You are on page 1of 175

The Magic of Conversational

Aboullhe ,Author

Robert DillS has been a de~l,()p!;!r. author; trainer and consultant in the field or Ncum- L.~nguilstic Programmi fig (Nl.P) since 1975.]n addtuen to spearheading the applicatlcns ofNLP to organizational. develop men t, Ie~g~cre8tMty and health, '~j personal comr.i.b'lLlti.oI'lS to the field of NLP' include much of [he seminal work on the NLP teehniquea of Strategies and Belief Sysrems, and thf: deve]opm 'I1t or what has become known as "Systemic NLF!"

Dilts i~ me principle <IlL! thor of Neu ruLinguistic Pmg'rai'tlming \lot. f (1980), and f"iCJ!S authoredunmemus other hooks DIll NLP' ineludurg Ch~il' BeUe!Systenu wirh NLP (1'990) and BeUefr..Pathwa.ys to Heairfl r:mdWeli Being 0990, eo-authered with TIm Hallhmn and Suzi Smith) which describe his workln changing lizniting beliefs and creating funettonal belief :l'i}'S ~L! rns, nm l.~ fo«t Dreamers (] 9191 I" co-authoredwith Todd Epstein) and SkWsfor the Fu,tu re [(993) I explore the appllcatlnns cfNLP to manage and enhance crC~lli\fity. U~hs' series. Strategi(f~ ofGtmius Vols.l, H &.111 (1994-] 995), applies the tools IOf NIP tn mudel the rhtnklng processes IOf Impnrtanr hlsrorfcal figures; such as. Aristotle, Sir Arthur Conan Doyles Sherln e'k ]-[~ ,]oles. '''Val t Disney, Moz.:art. AI bert Elnstein, Sigrn LI nd freud, [,etma:rdo ria \rmd and Nikola Tasla, Vis tonary Leutief"ihip SkWs (l996). d raws from Dilts' enen5ive study cf'lustcneal and corporate leaders, I.n present the tools and skins ne-r:eSc5ary Iot "creating 3. world ILO which. peopre want to belong," Hj~

Sleight of Mouth

The Magic of Conversational BeHef Change


Meta Pehliea ti.~D.S P.iO..Bn'D%HHO CapiOOla., C~rnia 95010 (8.11) 464-0.254

FAX. (8Hl) 464-0517

© Co,pyrigbt 1 ~99byME!ta. PubHca.tions_ Printed inth.e United StatEtS of . .1\]l1rights,r~s 9l"'i7ecl. This book ul!"pm.s ther:,oof may nl!ltbe reprod ueed in any form without written p ermiseien of the Publisher.

Lib~aTY of Congress O~lld. Number 9<9-07-44 02 m.B.RN _ (J-916990~4a.-5


DediciSltioIil Aclrnowle<lgments Prefaee

vii viii IX.

CH.:AiP1l'lI!lB. 1 .LANGUAGE M1l!liEDiiEnmNCIE 1

The Magic of LaIllguagl6 ~

Langll~ge and N eUJro-LiIilgWstic Progrrunmin,g 8

Ma'P' and. Territory B

Expm-ience 14

How,a,g-e .Fr,E!lln:u:~s,Ex.Jilerie:flQe 18

The 'E,v@:n Tb.cllllgh'Reframe 210

'CHA1iI"'l'En ~2 AJNn &iFfl:A!lllD!NG 21

Frames 2i

ShiftiIII,g: Outeomes 26

Refrnm:iIifl:g 31

Gb.oo.glng' .FraJrn..e .s~ze 35

ComtertReframing 39

Con1tien:t lRefl'am:i:ng 41

Iteft,aming Critics afld Gri tidsffi. 44

The Sleight o:f Mouth. Patterns (If

'fu:t~ntioll" and ·R.e.d.efimng' 4:9

One Word Reframing EJfen'ris!e 53

P'eroeiving a S~ tUB tien fin:m. ,a, Diffe1"tE!_nt M.odel

of the WOl']d by Ta1lcing '8e~o.nd PQSit].OiO' 56

CEIAF'll'EiR:'iI,Cm:INK.JiNa59 Forms IiIf Chunking 60 GhuDkmg DiOWllI.63

Clnmkmg Up 66

Cb..tmking Laterally {Filld..i:rtgAn,alogies) 68

Exercise:: Filllding Ieerao fpmsms, 71

Pooctua.tion a:nd Bepanotu atru,@n 73


CHAP"f'mR" VAL:m;8 A.,.'IlIn) Cw1'EIl1A The Stl'l.1ctu:re of Meaning

Val ues and. Mo[;[vati(ln

Crite:ri.a a.nd J udgm~:Ilt Chainin,g Values aEld Criteria, b:y Them Down to Define

'''Cri.wrial Ectnivm!!H'ilCeS" Reality Strategies

!Reality StrategyE:xercise

Chunking Up 00 IdentifY and UhUZIe Hi@rarc.mes of Values and Criteri,a BJie'ral'irny af Criteria. Tecltmique

CHI\P'I'ER 5 BiELIEFfiJ. AND Ew.Em'A110NS .Beliefs· ,sndr Belief Systems

Th.,s Power of Beliefs

Limi ting iBeUefs

n:-afi:sfum1~~g Limiting Be]~e:fs E;Xpecta)jr;io,OEi,

E:XpectatioRsand the Sleight of MOil ltffil.

PatOOm of CQIil'Sequ enees

.Ma.p'ping Ke,y E,eHefs and EJql€:ctation.81 . ,Ass,e,$siJln;g Moti.vation [or Change Belief.Asse:s:sme[!~ .sheet

Usirg,gth.e '..As rr'FrOOle to Stnmgthe1'l .Beliefs .and.Il1:X'P:ectatio.:m;l

'M lf~ ]}xe:n:::i:s:e

c~ G T:H:E BMICS'mUC'fOWl: OF BELlD'S 'TheLmgms'tJic Structure ,of 11,eHefs Complex Eqltl iva~,ence


Types I®I CaU,iSJes

The hill.u.enoo Bf Formal Ca uses


S[leight ,of and. the Struu.ct1R"e of BeIiefB 154

Valu~s .Andit 1,58

The Value,s, A.u.di tWork!'iJpee't 163

Belief Audit 164

U~i:llg Qoun te:rEX8.lmp]es to Reevahu!.te

limii.ting Belie[s, 16,,{

Some Vet"bal .F:r.ames ii'Oir ElicUing

Limi nag Beliefs Sta temen ts 170

Ge!!le'ra:tmg ICo:unter Ex:amples 172



The Natural Pmcess of Bmie:f Change 176,

The Belief Chang,e Cycle I 78

Belief Ch.a.nge ,Elnd. Internal St.ate·.s, 184

.:Re eog:ni:zing and Influencing Internal States: U!6

Exereise:Accessingand Anchoring a State 1819

Me:ntoring and Inaer Men torn 1 gO

Th.e Belief '~c],e~ Preeedure 19,2;

Imp~em.en&g TheIl.elie:f Cyclel Proe:ed ure 195

Be~ef Chairnn.g 1'91

The Infl nenee afNcn Verbal Oo'mrounic-a:tion 202



The Meta Struc.ture ofBe~iefs206 Thought Vinlses210

.ITesu~po.s]t:ions 22 j[

Sell'Re:ferenee .228

The Theo'Q1' of Logical Types 23'2

All[ilyiI'lg i:ll1BeJlief 00' Genel'ruizatioofi to illtse]f 234

Meta Fr!am:es 240

LDgiJ~.a]~vels 24.3

Chmgmg .LDgical Levels 2:5.0


87 89 93

91B 104

UHJI 110 113 ns 11? 120

127 ]31 1.':l4 iJl31\i

tas 14,0

1.41 142 143, 145 148: 150



De::fu:UtiQ_]'Jj and Examples of Sleight of Mouth

Patter-ns 254

The. Sleight of MO'llili Patterns as a

Sy,stem of Interventions ,26'9

Usmg Sl~gb;t of Month ~S. a System of

PaUeI"ns 2 70

Urea tin,g and ~lain tainiDg a '''I'hought Virus'

Using Sleight of Mouth 288

Sleight of Mouth and. the Law of

Requi~te' Variety 297 and 'Outframing' a Thought Virus

UsJillg Sleigbt of Mouth 300

Practicing Sl,eight o,fMolilth ,308


This book is dedicated with affection and l\espect to:


• I ,.,'

Riehard Bundler ,John Grinder ],[ilIon ,Eri.ckson and Gl'\egory Bateson


,319 3,21. 325

who taught me the magic of language and the language. of'mBgJt,c· .



E would like t~) acbow~,edge::

JllUlith. DeLozier, Thdd Epsmin,~ Uavid (karoon" and Leslie, Cam.e:l'ml .. :J:~:anille:r fQir their input and support :ati:.he time I mst evolvingthe ideas at thebas~s of Sl~ight Oif .Mouth.

My children, Andre..w and J ulia, Whr:i'i~&le]{periences and. exp,i.anations helped! me 00, llndigr,stamd the natural pr(;l!l::e~s 'o,r beli.~t c.h:IIDnge. a,nd the 'meta, structure' of beliefs.

. Ami SattingBW'~, who (as she has fur :so many other of my bOQb and p,rojects) lI.elfH:ld 'with. thepr'Oof I'e<lJtIDng andediting of tllIti.sbook.

,J,oo:nWundes who transfLl:l"med lSOIDie oftlI,e d,eeper st;nlct;W'eiSUllllde:rl~,ng S~,eight of Mou.tlbt. in'~a imag;es, soilThlat they could. be seen more clearly; Jo~n c:reat.edbo,th the innovatlVle eoverp~etlJl'ie. and. lli.eWCJIf!.derl:'u~. uawings ~t the beginning of eaeh cba,pter.



This ~5H. 'bmok that M have been,prep,arin:g to write for many yeats. It i1s a. book ~bout the magic of [$gu,age!lb~ed f.lnthe principles, and dj,stirncUons of.N euroO-Lingmsttc Prog;tarnm:ing (NLP). I first camem eontaetwirtb. NLPllear1ytwen.ty-five ye'aJ"s a.,go while .attendin.g a. class onllingruistics at the UIJIiv!ersityo[ CMifi:Jrola. a.t S~ta Cruz. Th~ class was being taught by NLP 00- fOlulde.r J 00ln. Orip,deir. He and Richard Bandl er h,a,dj u~t fi ni shed the first volume Clf their ,gr,[]umldbrealtinig Wl(ir][. The Structure (Jf,Magic (1975). In this work~ the'ma men medeled the ~anguBge patterns awl m:fi?a.itjve abilities of three of ilie wor!d's .. m.ost ,efiective p<sychother,ap'~,sits (Fri t:zPeris,ViI'glnia Sa.tu: and Milbl!1l Eriel~sOIlL). 'I'his. lf3et ofpattefl];S (known as the l'Iletf1. Madel) !1llowoo a such as myse1f;. a thin! yea]ipo]jti~l science l1lEIJjor~ who bad no personal @xi):lerie:fl!cewi lIhthera~y cf a.ny type:,w ask qUe8tiOfi:.!3 that an ,e~erienood the.r:a:p:istm.E:,ght ask •

I was struck by the: pMsibili:ti,es ~r bgtlil tb.eMeta .Mm:lel Md. the pn~cess ofm.ode1hl:g'. It seemed. 't.o me that modeling llilLa,d. importan'Looplilea:tJlof.!,'3, in all areas of human enooa.V'oc; p{llitii~, the' arts~ management, science. teaching. and so on. (see Mml'el;ing~thNLP. nUts, 1998). mt s·truckm.e tllnt 'the m.e[ of modeling t'louJ:d. lead tebread innov:atiollS in. many other D'elds involving human commumeat[OR, reaching far beyondpsychQ,thBr81py. As, a. studea t of p elitieal philosotnhYi myfU',s:t "modeling plIojeoel" was to app].y the linguistic filten Grinder an d Bandlse had used lin 'tha:u ,,s:i:;E, pf lPsy'ml)th~~api:sts to see wbat patterns might eme.rg:e.rrom 8t;udying t:be Socr,atie diruogSJofPlato (P:l~uls US<r!. of th#; Di«lec.tic in. T'keR'epl.lblir:: .A. Linguistic Analy.sis. 1975; in AjIJpliootwus ofNLP, Dilts. 1983).

\VhiIe thiEl study was both. fascinating andrevealil'llg, W!ej:t that there wasmere to Socrates' persuasiveabHi.tie;s than the distinetion~ prQvfded byth~M~ta MM.e] Clc;[rld explain, "1 'he

same was true' tbr other verbal distmctioDBprnvidedby NLP, such as representational system predicates (descriptive words indica ting aparticular sensory modality; "see", "look," "hear, l'II .. .. d .. ,":l' ·l •• "'~ ~] ... "t) Th . ..l~; j,! ct· lded

s nun C; lee.~~ LOU"", L. e C'. ., ese urs une -lons provic tl'U

insight) but did not ,ea:p.tlU',e all ofthe dimen",ions ofSoerates' powersto persuade.

As I continued to study the! writi~gs and. speeches, of people who, had shaped and. influenced the course of' human history-pe1'Jple sueh as ,JeB us nl N azareth, Kar] Marx, Abraham. LinClOln Allbert Einstein. M,ohandes Gandhi, Marli.n Luther King, and other~I became eonvinead that these individuals' WBIiI!"e using SOJDIH cemmen, fundam ental set ofpBltterru; in order to mfluenee the be~iefs of those around them .. Furthermore, the patterns encoded in their words were still inflneneIng and sMping history. even 'thDugh these iJIdivii diu als had been dead ifJor many years. Ste.ight af Mouth patterns are my attempt to encode some (If the key' linguistic mechanisms that these individuals used to effectively persuade others and to influenoo social beliefs and beliefsystems,

It was an ,eXperience with NLP' co-founder Richard B andler that lead me to cm:n.scio:usly r.oecogIDze and fonmilize these pattems in 1'980. In order tn make a teaching point during a seminar, Handler, who, is renowned for his command. of langu~e~ established a humo:r;ou,s but '''paranoid'' belief system, and challenged the gI'Oup tnpersuade him to change it (see Chapter 9). Despi e their best eiforts, the group members were unable to make the progress in inn uencingthe :seemingly impenetrable belief a}"Stem Bandler had established (a system based. UpDU what I was later Ito label "thou.ght viruses';).

It was in Iisteniugto the various verbal "reframings" that Bandlar created s'Poilitan.eQusly that I was ahle tOI recognizE! some of the 8truCtUI'@S he was using. Even though Bruu:Uer was app,lyin,g theBe pa.tterns "n:eg,atively'"to make his point, I realized thatthese werethe same structures used by people like Lincoln, Uandhi, Jesus. and others, to prnmete pos.i tive and change.

In essence,thes/e; "Sleight 'of Mouth.' patterns are up of v,e,~bal categories and distinctillm.; by which key beliefs can be Is.stablish.ed, iShifted OT transformed tbrough 'language. They can be c.haracterized. as· "verbal reframes 1:1 which. infl uencebeliefs. and the mental maps from which beliefs have been fonned. In the D.e-ally tw~nty yea:rs silllce their formalization, the Sletght of Mouth have pr,Qved to, be one of'tha most powerlul 'Sets of distinctions provided by NLP fill' effective perSiuasiOJ1. Perhaps IDCI'f'@ any ether distinetions in NLP, these. patterns provid'e a tool for eonvera a tiona} belief ,Change.

Tb.e:re am cbaU!enges, in teaching thess patterns effectively, how'ever~becaulSetbey are about WOI'OO, and words are ftmdam.entally .abis·b-act. As NLP ~eknowledges, words we f';Ur/fJ,(){l s,truCitM'e,/!;' which atite'mp,t to reprnsElin 1!;. o.f" le'xpress d£.e.per .structures. In order to tnily understand and ,c;rea tively a pp]y a. particular language pattern we must intern;aili.ze its 'deeper' strucl.ure'. Otherwise, we are simply mimicking 01" "parroting» the e!XaIn:p,l,es we have belen gi VIBIl. 'Tb us, in learning and. praeticing Sleight DfM outh, U is important to dis.tinguish.genuiIJi,e magl,e from trivial 'tricks', The magic 0,( change comes from tapping into something tIb.a t goes heyond the words themselves,

Until no,w~ the 81e:~ght o:fMouth p,.atte:rns have typically been taught hy presenting learners, with definitions and a numbe'r' ofverbal ex;ample~illustrating the various linguistic structures: Leamees 8.I'e left to intuitiv~ly figure cut the deeper structure necessary to geneI'ate the patterns on their own, 'Nlri.leJ in some w,ays, thls,miuo:r~, the way that we ] earned Ottt' own native 'language as children, it can also pre,sent certain Iimitatiens,

For instance, people (~~y nOll-native speakers of English) .Mve ,experienood the Sleight of M'[Dlilthpatterns as pow,!.u'ful and useful, but at times they can be somewhat compThex ruld confusin,lg. Even Practitioners of NLP (including those 'with manyJ'Ml"S ofexpet:iencel are not always clear about how theae patterns fit together with other NLP' distinctions.


Furthermore, the patterns are often presented and used in an adversazial framework; B!IS a too,l primarily (o'i' argmnent 00.- dl\l:bate. This has given them thel"sput.a. til on of being pgblutiaUy bombastic.

Some of these simply reflect the historical development of the-sepattenl.s. I identified and fonualil zeoli thesep,a ttel'n6 before I had the ,opportunity to fully explore the deeper structure of beliefs and belief change, and their l',elation,s,mp teether ~.ev@ls of Iearning and. ehanga, In the time siace I first identifj,ed the Sleight of Mouth pafterna I I have developed a, number of belief change'Ue!>l. such. as Reimprinting. the Failure in~o Feedba,ek Pattern, the Belief Installation pmooss., the Meta..Mirror and Integrating Conflicting Beliefs - See Chat~,iHg Belief Systems, wi'th NLP (Dilts, 19190) and Beliefs,: Pathways in Hea:lth aM' 'WeU·Being (Dilts, Halfbom & ,smith, 1990). It has anly been in the last se'veI'~ years that I have gained enuughineight and unders:taDding about how beliefs ar.efb.n:n.ed. BDd held cj)g,niti~ely and neurologically that I feel abl,e to .make the deeper st.ruct'UI."1E!S underlying Sleight of Mouth sllfficiently tilleill'" SInd eoncrse.

