In part 1 of 10 tips for greater Meta Model effectiveness we covered the five key aspects to get in applying the Meta Model. If you haven't already read that post please do so as it plays an important role in seeding key principles that I will talk about now.
6. Apply it to Yourself
Many years ago as a new person to NLP I found myself absorbed by Structure of Magic 1 and 2. (If you haven't already got a copy of them be sure you do.) And in the years that have passed since I continuously have been impressed with:
1. The usefulness of the Meta Model in any context (I've applied it in Business, Therapy, Consultancy and many other areas) to provide really rich information to help ensure you correctly identify what is going on in a person world view (including many times my own!)
2. How language runs so deep and outside most people conscious awareness yet someone who is skilled in the Meta Model can influence them self and other really powerfully. The best of NLP (IMHO) is not in doing a fancy techniques but in doing the fundamentals really well. The Meta Model was the first model of NLP and from which Richard and John developed the other models of NLP.
Whenever I need to make an important decision, business or otherwise I will almost always Stop and ask myself how accurate and clear is your thinking about X? And I proceed to use the Meta Model along with some additional powerful frameworks to ensure I understand and can identify any achilles heels in my thinking. So tip number 6 is use the Meta Model on yourself, daily. And whenever you find yourself or a friend "stuck", turn on your Uptime state, listen attentively and rather than using other aspects of NLP such as any of the change techniques simply restrict yourself to Meta Model queries and you will find your skill greatly improved in no time at all.
7. Pay attention to non verbal and analogue communications
A basic premise in NLP is one cannot not communicate. People are constantly oozing message and display many additional messages in their communications (often non verbally and outside their conscious awareness) that a skilled practitioner can "tune" into. By being in an uptime state and noticing the non verbal communications of your client and apparent incongruenties, you can place well targeted questions that will allow you to rapidly identify the core restriction the person is operating from and develop a path which will help reframe or shift the persons thinking, often entirely, about the whole problem.
Therefore tip 7 is, pay exquisite attention to the non verbal and analogue communications of your client and track them to identify the key structures that are keeping your clients world view restricted so you can use the meta model to shift their experience.
8. Be aware of your own tendency to hallucinate
If someone say you, "I had a bad accident when I was 28 and it really bothers me", what do you understand by that? Do you know what I mean? Most of us would say "we do". However as a practitioner of NLP you need to ensure that your understanding is grounded in sensory experience and that you avoid hallucinating what the other person means. That simple statement doesn't tell you what representation system the person is using to "hold" their "botherment" nor does it share with you what specifically about the accident is bothering them. So Tip 8 is, as you listen to people be aware of your own filters and how language calls up it's own anchors which can mislead you if you aren't aware of how you are representing what your hearing.
9. Stay on Track
One of the guiding principles to NLP change work is to lead a person from their present state to their desired state as efficiently as possible. When you are using the Meta Model, you can use this information to develop a path from the present state to the desired state.
By attending to this you can begin to ask yourself the question "where is the point of leverage in this system?, How is this person maintaining the "problem space" and what well placed question could change all of that?" By making sure you are only going after information with a specific intention in mind and constantly scanning to understand how the person is holding this problem space, you can quickly identify ways to influence the speaker to a positive outcome.
10. Have Fun
Using the Meta Model can be alot of fun and enormously rewarding. However learning and mastering anything can seem uncomfortable at times. However it's worth pushing through should this happen to you. As you practice each day you will begin to find yourself getting greater results all the time. If you only use the meta model in habitual uncreative ways then you forget to have fun .. so tip 10 to greater effectiveness is make sure you enjoy the experience of using the Meta Model and have fun with it as you get better all the time.
Making it Practical:
Take two of the tips above and use them this week in your Meta Model communication with anyone you meet. The more you practice and incorporate the feedback you get the greater your skill will become. So have fun and feel free to post any questions or comments.