Monthly Archives:December 2013

Well-Formed Outcomes: Getting Beyond SMART!

31 Dec 13
Daniel Smith
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New Year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and where we want to go next. Many people will set ‘new years resolutions’. That they will break within weeks. If not days. There are many tips (eg here) on how to get better results. Here I want to focus on how we can use NLP in this context.

  1. What do you want, specifically? When?
    Make sure you state the outcome as something that you want (rather than something that you don’t want). If you’re striving to eliminate something – whether it’s sugar, smoking or success – phrase the outcome as something that you want. For example, “Consistently enjoy coffee without sugar” or “To be free from the habit of smoking” or “To earn $x000 in 2014”. Big goals are great here – provided you feel you can reach them or at least can act as if you can.
  2. How will you know when you’ve got it?
    Make it measurable: What’s your evidence procedure for reaching your outcome? What will you see? What will you hear? What will you feel, smell or taste? Do you want to go for a week without sugar in your coffee? Do you want to go for 30 days (or more) without smoking? Will you have a work contract for earning that amount – or will the money be in your account? If you want to have a better relationship, how specifically will you know?
  3. Can it be done?
    Setting big goals is a great thing. The bigger the goal, the more inspiring it can be, and the harder you are likely to work. Provided you believe that it can actually be done. I like to talk about making things here possible on two levels: Objectively and subjectively. Objectively achievable means that it is physically possible for that to be done. Subjectively achievable means that you believe that you can do it. While there are few things as inspiring as a big goal, there are few things as disinspiring as an impossible one.
  4. What resources do I have?
    What would I like to have? What could make this easier/ more enjoyable/ more congruent with the rest of what I’m doing?
  5. When, specifically, do you want to reach your outcome?
    And once you’ve set that date, what are the steps to take working back to today?
  6. What do I want that for?
    What is my intention for being/ having/ doing/ experiencing that? While a goal can be a good thing, they often point to things that are even more important – and that sometimes can be even easier to enjoy.
  7. How does it impact your life as a whole?
    Does this outcome take into account the need for balance? Is it aligned with what you really want? What are your highest intentions Рand how will they be impacted? Connect with your intuition: When you think about having this outcome, how do you feel? Does having that outcome make you feel excited, passionate and thrilled? Or anxious, scared and nervous?
  8. Is it worth it?
    Consider the costs and benefits. Short term and long term. For yourself and for those around you. When all is said and done, is it worth it?

We talk more about this in the context of building Well-Formed Outcomes but hopefully this will help you for now.


Merry Christmas!

24 Dec 13
Daniel Smith
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Thank you for your interest in China NLP. We have been working hard to bring world class NLP trainings to China, with events in Shanghai, Beijing and across Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region, and are pleased to welcome our new Practitioners and Master Practitioners.

As a simple gift for this Christmas, I’d like to mention to you something related to the concept of framing. Like the subject line of an email, framing sets the context, expectations and biases for communication. One of Bandler and Grinder’s earliest books, Reframing, focused on how we can change the meaning of something by changing its frame. After all, what meaning does something have, other than the meaning that we give it?

In framing, we often talk about “Outcome frames” (What is my outcome here?), “Evidence frames” (How would I know if I got it?), “Backtrack frames” (Let’s just review: So far we’ve talked about what you want and how you would know if you got it.) and a few others. These framing devices shift our attention and direct our focus. It’s simple. We do it almost continually. But how well are you doing it?

Here is a simple frame for you to consider:

What do you feel grateful for right now?

And if it’s hard for you to answer that question for whatever reason (and we’ve all got reasons), maybe you could try this one:

What could you feel grateful for right now?

It’s a simple question (or questions). But I bet if you take just one minute to answer these questions you’ll experience something interesting. Come on: What do you (or could you feel) grateful for right now?

Christmas means many things to all of us. Growing up in sunny Australia, Christmas means big lunches, hot sunshine and a game of cricket in the backyard and Mum and Dad’s. Having lived in China for most of the past decade, it’s taken on more meanings again. Last night I drove my four-year-old son around to look at the neighbourhood Christmas lights – which is a very different experience again! Through it all, I’m noticing how much there is to feel grateful for right now.

Although our trainings are on hold until after Spring Festival, we are still having regular practice sessions over the winter. These are designed as practice sessions for those familiar with NLP but please let us know if you’d like to join us.