The goal of lliis first volume is to present snme of these insights and understandings in. order toprevida the founda-, nons for using Sleight .of :Mouth p,~tt.Hms ,Myp,urp oss in. this book ie tOpI'esent. tbe underlying principles and 'deeper structures· upen which tb.e patterns are based, In a:dditioD. til d,efirritions and e2l:amples, I want to' provide Simp]18 structures by which you can prractice and apply eaehpattara, illusb".a:ting hew they fit in with other NLP presuppositions, principl,es ~ techniques. and distinctions.

I have also planned at second volume, f;ubtiUed The Langll,age af Le:ade'r'sh,ip and Soei« l Change I w hieh will explcrEl and illustrate how these patterns were used by individuals such as Socrates, -Iesus, Marx, Lincoln" Gandhi. and others, to establish, :i:n:ftlue:ncl! and iJITansfiorm keybelie.f~ at the' fou.ndati,o l'l of our modern "World.



Sh:~ight of McUiili i~ a fHe:inatiqg ,EifI!l~bjeC't. The powe1l." aLI1d the value of knowing ,about S1.eight of Mouth is that it can be~'P' you to say the' tight wo,ro!'S e:t tha right time-wi.thout the need for forma} techniques or special conteds (such as those typicaUy related to therapy or debate). Ihepe that you eI1!j o'Jthls jOlll'1ley into the magic of 'language and conversational beHef change.

Robed Dilts

Santa Cruz, CalifOrnia I,1aYj 19991

Chapter 1

Sleight of lV/ou, tit has to do, with the magic of woods and languag,~. Language is one of the key components, f~om which we build IJUT .mental mod-els ofthe world, and ,ean have a tremendous influence an how we perceive and .respond to' realitJt Verbal language iii! a characteristic tba.t is unique to the human. raee.vand is considered to' be one' of the majoll" factors that distinguisb,es humans from other creatures. The great psychi atrist .8igmnod ]'mUG, for example, heliev'€!d that wo~s we:r;e the' basic instrnHl'ellit (If human co.nsciO'1!lsnes,s;. ,and, as such, ha.d, special pow~r\5. As he put it:

Wo'rns un,a magic We,n! in ,the begin.ning G'ne ,and the saF,tW,thi/lgj and ,even tuday wolds retain nmch uffheir magical puweJ: By words DIU! of uS' can g,ive another the greatest happiness OJ' bring aDoutuUer ckspu. ir; by wonbJl~he te'aCker imparts his l~rwwle.dgiJ lathe ,$,w,dentj" by words the o'roto'r SWB€pS his CLudienc;e w'i~hh,im and ,detHrmi.nfJ,S its judgments and .deci:siotr.~..Wbrds ,ooU (orill emotians and am uni!.i'e1':S'~Uy the nu?€uts by which ;we in.{lueru:e (p,U r feUmJJ-crea~uns.

Sleight of Mouthp,atterns come from the study of how language has been, and can bel used to ~mpactJleop],e's lives. Consider: to·]!", instance, the. f[lUowing examples:

A police officer reeei VB" an: l1tg.eDt S wnmonstQ ,B. ] QC3] re.f,l:idence to handle a reported illciden t of domestic vielenee, The police oBi,eer is on alert, because she knows that it is in these 'types of situations that she is ,actu.aUy in the most physical danger. People, especiaUy violent, angry paople, don't want the poHce ~nterferiHg in thej!r



family affairs. As sh@approacbes the apartment, the police offi!CJer' heru:'\S sb.ou.ting and screaming coming from insid.e. A man is y;elling ~oudly, and the ( nem'S fha sound of' various o~jeetos,bei'Dgbroken along' with the terrified ,s;creams of a wom,an. SuddanlYt H 'belevii ~ioI'.! set comes, crashing thnnl!gh the fron.t window. smaslung Intn pi,eces on the ground in front of he!'. The police nffi,cel!" to the door and begins; to pound on it as hard as she can. She hears an enraged male voice from inside the a.partment .shouting. "Who in the hell is that!" .Eying the pieces of the mafl.g]ed television set spread over the groo:nd, the pnliee offiCiar bhrrts out" "Television repairman." There is a, moment of dead .r=rillence inside ll;he a.:pamaent. FinaUYi the man breaks out in laughter. He optms tlle door and the police offioeI'" is able to make her intervention, Qv,oiding ,any furthervielenee or physical confrontation. She Latel"'l"eporls that those two words were as useful as, months of training in hand-to-hand combat,

A YOl1\1lg man is hoapitnlized in the psychlatricward of a mlen.ta~ fiaciH..ty, SillIfi'ering from the de~ usiea that .he is "J esus Christ".. He sp.ends his days un.productiv,ely. wandering the war-d and preaching to other patien'ts who pay nil attention ,. The psyehlatri,sts and aides have. bad no success wha.tsoe.ver in their attempts to persuade the Yl}1lrmg man to give up his: delusion. OlIVe day~, a new flsyclriatrist arrives. After observing tbe patient quietly for some time, he approaches the yO'llLDg man, "I understand. that you h8iv:e ex:perie.noo as a carpenter," he says, ~ ell . . . ye~. I gue.l5s I do,' replies thep·atien;L The psychiatrist axplainata thepatie:nt that 'they aI,B: bujldin,g a :new reeraaticn roam at the facility and nsed the help of someone wh.a has the skills of a carpenter, ''\Va could. sure usa YOll1T asaistance," says thepsychiatrist, "That iS3 if you are' the type of person that Iikes to help, others," Unmble


to disagree, the patient decides to lend a hand. He beeomes drawn into the lu·oject, establishing new frien.dships with other patients and workers who are participating in, tile: cenetruetien. The yOMIilg .man begins to develop nermal social relations and lis eV1entually ,ahle to l,e,~ve '~hB bospital and find a stable job.

A p,atient a waksns from surgery ill the recOlIBry room of the hospital. She is visited by 'the eurgeon, who is to inform her ofthe results IOf the operation. Still groggy from th.a anesthetic, ana somewhat anxious, the patient asks the s,urgeDt:lhow the operation want, The surgeon replies, "Tm afraid I have some bad l1.ews.'fhe tumor we removed '\IIi' as eaneereus." :FaJcing .her worst fe£l!fijl 'the pa:l;ien t a.sJrs, "1iVhat now"?" The surgeon answers" "VieH, th@ good news is that we've l'iemoved the tumor as complet01y as we can ... The rest is up to you." Spurred by the surgecn's comment, "The rest is UPI to you," the patient begins a re-evaluation of her life style, and the alternatives that are avrulable '!to! her'. She makes changes in he)ll diet andeetabliebes consistent p.aUems of eserelsa .. RefJi!€cting en how stressful and unrewarillng her life has haen in !be past few years bef(l~re the. s W'ger:.Y.the patient emharks on a path ef'perscnal growth, clarifying her beliefs, values and lifeJs purpose. The patient's life takes a dramatic turn for the better. and, years later, she is happy;, free of cancer and healthier than she has e'V,er been before.

AyoUD,g man. has been at at dinner' p,arty~ and eons umad several .g:lBlSs6s of wine. Driving home in the icy winter weather,. he I'OtmdB a CUNeo S nddenly, in frunt of him he sees .H person CTocs,s:blg the: street, The' young man alams on his breaks; but the car Bltids,. hitting the pedestria:n and killing him. For many weeks the young man is in mner turmoil paralyzed by his distrass, He mO'Wfl that

he has, ruined one life, and irreparably damaged the' family of the man fie bas killed. Hefeels the accident has bOOD entirely his fault. If anly he had not had. asmueh to drink, he would have seen the person earlier andrespondedl.more qWiCkly and Hppropriateiy .. Becoming; more and mare deep]y depressed. the ,youngman considers leaking bis own. life, At this time, he isvisi ted by his uncle. Seeing the desperation of his nephe.w, the uncle sita next to him in silenee for a IDew minutes. TheIl •. placing his hands on the young man's shoulder the uncle says simply and honestly. "We walk in danger wberevel' we walk." The young man feels as n SOme light has sudden]y eeme into his life. He changes his life path comp] etely;, studying psychology and becoming a grief ICOunS elorfbr th,!:!! victims, of drunken. dri.ve1'8, as well Illii lSI! th erspist f01' aIJCoholi,es, and people who have been arrested fet driving tander the influeaea of aleohol. He becomes ap:ositive force for healing and change in many people's lIiv'es.

A young woman 'ispreparing to go to college. She has looked around art many options, and would. m.ost like to .app,ly to a business school ~t one ef the mostprestigicus universities in her are,a. She feels, how,evler~ that tbere are so many people, ,attemp,'i;in,g to get. into that program that she doesn't stand a chance of being D.ocepted. In order to be. "realistic" and avoid disappointment, she plans only to apply to some of 'the moreaveTHg,E! schools. AI!. sbe nus 'in her applications, she' mentiens her reasoningto 'her mother, e~pIsinin.g > '"1 am sure that the' big university will be Hooded with ap plicationa," Her mother repUes, '''There is alw'a,Y's raem foo:- someone who's good." The simple 'truth of her .mother's sta temeni iniSpires the yioung woman to send inher application to the prestigious univel';sity. To her surprise and delight she is accepted, and goes on to become an extremely sucr,essfu] business consul tan t,


A y01mg hoy is struggling to learn bl' play baseball He' wants to be on a team with h~ friends, but is unab]'e to thnrw or cateh well. and. is frigntenedb, tbehall. As 'the team. practic€'-s centin ue, he becomes incr,easIDgly dii5cl)inr~ age.d. He tells he, coach ltba,t he plana to quit heea UJEHli' he ~s a "bad ballplayer," The, coach replies, "There a-re I1.O bad banplayel"lS,thel'e are only people who are not confident in their ,3 hility tOI Iaarn," The coach stands facing the boy and p,utsl!;lilLe ball in the yootlbi"'s ,gIQve" and has the hoy take it out and h~d it back to him" Hethentakes one Sib~~' back and gently tosses the ball into the boys glove, and has the boy toss it back. Step by step, the coach. moves a litUe furthecr a,w,ay, until the hD'Y is thro\il,'ing and cat-clUng thebaU art a. mstanee with ease. With. a sense of confidence that he can Iearn, the boy ToeturnB, to practice, and eventuaUy becomes a valuable player 011 his team.

Each cf 'these rl1!xtuQples shares a co'mmon feature: ,11 few words char:tge the course of sameone's life!Kol" the sbiftin,g a limiting belief to a more ~michedpenpectiye that offers morn choices. They are' illustrations of' how the right w,oms at the rlghttlmJe ean create powerful and. pomtivl! effects ..

Unfortunately, words can also cenfnseus and limit us as easily as they can runpoWel" 'IlS. The wrong words at the wrong time can be hurtful and damaging,

This boOk ia about the power of words tOr be either help[u~. or harmful, the distinctions that datermine the type of impact wa,ri]s will hav,@, and the language patterns. through w hich we canil:;r'ansf'OO"'m harmful statements inoo he] pful

The teon "Sleight of Mouth" is drawn from the notion of "',Sleight of Hand.'" Theterm sle~ght comes from an O]d NOI's.e werd meaaing "crafi;y," "cl:ULning/' "artfUl" Of' "deztereus," Sle ~gh.t· of hand is <1 t.ype ofma,gi c ,aone by dose-up card

magicians. Thl~ form. of magic is enareeterieed by the experi ~ enca, "nawyou sae i~, now you don't.'" A ma:yp~aol\! an aee (if spades at the top of the deck, far example, but. when the magician picks uJlthe card. it hag, "'transformed'" into a queen of hearts. The v'el."bal patterns of Sleight of Meuth nave a similar sort of ~magj:eal'" ql!l8Jil~y beeanse they cOO often create dramatic IShifUi in pel"~ption and! tha assumpno'ns upnn which particular pereeptious are based,

o CJ'

SLElCdfT OF' .Mourn

Language and N euro~LiDguistic Prngramm,jn,g

Thia stuaiy ] s founded in thepatterns and di stiaetions 'of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP examines the, influence that language. has DO our mentalprcgramming and the other functions of our nervous systems. NLP' is also concerned with the way in which our mental programming and nervous systems Sh,R p e and. are reflected in ourlanguage and 'language patterns.

The essence of N anru-Linguistie Programming Is that the' £nnctiomng 'OrOtl!1' nervous g,ystem ("neuroD, is, intimat.ely tied up with 01111' il:!a!pability (VI" ]al1gu3Jge ('':linguistic''). Tbe stratagies ("programs"} through which WIEj! org,iilDize and. guid.e our behavior are made up of neurological and verba] patterns, In. their first book, The StT1J,cture ofMag;.e 191'5), NLP cofounders Richard Bendler and John Grinde!]!" ~trove 1;,0 define some principles behind the ,see,ming "magic" of languaIg;9,tlo which Fraud. referred.

All the ucc{Jmplis.hments af~kft h; race~ both positive (Uld neg:atiue, h{Jue .i:nvobJt!d the use of language'. We es ,human, being& :use our la:wwuage .in two ways. We use it first lof ,flU to' represent. our experience - we caU this o.e.tiuity rf!as(Jning~ thinkin:lI, (antasying, rehearsing. When we use lcl1z,gurl,ge as a nepnlsentutiolWl syste.m, we an: creating a model of QUI" exp!l'rW'oc-e., This mod.el of the worl,d wlt.ich we create by o,ur repre.sentatiOfl.di,ftse of lan:gu.age' is based, uprlrn O.U rpetcepticrm!l' of the world. OUl'parcep,ti,ons am also partially determined by (l'ur uwikl or representation ., , . 8ecrmdly. ,we U8e O,UI" language. to comm.un~cme' our model or representation of the world .to each other:

When we use language to cQmml.tniDate. we caU it' t.a.lki:ng. discUS:8ing, writing~ l~(:iuring • .9 inging"


ACioordifl,g to Bandler and Grinder, language serves as a means to represent OI" create models of OUI" expel'ience as weU as to, eemmunieate abean it. The m:u:iJ€!n:t Greeks I' in fact, had diffel'ient words for theSE! two uses of lal1gUa,ge. TIley used the term rltem.a to indica fue words used ~B a medium of eemnrurrication and the 'term 1990S to indicate words asseeiated with thinl:ing and understanding. Rhema ('PTI~lcr.) meant at saying or ~w,ord8 as things'. LOgtJ8 (Aio)llo) meant words .as~oti,ated with the fmanll'estation of reason'. The great Greek. philosopher Ani stotle desenbedehe f'eb.tiO'lIlsbip betweenW'ords, and mental experi!ence in the following way:

Spoken word.'? are the of exp,r~'r,Bence ,u.-""d written W'Drds are the symbols of spoken words. Jus't as aU men katie not the same writ:ing. t:lO aU men ham~ not the same speech sounde, ,but the men.tal experill.lwes~ whkh~hese' mror!tly syntbQliz,c. (tre the .same for al~~ as also are t.hose things of' which our experience» are the i,mag,es.

'1' th t _.lI" h· l~_" " 4-_'1 " ..

A.r1istotlel,s e ann .a' WOruS S,yrrt nonze our memai expe-

rienca" echoes the NLP' notion that written and spekan words ,8l'ie's.urfaee sirucinres' which are transformations of other mental and linguistic 'df!!ep structures". As a result.y".Toras eanbeth rsflectand shape' mental experiencea. This makes 'them a powe:Ji;ul tool for thought and other eonseieus O<T uneenseieus menta] p!rol}e:ss(l.s,. By ,~CC~8ing the deep stITII'o-LuI''E! beyond the specific words used by an Individual, we can identify' and infi usaea 'the deepeI" ~ev'el men tal operations reflected through that p arson's language patterns,

Considered in this way. Ianguage is not just. an 'epiphenomenon' O,I" l3! set of arbitr.ary .signs by which we communieate about our mental experience; it is a kiey part of our men tal expm:rl.,en.'~e, As Bendler and. Grinder po,in!. out:


'The ne,nJ9US sy.9tem wkich ie respoRstble {of" producing the representational t:."Ystem of language is the same nerv.oU$ s:,:vste,m by whif})n humans prodlW!l: ,every atiu3r model of the world- uisul1l1 kinesthetic. etc •.. The .s'am~ principles of' str,~,u::ture arlE ope:mtin;g in e.rJchof these systems.

Thus, language can parallel BInd! even substitute for the experiences and activities in eur otber in ternal reproiSen tatinna] systems,. An important implicat.ion OIf this is that Ital.ldng abou t' somellhing ean do more than sim,pliy;r,eflect our perceptions; it can QduaUy create or change our pereeptioas. This implies a, potentially deep and, spacial role fill:' language in the process of change and heali ng.

In, ancient nreek pbilos:ophy~ for Instance, 'IOgos~ was thou,gbt to' 'c-unstitute the con trolling and unifying principle in. th,e universe. Hemclituts, (540-48:0 B.C') defined. 'logos' as the univ~:rsa1 principle t:hrou,gb.which all things wore- interrelated. and all natural events OCCUlTed'. According to the stoies I' T~ag()s~ was a cosmic governiD.g (l'r' genera ting princip],e that was immanent and active in all reality and thatpe'Tvaded all reality: At1QOO"ding~o Philo, a Grceek speaki.og' Jewish philOSOpher (and contemporary of JBSUS). 'Logo&~ was the intermedia.te between ultimate reali.ty and. tbe sensible WOI'ld.


