Monthly Archives:November 2010

How would a chicken act?

07 Nov 10
Daniel Smith
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“Hypnosis doesn’t exist. I bet you can’t make me act like a chicken!”

“How would a chicken act?”

What followed was a hilarious few moments when the participant on the public speaking workshop that I was leading stood up on a table, flapped his arms and started clucking loudly like a chicken. The room was silent for a few moments when the others understood what had just happened – and nobody challenged me on hypnosis again!

That was late 1999… in a public speaking course – long before I was teaching NLP formally.

At the moment, I’m in Brighton for NHR training. Yesterday, I enjoyed an entertaining morning with Richard Bandler overloading us with stories, demonstrations and exercises, and an afternoon with John La Valle. During that afternoon, John La Valle mentioned that someone had once asked Richard how they could hypnotise someone to act like a chicken, to which Richard responded with “how would you act like a chicken?”

But hang on just a minute: That’s my story!!!

I have often told the story of when I did that, though now I’m wondering how Richard Bandler and I had almost precisely the same experience and offered almost precisely the same response to get a near-identical outcome. And a very cool outcome at that 😉

I was pretty sure that I’d just come up with that response on the spot, though I had trained with John La Valle in Design Human Engineering two years prior, so maybe he’d told the story then, and I’d just responded accordingly. It’s possible. Though as I recall no such connection being made at the time or at any stage in the intervening decade, I doubt that I had conscious recollection… and I don’t know whether it would be more amazing that I had unconsciously yet precisely replicated something I had hear about in a story in May 1997 two-and-a-half-years later, or whether I had just created the same response from a similar situation since I had studied quite a bit of Richard Bandler by the time. Either way, I had to chuckle 😀