If the technology of NLP is known for one thing, it is known for being able to create change for people quickly.
And we have many ways of creating change quickly, as indeed several other fields do .. but one of the coolest things about NLP is when your very skilled with it you can do it conversationally. You don't need to stop and tap someone on the head (although that is both fun and can be cool too!), rather you can simply have a conversation and change minds … with only your words …. and the more you do it the more addictive it can become that you naturally find yourself helping others overthrow self-imposed limitations, disabling beliefs and just crazy stuff that is sucking joy and happiness out of their life.
But what is the key to creating change?
Rather than focus on a specific technique lets focus on three behaviours.
- Being Tenacious
- Being Attentive
- Being Adaptable
All three are a must.
If you treat people as "broken" or as a "machine" then in my experience you have already put yourself in a poor position because you are looking for what is "not working" rather than focusing on what is .. and more important how X behavior is the right thing, the only thing that should show up given the unique patterns of thought, feeling and behavior is driving the result you have the client describing.
If you project stuff onto the person you are trying to help without being aware that you are doing it .. you might just be screwing yourself over. For example a client comes to you telling you of fear and you instantly think "technique and phobia removal pattern" you will find many times when it just work … and you will also have hamstrung yourself … because you are most likely MISSING what is exactly going on. Not all fears are phobias and not all behaviors can be changed with canned NLP techniques and box 1, box 2, box 3 NLP patterns. (And for the record this doesn't at all mean that the patterns don't work, rather not all patterns work for everything or everyone)
One of the questions I asked Richard Bandler when I did the MTM interview series was "What are some of the habitual questions you have asked … throughout the years that allowed you to be the genius that you are to have created so many innovative technologies?" to which he replied":
"A big question that I ask all the time is what the f*** is going on? "
And that really is an AWESOME question to ask yourself any time you are trying to help someone.
Richard went on to say "The strongest instinct in human beings is not survival it’s to make things familiar."
So when something happens all of us try to filter what we see through the experience of WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW (if you let it) .. and sometimes that can screw things right up. You label something as X when really it is not. In a social situation perhaps you think that look means he/she is annoyed in you, interested in you .. in a work context you think that the lack of feedback means your going to get fired etc etc .. and soon the habitual mental processes of your mind start spinning in high gear.
The best service you can do for yourself and the people you are trying to assist is first start from a place of not knowing .. of asking yourself "What the f*** is going on?" and then stay in uptime and notice what is present, what does show up. If you want to spot a pattern don't chunk down, chunk upward and out .. and notice what is the thing that is driving this behavior-thought-feeling and identify where exactly is the leverage point that you can tap to create a big change for that person.
Tenacity … is the third thing you will want to have in spades … if something shows up and you have never seen this type of thing before .. or don't have a clue how to create a change .. that's when you should be playful … stick with it and drive forward doing whatever it takes to get to results. And most importantly … if you are one of the people who hear a voice inside your head that claims "I can't do this" … " I don't know how to" .. tell that voice to shut the heck up! Yes, it may be right, yes you might not be able to get the person all the ways to the desired result but the fact is you aren't going to become any more skilled and certainly not going to help the person IF you accept some idle natter inside your head before you start.
Making It Practical:
Information and theories are nice but results are better. So today when you are around friends and family notice as new stuff happens and ask yourself that question "what the f*** is happening?" and notice at a sensory level what you can detect .. what you see, hear and externally feel and then notice the narratives and stories yourself and other put on the stuff that has arisen .. is that really what is going on or is it something yourself or someone else has now projected onto a situation?
When your working with a client or trying to help a friend again, ask yourself "what the f*** is happening?" and look to track the patterns that are present .. that one could point to and then once you have figured out what is really the structure that is driving the so called "problematic" behavior be tenacious, attentive and adaptable as you help transform that behavior.
As always if you have a question or comment feel free to post it below. Also if you are someone who has a negative semantic response to using or saying the work f*** then change it to heck or something that works for you.
To your increasing mastery.