The eemerstone of Sleight IOf Mouth, and the NLP appro,ach to language, is the' princi.plethat "the ma.p' is,not. t~ t,errltary." This pri.ncip~~ was, initiaUy form ulated by Gener,al ,semsntieofl, Founder Alfred. Kol"ZYbskl. (b. 1879 - d. 1950). and acknowledges the fundament al. diatinetionbetween our maps of the waddl and the' world itseH. KOl"zybski's phillosophy of language .has been ,Il majQI' inll uenee IOU the development of NLP. Korzybski's werk in the area. of semantics. combined with Neam Ch~msky"s syntact;ic theo.ry of tr,~8fo:nnatiQna] grammar, form the core of much of the "linguistic" aspect of N euro- Linguistic PrO,gI'amro1i ng ..

KorzYbski"s major work, Sci~nce and Sal'i.ity (1'933), asserts ilia t human Jlm,gres B is ] arp}y a cODB'eqUf!:n.ce oft-heK mere flexible nervous systems, which are capable of forming and usmg symbol~e representations, or maps. Lang:nag's, far instance, is a type ,of map or mode] of the worldthat allows US to summarize or glE!I'JJleraliz@ our axperienees and pass them on to others, saving others from having to make the same mistakes or reinvent wbat had already beendiscovered, Thl.B ~ype oflin,guistic generalizing ahlli~y of humans; Korzyoski contended accounted for our formidable prllgres:~ over animals, but the nlls.undel'standing, and misuse, of such symbolic mechanisms was also responsible for many of our p:I'{iblems. He suggested humans needed. to be p,nlperly trained in Ule use of language bl' preventthe unnecessa1"y

- . h . f' E. • . <!-1:.. ~ . •

conffi.cts and ennfusinn thatareae Irom oon.!lll!lSmg~uB map'

With the ·territo,r,Y.

Korzybski's ,l,uw (Jfindivir1.uality~ for metaaee, states that "no twO' per,sons, Or situations, or stages of pmClesses are the same in all details." Eotzybs'ki noted that we have far fewer 'Words and. concepts than unique e:~quniem:~.esj and this tends to Iead to the' 'idi,en:tifica,tion. or "eonfusion" of two or more s:ii.tua.tiom; (what is known as "'geue:rolizatinnt;l or "ambiguity" in NLP). The word. "cat," for e.KillIlple~ is commonly applted to



.millions of different individua] animals, w the 'same" anima] n t diflieren t times in its life~ to our .mental imag,as, to illustrations and phategraph:s,metaphoI'icallyto a human being ({'a hep-cat"), and even to the combined letters c-a-t. Tluu~J whe,D someone uses the term '"cat." it is not aJways clear wb.eth.e:r he or she is referring to 81 rOtH' legged animal, a. three letter word, or a two ]egg,ed honrinid.

Korzybski b elieved it was important to teach people how to recogn:ize andtranscend their language habits m'roo communicate more effectively. and to better appreciate the unique characteristics ofthe:i:r daily experiences. He sought ttl, devel op tools th at weuld people to evaluat.e their experiences less by the implications of their eve:ryday 1a11'" guage and more by the unique fH'C:ts of the particular situation .. Korzyb:ski~s, gl:l'!l] was to encourage people t(l' delay their immediate reactions while they S-em:",chedf'or the unique eharaeteriatics ofa situation and. alternative interpretations,

Kflr2:ybski's ideas and metho~ Me one of the fgunda.tiona of NLP'. In fact, in 1941, Ko:rzyb,sk_i men tionad "ue'[[['olinguisti,CS" as an important area of .study :re.lating 00 Genmal Semantics,.

NLP contends that we all. nave om own world ".-jew and. that view i'S based upon the Internal maps that we have furmed through OUI' language and sensory representatioaal systems, as a. result of 01l1r imlli.vidll.ud ]ll'e experiences. It is these "'neurolingnistic"f.! maps that wiU determine how we interpret and react to the world. around us and how we' give Wf;!anmgto om behaviors and ex]] erieneas, more so than reality itself. As Shakespeare's Hamlet pointed out, "There is nothing either good Of' bad, but thinking makes it so,"

In. their mst be ok, The Structare at M(J,g~cVQl. I (197,') Ii NLP eo-founders Hi.chard Baedler and John Grinder Iloint~d cut that fi.he difference betweell people who respond. effeetiv,ely,os opposed to those who respond poorly in. the world areund them Is largely it funetion of their jnteznalmcdel of the world:



[pleople ,whorespo~ creatiuely and~ cope eUectiuely ... ,a~e pC'(Jp:le ;wM nall'€ -a r~ch repr1l'sent·atw,1l. ,or n10d.el of tJuur sit!lotwn, i~ which. they per,r:eir;f1 (l, wid.:e' rang« of ap.tio'11S ill .choosing their action. The. otM.r people e:rper~eru:E the flu;elv'eB I~" hlUJ'i ng few optionsj n(ute of which ar€ attractive; Ito, tbem. ... WIUlit U;,g .haDe found' is nDt that the wQ.rld is too limited ,O'T that. ther-e are no clwicas, but thatfhese pe.OplB b,lock thf!.msf'},{ue'8{rDm optialls a.1td pos:;,ibilities that ,a.r-e apen M th«ffl since they are .nail: ava.,i·lable in. their m,odd.-g of the


Km-zyoolri's d.istmction. be't-ween mA$i' and. terri to:ry impllie.s that our m.ental models of reality, rather than ~e.a]ity itself, determines now we will net. Tberefil,re. it is important till cantinnally expand OUI" maps of the world" Inthe wurdsof the great scientist i\lbert Einstein~ "Ou:r' thinking ~eate:s. p:I!:ob]em.s that 'the same type oftlrinking will not solve,"

A Clore belief of NLP is that if you can enrieh 00' widen y(iiilll' map, you V\>;11 perceive' more choices available to you given the same reality. As a result, ynuwiH peri"BirIIl more efl"eCltivlely and wi:s'ely~ no matter what you are doing .. A primary miSs.i.on. of NLP is to ereate tools (such as the Sleight of Mouth patterns) which help people towiden, enrich. and add. to their mtsrnalmeps of reality. According to NLp, the richer your map of the' world, the more possibilities you win have of dealiD,g with. whatever challenges arise in reality.

From the NLP perspective, there is no single ·.right" or 'QIlI1!"ecf map of the world. EveryonE! bas his OT her own unique map lor model of the world, and no one map is any more "true" 01' urnal"'than any other. Rathe['~ the people who are IDQst effective we the ones who have at map oft.he world that allows them tOo pereeive the greatest. number of availahle c.hoices and perspectives. Th@y hay,s a. richer and wider way of pe-rceiving,oflg,ani2;ing <md.responding to the world.



Our maps, of the 'world ean be, ,oo~.tra!3J1::.ed. withonr:experienee of the 'Mu.ld. "Experience" refers to th.eproces8 of sensing, £"eeli~g aadpereeiving the world around usand our inner reacticas to that, wur]d. Our "e~eriencer ofa 8LIniSlet~ an aTg:umeut, ora '\l'aea:tioo rela:te..sto nurparsoaal peroepticm ,of and. p.i:U'tJL.cipnti!Jkn in such ~ve:l1.tE; .. Aecoroing 'tlONLP, our expEirienc~s 'l'lll'e madeup of information. from the €~ternal e,nvil'Ofl:ment tb,at we take In through eur sease orgar.D.{S, as wen as' the assodated. memeriss, f:a.ntmlj:es. senaatioas a.M 'e,mo1!;ffic'J:ll> t)J,at e:m.e~ge from. in:s~de of us.

The term '''e::q:uarilenoo'' .is also usedte re'fier to the. ~ccumll[,ated bowl@dge of our lives, manna ij'Dnthat is ta.k,eJn in th:rotlgh om-sense,s beoomes constanUy encoded. or folded into OiUfpl"@V:[ows bowThed,~. Thus ,ou:r ,eXfler.:ielfloe is the .raw mmerlm OIut of which. we each. erea te our maps 'Of mod.els of the, w·{l,dd.

sensory uper,ie:ilice refe:rsoo mf01mI'i!'tionrer.::e.iv~d. through one's sense Drgans (eyesj• leal'S. :smn •. nose and to~gue), and to the .lrn:owleqge 'Df the exb1!'rn"al w!:l,:rld that :ruB Ider:i.ved fi"o<w tha.t :mmrmation. The sense or:gans arm t:ne faculties by whieh fuum:a:mlHUd atb.el' amma~,Elp e:roeive the W01'td. a:r'ouilld them. ~EaiC:h sen:80ZY ehannel acts .a~ a. 'twe of fn tel' tbat r~~~Oin~, to a. rsmg'e of stimuli (light Waives I saund waves, phyl3ical~'Cfltact~et..c.);, andwhlcfu!. vari~-s fuI' difIDfll'e:nlE spe.cies.

.~ Olll'primary ini!.lrfaee 'With the wo:dd 3l:101Hld. 11:S', O(:lrf senses are our "windows on thswezld." Jill of tha in.fonna~ tionthet we b:a.v~ about Qnrphysicru eBstIllIl{:e - co~~ to us tln-,(lugn these se:n:sory wind(l,~s. It is fur Uris reason that s~n,sory experienoe Is hlghlyvalued ~n NLP: NLP coneidees sensory experience the primary source of'all o{f OIH' kn,OC\W]edge, ail10ut eur extocnal environment, and the fundamental bu.iklin,g material out ef'which W,t! C(losttm± our modlels oftlille world. Effedi Ve leamillg. ,oomru:mri'!;B.ti'on and .morlelmg Me all rooted in.sen!50l!'"Y expet'ienCie.


SeWlOry egpsci@lloe may be COJ!, trasted with other forms of e;q>eriencel such as fantasy and.haUl!lci.nation; wmeh aIle gen.e:rsted from withineperson's brain rather' than. received. tThu'olllgb. the aenses, In addition 1!J0I ml:perienoe taLloop in from the senses, hu.m..ans alsohav,€ ~. inte:rual web of knowledge and imoI'ma tinn ,c'Ofi"s'tcucted from !in 1tenl.811y generated 6'Xll eciences;~ :su.eb as ~thJ]rugb:ts, II "be.lliefs, ~ "val ues, >;i and "isa:Ul,s,e '(1:[ self." OUI' in te:rnal web of knowledge creates another set of 'i]lt,emarfiiUer~ which fDCUS and. Irure~1; Our sensea (and ah;;o operate to delete, distort and generalise data r.ece:ived. from llLe senses).

Ou}'s,en.sozy li1lxpeder:l.c€ is the primary way we get new infm~ma,tio]l about I1ea'lliity and ,ad.d. t'O 01]lT ma])iS o:f'the world. Oft.en our pTee:xistmg mtocnal1m.owledigefi.lten out new and putentiaIly valuable SElnsol'Yf<Xperi@'lloo. One of the missions 0:[ NLP is to help people to e:nri.clIthe amount of s.ensory egperience they are a ble 11;0 reo@ive by widening wn£ilt AJldOUSi, Hmd.eyreferred. to as the "red ueingvalve" of ICQIII.;scioUSD!~ss. NL]? co~fQunders J oh:n GrindJer and Richm"d. Bandle~ 001"!~ stan tIy 1ll"ged their studeats t.,o .. use sensory 8X}:ieri:ence"

:rather than. top:rqj eet ~r haH:iIilcilllate. .

Most NLP tJechmques~ in t'act.arBbased on ob:se:rvatiuna] sici Us whidil. attempt t.o 11ll~Ze our ,mreG:t. se:nso:ry expezi:e:nce ef at lSituatio.l!l. Acco.rding to the model of NLP! effective cbangeoomes fro.m the .ability 1];0 "come to nur sensea," 'l1a, do tms, we must learn to drop om intarnal fi[ws3::lJld.lilav€! dJ:r@d ,8 ~ory ex:pe:rience ef the wadd atro'llnd u.s., In fact, one IQf the. most importantba:sic skins of N1LP is fbat abi]jj.ty to ach:i.evethe state of "uptime." Uptime is a state ill w hiehall one's :sensozyawIU:eness is fOCllllSea on theextem alenvircn·1!lDIe:nt in the 'here and l]!.o'w'. U ptime, al'Jt~ ttte inereasad aIDOlllIilt of sensooy ,expenen.oe \vrucll mn':!ies from. uptime. bel PSi us to more 'iuHy f1ermive and eDj f!JY lu'O and. the many pa~s]:b:ili ties fOT learnmgtha:t 2 urrnund us,

. 'rhlllS, aur "experience" of som.ethingruay ~ e co.ntrasted W:!lth. the ":Il1EI.!]],s/' ~theo:ries> '" or "de smptioIls" :made l!ii hout

SLEl:GBT OF .Mourn

that experience. In NLPi a distinction is made between primary and fle.CQndary experience.' exp@riencere". Iates to the information we a"etu.a11y reeeive and perceiv;e th:rolllgh our sansas, fSecondMjl" experienoo relates to the verbal and symbolic maps that we create to'l"epresent and organize our primary ~xperiences.. Primary experience :is a function of our direet perceptions 0([ the territery around us .. Secondary experience is deeived from oW" mental maps, deaeriptionsand iiut-erp[',etation:sabout those perceptions - and are subjoot to signifimnt deletion, disto.rl:i.on and generalization. Wheu we experience something directlj, we have no selfooDiSdousnes:s OI' dissociativ,e'lihon,gnts about what we are sensing and feeling,

Theories Vest ripti mU7 Interpretations


Sensory Input

Our E;xperie'llce is the Raw Material Ou,t, of Which we Create our M!odell& 0,' th.o World"

It is our primary elq)erience thatbring.s vibl'ancy;, creativity and the sense IQf' anr awn uniqueness to our lives. Our primary e;x;peri@nee is necessarily much richer and morn eornplate than a.ny maps or descriptions we are able til make flf it. People who ate sueeessful and enjoy lifa have th.e ability tu experience more of the world dir,ectJiy,ratber than dilute it


through the filters of what they "should" experience 101' expect to exp arience,

From tbe N.LP perspective. IOUI' subjective experience is QUI' "realityj" and takes precedence over any theories, or intarpretations we hay,!:!, relating to tha t experience. If a person. has an 'out of the ordmazy eocpen.ence. such as a. "spizituel" Of "past life:tl< ,experienoo, HLP aloes, not question i fiis: subj' validity. Theories and interpretations relating to the eauses or the s octal Impli ea tiDns of the e'Xperi,e~:U'lies may be questioned and argued, but Ute experience itself is part of the es,sentJia.1 data of OU{' lives.

NLPprocessesand exercises place a heavy emphasis on ezperience. NLP based activities (esp ecially discovery activities)! 't-endto, "lead with ,&XIImience." Once we ean directly ex:periem::e something without the contamination of judgment or evaluation, our l',eflections ~Jft tbat experience are much ri,cher and mom meaningful.

Li ke ,oilier NLP distinctions and models, Sleight of Mou:th helps ua to become more aware of the filters and maps that can block and. di:swrt 011I" experience oithe' world and i1.S' potential By beeoming more aware of thsm, we can abo heeoms free of them. Tl1.epurpose of the' Sleight of Moutb. patterns is to help people enrich their perspectives, expand their maps of the world and reeenneet with their experience.

GEmerruly. Sleight of .Mouth patterns can be eharacterised as "verbal reframes" wbicb.infl uenca beliefs, and the mental nIapsfrolll which beliefs have been. formed. Sleight of Mouth patterns opera:l;ieby getl;]ng' peop11e to frame or' reframa their pl\iirceptions of some situation. or exp Hriene,e. Sleight of Month Patterns lead people to ')l,unctuate' their experiences m new w,ays and take different perspectives.



How Language Frames ExperieDoe

Words net on~y represent our e.xperience" hutjfrequJE!nUy they 'frame> our ,experie'lloo. Wo:rdsframe our experience by bringing certain aspects of it into the foreground and leaving others in the ba1c1kgrou:nd. Consi[b,~r the loo:nneet.ivIB words "butt" "and," and "even. though," for example, When we conne~ct Ideas or experiences t.ogeth~r with these different w1oI"ds, they lsad 1]:9 ttl focus our a tte.ntion on different aspects, of those experi,8oces. If aperson says~ .. It is sunny today but it will rain tomerrow;" it leads, us to focus more on the, concern that i twill be :raining ~om(lrrowj and te mostly neglect the faettha:c it is, sunny today. Usomeone connecss the same two expressions with the' word "and."~ie.~ "It is sunny toda.y and it wiIl be raiaing tomOJ."I'iGCW"_ the twO' 'events are equaUy e.mJlhfisizied. Mf someone ,says" "It is SWUly today ,!lve'R t1wugh it will rain tomoITowJ;' the effect is to focus our atb!!llIti'on mo.r,& on the first statement-that it is s unny today-llceavin~the other in the backgTou nd,

It is: .\,II'IIRY roday bull

it will railt ffltrlDfmw

JJ is sWlny totkIy HUrl

iJ will. rain lOmOfflJW

It is SUnil)' wlla.y even tb.oug~

if will min tomorrow

Certain, Words 'Fram.,e" Our Eqlerie:ru.:esJ Bringi;m,g .Different .Aspects of the In'lotbe Foreground

Tbistype of verbal framing and ''re..:fra:ming'' will occur 'l"\egard~e;ss 'o,ft.he co;ntentsbeing expre~sed. For example, the statements: "T am MlPPY today bu ~ I know it will, Dot Iast;" ~li am hap'p'y tllda.y and I know it will not Iast;" "1 run happy todary even though I knqW it win net last;"' create shifts in emphasis aimilar to the statrunents about the weather. Th.e


,saJ:m3 is true ,vith the 8tat~n:umtB: "I wa:nt to reac~ my oubWme bUJ I have a problem;" "1 want to .reach my ~utoome and I have a problem;'" ''I wafrt. to. reaeh my outcome e,!)en,

Ow rtgh I have a pre blsm." .

'\iVhe:n some structure a.pplies across difFerent oo.ateots 1:0

tmsl way, we' ea~l it a. paUern. Some people, for instance, ba:ve a ba1ritnalpa.tteI'n in which they are constantly dismissing the positive side of their experienc~ with the word. "but."

