The little known "Swiss Army Knife" Tool of NLP

    Did you know there is a little known but powerful framework that you can use with the Meta Model that can transform the results you can achieve with the technology of NLP?

    It's called the Framing Tool. And in this article I want to give you a brief overview about this very powerful framework for thinking, that takes what you may already know about the Meta Model and gives you the ultimate "Swiss Army Knife" of thinking tools, to use in your business and life. The Framing Tool is a fantastic tool to have in your toolset and was developed by Master Trainer Michael Breen.

    Let's look at an example of it in action …

    The other week I got a phone call from a very successful consultancy company asking me to help them figure out a viable solution to a complex resourcing problem that a large multinational company was having in the city of London. They hadn't won the business yet. They simply were after getting an invite to tender and help the multinational solve the problem, after spending sixty minutes doing a 'meet and greet' about the problem with the client.

    I love these kinds of challenges, because they require one to demonstrate really good thinking skills, and bridge any doubt and trust question that a new client who has never before worked with you, naturally has.

    Getting To The Real Frame Of Reference

    So I spent ten minutes on the phone talking with the founding consultant of the firm to get his frame of reference on the problem. And at first I wasn't interested in the sensory details of the problem like most of us have been taught in the Meta Model … to drill down so if a person says "My girlfriend is angry at me", you say "angry how specifically?" or "angry compared to what?", "who says she is angry?" etc etc. This is what I call "getting a person to describe the water, when they are, more often than not, already drowning!" .. No, first I needed to get clear on whether the issue in focus was …

    - The right issue?
    - A solvable one?
    - Would meet the clients requirements?

    Getting to grips with the stated and real frame of reference is key to doing effective change, influence, and thinking work.

    You see Michael's Framing tool focuses on two key aspects of human thinking .. causal modeling … and the process of abstraction and instantiation.

    The frame of reference guides and directs a person's thinking about a given topic and is the end result, the conclusion, that they will have made (typically  unconsciously) after completing a series of thinking processes.

    You see when any of us make a statement or utterance it is the output of a long line of internal processes: the communicator will have had to leave out a vast array of information about the event/experience/topic under discussion.

    As any given event occurs, our brains  will  be  going  through  a  series  of  unconscious  processes.  These  include identifying, labelling, categorizing,  and  establishing  new  Cause and Effect  relationships  and  meanings,  as  events  occur,  based  on  previous  references  and  conclusions already established. The end result is what we call the surface structure statement. This statement is a conclusion that the client has reached, as a result of a complex neurological process.

    So the first thing I asked inside my head is "What must be true in order for the lead consultant's statement to be the right thing to say?."

    This question is at the core of correctly identifying the frame of reference that a client has. Asking this question along with using the Meta Model challenges of presuppositions, mind-reading and cause-effect with the lead consultant, quickly flushed out that he wasn't sure if indeed he had correctly identified the true scope and nature of the client's problem.

    But now we had an issue .. the follow up meeting was fast approaching AND he couldn't go back to the client and qualify if indeed they had really identified the client's real problem.

    And this is where the framing tool came in so handy ….

    In fact all of the steps outlined above were based on using the framing tool. There are a whole series of questions and understandings that the framework has about how thinking works that makes it so powerful.

    But before I digress, let's return to the "problem"..

    Calculating The Clients Reality

    What were we to do? … We knew after spending ten minutes or so talking that in fact we only had probably about 25 to 35% of the client's actual 'end problem' but we couldn't go back and get more. So I decide to meet up with the consultancy bid team and lead them through a process of calculating the missing pieces …

    Side Comment:

    You may not know this but the famous NLP Volume 1 book was actually called "NLP Volume 1, the study of the structure of subjective experience AND what can be calculated from it" … this last bit is missed off the officially released title but it a key area of NLP .. being able to calculate certain things from only a limited set of inputs … and this is what the Framing tool can help you do.

    You see Michael's Framing tool focuses on two key aspects of human thinking .. causal modeling … and the process of abstraction and instantiation.

    Casual Modeling refers to the process of how we establish a link between one or  more  events,  objects  or  circumstances,  which  suggests  that  one  of  the  events,  objects  or  circumstances  is  produced,  generated  or  created  by  another  of  the  event(s).  In  essence causal modeling  describes  how  Cause  and  Effect  reasoning  underpins our experience of reality. Causal modeling teaches us how we bind our experiences together.

    By working through what has to be there, what could be there, what consequences and benefits etc must exist etc as a result of the causes, we were able to quickly identify not just what the immediate "scenario" for the client was today, but what the causal chain of consequences would look like if left unchecked and the significant benefits that they would enjoy by making certain adjustments.

    In fact, by going through this simple but powerful process, I was able to help the bid team identify several hundred thousand pounds of "invisible" but real costs and negative consequences that allowed them to build a powerful business case for implementing a solution we proposed to the client.

    We used the same powerful combination of the Framing Tool and Meta Model to create the presentation slide deck and pitch: leading the client to take on board enthusiastically our definition of the real problem and the solution to resolve it. And anyone skilled with these two models can do the same thing in whatever context they want.

    The Value Of The Framing Tool:

    The Framing Tool, combined with the Meta Model allows you to rapidly get inside your clients model of the world and gives you the keys to being able to create transformative experiences for yourself and others.

    You don't have to figure out "which technique" you need to work, or try a million different questions to get to result. In fact using these two models for problem solving is just one application. It is just as versatile in any endeavor from persuading your boss for a rise to creating change.

    If you are interested in learning more, Michael and I cover this and the many related deep, real world, NLP skills and topics in a lot more detail inside the Platinum Audio News Club. You can sign up for a complete risk free, free trial here today and enjoy $200 of exclusive NLP Times products on us, in the member's area.

    Simply click here to find out more.

    Making It Practical:

    Getting highly skilled with the Meta Model and Framing Tool is covered in depth in the Platinum Audio News Club, but if you want to put what you learned here into action right now then start by listening to your friends family and clients and asking yourself these two simple but very powerful questions:

    1. What must be so in order for "X thing" to be the RIGHT and only thing to say?
    2. What will be/could be the consequences or benefits of this statement?

    X thing = the central issue or statement under focus

    Keep doing this over and over .. and quickly you will be able to predict things about them and the way they are holding their problem that seem "magical" and then able to use whatever Meta Model challenge that will have the largest impact on the presenting issue.

    For those who are more advanced, use the above two questions and loop iteratively forward and backwards .. meaning if the person says "I hate men/women!"  you will anticipate the precedents and influences several steps in to the past and the consequences/benefits of such a statement several steps into the future.

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