skill / tool?

What are you doing differently as a result of this?[/box]

Linguistic Deletions

Notice how Julia starts with, “I think I was always good at this stuff, BUT what I’ve never done is…” The way Julia stresses the “But” suggests to me the revelation is a pretty big one for her which is obviously confirmed by the way she speaks about it a few seconds after.

Also notice how in the space of a few seconds she switches referential index several times. She starts with “I have never done…” moves through “Always ask YOURSELF…” and moves through, “WE talk a lot in counselling…” and then she comes right back to “I’m there” It starts from about 5:12 through to 5:36

Julia’s revelation is about shifting points of view (referential index) and she unconsciously demonstrates a variety of different states in as many seconds via her language. This is a great example of these points of view switching naturally in a conversation.

This is how I use this frame of reference concept. I start by a conversation talking about a personal situation using my “I” frame of reference. You can then move into a “you” frame of reference to give people direct suggestions of what you want them to do. If we need to collaborate then we can look at incorporating some “we” references. But so long as I remember to close it of by going back to the “I” references people rarely notice what happened.

There is a lot more going on

I’ve only picked on a few things that jumped right out at me. There is a whole lot more happening in this video from the way Ali is using Presupositional Questioning and controlling the conversation right through to how Billy connects with what Julia is saying (watch for the head nods).

A great way of practising your skills is to just notice what is happening in unscripted interviews. And of course I win as well because not only do you watch the video on multiple levels, I get to sneakily show you more about the Practitioner Course that we have planned for later in the year.

Here is the video:



And you can find out a lot more about the NLP Practitioner Course that they are talking about when you click through here:


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