This type of vel'bal framing 'CBiD greatly :influence the way we interpret and respond. t.oparlirula:r statements ,and, situations. Corudde:r the {ollowm,g statement. "¥ou Cc.UJ: do whatever you want to, if you are willing to wDrk hard enmtgh .. ~ Tills, is a. very affinnillg and empowering belief; It connects t\vosi~ca_nt portions of experience in a type of learuse--and-e:£fect relati:Qn~hip: "doing wbatevel" Y{lU want to"" and ''working hard enough," "Dmng what you want to" is something that is very' motivating; "Working hBI"dD is not so desirable. Because the two have been ]i]]kledoog.ether~ h.owever, with the stateme:Dt that «you can do whatever' you want to" in the foreground. it a strong sense of motivation" oonn.ecPng a dream or wish with the resourees RecesSary to make it happen.

Notice ""That happens if you reverse the order of the statement and say, «If you are willing to work hard eneugh, you can Olo whatever you want to." Even. though this ataternent uees the egad same word5J its impact is dirninished somewhat, hseause the willingness to. "wO'rk hard" bas been placed in the foreground. sequen:tiaUy. It :=Hl~.em:s: .IDOI1e. like an attempt to convince somebody to work hardtha n an affirmation that "you can do whatever you want to." In this second framin.g" 'ldlJiingwhat you want" appears bo be more of a reward. ftlr"\1II0'l"king hard." In tbe first statement, the wil.liogness to "work hmrd" was framed as an internal resource for "doing what you want to." This difference, while snbfls, C!rnl make a signifiea.nt im pacton how the message is received and rmdarstood.


The ''Even Thought Refr,ame

Identifying verball patterns can allow us 00, create linguistic t(l013 which can help to shape: and influence the meaning we JP erceiv,e .EllS a r~sw.t of our experience. An ,eXR mpr,e is the 'even though' reframe, This pattern is applied by simp~y suhstitu'~ing the words "even though" fo.l' the word "but" in anysentsnce in whieh the word "hut" is being u_sedt.o diminish or discount s'ome'pomt;iveexpe:rien,ce.

'Dry' it out using the folh}\vIDg steps:

1. I(lentitY a. statement in which a po,siti'lle experience is 'disceunted' by the word. "but, n

e.,g ... "1. found a. 901 u.t,ionto, myprohlem" but. it Clou~.d. ceme back again later."

2. Bubstituta the WIQ,rd8 "',even thol!lgh" for the word"bl1t~" and notice h.ow it ~bifts the focus ofyonr attention.

Etg.. ~l round. II So~u.ti'Qn to my problem. even. though it could come back again Iater,"

"rhis structure allaws peopla 'til maintain. ,E[ positive focus and still sati.&fy" the need. to keep ,9 hal aneed perspective, I have found this technique to be ,quite powerful £01' people who haVie a tendency to 'the "Yes I' but ... '" type of pattern.

Chapter 2

Frames! and Reframing



A psychological ""I1ef1ll'Si to a general foeus or direeDon. that rprevides an oveM"aUguidaneefor thoughts and actions during an interaction. In Uris sense, frames relate to the cognitive OOn text slllT'oanding at particular event 'Oil' experience. AF. the term implies, a "frame" esta,blishes the borde'I'Ili and eenetrairrts surrounding an interaetiaa, Frames greatly infl UJI:ige€! the w.ay that .sp eeifio expe:rien.ce:sa:od. events are interpreted and I",esponded to becau!3'€ of how they serve to 'punctuate' those ~perien ces and diree>tattenti.'o,n. A painful memory, for esample, may loom as an all-cnnsuming e,V',e'nt when perceived within the shOl"tberm frame of the five min utes surrounding the event, That ,s arne' painful experience may seem almost trivial when perceived against the background of one's lifetime'. Fr,ames also he~p to m~{,e interactions more effi!cienthecauSce they determine which infurnt.atioOn andissues fall withi n or outside of the PrU.I'P nse of an interaction.

A "time frame" is a C01nll1OQ. exampl~ of framing. Settin.g a time frame of ten min utas fur a meeting' nr exercis f.l, for example, great]y inft uenees what can be' aecomplisbed in that meeting. It determines where penplawill focus their attentiooD, what top,icsand is,sue'S,a:r,e appropriate for them 00 mchlde in the int,e,ractioll. and the type and dle,;gDee of effort they will exert, A time frame of one hour' or three hours for the same meeting 01' ~ereise "Would. crea:te quite diffsren t dynamic~. Shorl-er time frames tend to focus people on tasks, while longer time feames open up the possibility tor people to alse .fOC1lJS on develop,~.n,g l"ela.tiollsbips. If a: 'time' linli.t of 15 minutes bas been set for Be meeting, it is IDo11"e]ilrely that the .meeting will he Interpreted as being task-orientedralher than as an open-ended. exploratery brainstnrnring session.

Some common "framas" in NLP include ·the "outcome" n-.ame; the "as ir' &arne. and the "faadbaek VeT5US failuse"


franl!Ei. The' basic emphasis of t'he Dut['.ame fral"Re IEO:r instance, is 'W establish and .maintain focus OIn the goal or desired state. Establishing an OutCDme Frame involves evalu.ating any activity 0,1' informatien with respect te its relevance '1:;0 the achievement of a particular go,aI or desired


Topics wmch are 'outside' the frame

Topics which are "inside" the frame


A ...... ,~ .. 'IE:'

e.g., N ,Owcorne rrmne

Frames Direct A,tt!e,ntiinn and lnfluence Haw Events arc IDiiEu'pJ:'e.tedi

An f,o;'outoome IT,arne'" may he US'eftdly IC.(lDtTas;ted~t.:h a "problem frame," A problem]aces,dl,€! emphasis on "what iswrong" 01' what is "not wanted." as epposedto what is desired or "wanted." A probl em frame Ueads, liio R foeus em undesired :symptoms and the search. for their causes. In co:ntl'ast all. outcome frame Ieada to a focus on desirecll

. .,

cutcemes and ,effect~j and the resources required to attain them. Thus. an Outcome Frame involves staying snlutkm ~ocused and criented toward pos:iti'lle possibilities in the future.


Ouknme FJuame '\Vbat do you want? How (jan. you get it'?' WMt I'I5S0Ulree;S, al''8 available.?

Pmb~em What is wrong?

Why is it a. problem? Wbat ca us ed it? Whose fa uJt is it?

The application of 'the Outcome Frame In.V'olves such tactics, as reform ulating problem statements to goal statements, and l",ef'r'a:ming negatively worded. des'ttiptiens to tbl]s'e which. are, stared in.posi t;]ve terms, From. thBNLP pelsp Elctive. ferIastanee, all problems ean be repereelved as

ll.. -;~l . ." . ..,;1-.. • t' ." i-_L 1'1 S·:

CU.Ji;U enges, Or QP~PO~ rum Ie.s, ~O !.;nange" grow OII' .d~;arn. . ·e en

in this way! all "-'problems" preauppose desired. oukOIQes. If says~ '''My problem is that I am. afraid of faH1ll'e." it ean be assumed that there is an implied goal to. "be .c;!onfident that I am going-to succeed." SimiladYiif thel'\e is a problem such as i:fprofits are down," it can be assumed. that thf! ou teems ista "increase profl ts, oj

People ot'i:-en unin t1!'l:fl tiona.I1y state, tbeir outoome-a negative]Yi such as: "1 want 00 avoid emharrassraeat, ~"J wan t to qmt smoking.· .. "I want t;o, g,et rid. of this int..erference/~ etc. Doing se places the focus of attention bal!k onto the-problem, and. paradoxicaUy> often fonns embedded suggestions in te~.atiQn to thepreblam state. Thinking. "I want to not be so alfraid~" acluaUy carrieathe suggestion "be arfrill.d." as part of U:l.i2 tbtlllght; itself. Mafu.,Urining an OutOOJni@ Ftume would. invQlve asking. "What dQ you want?" or "U you were llotso afraid., whatwou]dl you be feeling instead?"

\Vhil@ it is important to eJ!(:arnine symptoms and. their CHiIilses ~ part of ,effective problem S(lhring,~t is also .important to de so in the context ofr~achlng ,R. desired state, If no I., the ,e.x:plo.ration of the symptoms and causes win not lead tn any solution. When the outcome. or desired state, remains


the foens ef mformatien g.athenng. then solutions may often be found even ~f the pmb1,em sta ta is not fully understood,

Other NLP ".frami:lJi3~ operate in. at similar ID auner, The foeus of the "as if' frame is on act] ng 'as if' one has already achieved the d.esired. goal til' outcome. A fe.edhack veesus fmlm·.eframe places ,8 tten.tinJ] OIl how Se:emiDg' I],roblems~ symptoms ormista]U:liS can be interpreted as feedback. which helps to make cOITectiml,s leading to a desired state, 'rather than as fail ures,

Perhaps the. most fund:amental goal of aplplying the verbal pa ttems of Sleight of Mouth i~ to he] p people to Fiimft their perspective 1) from a pro M'em IT rune to an outcome trame, 2) from a ra,ijUI'e' fr,a:m_e to a. f{!edback frame, and 3) from an impossibility' &,am'l1! to an. 'us i~ frame. The examples of tbe police officer, psycniabist:l doc'l;OJI'~ coachj etc. ~p:rovided at the beginning of this book, are all illustrn tions of shifting the frame from whiCh some circumstance or evant wa.s being pffi"Beived. The pS)ficbiatrist, doctor, supportive uncle, mother, and coach, all helped to. .!!illft the perception of H situation. tn8!t was being experienced asa "pro blem" or "f;;nilllf'e" so that it was placed inside of an. "'(l.urtcome"o,r "re edbaek' frame. AUenti.on was shifted frem the ~p"rlobl,em' wthe 'outcome', op ani ng !II p newp ossilbiliti.e,s. (Even tbe]lolice offi.oo·t idenJ;ifying heI"seJf as ,R '''televis:iml rapairman," is at metaphoric way of shi1i:ing to. an outcome and feedback. frame - placing emphasie on '"repairing''' what is 'wanted rather than "getting rid of' what is not wanted.)

Shifting Outcomes

It has been pointed Qutthrut "purpose directs act.iv:ity."

ThUiS~ I3L parlic1!l11'H' outeame itself sets a type of frame that deoo'rmmes what is pe.rce'iivl!:M:l HiS releva nt.s~cces sful sud "inside the frame;" and. what ],sC'..on:s:i:dered n.,otI'eh~'!;fa:nl.'t, unhelp,i1!ll and. iloutsidethe frame." In a bil"aJirlstorrning session, fol" instancE!'llheoulJeome is to "eome U:p' Yritb. new and 1lllique ideas .~M:aldn.g' unus ual a:rm.iQgieS't tallirrg outrageQu.:s j okes, asking scmy question G.> &l'Id.being a bi t ~izalTe." wowdalli :I] e, Tlelevant <nId helpful ac:I:i:ri.tiesmtl1. respect to tha t au teome. J3.rin,gmg u p e:ris;lting sol utions and p oUdE!g as "'i;he right atltS,wer, " and. evilluatingwhe't]l'le'r Q'l[ not so~u:lthing is "realistie" wOl:ald be inapPI'lOpri,ateanti unhelpful.

On tbe other halild. if. instead of brainsterming; thesessJo:n :involved thefinal :st.age ,o[neg[l,tiatinu:swi tb Q key client, the euteome of the sessionmi,gh t be to "~8tabli:sbaThd1 reach OOlD.selllBWS about tl:ru~ priorities f'Or the co:mpleuoD. and tleliv~ e:ry cf a speeifie ~mduct @I' i~teTVle!Ili.tion.." With respect to Ulis ou:tcO'm.e~ it is]!e;ss. Hke].y tn,at suddenly UE>:IElg unusual analegies, teUing outrageous jokes. asking s:iUy qu,est:ikH'l8~ and ~eilJl4g a Mt '"bizm-rej," wonJd be peree:irved $, f\elevant and hel pru1 (tHdess. of eourse ,th.e n~oti.atiQn had reached some kind of iID passe w hicbrel1uiired a bit of br,ain:s:t!orm:in.gto g!'1!t past)"

S:i:nrilarly" difi'e:ren:t behaviors will be peIlooived. asrelHvent and useful for ''',getting to k:no<w eaeh ofi;bsiI""Jj than fDr "meeting anim pendmg d.e:Eli!dline .. " Thu~j shifting the QlIl.tcQmethat is thefeeus of ,atfuen tj,on. wi th respe~t to a. pru'tiCWttiI:" situ.a.tion. O'T inter aetionwill alter our j udgments ~d pwcept:~on& about what iSnlle,v.ant and! meaningful with n;!speet to tha.t 8.itl1:Eltion,

The' 8~.eight of Mortrthpa1i;.j!;Bnll ot[ An(Jitl1e:r Ou;t(!lQl,l1M? inVDlves B. ~taEeme:fit.thEilt. slillt:s, J1ej]'P]~B'S etten tiOJ[l to a d.iffierlent goa~ t]],IUl the one that is being a.ddressed. o.r implied by a


particular juagu]Jlent or geIlteralb:ation. . 'The fuq:aose of the pattern Is to ehallenge (Of' reinfDrce) fbe:reUevancy of that j 1JJ.dgment fir generalization.

for ,exampl,El', [,et's say :tb:a.t a part.ici;p,a.nt in a seminar 0.:(' workshop ha5' done an esereisaand f-ea],s,uustrated with it hsea use he or ,siil1e "'did llD:l;get the expected I"e>'iiuJts.." F'IDeq]]M;!ntl:y~a person £@elgtlU.8 way baeause he ,or she .Millan ouh:::OIDe: such as O1Idoing it p erfedly,'" With respect to this CJlutlC'Om~e, a g:e1'lle.rali:z,atirm o:r jndgmen.t slI.lcb 1:1,:5 ".not ge1tting the e\lirfJected 'result means you have d.oI'le something wm:ng 0]' Me not ylet compeWITht; e'O~gh," IiIlig;h:t beappropri ate. S'hi ft~ in;g the' Old teems of the seminal' eiJre1l"lcise from the goal of "doing it perfecUy,."to the Oi.\.Woom.e of "'~Xfll()"]e.arru:llg.!j or "'d:isQovsring .soII!J,ethl:rng new," bowev'er, can greatly shift; th.!t! way we ap~roac1ful and inte.rpmt threecX]perie.n.oos that OCC:U'f dllJripg that exercise. 'What :is, a failure with respect to "do~g :it ped"edIYi" maybe B. suecess with msped 'tCI "discovleting so:meUnng new. "

Thus~ HJ.'iyi:ngtli:e patte:m. of shilling to tr .. 'lNJther (lu-teome would mv~fvle! sayil!lg 00 tlliiepa:l:'tid])laI1Il.~. "The (Iuirome o.f the lexe1icise J:;8 to learn sQme1tlli-n;ing new as opPQserl to demcastrate that you ak,ead.y know how to aD Siomething ~e:rfectly- .As you trunk back 1(I,V1@r the 111l.te:ra:cIJQfl ! what ne,'l,V Iearningsare you aware of?~

A simili:lrpriD!~i p]e' opera;b~'!il' with respect to. ,aU of eirr life lexperiences,. If we e,va1ll1,a;IEe our resporu;e t;[) a. chaJleng1ng 5t[tua tien with resp ect to the: ou.tco:m>e ef I'b~ing comf(l,rtable and. secure," it. may seem. ]ike we failed miseTab]y. If we $Ietc~ive the' same ~itU!ation w,]:th respad to the uub:ome of "gr<)'wiTl~g strnng..ert'" we may d~13oove:rthat we have been ~'Uite ~ uceeasful.

Cm];sider thefuUowing statementmade tn a. client by the fa.I1I:lQ\ls .:Ilsy;dria!trist and hypnolh.e'rap,ist MiiJtom H. Erickso:n. M.D. {the psychiatrist refe::r:red. to in the example of the Ullal1! whotho1!1ght he WalJ3 J eSlJJS Ohrist):

It i~ important ~D have III sense offrecurity.. a .'ili? of re,mliness.,~ a fun knnwle~ Uu:d come wha~ may, you; can m€et it a,nd handle it- and. enjoy doing, it. .It's, also a niee le.arningto[';ome u.p ~glain~t the~ituati.(Jl'l, that you ca.n/t handle - ,!l.nd t.ken later th in.h it over. and realize t.h:at.. tao, was a .[earn~ng thai's ~~ rJiefu; l i.n ll'Hlny. ma.ny diffo.,re:nJ ways. It aUows y,ou ta asSeSs your !} h. It a:l.ilQ' all(J:w.'S J"~ uto di;sic(J'U~r~he ·ei reas ,in. which yQU need to USB' SOmE more of YDurmnu secuf'ity~ wh~ch ;reS't:s- ,within .}'fnl l"Sf!!lf. , • Reacting to the .{food {Iud thli! 'baiJ,j and deal,ing wi'lh itade.qwddy - UI.O.t's' ,the real' joy in life.

.Erkuo.n.'s statemelll t iS8f.1. e:xampte o:f a,{Jplyi~gthe S]eigbt uf MQuth pattern of A1Wt.her Outcome .. The comment transform:swha.t might be cO'.I1s.].Idi.erE!d "'failme'l with resp@ctlio one o1JJ.tcom.€! (handling the situetion), fliflBciI'backwith respect to another euteeme '(~oocl;in,g ·t!o the good andtha bad" and[ dealmg with it adequa te]y'l

R.ea:di1lil.g to the good and the. bad" and deafulg witb '~t :allll:eql!lll.OOly

Oh (!li..D,gingth'E: Olllhmme Shifts! the Frarm,e of What is Be.leV8ill'l; and Su.ccessfuJ

1. TIrink of 9. s:Una.ti.on. in which you feel s.tnckj, frustrated or a. failure,

Sitna.ti.loIll: -------------~~-

e.g., 1 fffei that a. per:$<rrJ'U is mking adf/ant~f1 l[Jf lI7~~ and .1 am n()~ a:~le tfJ c,f)nfronl t ho;t Pe.:l"fifJIR dirnr;;.tly about my feelin;g;r;; ..

