NLP Techniques: Flexible Response

Submitted by Craig on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 01:10

The Idea:

There are certainly times when the same old response is appropriate. However, having more choices in a dynamic world is generally desirable, and very often highly prized. In NLP we presuppose that the meaning of our communication is the response we get. More often than not the intention economy and what we say will be understood somewhat differently than we intended it. So we often need multiple ways of saying or doing something in order to get a response that we want. If we keep trying the same thing over and over, and harder and harder, we can only expect the same results.

In NLP is critical that we operate out of the other person's model the world. That model of the world is only made known to us in bits and pieces as we are able to discern other world is represented in their model. Our understanding of another person's model improves with experience with the person. The person's model of the world shifts over time, as do the moods and states of the person we are working with. What works one day may not work the next. So because NLP is results-oriented, we need to be able to quickly shift our approach to match the current model moods and states of the person we are working with.

Our models of the world are gained through osmosis, since before birth. Even in utero, our neurology is taking in the information about the world and organizing it in terms of what is friendly, and what is dangerous. Through our years we subconsciously come to learn who we can trust or not. On through adolescence, our belief systems are forming, and all of this external input comes to form our internal map. The trouble is most people fail to ever recognize the difference between their internal map of the world and the real world on the outside. We come to confuse our beliefs with facts, and never question those beliefs. When beliefs are to longer questioned, then learning and change become retarded or stopped. The more we question our beliefs, or can guide another to do the same, the more we are able to recognize them as mental constructs only, which then allows us to develop richer flexibility in the world.

The Pattern:

1. Identify areas in your life where more flexibility would be an asset

  • Where are you or your client feeling rigid, stuck or limited?
  • Where do you feel you are cycling through the same old routines, unable to escape?
  • Does your approach feel rigid anyway?

2. Take a step back and look at the situation in a disassociated way

  • From a disassociated perspective what choices do you see yourself having in that situation?
  • From that disassociated perspective, what choices would other sage advisers give you?
  • If you could not be fired for what you really want to say, what would you say?
  • What choices are available within your unconscious mind?

3. Make contact with the states that support that flexibility

  • Can you sit or stand, or move your eyes in a way that allows more creativity to flow?
  • Can you remember a time when your wit and imagination were unstoppable? Can you recall those feelings now?
  • Are there leading words that you can use that would elicit a more flexible response, such as "let's rewind...", or I'm curious...", or "how would it work if..."?

When to Use This Pattern:

Just like a good stretch every morning helps your body to stay toned and fit, stretching your flexibility and responses are useful skill to have in everyday life, but especially in NLP work when going for a particular outcome. Try to be flexible in your romantic endeavors, not to gain dominance over your partner, but to keep things interesting and exciting. Try saying something in a brand-new way. Remember that the response you get will tell you whether the way you said it comes across to your partner the way you intended it. Keep trying new ways when saying I love you, or discussing chores, or telling about your day at work. Pay attention to accuse your partner is giving you at all times.

If you are in a sales job, and your prospect is looking at his watch, you have to try something new and fast. Watch for cues to determine whether what you are saying is moving them to closer or further away from the close.

In talking to yourself, try talking in a new tone of voice or from another perspective, while paying attention to the other signals you get in your mind and body, to see if the new way of talking motivates you in a stronger way.


Michael Hall, and others.