Balance – it’s in our nature.
In 1995 fourteen wolves were released into Yellowstone National Park.
At first deer numbers drastically reduced and then deer behaviour changed as they moved into areas less visible to the wolves.
In the absence of deer foraging, flowers and trees began flourishing, which led to berries, bugs and insects, which in turn attracted more birds. And then beavers returned, building dams that provided habitat for otters, muskrats, and reptiles. Coyote numbers reduced causing proliferation of rabbit and mice, which in turn attracted hawks, red foxes, badgers, and weasels.
And once a ‘balance’ between predator and prey was established, the park’s physical geography had changed as (previously eroded) riverbanks were now stabilised by the new vegetation.
What’s this got to do with NLP?
Have you ever noticed how the mind’s internal environment can house both predator AND prey? And although people come to us seeking ‘balance’ between work, home, and play, learning to ‘balance’ their internal habitat, always positively affects management of the outside world.
What are the mechanisms for restoring the mind’s habitat to flourishing vitality? Solutions start with awareness of possibility and an attitude of willingness to seek ‘balance’.
To do this we must think on purpose! Because thoughts alone either deplete or nourish brain-body chemistry, which in turn can cause erosion OR restoration of sustainable balances within.
Keep feeding thoughts that nurture thriving, that’s all. This alone will starve what no longer needs to exist in that place.
NLP is a system for sustainable inner balance! Do more of it! And if you can’t easily do it for yourself – do it so that others in your social system may thrive. Humanity is in great need of ‘balance’. And nature teaches us all we need to know.
Discover how we can help you balance your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and change your internal geography: HERE
Looking for a fun ice-breaker, pattern interrupt, or warm-up for your team of colleagues or students? Or a new idea for having fun and making people smile? Here’s a game you can play with your students, colleagues, coachees, or family. It has scope to be as purposeful as you choose!
This game involves letters of the alphabet A-Z, some pens, some paper or flip chart, or white board. It can be done individually or in groups and you can even add some flavoursome competition.
Choose one of the themes below and assign a word to each letter.
Theme 1: Positive/happy/fun words e.g. amazing, brilliant, cuddly …
Theme 2: Nouns (things) e.g. apple, bat, crib …
Theme 3: Verbs (actions) e.g. admiring, bowling, crocheting …
Theme 4: Nonsensical (made up) brain ticklers e.g. artummyful, brainbutt, crumtonly…
Theme 6: NLP nominalisations e.g. adoration, bliss, confidence …
Theme 7: Colours e.g. apple-green, baby-blue, crimson …
Or make up your own theme!
Or create a themed word-bank somewhere prominent where people can keep adding new words.
This is play, with purpose. For example, that purpose might be to:
• have fun
• engage with others
• embed learning
• calibrate people or situations
#NLP #calibration #language #play #happybrain #fun #states #NLP submodalities #icebreaker #braintickle #trainingroom #teamtalk
Do you or does someone in your family (any age) struggle to revise in preparation for a test?
Whether it’s an academic exam or professional standards test, or some other measurement of knowledge and skill, here are a few things you should know about revision:
- Revising is not learning something new. It is the process of checking in with knowledge and information already installed inside the brain.
- By bringing information to the surface of awareness, it can be examined more closely, modified, and re-packaged for (short-term) easy recall.
- Stress states divert energy away from the brain and prepare the body to fight or flight. That massively disadvantages the brain’s ability to focus and sets up scattered attention. Strands of important information get attached to ‘unrelated’ information.
- Thrive states assist the brain’s ability to focus, embed knowledge in simple units of information that connect to other ‘related’ units of information.
- Brains quickly associate the activity of revising with associated states of brain chemistry.
- Your thoughts ‘about’ revising, can either help or hinder the quality of processes involved in revising.
- Thinking drives emotions (chemical signals) which motivate people to avoid something or move towards it. This movement generates behaviour.
Which of these statements are most true for you?
Being motivated by others is an important driver.
Self-generated desire is a powerful force.
Performance guarantees future success or failure.
Performance provides useful feedback to build upon.
The performance of others is an important benchmark.
Personal previous performance builds powerful feedback loops.
Getting clear about your personal thoughts, beliefs, and motivations will help you steer more elegant behaviours through times of revision. There are no right or wrong answers here as the world is full of examples of people who have both succeeded and failed tests and exams, yet gone on to live successful, happy, fulfilling lives.
The question on my mind is how can you help yourself or another person, learn how they are currently handling their magnificent learning machines? While making adjustments that enable greater flow towards a more desired future.
Speaking metaphorically and following the Star Wars (films) reference/ambiguity “May the 4th go with you…” Would you say your inner light-saber generally shines light and bright, or dull and dim?
And thinking about your shiniest days at work, do you know the critical factors that influence these? For example:
- Which thoughts are in your mind while you are a beacon of light at work?
- What emotions maintain your best flow state?
- How do others perceive your most vibrant behaviours?
Why should you care about this?
Well as you surely know, people talk avidly about the things that deplete them. Indeed, many an evening’s meal can centre around bitching and moaning about matters of work. And you know people get hooked into the dramas of (tradable) tales, bonding through intense emotions. That’s how, as social animals, we roll. But do remember you can choose to bond over positive emotions too!