:2. What :is th.e negative ge'nBF''la.tion OJ[" judgment that YIOU il:avem.!iuie (aibG:J>:ut ,yourl5elf ocr others) with respeet to that s::i.tllt3.UOlflt andwha t euteome or outcomes are imJIBed. by that j~dgmeut?

Judgment: . ~~ _

IC'.g.~ N(jr§; $pe;ak~n~ u.pfor myself m,eans Otf1l I a:rn ,~ C6Wf1J"d.

Outcom.e(s): ~ ~~_

e.g,. Zb 1n(]:kc mys-elf sp,lJa} up .for l1!]I.lseIl and be .strr.m,g mtd.b~ve'.

31.E~lor,e the impalet it wCll!]ldhaveOOl your percepticn of the si t;; if yon thotlg";hta:bolll t it wirthre~vp oct to some other pessihle outcomes SiS, we,n- e.g .. , s;§Ifety, lear:!];ing. explora.tio:l],. seU~m:sCO'very~ respect for myself aad others~ ac:ting \ritibt integcity,healmg ,growio.gj etc.

':01" instanee, if the outcome were swi.fucbed. to "treating mys alf and. ()tlb:.e~ wit1':1. reS'l'eet,fOor "treating others the way Iwo<uUd like tOOB bes:bed." judging



oneself as ,1.\ 'iCOW:a:r,[j["' fOil" not speaking up for one$elf~ may not seem as T·elevant 01' appropriate a g,eneraJizatiion, to be making.

4. \Vhat isancther oatceme that yeu ceuld add to or 8~titu:,te' for your eurrsn t .cru.tcome that would make yarn' negative generalization. or ju.dgment Iess rel evant, and make, it easier to view the 'current eonsequenees of this situation as feedback rather than fail.U1'l2?

Mtern.aitive Outcome(.s): ._~ ~ _

,rl"g. ~Learn tel ,act wwa,rd, myself ,ml<d others .with con:gru," ell{;'e~ UJisdo.m and compassion,

From the NLP'lH!I'spectiv'B, switehingto another outcome serves to "l'·eframe" our pereeptien of the experienea. "'Reframing" is eonsidered 'tiD bea (lon! proeasafor change in NLP; and iii thepri:mary mechanism of ffi,eight of Mouth.



Reframing involves helping people to reinterpret problema and li[ld 1501 utiona by M.anging tbe frame in 'W hieh the problems are being perceive d, R'eframing literaJly means to put a new or different frame around some image or ezperienee, Psychologically" til "reframe" something means to transfbrm :its, meaning b'ypntliog .iit inoo· a dlifEeren:t framework or context than it has previously been perceived.

The frame mound a pictur:e is a good metaphor fOl' understanding tbe CORQept aad pl'.!)(oBSS. of reframing. Depeading on what is 'fr,amed in at pictI.l!n:!~ we win :have dllierent information about the eenten t of the picture, and thus a diffe.!l:",Bnt perception of wh at tbe pictnre reprBsen ts. A plliot;ogl'a pher or painterwhe ~s recording a particular landscape, for example, might only "fr ame" .8 tree. Of" choose to include an entire meadow with many trees, animals and perhaps a stream. or pond. This determines what an observer of the picture win see of the original aeane at a later time. Furthermore. a p ersnn who has pnroo:a,s'il!d a particular picture might subaequently dlecide to chamge the frame ISO that ~t fi.ts more estheticaUy in aparticularroom o'fthe house.

Similarly. be~l!Uie they determina wbat we "see" and. perceive with raspact to a certain experience or event, psychological! frames influence the way we experience .!IDd .intarpr,et a situation. AB an illustration., consider for a moment the fbllowing picture.


Now consider what happens if the frame is expanded.

Notice how your experience and understanding of the sitrsationbeing reprasen ted is widened. to include a new peetive,

The first picture doe-s, not have much "'mearuin.g"per se, It is s.i:m"JI,ly of' a. "fish" of some typ·e. When the frame is widened to produce the- second picture, we suddenly see a different situation. 'fbe first fish is; not mmply a ··· it is a ''littJe fish about to, be ea.ten by a big fish." The little fish seems unaware of the situation; 3. situation that we CIm see easily due to o:urpel'specti:v'6 and Dill" 1.arger frame.," We CaJIl either feel alarmed. and. mnoorned for th.e Uttll!£! fish, 0.1' accept tnat thehig fisb must eat in, erderte survive.

Notiee what happens when we "re:frame'" the situation again by w:i:d.ening OUT perspewv,eeveu mora,


Even Larger Frame

Now we have ~UUltherper,spectiv,e and a ne,w mean:itng ,aJ[oogetner.iBy changing ~the fran7.ft si$e, we see' that it; is not only the UtUe fish who is in danger, The big fish is alse about to be eatenby an even big..ger fish. In his quest to survive, the big fish has become so focused on eating the little fuh that it is eblivtaus to the fact that its ,own survival is threatenedby the mucb bigger fish.

The situation depicted here" and the new level of awareness that comes from r,e&mning our pe:ri\1pective of the sitna:t]cII> is a gnnd mataphor foll:' beth thep'I'tu~ess and purpos::e of liS:ychti]oglcal reframing, PeoplefIlequ.ooUy end UiP in. the situation of the liU]e fish" 01" of the fish in the middle, They are either unaware of' some impending cbaJlenge in their larger surroundings like. the Iittle fish, nr so focused on achieving some outcome, like the fish in the middle. that they do notnotiee an ap]lIl",oa.,cbing cnsts, The paradox for the fish in the middle irs that it has focused its attention so much on I~lfie pa.:rti,cula:r be!hafl'()r related. to snrvival that it haspu t its S'univru at. risk in a.:o.other way. Refrawng a:DDW:S, US to see the "bigger pieture" so that more a ppropriate choices and a.ctimll:S can. be implemsn ted,

In NLP;reframing mvo]v;e.g putting a new mental frame around the content of an experience Dr sitaaticn, 'ecqlanding our pereeption oftlle situatiQn S'O that it may be lllOI',8 wisely and J'esourcefulIy handled.


eh,angin,g Fr,ame Size

'The Sleight of Mou'l:.h pattern of Change Fnsune Size applies thi sprindple directly to ou~perooptioni> of so:~.e srtuation or The pattern Ul,volves re-evaluating (o!!." il:'ieinfbrcillg) the' implication. of a particular aetien, generalization or judgment in the context ofa longer (or shertar) time frame'. a larger number ef people (OT from an individual point of view) or ·a higger or smaller perspec:ti~e. ~. Bv~t that. seems unuearably painful when we consider It WIth respect to OlllI" own desires and. expeetatinns, far instance, may ,sudd.,eniy seem a]moB't trivial when we eompare it to the

suffering nf Dthers,. . .

Spec:tn tors at at sporta erventlllay end. up in a.!f their team wins cr loses a particular game I or a pearson mM~ an exceptionally good or exeeptionally poor play. Ye,ars la.te~, when COHSiillereD.with respect to the larg'er Iandseape of their Iives, those same events may seem 'totall,Y insignificant,

. An action that seems acceptable if one p,ersQn dues it, can become dest!ud:i"re and h~fuJl if 8. whole ,grOIlP' does it.

ChHdhirth can. be ,an in telilse and. fri.,glatening experianea far aperson who is expe,ne.ncing it for the nI'sttime.Bei1l,g reminded that it is a pro cess that has evo[v,ed ever millions of y,e,ars by milliene of wnmen, can help the persou to~ have greater ,trust and Iess fear in what is happening within her body.

Notice that the' process of changing frame size is distinct from that of sbifl;ing to another eutcome, A person can maintain nle same outcome. such as "healingl' ,o:r "safetYr·' hut ehanl'e the bame ,size in which he o:r sha is evaluating progress towards that outceme, 'The specific symptoms, nfan tllness.fer example, may beviewed as notbeiJng' ''"healthy'' in the ft.amewDl"k of their iim:mlerliab~ eonsequenees, but as a necessary process, of "deansing," or of immunizing a persen with re8lpect, to, their long term conseqjuences. The field of homeopathYJ foc instancer, is based on the premise that small


amounts ofa toxic substance produce Immunity to its toxicity over the long 'term.

Simil ar1y, what might seem like, the "safe" thlngto, do in the shod te:-m. could put apersen at great risk intbe lcngeJ' tarm.

Changing frame size h8!.S to do the breadth or width of the perspeetrve we are taking] a;s distinetfrem HIH particular outcome we 8J',e considering with respect to that frame, A good literal .illustratioIl of changing frame size can be seen in the movie Caba,ret.. One scene in the film begins with a close up ef the faee of an angelic loo.king young boy who, is s.inging in .B beautiful voice. The imagle appaers sweet and wholesome. As the camera be,gins t'Op!ft:!'l back. however, we see thatthe boy is wearing a miUtary uniform. Next, we seetha t be is wearing an armband. containing a swastika, As the frame size' g,ets larger and. bl1"ge~ we ,even:b:mlly see that the boy is ~ing]llg at a huge Nazi rally. The meaning and feeling conveYllld by the image is oompletely rehang'Bd by the infonnatien coming frem the changes in the frame size of the image. .

Simil.a::r shifts canbe made through the use of language.

Phrase'S such as, "looking at the situation from 'the big pi~tur,e," "cons,i~ering1!h.e long' tarm impl:i.t<1 tions:~" or "fill' generations to come," can directThy infI.uence the frams size we are .applying to lleroeive a situation, event or outcome, FrlUlle siz,e can also be changed by adding orinclllding warda that presuppose a larger frame. Saying something like "four score and ten years age," OJ[" "for 8. hundred year.s to come," will naturally trigger people ta think in terms of a particular time frame.

Cons'idler the ehangessa ft,a,me size, utilizJed. in the ful]o.wing se'tOifriddles. 'from 8 tl"awthlnal Scottish ]ulla:by:

I gaY,!,! my love a che'l'ry that had no stone. I gav'e my love a clri.~BDL that had no hone, I gave my love a baby that's nat crying.



How ,C!'IJl you have a cheTI'Y that has no ston.e? How can yon have a chicken that has no bone? How can you halve a baby thftt~s Do,t crying?

\Vben ElL merry is a blossom, it has no stone. A c.hicken thafs au egg, has no bone.

A baby when its sleeping is no crying.

The solution to the Drst two riddles I",sqmes that we widen ow frame of' pareeption to the larger Hfu. eyc1,e of a cherry OJl'" a chicken. The s,olutio.n to the third .riddl'e T'eqnires that we go theather directien, and narrow our perception toparticular time periods :in the baby's daily cyc.le. The terms "blossom." U,egg" and b;s]ooping" bring us natura]]!y te fhis shift in perception.

The size of the frame we aI"1;! censidering determines a great dealaboutthe meaning and. significancewe are able to perceiv'El, and can. be an ex.tremely importaat issue with. respect to effective problem solving.

Try this pa.ttern on t fol' yourself uEring the foUowing .steps:

1. Think of a situation that you judge as diffieul t, dis appointing 011' painful in some way;

Situation: .. __ ~~~ ~ ~ _

:2 .. What is the CU1"teD t frame from which you ,ar,e vjew:i ng that aituatien? (i.e., immediate results. long term CODSi2!quenees, individual, gr()Up,. cormn1J[litYi, past, future, specific event. whole ~.ystmn, as an adult, as ,R child. etc.

C1llI'1N!fit Frame; _~ ~ ~ _

a .. ChB!Ilgetne frame si2Jeby wid,ening it and. mu't'owing it to mclnde m0l'18 time. a larger number of people, ,a larger s,:ystem, etc. Then. narrow it to foclia on just III Eipeci1ic

individual, a, limited time frame, a single event, etc, Notice how this sbifts the pereepticns you 'have and ev a.l ua onns y,~)i'IJ, makE! with respeet to that situatien. Sm:nethingthat seems to be a failure in the short term O'ften beeemes seen as; a neeessary step to SUCilDess ill the leager term. (Realizing thatyoul" own struggles. are something' that evezy,orue goes throu,gh at oS OIDe time for 'instanee, can help make them .Feelless o1terwbelming.)

4. "\ is a longer (or shorter) time frame, a laI'g,~r numlrer or smaller number of people, OT a bigger or smaller perspective that would change the jiud:gmen t (l'l' generalteatiun you aremaking about the situ.ation to be semething more positive?

New Frame:' _

The Sleigbt of Mouth patterns of Changing Frame Size and. shifting '1;'0 Another Outcome ru"e exam plea of what are known as contexlan.d content r€!framing in NLP.

Context R-eframing

Contextrafr:aruing has to do with the fact thata particular experience, behavior OF event win 'hava different imp]icatio~ns and, crmsequencea depending on the eontest in which it occur,S. Rain. for ,example; will be perceived as an extremely positive event to, a group of people who have been sUl!fferin,g' from a severe drought, but as a neg-a'!:.:i. ve event for agro up of people who are in the midst of a. :ti1l(lodl. or whn have planned

td ddin Th ln it . ]f ,. . "It. " .:ii'

an. ou' 001'" we mng, ne rain I se _ IS nelLJLlBI' gOQ-Ut nOl"

"bad," Th.e judgment related to it has to do ",vith the consequence it produces within a particular context.

A~O:I1m:ng t'IJ Leslie Cameron: - Bl'mdler (197,8. p. 1,3, 1) t1r.1'n·' textual refr-aming in NLP Uaccep,t~ all behaviors as useful in SOlnecontex;t. JJ The purpD.S,~ of oollltextuaJ. refiamin,g is to change aperson's negative internal response to a particular be."havi01' by realizing the usefulness of the bahavinr illl some contests, This allows, 'laS 00 see the bebnv1.00" as simply "a behavior" aile therainj and shift (JIuraU@uti()I1 to addl"essing the issues related to tbe ],arg'eI' coo test (i.e., instead. of cursing the rain wb.en w,e are flooded, we learn to focus on CJIlsa:ting mere ,eff'ective drainage ays'bems).

As an esample, l,etrs say a mother is distraught because her teenage son :lis constantly gi3tting into fights at school. A context l'eframe would Involve saying scmetbing like, "'Isn't it nice to know that yom son cou]d protect his Ii tde, sister if anyone bothered her on t'bew.i!lI-Y home from school?" This can help her to shift; her perception of her son"s behavior and vi.'€l'W it ina broader perspective . .Ra:ther t.hanbeing outraged and ashamed" the mol!;h.~r m a_y beahl.€! to appreeiate her sall's behavior as useful in. a pa:rlicula:r' mntext. and thus respend in a. mere eonstrnetive way.

N ega tive responses often sene to main tlilifl and even escalate prob!temati'c behaviors, rather than extinguis.h them. Bb!lmefrequeatly prodluoEls a type of "polarity response"

which actually serves to stimrilate .rather than. inhibit the' unwanted behavior. When the mother in the previous example is able to seethe pcsitivebenefits 'of her son's behavior in a single eontesr, it can help her to get a better "meta Jl(l~itiOOl"to that beha:vi'or~ and. thus begin to cmnmunlcate more usefhlty with her sen about his, behavior and the context in whieh it is o eeurrin g.

Having his own. behavior validated as useful in II particular c(l'n,t;iext" rather than being attacked and. criticized, also allows the son to view rns. own behavior from a different pel'spect:liv,e, rather than co.ns1i:; being on 'the defensive. As a ne.Jd step, the mother and. son could work to establtsh the POSitiv,9 intent and. benefi ts related to the aon's beha vlor at school and explore mnre appropriate substitutes.

Ch,anging the frame size from which one is perceiving some' event is cleaT]Y one way to perceive 'it within a diUerent context.


Content Reframim:g'

Instead of s.bifting contexts, content involves altering om'p arsp ectiv~: 00," leve,[ OIf perception with 1',e'sp'ect t.o a particular behavior 01' situation. Ccnsider an empty field of grass, for~nstmJce. TO at farmer. the' fie1:d is an opportunrty to p1,ant IIIJ~W crops; to an m1':hit.ect~ the: field is a space '(II{! w hieh tobtrlld a dreanl home; til a young eouplHj thefi,eld is a wonderful Ioeation for a picnie; to. the pilot (if a small airplane that ll!irlnnting out of g:aa~ it is a plaee to safe]y hand, and so on. The same content (the {(field"') is perceived di1Ierently Rccording to the perspective and "intent" of the viewer. This is clearly tlil,e mechanis.m 'I.lullderlyi.:ogthe Sleight of MOlil'~lil, pattern of shtfting to an(),~her o.utcom~.

Using the ana~ogy of a, phY8.icnl Jl,ic.frn:re~ tOrr'in.strulce. one', way toviBW a painting or photograph differently is '1;0 "reframe" it by considering the intent oftbE! ru'tist or photog,· r-aph-rur in creating the pieture, What response did the artist or photogra.pher' inte.ndoo elicit in the observe:l"'?"Vha t lemotion. was the artist or phoblgr:apher intending to convley? Cnnsidering somethin.g within theframewof'k of its in tention 811 ten our perception of it.

