NLP Practitioner Course
with Tom Mackay

Day 2 - Notes

Following on from yesterday's post , here are my key learnings from Day Two of the NLP Practitioner course, which I am helping coach at. Today we looked at rapport, representational systems, perceptual positioning (spatial anchoring) and reframing.

Again, these are basic notes and will be of great value to fans of NLP, people who are considering taking the NLP Practitioner course, and those who have already taken the course and want to brush up on their skills.

My key takeaway from today - “Change happens in an instant. It's the time leading up to the change that takes the effort and perseverance”... I like this a lot! Dwell on it a little bit, and you'll realise it's probably true for you too... Anyway, here's my notes....

Auditory Rapport

We all speak differently! To get good rapport with people, you want to match their voice on tone (high / low), tempo (speed), timbre (quality – i.e. are they speaking from the throat, nasal etc), volume (loud /soft). Tempo and volume are the most important. This takes a bit of practice, but if you work in sales (particularly telesales) this is a must-do!

Exercise: Take a recording of someone on the radio. Then record yourself matching their voice. Keep doing this until you sound very similar. This is a simple and cheap way to practice auditory matching.

Exercise: Stand back to back with a partner. One says a couple of sentences. The other then attempts to restate this phrase whilst matching the other person's tone, volume and tempo. After a couple of goes, you'll be able to match the other person's voice in a spooky way.

Representational Systems

These are ways people think and assemble information. We have visual, auditory, auditory digital and kinaesthetic. Your Primary Representation System is the representation system you use more than most.

Predicates are words that match a rep system – i.e. “I see”, “I feel” “I hear what you're saying”. When building rapport with people, we should attempt to speak to them in their preferred representation system. The best way to find out what someone's preferred rep system is by LISTENING to them speak and paying attention to the predicates! The more flexible you are the better results you will get.

Some Simple Stereotypes about Rep Systems

Visual people like to see things! They like videos and pictures and are very good at remembering images. They speak faster and use big gestures with their hands, and tend to look up more. Examples of predicates: See, clear, vision, bright, cloudy, dark, illuminate, envision, colourful.

Auditory people learn more by listening, and they get distracted more by sound. They'll often tilt their head towards you when listening, or they'll be tapping... there's some rhythm going on! Or, they may touch their face. Examples of predicates: hear, tune in, resonate, harmonise, rings a bell, sounds, loud, soft.

Kinaesthetic people learn by doing – they need to physically experience things. They tend to be bigger built – they enjoy food and often walk slower! They tend to speak slower too. Examples of predicates: feel, grasp, get a handle on, touchy, prickly, hug, hard, loving.

Auditory Digital is anything that doesn't fit into the other categories! (i.e. planning, decisions, processes, reading) – most business documents are like this. It's a bit like Spock from Star Trek – a bit detached from the experience. Examples of predicates: motivate, publish, plan, decide, think, read, decipher.

Learning Levels

These are the different levels that people go through when learning a new skill.

Unconscious Incompetence – don't know what I don't know! This is before you start learning something.

Conscious Incompetence – I know that I don't know it! Happens when you start learning a new skill.

Conscious Competence – I've been practicing, but it's all an effort. Like driving a car at the start and balancing clutch, gas, break, gears, mirrors, signals etc.

Unconscious Competence – the skill is learned! It is virtually a habit. Like driving once you've passed your test!

NB – this isn't the end though. We can always get better! Thinking we know everything is a dangerous place to be at! There is never an end point for improving skills.

Perceptual Positions

First position – your perspective, fully associated

Second position – another person's perspective, fully associated through their eyes

Third position – totally detached from the situation, an objective viewpoint, as if you were an invisible entity absorbing the flows and arcs of communication between people.

Gandhi would imagine stepping into someone else's shoes before meeting them, no matter how different their views were to his. This allowed him to understand them better. The Native Indians say “to know someone you have to walk a mile in their moccasins”. Gregory Bateson said “wisdom comes from multiple perspectives”. In short, the more perspectives you take, the better.

Exercise: Match someone's physiology for just a few minutes. Have a friend think of a certain memory (and stick with it) to get into a state. Match their posture and breathing for a few minutes to the minutest detail you can recognise - and afterwards then say what you were feeling and experiencing. Often, you'll be surprised by how similar your experiences are.

Spatial Anchoring / Perceptual Positioning

When we are locked in our own perspective, we can get stuck. Visiting someone else's perspective can be incredibly powerful and enlightening.

Mark four spaces on the floor (on bits of paper). Label them 1,2,3 and “learning spot”

Take a blocked communication, issue you are having with someo

ne.Start in first position (your own viewpoint)

Good questions to ask: what do you want from this interaction? What is your positive intention? How would you like the other person to be communicating? What are your beliefs about the other person?

Next, break state... properly! Move to “learning spot”.

Step into position 2. Adopt their physiology. Answer the same questions again but through the mouth, eyes and ears of person 2.

Break state. Take the learnings into the learning spot.

Next, step into position 3 – the neutral spot. Ask yourself – what could I do differently to change the behaviour next time?

Break state. Go to learning spot with learnings.

Finally, step into position 1 again WITH your learnings, and future pace by imagining your changed behaviour in a situation with the other person in the future.

"Mercedes Model"

We have three major “parts”:

Internal State – how we feel, emotions
Internal Process – thoughts, strategies, internal dialogue, beliefs
External Behaviour – actions, physiology, words

They are all linked! If you change your thinking, it will change your behaviour and feelings. Change your feelings, and your thoughts and actions change. Change your behaviours, and your thinking and feelings will change!

Pre-Framing and Reframing

Pre-framing is putting a frame around what you are going to do. For example, at the start of a course you pre-frame by saying what is going to be covered. Without pre-framing, people can get confused.

Reframing is all about giving something a different meaning. For example, your current job may be crap, but you can reframe it to make it a stepping stone to your dream job.

Context reframing – Think of a different context in which this behaviour may be useful. i.e. a knife could be a weapon or a tool for eating.

Content (or meaning) reframing – Think of a way your behaviour may be useful in another situation - i.e. you may hate your perfectionism – so then ask yourself “where could perfectionism be useful?” … Well, it means you achieve a lot, you have good attention to detail, and you are likely to reach your goals.

Additionally, if somebody says something and you want to add your own point / opinion, use these phrases to reframe:

I agree and...I respect that and...I appreciate and...

Avoid the word “but” - because this negates everything that is said before the “but”, and makes it seem as if you don't value the other person's opinion.

That's it – another great day today. Coaching NLP is very different to learning it, and is massively rewarding. There's a real good mix of people on this course – if you're interested in NLP, I'd highly recommend taking a Practitioner course. Everyone here is already starting to make solid progress, and we still have 5 days left.

I'll post the highlights of Day Three tomorrow.

NLP Practitioner Course - Day One Notes

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