That’s not to say it’s not helpful to express your frustrations of the day, just don’t stay there! Don’t train your brain to feel comfortable in that stress zone, it prepares your auto pilot to seek more of the same.
Be proactive about engaging emotional states that serve your growth. Look for the positives in your life and design more positive spirals. The message in the Star Wars films is about igniting inner power and using it to grow a better world. Make your contribution count for good.
Balance time spent expressing pissy niggles, with time spent expressing excitement, wonderment, and gratitude.
Pattern on purpose – your brain likes patterns, why not choose to practise the upward spiral? Deliberately run a sequence of emotions from grotty to glowing e.g., feeling ‘argh, pah, meh, mmm, ahh’.
Emotions are contagious – beware of passively absorbing other people’s S**t. Instead, proactively share your best positivity.
Experiment with your personal power to calibrate how your vibrancy influences professional effectiveness and note how those around you respond to your glow-state.
Curate your own shiny audit of the subtle qualities of your peak performance state? And practise. Build a shinier auto-pilot.
Mike explained that he had been getting angry with people at work.
As manager of a production team, he needed his people to follow instruction and deliver results. But it seemed people were not always doing what he asked of them, and his frustration was increasingly turning to anger.
I was called in by his manager who was all out of ideas for ‘managing Mike’s angry outbursts’.
I asked Mike for a recent example of getting angry with his team. He told me how he’d asked a member of staff to tidy up a workstation (ahead of an external inspection). He had said “please can you tidy up that station?” the staff member had said “yes”.
Mike returned the next day to see a station that – to him – looked no different. He had become furious.
Mike and I went through an NLP exercise to elicit his ‘core values’. These reveal things (often beneath the conscious radar) that are deeply important and drive auto-pilot behaviours.
Mike’s list included:
- Needing to feel understood
- Feeling connected to important people in his life
- Responsibility and trust that he got from work
Mike soon became aware that the drivers for his recent outburst of anger had come from this list. And by getting angry at someone else, he had disowned his role in the communication, and disempowered himself.
We discussed the limitations of that stress-inducing strategy as he discovered how, inside his mind, he had had a clear picture of the outcome he had wanted for that workstation. Using a time distortion NLP technique, he could access precisely what “tidy up the station” looked and sounded like – to him. And that inner goal made him feel he was doing a good job. Unfortunately, those distinctions had not been accurately transferred to anyone else through the words “please can you tidy up that station?”
We went on to develop some new strategies for Mike to experiment with and test – in the field – new ways of helping people to better understand him.
Mike’s coaching aims began with:
- Taking responsibility for transferring his inner-world goal to someone else.
- Learning which thoughts, words and actions increased his abilities to do this.
- Applying his mechanical application of continuous improvement (running a production line) – to himself.
Metaphor for Mike – Life is like a game of chess!
What if Mike thought of his management skills as being like those of the queen in a game of chess? The power player who gets to creatively, flow around all other players. Or did he want to return to managing his team like a pawn, limited moves with limited results?
Metaphor is based on one of essential epistemological presuppositions of NLP The Law of Requisite Variety which states that the part of the system (System’s Theory) with the most flexibility will be the catalytic element within the system – like the queen on a chess board.
Do you know Alexa, the virtual AI assistant (small electronic hub that talks to you) bringing lightning-fast connection between you and the internet? The protocol for this type of interaction is simple – YOU have to speak AI language, articulating precisely what you want, then you get instant results.
“Alexa, what is the time?”
“Alexa, play relaxing music”
“Alexa, what is the weather forecast for London, tomorrow?”
Does this level of word precision sound familiar?
Reminds me of our NLP work where we look at structures of communication and learn to use precise communication to get precise results. That clears up misunderstanding when ‘meaning’ can get distorted, confusing the message.
So, what happens when someone doesn’t speak AI and tries to communicate on their terms …
Angry Ally got mad with Alexa who repeated “I’m sorry, I don’t understand that.” Ally blamed Alexa’s lousy programming for not delivering the result he wanted, and the AI was swiftly dispatched to the bin.
Nice Nanna’s attempts of asking “Alexa please, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like you to play X” left her feeling depressed and useless because the receiver got confused with all those words and zoned out. Even “please would you stop playing that now, Alexa” got no result.
Because AI speaks in code and signals, following a programme and there are no routes for making assumptions or ‘trying’ to deliver.
Smart Sam was curious about which verbal requests worked best and soon found the precise results he wanted. By adapting to the receiver’s programme, he soon got to discover more benefits of this new relationship. That put him in firmly in charge.
Unfortunately, Ally refused to adapt and remained in battle mode on a mission to prove he was right, while Nanna felt a failure by the thought that she was wrong. Both stuck to their own kind of music, both making their own misery by rubbishing another or pitying self.
You see, when the language of engagement is precise, look out for lightning-fast results. Learn how to tune in to the language codes of your friends and colleagues and make life smoother, easier, and happier. Wait – you did know that we all speak through different codes, didn’t you? Of course, you know your kind of language for sure, but there’s always room for improvement …