Similarly, "contmlt reframing"in NLP' involv,es exp,loring the Intantinn behind ape,rlSon"s extietnO!tl. behavior, This:is most commonly accomplished in NLP by finding the "positive ini<Emtion/' "positive purpose," or "meta o1l.ltcDme"rebted to a[,arsymp,tom orprob]e'Pla.tic ]behavior. One of thebasie principles of NLP is that it is useful to aeparate one's "bebavier" ffiOID one's "self." That is, 'it isimpOliant to separate theposi tive intarrt, function. be.lief. ete., th atgie!Jl1&-' ates a behavior. from the behavior it,s,elf..Accor&ng ttl this principle it is more j[iespectful. ecological and prcduetiva to res,p ondta the Jdeep ,~t:nu::tuTe·tblID to s m31Cl€ espres i'j,ian of a problematic behavier; Perceiving a .symptom 01' problematacbehavior in the larger framework of the po's,itive purpose i.t is mtBnd.ed to sa ti5fy. ehiIta the internal :re'l!llPon5e~ 1.a that


hehavier, opening the dO.Ql" to addressing it in at more 're- 8aur,~efW acncll,Cl'e:a till,a manner;

As an. e.xmnple. an NLP pl'actit.ioll'er was counseling the rami]y of a teenage bay who complained that his father always o1bjectedto ,any future plHrul that. the Y'(lung man. proposed. ThepracUtiofier said to the youth, "Isn!t it nice-to have a fa ther who is trying to protect you fr(lm being hurt or disappamood in an;y 'Way?' I'll bet Y;OIU d.on't know very many fathers who care that mum about their children." This comment took the YOllltll,g man bysurpriEl'El, ashe, had never considered that ,there mi,glit be sameposi1t;:ivoe purp csebehiad his fa.thel"'s criticism. He had only thought of .it as an attack against him. The praetitionee went un to explain tb.e difference between being a \1reamel'~, ':realise, and. <critic', and. the :importance that each role ·play.ed in efFective planning. He pointed aut the t the: function of an. effect:iv,e critic: i s In find out whatmigbt be .missing from a particular idea O'r plan in order to avoid problems, and that the teen's, father w a~; clearly in. the posititm of the "eri tic,jjJg his EiQIil~S dreams. He also, ~lained the problems tho t can occur between at dreamer and a critic in the absence of a realist,

The NL]?' pra.ctiij,ou,erj:S eemments were enough to' shift the teanager's intern.a! response' to ms father's objections from one of IDlge.r, to one that mcl.u.ded sineereappreciaticn. This n.ew framing oIthe father'sbehavior alseallewsd the YOlun.! to consider his fath:er as apotantial reseuree fhr helping lum learn how to plan his future, rather than as a liab:.ility [It' roadblock. The valiidab10n of f:l:ru.e f8ltheI'~s mte'o t also allowed tbe father to slrifl; hispett-f'!ptiQIl olhis own role (and thus his metbod of partiici pation) in his SOil'S life. The 'ather realized he coQ,]d take on. the I'Ole of a raruist. 01" eeaeb, aa well as that of a critic.

Thus, content l'efir,runing jnvolves determining a possible positive inten:nloutha.t couldund.edie a prohletna:tic behavior. Thel'e are tw'!)1 asp~cts to the intent. The first is the positive internal rrmtivatiun behind the behavior (,e.g., the desire for

:safetyj~gve, caring •. rs sped, e1!::c.).. The second is: the jposit:i.vehen.efit th:a!.t behavior could. serve with res}:) ed: to the] arger sys'tem 0.1" coo.tem inwhi(:h it 'is Qccurring (e·g···JPl"otectiCtl. shlfti:mg a:toontion. ggtting a.clmowIBdgtnent. etc.).

One of tbepI""y I;iLppUcat].on:S!, ,of content re.&ami:n.c in NLP is .Six~Step Refmml~. In thisp,r-oces:s,. a problematic b@har.vior iB s:eparatoofrmn the }JJrJ1.iti!lEl i~tentMinl of the internal pllogf'am. 01" ~p'att;" that is msp@D.sible for the' b~btil.V'~ ior, N,fl;W choices at" behavi:O'r are estah1!isheal by having the part re~'Ponsib]e for the' o]dbehavim-i;ake re.'3p:lnsibilityfm'iEnpl~ m.e:Thti:l::lg altem£l.tiv,eb!iliavio1'S that sa.tis:ty~lt.e same poaiswe in:tention but don\ ba:ve tb.e proh].ematic b;y-pnlldu:ets.

Refr81min:g Crities and <

As the example of'the· Iathel' and his tee:n.age san Illustrat.e8 J r-efratming can. Ib e an ,effec,tiiv,e meUlod for dealii:ngl.vith cri.tics an.d criticism. (IIeri ties" ru:'e (ifl:en QOiflL8,l,diel'lBd th~ m.ost diffic:uJtpeop~e to handle in an ;inte:mrB.ction beea 1!J'Se of their s,eelning~y negative feeus and their tendemu:y to fiad .pIt'oblems withtne ideas a]].d Sll.gggstiO]lS of ethers. Critics are heq;1!lenUy perceived as ""spoHl!!rs," bacanse they LlPeJrilltefrOJ;lla !"pr@bl,em frame" or "'faihue frame," m:reameJ:'s~ on. th~ other hand, filIDCI;i{nll!<'a~ if' frame.,'" and realists aet '[fom the "out:oo.m.e frame" and "feed1,B!ck ITRIII) e .")

Am~oI'pmb.]emwith criticisms, on a iingruisll:ic: ],e.vel, is that tlley a.wtypieally asserted in tbeE'orm. of g'~Fleraliz"ed judgments, .such. as: "TIllsp1'Iopm:;;,al is too' c©;s.tiy~" "That idea will never w(;rrk~" uTh,a,t',s not a realistiaplan," ''Th..l:spr:flject .rl@qllirM teo much effartt.p at/c'. One p:tob]em.with sueh verbal generaliza;ti~,m;. is thart, Ig]v,enth€, Wa:Y they are 8tiltrui~ Ollie. can oruy a,~@e 01' ,disagree with th.e:m. If a.perso'll ~oa¥s. "That idea will never work," '~]>r. "It is. too ,ex,@usi'vlflJ]j' the ~nly way (lin.€! can TeflPQnd dWecUy is to s a~ either "I gl1~'SS you M'e right," oat' "NQj you gt,e wrofl,g. the idea ~Uwork." or, "No, it its. not 000 ex,pensive." Thus! cwiticism usually 'leads to polariz1l.tiQI!L, mismatc~ and rntimatelLy confJlic1t.~ if OIm doe5 lIlot agree' with the criti.cism.

The most thlillenging prob1e]],1~ 0000:1'" when a critic ,dktesn't memly 'en ticize a m:eIDn OJ!" a. plan, hu t lbegiIJllS to Crit"ici.ZiB the "'dream@r'lor ''':tteMSt''' on a p. ersnnal level TlUs would be the. dliffeJisnoo behwTeen saying, '''That idea, iEi stuf~d/' a.nd, ~DM ue :stupJiG !Fer ha.vingtha~ id.e"a .. "ViheilL.a. aU, a ~ers?n at the icif.mti:t:y 1eve] then the en tic i~ not o:n1ya ~:pO]~ertlll butalsn at "lDlle.T.:<>

.. ' n iB iWpOl'EanEOO J~eep in .. mind. hawever,that c:ritici:sm. lIke all otill1terbehaViiDr~ is positively inten.d.ed. The pur-pose of the. ',en ti!c:' is ta eva]uaoo the output or the '" and 'rualist'.. M effective· rn.ticmakBs an analysi~ oCtile prop0!9·ed


plan Or path in order to find out what could. go wrong and what should be avoided. Critics find missing links by logically cODsidering 'Wbat would happen ifprQblems 'occur. G-ood critIcs often take tb.e per,8ipectiVle of people not diirec:lJy involved in the filan or actiYitybeing prssented.bnt who may be effected by it, or influence the implementation of 'the plan 01;" ,activity (either pOiSitiV1ely or negatively).

Getting Positive Sta.temenis o,f Positive Intentione

One of the problems with many m:i:tici;sms is, thas, in 8idditiou to being ")}e:gati;v,e" jud,gm,ents, tbey ,are stated in neg,ativ'e terms linguistically - that Is, theyare stated in. the' fu~. of' a, verbal negation. ~ Avoiding streas," and "beeeming more relaxedand ccmfbrtabls," for example, are two way.s of verbally describing a similar internal state, even though tbey use quite different words. One statement ("avoiding stress") describes what is not wanted. 'The otlbeI" statamarst ("'becoming more relazed and ecmfortable") describes what is wanted,

Similarly, many eri ticisma are framed. in terms of what is not wantecll~rat.her than whot is w!lJ].ted. As an ,e~pIe. the ~ogitive intent {oJ!' eri tenon} behind the, crlticis.m., "'this Is a. waste of time," is pn>bablY the desire to "use av ai lahle resources wis;ely and efficiently." This ill.tention is not eas'}' to ascertain from tbe "surfaee structure of the critieism however, beeause it has: been stated in terms of what is to be avoidRd. Thus, a keylinguistie skill in. addressing miticism.'3. and transforming problem frames to outcome frames, is the a.bill:ty to recognize and e]~eitpoS'itive statements of positive mtentions.

TOO can. be Challem.ging at times, beeause critics operata sO much ITOOD a pro blem frame. For example, if you ask a. critic fur the positiv.e intention. beb.iind n eri tieism such as, "This proposal. is roo expensive," yon ara likely to get at zesponae like, "The intention is to avoid excessive costs." N etiee that, while this is a "positivII'!! intention," iii :is linguist.ically stated


or framed negatively:_i.le.! it states wbatis to he "avoided" rather than what is to be achievsd, The posili,\re statement of' tms in ten tion would be something like. "'Th make SID"e it if» afffll'dable~ OI' '~'Tb be certain we are within OUl" 'budget."

To elicit the pta-sitive fon:uu]a.tioos of intentions and eriterial one needs to ask questions such as: 9'f (lStre.s.s/expens:eI fail w:eJwaste) is what. you do not wan tj then what is it that you do wont?" or "What would it get for you (how would you ben.efit) if you were able to avoid or ,get rid. of what you do net want?"

The fullowing are seme e:Kampl'e:s of positive refermulatinns of negative statements.

N tiv'@ Statement too expeneive

waste of time

fear of failure unrealistic

too m nch. effort ,stupid

Positive' Reformu]a,t] OlD: affordable

use available reseurces wisely desire to S uceaed

concrete and aehlevahle

ea;sy and comfo'nable

wise and intelligent

Turning' Criti.c isms Into' Questians

Once the positive mtenticn of a criticism has been diseovend and stated in positive termst the criticism elm be tll1'1led into a que .. stion, When a critidsm is transformed into a question. 'the options for responding to it are completely iliffe..,r,e.nt than if it :is ,slEateod. as, a. generalization or judgment. ,sa:y, for instanea, that of,s;ayin.g·. "It is too. espensive," fhe critic asked, "How we we going 00 affard ::it?" When nsksal this qruestiol!l~ the other person is given the possibility of olltlining the details cf the plan, rather than ha.ving to di!1;agnle with, or fight with. the critic. This 11> true firr practically every eritieism, The eritieiem, "That idea will n@v,er work." can be transformed into the question~ "How are

¥On ,go,i.ngI:iOi' <1JCtu,al]y im p~ementth at idea 1" "'fh.a t"si not a. 1fealistic:plan/' 1Carn:t be' restated as: "How can Y01ll make, the steps of y,I]Ul' planmore tangib.lieal1ld co'n!~retf!?"" 'Theoomplaint, "U NquiUres 000 :much effort," ean be rsfermalated to, "How cao you .make it easlm- and simp ler to put in'l:.D aetien?" Typically such questions serve the' same pur:po:seas the eri tici.s;m, but are mueh mereprcductive.

NotlJCe that the q llles.I:;]!on:s above are all1 'huw' quastlcns, These types of ques,ti!cnlS. tend '1;,0 be the most u seful\Vhy qnestl!ons, liar insit~te, o,fi:.elllpresup;pose other j1!ldgme.n:ts, w.hleb cam Thead. back into conflict OT ills a,greemen t, To ask, "'1Vhy isUis proposal !;lQ e:x:pe:1:l8Jlve?~, or "\Vhy ean't youoe, mere realistie?' stiUp,re:suPPOiSel a pI'>OMem freme,.The same ~:stnlH'Wi,th Question:s like. "WhaltmRkes YOtil'pr'iOpDsal so expens:iiv:e?" or "Who, is to pay fo.-r it?" In genera1~ 'JlOW' questions ru"te mast Iil.tfllldive fur refoeu:sing Oll an. uutcoara · OJ' feedback frilime.

[Nete: On the lecv,l;!l of their de:ep el' structure, criticisms aT\!t!. on.tolo,gie-al stat,ement.s- assertions of what ,s'llmethililg' "i:l or ",is: not', How 'q:uestilo'f1 s lead to episte.m.o,].ogiMl e:xp]orat~cns - the examination IOf ·oowyo~. koow' what is or i5J:l[ot.],

Ins mnmaryj in Oit"de:r ,to help someoneta be a ",~'OrtStrue:tive' cri tic~ (I(['iln o1l!!, it belps to: ][) fmC!. tn.e positive p1H"pO~ e be.hind.the ,criticism, 2) :make 8m'1€! the pesitive inten.tion is st@Li.ed (frmnedl) lPO!~U.:TI:vely. and 3) turn the cri.tidS<m. .into a qUla'sti'o,l'll - and inp,artieulal"~ i~to at "how' q uasticn,

Thll\i Icanoo acoomplished. by using the following seq:ue'nce o,f questi:ou_!3,:

1. Wh..:;t; iEl yOlll" critiiei:sm or opjec:tion?

e.g .• ~ka~ you .are.pmp.acs:ing i.s ,;sup:e.rfi,eial."

2. "iIV'hat is the criterion o[']10SitiVB iillten lion bemnd. that G:ri UCl,sm? Viha,t', Is U that Y01J1Rre atbem~ting to achieve er preserve throUigh YOllH crihticism?

~.g... "'D'eep and ltlsting chnnge ...

R G]venthat tha t~s the. in ten t:i.o:n~ w'bat ia the HOW questienthat, needs to be aske d'?

'ril.g., "'Ha,w c€J;n you, be sure th,a,[ the propf!$a.l will address. the key i.'SfSue~ that are n\e~essary fGr d~ji,ep ,flnd l(JSltii'qI ckan'g!1!?"

Practise thisprecess by trying it out an. yOUl'.s elf. 1'hin~ of some I'U:lfla. in Y'i;)um" life inw bich you a1r<~:! a.tte:ropting to, m.arrifest IlIew vrunes 00' beUafs~ a:nd go i:010 a. "criti,c"poo,1:ti,on witb.:r,espect. to yourself. Wba.t ,objections or prob[eIl::ls do you nnd'!.fl'th yal!lT'se1i:f err what yco,t1 ~I'e do'ing?'

:when~ou bave identifb~d. aome problems or objections ,go the steps defined above, in ~e:r to turn yOill' eri tici.sms into q;l!l.e8t~O.fiS. Fmdl the'positivemten.tiion. and. the how 'qllJ€!stio.n l'e[,atecllbJ YlOllJ" s€!.llf-c:riticis.mL (it sometimes .ltr!.e.lps to do i twith apartner), Oneethe crit~Jcism:s have oocome questians, y'ou can take the.m to the "drefl)[l].eI''' or "realist" wi:tlI:rin you 111 ,1),rde<I' to formula fi:e ai:piPI'OpnaOOan.SVi,r.ers.

Ultim£l,tely, the oilj i;!~ctive:s of the critic: ph.a~H~' of' a.purojoct are to make s we an idea. or plan is .ecologically seundand p:I1esertes anYP'Ql;l:i.tivebelJlefits mr by-prm:1.llcts of the cJn'T'ent. way{s) of .aclUeving tIThe g'(}.i1. When a crl.ti.c asks 'how' questions, then he OT sfu.e shifts frombmnt!'& a '"spoiler" or "'killer"tc be:h:~g an "aidvis'IIlr."

[Note: It i<s alae usefuJ.l:iogllide the rn tic tonrst acknowledge criteria ha.vebee.lil met before ~o.rn:me:ntmg en what is .liIrlssmg 'or needed,.]

Th.eSleigh.t of Mout.hPattel"Ds of

'I ,ji. . t·~·· " d 'IlI!'c~d' l!l: _ .• ' ~ - Bt.en Jon aD" - ne.Cu.umfi

ICilentitying' and acknoiwledging the pGsitiveintentioIll. of the critic~ ,and turning the crit;icismm',to, ,<1 "hJ}wj:jq_U!estia~ is an. example of ,8, type of \re:rbru magic trick', using S~!€jght (If M!I1u'th to s,~ a Ue:ntion from a pro'bl~m frame OI" ifa.il1!ITe frame to an outcome:&a:me an.d. feed.batkfr.-une. It results in the tra.nsfirrmJfJlt:iol'l!. of a. critic froma speilertaen a.d'Visor. Theprnoess is bl3l!lledu}:ul'l'Ji two fundamem1tdfornIlS) gf ~~g th8i.t m;e at the eore 0:[ the Sleight of .MoD thpli:l ttem-os:

Inten.tiolll.and Redefit::ling.

In teatlen iinvio,lv'es (Urecitin,g ap erson's a:tben:tion to the pl!!rp~s'e O!I' intention (e.,g'j protection" gettmg a.tten[jon,esta.blisihing boanderies, ete.) beaind some generali:.t6.tion ow statemen t~in oroe-r te eithe!rrett,ame or r,einforcetihLe generali aatien .

. R.:ede_firItH::tg involves substitutinga new word 'or phrase for nne of the words' OIT pbra.!>e'-$, tlserli in a Eitatem.eIilt orgeneralizatien 'tha't means ,s.ome!thi:llg similar but has diffenmt implications. S ubstitu bug a.posi tive'ly stated phrase fur B n eg-a.tivlelys.ta.ted. ,one ~s fill e-zamp,J:!El of "redefining."

