If you ask ten different people about what’s in NLP, they’ll give you ten different answers.
To be sure, there’s lots of stuff to learn in NLP.
But what do the experts regard as the most important part of it? What do they recommend to learn if you’ve only got a limited time and a limited budget?
See, when we humans look out at the world, we distort, generalize and delete stuff. Our fives senses are very limited and we know little, if anything, that’s going on behind the scenes out there.
What do I mean?
People behave in certain ways, and we’re generally clueless why. Sure, we imagine they’re doing things for reasons largely related to us, but that’s not usually the case. Even if somebody close to you makes a snide comment, it’s usually related to something that’s been brewing a long time.
You just happened to be the most convenient person to unload on. Close friends and family usually are.
So we take in all this information, mix it in our brains with our limited experience, beliefs, and ideas about how we perceive the world, and then formulate some kind of opinion. Or if we’re particularly adventurous we think of something we’d like to create, combining a couple dashes of intention, some vague idea of our skills, and some kind of conception of what we think will happen when we get there.
As you can probably guess, whenever we express anything, it’s about as clear as tall glass full of freshly made mud.
That’s where the meta-model comes in. The meta-model is a set of easy to learn, and easy to use linguistic tools that seek clarity when there is confusion.
Now, these are a huge double edged sword. If you use them to slice apart somebody’s long held beliefs, then they’re going to hate you. Instantly. Forever.
But when you use them to open up somebody’s desires or goals, it’s like instant gold.
See, most people like to talk about themselves. But most of us are too busy thinking about ourselves to help others talk about themselves.
But when you use the meta-model to open up somebody else’s desires and dreams, then they’ll light up like a radioactive Christmas tree.
Because it’s rare enough to find somebody who’ll sit there and listen to what we want. But when we come across somebody who not only takes the time to listen to us, but also who wants to know everything there is to know about it? Well, then we start to assume things.
Like they’ve got what we want. And they can give it to us. So when they make suggestions, we’re much more likely to take them.
So how do you use the meta-model? Simple. Whenever there’s any vagueness, elicit more specificity.
They say they want to lose weight, we say, “Great! How much would you like to lose?” They say ten pounds, we say, “Fantastic! When would you like to lose it by!” They say next week, and we say, “Splendid, and what will you be able to do when you’ve lost all that weight?”
And watch their eyes light up.
Try it some time.