Tag Archives: meta model

From balls into cats

18 Jan 13
Daniel Smith
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Free yourself: Your job is to convert people from balls into cats. John Grinder

Many of us are trapped in our thinking. We allow other people to “make” us angry (or happy or sad). We respond predictably when people push our buttons. We fixate upon specific internal representations of events and people. A primary focus for the application of NLP patterns is to restore the freedom, choice and flexibility that allows us to respond differently.

Language can trap us. If I was to say that my son makes me angry I sacrifice my flexibility and give away my power and ability to choose an appropriate response. Yet so many of us do it. The Meta Model, Precision Model and Verbal Package offer direct ways of challenging these distortions of reality – in this case, by recognizing that nobody can make me, or anyone else, angry.

Conditioning can trap us too. When I start to make myself a cup of coffee, I pour in a sugar or two, without even evaluating how much sugar would taste best. And, in reality, different coffee demands different amounts of sugar! If a grave is just a rut with the ends kicked out, we can recognize that while habits and conditioned responses help streamline our experiences, it is so easy to trap ourselves in this conditioning. Collapsing anchors and setting up new anchors are fast and remarkably easy ways of regaining that choice.

When I think about broccoli, I imagine a piece that is dark green, glistening with water droplets, that looks so fresh that it could have just come from the garden. I can smell the freshness and health, and want to eat it. If instead I imagine a piece that looks like it’s spent the past hour in a steamer – so it’s floppy, the colours are washed out, and without smell or texture, it feels much less appealing. Submodalities help us become aware of how we use our internal representations to affect us – in this case, by changing my internal representations of broccoli from washed out to full of colour, I went from hating eating broccoli to loving it overnight.

The laws that apply to inorganic systems are different from the laws that apply to organic systems. Kicking a ball has reasonably predictable outcomes. Kicking a cat of the same weight will have vastly different and inherently unpredictable responses. NLP patterns are all about restoring freedom: Converting people from balls into cats.

For more on this, feel free to watch John Grinder on this YouTube clip or below if your browser permits.

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Who says the earth revolves around the sun?

19 Apr 10
Daniel Smith
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On The Genius Project, I wrote the following:

In the past two weeks, I watched my four-month-old son learn to blow raspberries. Inspired by reading that this would be good for his language development (seriously!), and knowing that his mother can’t blow raspberries, I made the sacrifice and regularly blew raspberries at him. He was surprised at the start, then he started laughing. Then he started trying it out for himself. It took a while, and he ‘fell over’ a bunch of times. Even now, his raspberries are particularly sloppy. But he watched me and he did it – today, he can reliably exit a room and blow me a raspberry!

Interesting skills are usually the most difficult to transfer. We can learn Newton’s Laws, but it’s another story entirely to learn to think as Newton thought. Those tacit and almost invisible skills that sometimes leave behind traces of brilliance are the ones where we lack the language to teach the skills. Often we lack the explicit knowledge as to what is being done at all. Yet an infant can learn without language. They just look out at the world with eyes wide open and a willingness to explore, experiment and experience.

In NLP terms, we could call this modeling. Modeling is how Dr John Grinder learned to do Gestalt Therapy from Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik, the process yielding what we now know as the “Meta Model”. Modeling was then applied by them, and the original study circle, to learn from Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson, Frank Farrelly and others, thereby creating the original foundations of NLP.

NLP Modeling (or NLPModeling) is more than just Strategies, and seems mostly taught explicitly and comprehensively as part of New Code NLP trainings.