The :Sneight ,of Mouth. pattern o:f Intentinn is based Oill the frmdamen tal NLP pres uppositian that:

At sOIR.e lev-elan beharilJl' ·~,s (o,ra:t; Gllle Um.e was) "pos:iiUvely im tende.d ", U is Oil" was perceived as a:ppro!pl'iaie giV@D the '~mnte!!f;tm wIDen it ",,"as establisbe,d.,Jiro:m. tbepoint of vi!El<w of tbe II eJ:',so,n w1i1oseo@;havi.o.r' it. is. It. .is easier ,aodDUl[,~ pr'lIldu.d~.vf!' to respoluJt:o 'lb.e mitentiollll 1'3,ther than the expression of a pFoblematic'behav:i.ol'~

Applying the pntter:n. of futentioH wouJId. in.valvet~s.pondrug to theposi t],vemte:I!Itio:n(sj ]behind .a e particular; geDer~li~


z.atlicn 0'[' judgment, rather thaI'!l. directly to the :statement itself. }u an e'xamp le, l'et',s :say 3. cuetomer comes intoa store and -sho~lsinbere;s,t in iii. fio1:irtic:ull3!:r' ~teJll, but S't~ltes" (0;1 lik-e this !bu.t I'mafraid it is teo ex~n.slve."· Toa:plply th.e. pattern of i:nil:;eio:ljnn.j, the :saJ.e:spers(JfJ!rmg:bt ,say :someth1r1.g like, "I hem tha t it is UnpoTtan.t toy-ou that you get goo d. y'alue ID"oJr yQlJ1F IDOney."IThi:s SeI"V'9iS to direct the c1JJstom.ees attentien to the mtention. behied the j udigm.e:ll.t that .5(Ulllethiog is '''too ,expensive" (in this '~a>Selthe intention (if "getti:!ll,gV'alllIe"). This,b:elps to shift1!:lliJte c1IIsto:merfro,m Nsptondmgfrum a lilrolblem frame" to th;a t of an.~'Ou t;oome1IT.aIne" "

Outcome Frame

P'roIDllem .Fr:ag,e

li'oc1I1Si.ngIDJlth;e Inteliilt:hm. ofa Limitiug Judbi'Jille:nt o:r :Star.E.eD1I,en. tRe~1I S 'li!) SJliJ.ift '!Fllom aPr,oblem. Frame to mIl Outco,m:e: Frilllillla

RfNlefi1~i n;g wou]d.wvo]v,er saying so:m,e,tIDng' sueh as! "Is it that you. think the item. is ,ov'eYJIriced. or are jlQ,U concerned tha.t you C~nlDJ;;lt arffDm lit'?" Hera, th~:statem.eIilt, "I'm is too' ecx.peIDlsive."" has been redeflnedin two diffeIlent ways,! in, 'order fOil'"tb'B salespe.rnon l..11ga.tb.eil'" m!orB Jspeci'fic: ii.:ml:n:1mati:on ,allotllttbe C1J1stom:er's objectioo., Theflr5it :reciefi:mtjcm substit:u.tes "thlnk" for "afr<llid" and. ~o'V'e1]lri[led" fm- "'wo ,8X]pBIIsi\r,e."


SLEIGHT of'Mourn

'The second. redefinition substitutes "'" for "afraid" and "eannet afford it" for "too expensive." Both reform11.l.atlons mean :sO'W,ething similar to' the original objection but hav,e different implications, which SE!TV'e to place the eustQm@r'sjudgment back intea "feedJl:]'ack frame."

"'Thinking" and fbei ng concerned" are in many ways very different from being "afraid." They imp,ly cognitive processes more than an emotional resetien (thus, more likelihood that S'Olmething win be per,eeivoo as fe(i! ~'OveTpriced.l'> as a redefini t';~OD of' <~looE!'xpensi V,fj"' im:pli es that 'the objemo:tl is a. function of the customer's expeetaticn of what the store shouId~ be cha:rging fur the Item, Redefining "too expensive''"' as "unable 'to afford it" places the SDUl"'Oe of the obj eetion as the eustomer's concerns witih respect to his. or her (JiWTI financial res nurcss and ability top'ay for the item.

Words' ,Can. Have Ovedap~~ I.feanings~ Hu,t Different Implications

Th.e .rooe:fmi:ti.ou that the customer Chooses provides :important feedback to the -salesperson. De~encli:ng on the customer's rBS'P1)llSe~ fOT example, the aalesparson might d.ecid,e to offer B. discount for the item (if it is perceived as "overpricoo" or work out a p aym,ent pta:l1 wit b. the CUE; t.omer (if the concern is with ~ afforoability").


Thus] redefining is a simple but pilwerful way' to open up new channels of thinking and interaction, Relabe1ill1g "pain" 8S "discomfort," is another good illustration of the impact Otf the ~~nleigbt ,Of Mouth pattern, of redefining. It bas a diffel"J9nt impad, for mstanee, to ask ill persen, "How much pain: are you. in 1" and. "Howmuch diseerafbrt do. )!ion feel?" Often this type of verba] refraIning automatlcally changes people's percepricns of their pai n. A term like "diseamfert" contains within it the embedded suggestion of "comort.,." "Pain" has nn such Jlositi.vetwls:t.



.'"J:i'I . '.

One- WOll"dRefram1IDg.ctxe,rcu;e

One W',ay to explore the Slcight of Mouth. pattern of redefining is by malting "one .. word reframes' of other ~vlOI'ds, This is done by tak:ing a word e:~ssing ap,articular Idea or concept and finding another word for that idea. or concept that puts either a morn positive or ne,gative slant on the initial term. As the pbiilcsophe:r' Bertrand Russel] humorously pointed out, !'I am firm; you, are obstinate; he is a P'~g .. headed foel," Borr-owingRusseU":s formula, try genera,ting some other examples I such as:

I am :qg,hteou.s~y indignant; you are annoyed; he is making a fuss about nothing,

I havereconsider:ed it; you have changed YOUI' mind; he has gone back on, his worn.

I made a genuinemistake; you twistedthe facts; he iSH damned li ar;

h '10

I am eempasaionate, you at'le soft~ he isa "pus. over.

.Eaeh of these statements takes a partieular ooncept or elqleriel1ee andplaees it in several different pers.peciiv1e.s by "ra-framing" it with different words. Consider the wor~ "money," for JElXaHllple. ·"\i\realth, ' "success," "tJ[lO'1." "Tesponslbili~" "corruption, II "green energy;" ete., araall words or pnrMes th"at put different "frames" _ areund th~ I].ot],(lill:l of '"money. "bringing out ,differnn t pot~en.tial p:erspectives,

liII'illke a list. of words and practice fbrming some of yOU1' own. one-word reframes.

e.g .•

responsible (staMeri,gid) iStalble (wluforta.b]'e, boring) playful ('flexible, insincere) fruga~ (wise. stingy)

fri,endly (nice, naiv'e)


assertive (eo.nfident~ nasty)

:r,espectful (considerate, oomp't'Omising) global (exp:ansive.unwi.etdy)

Once )'00. become comfurtab~.e with ene-word rmames.. you can try applying them to limiting statements that y~u encounter in yourself or othem_ For example'. maybe you blame YOUflrielf for being "stupid" Qr "irresponsible" soraetime'S. ,see if YiGDU cmI.:lind redeflnitacns tha tplll t a more positive ,slant onthese words. UStupid" could be JOOdefined as "P,ai:ve;' '''innooent'' or "'distracted," fof' instanoo. "IrrespengiblE!" could be red:efinedaB "free spin ted," "flexible," OT "unaware," and so 'on.

Yen nll,gllrt alse eonside.rus[ng' on.e--wonlreframes to rephrase cemmenta that ,YOU make t{ll other people. Perhaps you can soften seme of your own. criticisms of others by .redefining certain words t.bat; you use Wldng to yOlD" spouse', ehildr,en. ,eo-:W,or.kerg 01" friends,. Instead. of' aocus:iing a child. of "lyiQg,'" far inst:mce, 'One could say that he g1r she has "a big imagination," IIJr is ~teUing fairy tales." Redefinitions can often "getthe point across," and at the same' time exclude nnneeassary (and often uahslpful) nega.tive imFllicatioRS OT aeeusatieas.

This type of redefining is the essantial process behind t'he notion of"poliitical correetness" in language. The purpose of this type ofl"@langtlLaging is to reduce the negative judgments and, tbat often accompany thelabels used tCl describe others tbat are different. in same way; .AB opposed tlO be~ng Iabslad "'hyperactive,'" fOl" instanee.1l child with a lot of pllrysical energy; who has diffirulty t"o!llowing di:recti:01l.s. can be calledl "spirited," Instead of being called. "deaf".' B. person who is harii of hearin,g' is re'Fetted to' as "11earing' impaired." Rather than being called "eri pplsd" a handicapped person can 'be described as "physically ehallenged .... A person that 1I'lll:M to be M11ed. a, ;:OJ ani tor" might be referred to as a "maintenance ted:wici:,an. !'j "Garbage eellectien" .may be' talked abnut as "'waste management.»


The intention of such relabeling is to be]p people view others from ,3. broader and Iess judgmental perspective (although it can also be viewed as patronizing andiasineare by some). When ,effective~ such. renaming als;o helps 00 shift from viewing and definin,g roles fr,o,m a "proble,mframe'~' to an "ou tcome frame."


Perceiving a Situation. fr'om a Different Model of tb.eWorld by Taking 'Seeon,d Position"

One sim pile butp owe:rfu1 form of reframing iE teeon sider some situation I' experience or judgment from a different Model of the World. From the NLP perspective, "lli:iB is most eatrslly and natuf,aHy done by putting yourself in another person's shoes - what is known as taking "se..oond position".

Taking saeond po.sition involves stepping into another

I' • t f vi i t I itimt' ithi

person ,spain 0: "V],ew, ow pe;reep' uapOSI on ~ WI'! . u a

particul ax .sit1l.Uil!tion 01' in teI',a.~tiO:]l. S aeond positi@nis one of the tmee fundamental Pereaptual Pesitiena defined by NLP. It involves "' hifting perspectives andviewi ng the mtu.a bon as though yf.luwere anotBel." mdividual. From second position, Y,OI1 8ee~ hear, feel~ taste, and smell what the interaction is like from the other penson's perspective; to "be in his or her skint" U\-.;ralk. a mile. .in his or her shoes," "sit on the other side of the desk! 1:1 ete.

Thus, seeoad poe,~:tiou mvo1ves being associated in person 's point 0If' viaw; beliefs and. assumptions, and perceiving ideas and events ftlOID thatp erson's model of the 'lj:l;1o:rld. Being able to view a situatinn from another penson's 0100091 of the world. frequenUy offers many new insights and understandings.

The Sl'eigb.t of Month Pattern known as Model of the WOTld. is drawn from this precess. It involves bei'Dg able to eeframe a situ.ation 01" generalisation by being able to per,eeivl;'! and. exp:ress a diffe.tent mental map .of the. situ atien, A good example. of tbepmDes~ of taking' lSeoondposi 1t.iOll. in order to get; a. different model of tbeworld, andthen putting it into words in order to wi.den other people's perspective is pn!Videiil by eriminal lawyer Tony Serra. In. a 199B interview in 8p~k magasine, Serra commented:

[W}hen y@u, rep resent the c.rim inal (je{endar4t.. " • you, beClt}me hiTnt you fe.'eJ li'ke him. ~u walk in his sooes. ClJ1,d YOM seE!' with hi~ eyes fjnd. heaT Ulith his' ears. YDu:~ve l!ifJ,t to know hi'm e.ot-npletttJYt(JJ know {hat Nlat~1"e (Jf his be.ha'Jior: But yoa, haue 'ihe l.{llJm. j That b5"1yvlt tl'ulwl€Jte hi~ feeli;ngj his mea.1ling ,flnd hi« intell€f./.t as: co.mponents th'fl.t are relf! to ,his be.ha.uiDr in: to l~ale8:e~ into thewDrds of the law.~ 0.1' into perSUU;Sillft ll'tB''tnpll,()1's. You take: the clay .f!)f ,(lperson.'s bchc"uior and you embeUifth it:, you 11\i.a~, a P'w,ce. ,r}f art. Alla t hqt is! the. ,lawyer ~s creutiui'ty.

The Sleight of Mouth pattern of MCHlel of the World 15 fOlJill{led in. the N:lPpre.s uppesi tionfha:1t:;

Tb,em,arpiis "lJl.OIt tbetelrritoQ'. Ev'er.y pel';so:n has tbem- OWlI) indi"llio:uol ma.p ,of'theworld. Tb.e~e is .mo ~Biogle cnrl'e:eitmap of tbe: world. People mak.e the best choices available t40 tbe.m gi,vE!n the pOiSsi~bil:iities, au,d 'tbe eap,a.bil:ii,ti,es tIl] at they peme.i1ve a.v,aliJ.ah~.e to th@DlfrO:m t.h.~:W mlod~d~.f t'b:e world. The' 'wi sest' ml!d '~'cQmpaSSioDarb;1 maps are 'those whii~lI!iJJ:tnake ,avaHable 'tbe widest arnd. riehest .D1l.1lDillber ,of ci1o,i.ces, a.s 0pfl!O,sedto

he:in,g tbe mOist '"real" ,or UacClrI!rate". .

Id~ntJ:fy a sTI..tuaticxn mvolving an.crlill..e:r person in which you were not able. to perfbrmasmasterfl..ill:y as yOUkn,OI\V yon th~t YlIIU oolJ!id heve, Vlha~t is, the gsneralieatlen or j lldlgment tha,t yQU have marle aDOu.t yDlIll"S elf o:rtbe ctherpensOIil? you]" percieption @f the siltu3.tion and yourge:ne:ralizatj){lIl by cPRsiderilllg t.hemfrom at least tmee points of view o.r ~Gd:e]s, of theWodd.".


Step' £ut~ the. .'lh~.q afthe other per'son.B(';J.W would y,~[t peroe:~ue the s.itua.tio.'n i/YfJ'U l.iI:I~re t hail; person?

ImagirMl.' ~QU wen~ rul UnijrH."Ql~Ed t:lQ.b1er.r4'er luo.k~Rg ~t ~his situutio.n.Wk(Xt wpu ld you, notie€aho ~ f. the intt!:rac~ion from this pe.rspe:ctiu,e? Howw(')fi.ld an (fSl.llthmpol{Jgistl aTtit.t~ miniiS'tEr;. ja u m ~d i;s,t) perce.i ue th is s:ituaUon;?

It can be a ve.zypowerwl experiruJi.GB m pick 150Jlli..oo.l!l:9 who .~ been. an. important te!El!flbeiJ'"@if mentor to you and view the situa:tian er gene:r,alizatio:n .fuam.l:JmtpersOlf]l·s ~pective as. well.

As a.pr3ru,caJ exatm:p~e, I@fhow I nave app1iied some of the principles Wi8 have bean exploring in this, bpQk fur my;::elf, I W:aJ;S, in a bar once with R~chard Bandle!r,i:.o have a meeting. ] t was, the typ e of place that is tn'icaUly called a '''bik@l' bar"; meaningtlh:at .it was fun o.f SOme PT,etty:l'"OQgh andunsavory ctJ:.m-aden. Tbiswu not the.·~ of thatI generally liked to, h.ang Ohltjbut Richard lli~ed it and wanted w meet there,

We started. talkingl' ruld.prretty 800n these two large' men came in.. They Wen;! drun k and angryi and wanted to pick nn is'O:meb~dy. I gu.~s~thejt coUld. 'Ii;e[lthat I didn't 1'Ieally beloD,g in ap~ace]ikie~ that, beeause pretty soon they started sbouting obsc.€lnii.tles at meand iBandle:r. calliIllg us "queers,' and mUing us tOI geton1I; oftne bar:

My fimt strategywas to tilttem.Jptto poriite1y ignorethe:m. w:Wch~ of m:mrrse. did not work.. n Waslil~t. lliongbefore one of the gu~ W'BI'S blllll; .my ,aJ'lU and spilling my drink. So,.E d.edd.ed to tryro be friendlJl:. I ]ookoo @VeI' at them. an[ll. smiled. OnlLe of them .s aid" "W'b~t are you [.oomg at'r'Wben I averted my ga~e> tbe otbel'OI!JJ,'1! said. "LOOk Blt me while I'm ta1lking to )"Oil. zj

Things wern ~e.t;tmg pretty had. land, to my srurpris~~ 1 was getting angn:;ForttmateJy I ~ed. that, £oUr,;l,v.i~g the normal OF .Mourn

pattern of r,esponse would only serve to esealata the situation. So, I had. a brilliant idea; why nat 11$e NIP? I de-cided to try to diseo;ver andaddress then.- positive inteooQl'[_ I took. abreath, and sbepped into their shoes for a split seennri, In an even and s:ooady vo.ire, I sold to theman nearestto me, ~ou know; I don't; .l'eall'y think that you Celi<e.v,e weare homosexuals. As yon call c],eariy see" I amwearing a wedrljngring. 1 bmnk. that you have a different intention.''' At this point, the fellow bhrrted out, "Yeh. we want to -fightr~'

No,w, I bmwi:hat some of yon readers arep,t'obahly sareastic:aJlly thinking, UW-OW~ Hobert, what. incredible progn~ss. TIlls Sleight of Month stuff'mwrt ibe~tty pmverfulJ' On the other hand, ther,e was progress, because I bad begun to engage them ]D a conversation, rather than a ene-sided tirade. Seizing the opportunity, Ir,es'ponded, "I understand that, but it l'eally wouldn ~t be' mueh of a fight. Fimt of all, 1 den 1; want to. fight, so you wouldn't get much Dut of me. Besides, you m,e both twice my siz:e. Wha,t 1lrind of fi,ght would the t be r

At this point, the second fellow (who was the "brains' oftbe two) said, '~o, UBi a fall' f~g,h;t,; we're dn:ml.." Turning to look the man square]y in the ~s;. I .!!laid "Don't you. think that weuldbe just like a father coming home and beating up his fburtaen year old SOUj and saying that it was 'fail"'becaU;;le the father was dru:nk?j I was certain that this was probably W hathappenad to this man over and. over again when. he was fourteen.

Confronted with ·the truth, the two men couJid. no longer continue tOI be abllJSiv:e to Bandler and.I; and eventually went ' someone else (w ho turned cut tal be a karateespert that took them ou'tside and. whipped them soun,dly).

The w.ay Banifle'rbeUs the aWry', 1 began to elicit the two .men:'s submodalities and! their decision s:tt,a.tegy for choosing us to pick on, and, eventually m.d therapy withth'em. [Ad":-onling tOI him, he' was going to suggest that. since they wanted to fight" they should. just go outside and. fight wilth each other.I But tha:t is not exactly hnw Lremamber it.. It did" however, confirm my beHefin the power o:flanguage and NLP.

