The Presuppositions of NLP
- Posted by deborah on June 7th, 2007
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) has basic principles which are the central principles, it's a guiding philosophy or 'beliefs'. These presuppositions are not claimed to be true or universal.
While NLP techniques can be highly effective, we ensure to also teach the importance of the relationship and aptitude for working with people and for the self. Basically they are a set of ethical principles for life.
A Pnuenomic ("RESPECT UR WORLD") has been created in order to assist our practitioners and master practitioners in remembering these NLP Presuppositions.
R E S P E C T U R W O R L D
1.RESPECT for the other person's model of the world.
To be of the highest benefit NLP Practitioner aim to "step into their shoes" taking into consideration our clients: age, social experience; cultural background; beliefs; language and current situation. Respecting their choices and decisions in life, assisting them to move forward taking into account who they are and how they live.
We may ask ourselves "What would life/this challenge be like, if I was to step into their shoes? how do they experience the world?"
2.Behaviour and change are to be evaluated in terms of context, and ECOLOGY.
As an NLP Practitioner we want to consider the specific behaviour in terms of the context in which it is situated.
We may ask "How does this behaviour impact this situation? is it relevant? Could this same behaviour be acceptable in a different set of circumstances/situation?"
3.Resistance in a client is a SIGN of a lack of rapport.
There are no resistant clients, only inflexible communicators. Effective communicators accept and utilise all communication presented to them. If people resist, it means we are not in good rapport with them and it is our role (as NLP Practitioners) to acknowledge this and do our best to build on the rapport, that is the interpersonal connection we have with our clients. (along with the connection that we have within ourselves and also their own self - eg. do they (your client/customer) trust their own decisions and choices?).
We may ask ourselves "am I connected to this person from a place of integrity and sincerity? What else could I do in order to make them/myself feel more comfortable in this relationship?"
4. PEOPLE are not their behaviours.
Accept the person; change the behaviour. Behaviours are really the symptoms, the cause of the behaviour is what we want to focus on. By discovering the root cause of the behaviour or simply acknowledging it can create powerful change. We are not only our behaviours, often we "act out" due to some unresolved challenge in our own lives. We may acknowledge this behaviour is not all that this person is, they are more than that.
"What is it that they are wanting to get from this type of behaviour? What do they/I need? and how might that be important?"
5. EVERYONE is doing the best they can with the resources they have available to them.
Behaviour is geared for adaptation, and their present Behaviour is the best choice available. Every behaviour is motivated by a positive intent. While, it may not seem like that specific behaviour is not motivated by a positive intent (especially if you're on the recieving end of it), perhaps it gives that person some positive feelings about themselves. People are more thatn their behaviours, the behaviour they use is based on the resources they have at that specific time (taking into account their own history and culture). It's important to be gentle with oneself and give the same respect and forgiveness that you would to others... to yourself.
You may ask your self "I accept that they were doing what they believed would be best at that time. What do they need from me? What do I need from them?"
6. CALIBRATE on Behaviour.
The most important information about a person is that person's behaviour. What re-occuring patterns do we notice, is this behaviour evident in many other relationships or areas of their life. Instead of just listening to the clients words, a practitioner will take notice of the pattern of behaviours too, as this provides us more information about that person and their challenges.
"What other behaviours have I observed? When do they/I do this same behaviour with others?"
7. The map is not the TERRITORY
The words are NOT the event or the item they represent. We don't always express ourselves effectively, if we are angry with someone as they are not meeting our needs, it may come through in many different ways. Screaming down the telephone at a helpdesk person, may be a reflection of the frustration we feel that we are not getting what we want in our personal relationship. The words we use... are not the event or real issue we can be challenged with.
"What's really going on behind this situation? What could it be about? What is their intention?"
8. YOU (U) are in charge of your mind,and therefore your results.
(I am also in charge of my mind and therefore my results). This presupposition is about responsibility and accountability. It's easy to blame others "he made me angry" or "they made me do it" when infact it's important to acknowledge instead that "I allowed him to make me feel angry" and "I choose to do as they asked". We are Great at Blame, passing the buck and having great reasons... however it does not really get us any results (just more blame, more excuses and more reasons... but no results).
"am I taking full responsibility for the way in which I'm feeling? am I attempting to push the cause of the problem outside of myself? How can I take more responsibility for this behaviour? What can I do?"
9. People have all the RESOURCES they need to succeed and to achieve their desired outcomes.
There are no un-resourceful people, only un-resourceful states. More than often the solutions to our challenges lie within us, it's just a matter of being in the right frame of mind to tap into our own experiences and knowledge. If we do not know how to do something or we are unsure of the best actions to take, we do indeed have a load of resources at our fingertips, or the ability to find out what we want with the incredible amount of technology and of course the knowledge and experience of friends, family, professionals in the industry and work colleagues.
"Am I in the right frame of mind to deal with this? I know I have the ability to do something about this, I know someone who can assist me. Who could I contact or seek assistance from?"
10. All procedures should increase WHOLENESS
As a society we believe that we are fragmented enough, our aim is to do what we can to assist someone to feel more "whole" and less fractured or conflicted about a situation or event.
"What is it that I really want? and what is my purpose for that? What will it give me?"
11.There is ONLY Feedback!
There is no failure, only feedback. There are effective and ineffective ways of providing (and receiving feedback). Feeback is a powerful way to learn and if we learn to listen carefully it can make the difference in our relationships to people (and events).
"What can I learn from this?"
12.The meaning of communication is the RESPONSE you get.
If we communicate a message to someone and they react in a way in which we did not expect, then perhaps it was due to the way in which we made that communication. It's our responsibility to find a different way of communicating in order to get the more appropriate response we want.
"Did I get the response I was looking for? How else could I communicate this?"
13. The LAW of Requisite Variety
The system/person with the most flexibility of behaviour will control the system. Children are an impressive example of this presupposition, they know how to get what they want... they can become very creative in different behaviours or ways in which to communicate. (eg. In order to get an icecream, they have multiple ways to get their request fulfilled. Like asking different parents; promising to do something different; and of course ... the trantrum)
"How could I do this differently? what other options are available to me to express how I feel?"
14. All procedures should be DESIGNED to increase choice.
When working with our clients, we look at ways in which to open more doors, giving each person new possibilities of experience; patterns of thinking; flexibility of behaviours, allowing each individual a number of new options in which to increase their quality of life.
"What's preventing me from geting what I want? How am I avoiding or blocking off other options which are accessable to myself?"
How could you use these NLP presuppositions today?
Here's a "thought experiment"
1. Think about a difficult situation in your own life.
2. Now read through the presuppositions and choose just one of these NLP presuppositions that resonates with you.
3. Now consider, get curious, taking into account that specific NLP presupposition, what do see differently or act as if that presupposition was true, how different would you now think about that situation?
4. How different could it be now? What could you change?
Whilst this is just a quick example and it's lost by doing it on a website, much more effective when you're face to face with someone who holds these beliefs in place, knowing that you really have a lot more potential and ability than what you may be aware of.
Most people acknowledge that NLP brings about a lot of self-development and change. NLP is more than just a way of thinking, more than just a mindset which is based on curiousity and exploring different possibilities. It's a realisation that "the words you use, do not describe the world you live in.... they determine the world you live in."
It's one thing to first understand the basic principles and another to put them into use for yourself so that you can be the person you want to be, do the things you want to do.