The Yang of Language Patterns
The Meta-Model is also known as the language of precision, or precision language, which addresses the common tendency of people to sometimes overgeneralize, distort or delete information as we speak and write.
First inspired in the NLP founders by modelling Virginia Satir in her therapeutic work, the Meta Model is a deductive language model which emphasizes the general to the specific. The meta model is used as a tool to reveal additional meaning that is hidden under the surface of what is being said.
The Meta Model is characterized by good questioning that reveals meaning behind what is initially being said. Questions like:
- "What, specifically?"
- "Who, specifically?"
- "When, specifically?"
- "How, specifically?"
Sometimes our problems are allowed to persist and propagate on their own momentum because they thrive in a kind of trance state. Meta Model language patterns are used to interrupt those kinds of thoughts and shed more light on the finer distinctions that may have been ignored while in trance. For example:
Problem: My partner does not love me because she never pays attention to me. Meta Model: Never EVER pays attention? How specifically does that mean she does not love you?
Problem: I'll never get a promotion. Meta Model: How specifically do you know you wil never get a promotion? How does that mean you will never get a promotion?
You get the point. These lines of questioning are very useful when working with others in a stuck state, and particularly useful in examining our own stuck states, which need to be challenged in order to progress to more resourceful states.