Chapter 3



, ,

, .... ' n ..

,_ yl>



It:. .,,\

-,.. '01:

- ,_ ,;CIII,



Refr,!'lIning prOOO8SeS £requooUyalte-rthemea:n:iDg of all expe.ri,ence or' judgment by '''re-chunkinif i 1:,. In NLP, the te:n:nJ. ~chUnkifi(' r:ef~rs to f,eargiani z;ing or breaking down ,'3,omeeX,penenDe i1Jltohlg:g~ or sm.aUer' pie r1:>ElS . "Clu.lukilW :~p" ~nvOih',es meving tOt a largoc, mon general or abstract .~.e'Vel of Wonnatiom. - for e:x;amnp~e,grpupjiflg cars. trains~ boats andaiI'[p!an$ as ~f~l"IllS of 'l;tansp.OQl"taiij(lD..~" "Chrtnkin_N a[llWU" involves m.ovingoo a mOI'-6 specific .an.d. concrete level of info:rmatian - fOT example, a "'carr~may be ehl!ll n ked duwn in to ~~res~" "engiIle~" ''ibr,aJk:e sy,stem," .. 'tJran8missi~~ '" e~c~ "Clu1..nkil1,g late;railyV Involves fmdHlg other examp,[es at t.h,€! same leve]l}f infonna,tio]JI, - fQr instance, ;jdriving a car" :CQUlI] d be 1ikene(lli to "rirung a horse," "peddling a. bia-yc~e," at "sa.:iRing abeat, ",


~i-\~ ~"~kn~, ~-I-~-ii\~A-l~

bn=:;; pwrlJ~ !illl~ OOW~ ~tres; 1N111(!r.'
eJlgine' tmndle~ ~e@ b:lets "",!s .p~Ilf:i'S:
~s sptYkes m~(Ili>C:S lilbs head ]fgl'11s laOOiriggl.!{IJ" uebl!Uliki:Dg'~ 1lnvolves 'tbe AbUUy10 Move At'ten tioill.

Between 'Gener"alit'ies amm. Uet;ails

Chnnking,th.eTIL. has to d.ow~th~ow a p~r;;Q:Uluses his or bell' a:t:tentiou .. ljC.hunt-siz~" relates to the rBlf,fel ®f'specificity



1]1[' genewali:ty "With. which apeeson or ~1ilP isanaJY7:i~g or judging a prob,lem. or e~e:rience'i and whether <ljiudgmeut 0If geflleraliz:at]:on app~jlBsbo a who[e elass or only 1~['ltaiI!l membars of the elasa Sitllilat.i.omsm.'3)Y be p& in. oo.nru; of varying degz;eeSi ,of detail (micro dlllUlks, or~.nfonnation) and generalities (macr(1 ebtl~;:fl!;:s of iintbrmation). Som:eooe could f'OC1!lS a Ue:ntion on small deta11s! sruch. as tb~ spelling o:f i:mdh:rid ual W'!lrds in ap~~gr:a:ph!, tOr on larger portion~ of Igx:pe:ri@IiLC.€!r suehas tilie bas;li.c tlieme of'thebook., Ther& is also the question ofth.e rela:tionshi peS. batw'>E!eIl big chunles and. ,f!,malIer eh1!Eilks. (If a particular s:p elling is ilil>aJc,cma.w, does it: m.ean '&hatth.€: ~d.ea. exp:rt!ssedby thl!itt spelling is also inaccura:tEi?)

Given a :parti!cwar situHfrJon", th.ew:ay a person is chunking ms Or' lexp.flrlenoo may Jbe helpful Or' proh1ematic..m.eI1 a. person is a ttemp,ting to think 'T,ealisticaU,Y" it is valuable to 'l:Jrink:. insrnall~ chunks. Whem. ibrai.n.sOormm.g. hQiweveT, attention on small chunks may leadthe person to "tosio,g sight lof'the fQT1est {or the trees."

Unhelpful critids;m;s are .freq,l!lently stated. m terms of fmily la!l"'gEl ~chwiks! 0[' g~n.et1faliz;ations; sucb as; "'Tha.twill never work." "'You never fOUOiWt.b.Jlougb, "'iji['''lt~U~B alwa:_ys coming u, with ideasthat aJI!e. too. riSKy .... WOIldsHke "al ways,"

(j." ," - '''' . .l" '1" 1~._ "J.~.

n.e:ver"ev'elf.· ana ren ::f" are' M]O' U1Utli€:rS(l;~ o:r urnver·

sal,;ifier5~n NLP, This 'type of l~nguage I',esuU:sfro:m "th:unki.J:D.g up'" to a p(llin:t that mllly no lO:llgetbE!~ aecmnte ,[J~ 1l,s,e1\U]. Transforming such a criticism into a. 'how' question (as we e'.Xplo'red e-arli:€r-) frequeu tly serves to help "chunk: dCIW.iI1.~ overgen,e:rali:.~ations.

Ch:u.nking agWn is a hasic NLPprf}c.esstllila.t inv@bl,elS red.uci:ng' apwticlIJlar situatien o,r experience int.®1 its loompo~ent pieees, A p::r~b~em that 6:eems ovar:wb!elmUJ.g~fl}l' iuSfallce. m,aybe caun\ed down into a series 00:' smaller more man.a:gIBa.ble.p:E"ob~em:s. There is <1:11. old. riddle wllhlch. Mk13, "1iow do you eat 3. whole wa;tenn.e]on'r' 'The1lllswEh" is an. lex;Blll!ple of chun.king down: "One: bite at a time." 'I'hi,s,


metaphor can be applied to any type of sitlultioIl or experience. A veiry imposing go\al, such as "starting a new busineas," may be chunked into sub-goals, such as ",d'ev,elopiIlg a product, " "identifying potential clients;" "s.eleding tearnmembers," "creafing a business plano" "seeking mv@stmi;!nts, j'j ,,1t;c.

Th develop competence with SI,eight [If Month, -it ]5 impertaut to have flexibility In. being able to move, one's a ttention fr,eely between little chunks and big chunks. As the Native Americaru; would say" "seeing with the ey,es ofa mOlH11:! or an eagle."

Finding the intention. behind a particular behavior or helief~ for instance, is considered the res u1t of tbe ability to ~enunk up" in. NtP. That is. you Deed to be able to find the brnader da.s;sificatloD of wbich the judgment 01' behavior is an expression (i,e .• "protection," "acknowledgment, IJ "respect," ate.), R'edefining involves. the sdditiena] abilities to 'ehunk down' and ·chlllDk Iaterally", inorder to identify concepts and experiences that are similar or related to those refeI'I'ed to in. the initial statement. but which have different essoeiations andfmplicatious. ..

Chunki.n,g Down

Th.epl'Oce:s,ses, IOf chunking up and ehunking down. maya Iso be appli,ed cljreeUy to ,R statement, j udgment, or belief, in order to shift pe:t(epUons of them and. 'rsframe' them, Th e 81!iri:ghit of Mouth pattern of ch:unking doum, fer jnstanue, involves breaking tha elements of a statement 01' judgment into smaller pieces, creating a different or enriebed perception of the generalization expressed by the statement or judgment. For ex.ampleJ ],et's say semeena has been diagnosed as "learning disabled" (an ebvious 'problem frame' label), One eouldtaks the word "learning" and '~chmikit down' into, W01',dDs w hi.cih. t,eflect variens C[lU1{J [lolllents. of tb.€! preeass to w hich tM term "learning" refers; sum as:' "in:put~

tin "(>I. . h " U .j.~. .. d" tri . , ..... ' ~_.t:. •

ng, represennng, staring; anc "renBVl.ns, infbrmation,

One elm then ask, "Does learning disabled mean someone is also 'inputtirrg' disabled? That is, is the' problem that the person is; unable to input infor.:mation?"' Likewiset does being learning disabled mean a person is "representing diseMed,"

"staring disabled:' or "retriesing disabled"? -

!Such. questions and co:nl!;id'I:H~ations can stimulate us to rethink. eur illlS:sum:lltions aboutwbat such labels me8iD. and. help to. put the situatien back into a ifeedback frame", It helps to fij,hift our attentioa back to people and processes, rather than. eategories,

"'Le . . ,., D' bili



Storing Retreiv~ Disability?

Ch:onJd&g DO'WD a 'Geuera1liza.ii.on. can Change Our Percepti.oBSl 8Iul.A!ssumptions About It


Verbs and precess words can be "ehunlead' into the sequenea of sub-processes which moke them up (as in the' example of "learning" above). A term like 'tfai1n:n:!/," foJ' example, could be ehunked lnta the-series of steps making up the "failure" e::q:iiuience, such as: setting; (o,t net s'etting) a goal; e,stab.u.s~g (Ol[' m:lglecting) a pl,an;, taking (or avoiding) action; attending to (or ignoring) feedback; responding in a flexible (or rigid) way; 'etc.

Neuns and objeet.s eaa he ch.wiked. into the smaller components make them up. If,BQIDOOne says" ~s ear is too expensive," for instance, one could 'chunk dawn' by reapeading, "'Well. 3.ctually 'the tires, wind:shie]d.~ exha ust pipe, Jgasoline and oil ,lUe as inexpensive as an:'t other ear. It is only the brakea and engine that cost n bit more in order to ensure p arfermanee and. s afet,-." In a s,t,B tement such as, "I am unattractive I" even the 'Word "I" can be Ichunked down' by questioning,. "Are YOUI' nostrils, forearm, lltUe.toe$, voice tone, hair color, elbow'S. dreanrs, ete., rul equally unattraetive?;"

A,gffinJ this process often places a. j udgmant 01' evalnaticn in aoompleteUy dl:8'erent framework.

Praclt;i'ce tbi.s p:roceSEl 1\"01' youTse]f. Find s.ome negative ] abel I judgment or ,generalization, Doting the. keywords. 'Chunk down' one of the key words Iinguistieally by finding s:m:aller ,elements, or C.bWlks~ which are imp~i,ed by the statement OI' jndgtnent, See if you can find reformulations that have rieher 0.1" .morepositive implj1ca:tians than the ones stated. in the lalbel, judgmen.t or geaeralisation; o:r wIlien stimulata a ,tJOmpletely diffeI",ent persp@ctive with respect to the label, judgmeut or generalisation.


Smafler 'Clnmb'

YOll.nll,ght tak:<8 a. label like g attention defic.i t" and explore ,different types ora tten tion (visual, auditory; kinesthetic, for Instance; lll" attention to goals, oneself, context. past, internal state, ete.),


Tile Sle:],ght of Mouth (I2lit:tr.eI'Jl of ch1.tnking up .involves ge:lllieralhling an. elemen t of a statement 'gr judgment to a la:rg1er classifiea:t:i'Qn.~ m"Mtill1g at new '1).1" emiche:(Jl perception of the'geoeJr'a]]zati.o:ll. being expreased. 04Learoin:g,~ fOI' example, ia a member of ,8[ large'I:class oif ]pI'ooosses which. maybe refe.n-ed to ai5 varieus fOrnls of "adaJlta:tl.elll." ~which. also includes proeesses such as ~~conditianing," "instinct." '!;!evol utionl,u de. If' apersan has 'bOOI1, termed '1eami:mi disabled," d.oestnat JUlel;l(o' tha.t theJH1l'l:so:n i,..also to same degree "adafllta tiO'o. dssa Med.?" Aad, w by aoes[l.jl the pe:rson. also have- a. "oonwtioning disability~" "instinet disa'bility,"" or "eva]~tion dis abili ty?" So:m~ of 'these terms s01lll!d. almost enmical, and y,et th~yar:e a pessi b]'G lQgilc~,li .exOOn:sJ(!1ll (If such 'labels,

.A,gaii.n:lnmpn:s:i.dering t.he judgmen twitb. J:'JespBct t~) tills type of "re-framing" leads U:$ to eonsider our meeningand assumptions &om. ,9 new per'S'ffilectiv1e, and move it out of a jlmbl.em frame'.

IChtmiking' Up ICeonLeadnstlo ReC(l'1l:sidiel'the!Dm.s of a 'GemeralizB;tilim QJt Jw,ag,Jillent:

.Pra.cti:c@ tmsprocesiS for youne]f.. Take the s amelllegative ]a\eij• j1!ldgmen~ Ot IgeneraJlization. you usedi a the ]JI"levi.ollS eXaJmpl,e. fCh1!ink up" mU.e lilT the key wlo'rds lillguisUcally by identifying ,8o,me IM'ger classmc:a:tiiofil, into that word. could fit, that bas richer or more positive inlplicatiOlflS than the onea ~tatBd. in 'the Thalhel, judgment or g8l!l!.eJI".allization; 01" which sUmllda:oo a.oom;plet@iy ilifEereliltper2::pective'With Nspe~t t~j. the. ]a]:II,~,l, jiudgm,e:wd or generalization ..

K,ey W@.rd

"Failure," fO.l instanee, could. be ~Chlln.ffioo up' to the elaas of "behaviOll',a] eOi~1~equ.enll::e8:1 or "forrns oft'eedb~ck. " Bein g "unattraetive" ,could. be. chunked. U'.ffil to l'v.a.ryin\gfr,[),0'1 the norm." ~E:x:pe:nse" wuld be ehun ked up 'ta "cMhflow considera tiens," ADd 1$0 nn.

Chunking laterally typically t$!es the form. of finrung metap,h.m-§ or ana[ogle$. The Sl'eig1fit 'of Mouth paUern of ,analogy involvea finding a. relationship ,ualliogons to '&ha t defined by the generalization Of jUIQgrneut wmcb. gives ill! a [lew penpectlvle entheimplicationa ,of that .g,E!I1ler<ruJi:iz:ationor judgment. We might say, for example, tha.ta f<'learnmg rusabHity" is ,i i he a. "mrufw:u:t:i(llnn,g computer p:rogTallll. U This would ~,e'3d us naturaUy 00 ask q l!les1lii'~:m!i,! sueh as. ~e:re is the! mwfl!lI!lctio:~?" "WhOllLt is i'l::s: cause and. lilow can it be lC!orrected,?b "Does the problem c©m.e .frC)l]l. ap,artkuJl.<lr line of code? Is it in the wholepl'Ogrmll? The loom~llIJter mewa.? Pe:l'hiliiJll~ thesaurea of the problem ~:s with the"

Analogies sum. as this" stimuLate us to ~eh. our of a partij,crilar generallizQtio:n. or jlITdgmen.t. and to discoveran.d. evahla.te 0'U1' ass,umptiOl!ls. Thecy a]so, 'help us to shift fi:1om a. problem frame te an. outcome f.ram.e OJ['' feedbac.k ftrune.

A l\.fu~ndiClnLi[!lg CClmputer Program

Where fs th~l fJimbietu I!iJJIti what is i~ cause:7

fCku:nkinll.atel'allT Involves Fimrli!ng Amal:l!llgies Whicm 1iJ'3!D Stimuli ate N ewLdeu and Pe['s,e~tilve5

Accor-ding til QI!I.t.ln:opo~ogiiStand communicatio:!l theorist ~gQry B o;;l;e13 OIl" ',chunltin,g laterally' totfuld anelogies is a 'function err 'f!!.bducliu'e tklnki'n.g. Abd.uctive flWiking canoe rontraste,d. witb "jndlJdiv~" and "d.edililcti'¥,e,'" prth::eiSse;s,.

Inductive reasa:mjn,g involvesd.assifying]ar objects, (aI'pheno:mena: a:ecording to eemmen .fea.tlll'es. th3.t they sh are -nCiilidng that all. bini'S have fea;therS! fOil:" eZl3i.ll.!J.p~I~. Inducttve reasouing i.!3es.sentiaJi.lliy thep:m-ocf!:Ss olF'cihnrn::lkmg u,".

Deductive l"iea..soniing iuvQlves making prreructipQ.E; about a particular o~j eel, Of' ph~fiomoo~n b£l.Bed on im clas-sific-iil.tio.n.; i.e., if ~ thm~ tne10g:lc. Deduction in:vo,lveSl',clumki:ng do'wu'.

Abductiver,easDni!llg i]]:\~olves[Qorung for the simila:ri ties: between objeets and ]phenomena - i.e .. , 'cllllllklllg lawraliy~.

Gr,e~ry Batasen i1Uusb"a:ted the difference between deduetive.1Qgje anda:bdli1cHve trun];,cin g by contrasting th:e.eoUowmg statemen ts:


Soerate.s .is ,9. man. Soe:r, wll die.,

Men dje.

Grass d.ies. Mea ,an~ G.raMi.

tCompisri:llliOD. '(!If;ive Dedil!l:ctiveTh.i.llking Processes:

AICco:Ming ~Ol B atesion~ ded.nctiV'e and Ind U.cti.VIia! tbmking fbruEiie-'-5, mON 00), object~and eategone..s, l' than structure and relatio:nsm p. .i13a.tesO:Datgueclthail:i thlnkiIItg exdusively through Ind u.ctIve and deli octi vereasomng C<lIlI. cause. a ~ruw in 'one's thinking. Abd:J!lctiv'e or metapnori,e,a] thinki'llg l@atdsL:!o mm:"le cre!!:I:tiLv:ity and m8i.y actually ~eiEl.dUEl to dis,l1;over doo:p€';['trut]hlJ~ about reali t.v.

. Pr,:lct,Ioe 'thii:sprmc:ess £0[' ]f~1H'.ge]'[ .A,gail'l. tM!\!, the negl'iLtive labe~I' j udgmen t or gene-raUzation YOiU. used. in. t~.epreviolu'S ex.amp.] as. ·Cb.t:m.k. la:b.el'ally" by :fmWI'lg' 150mB other prm:ess or phenomenon. wmch. is .analogous to that de-tined by the label,

judgment DJt ev a.ll.uation (L e., is a. m.etapho'r ["or i 1t 1, but which haanew 01' richer implica.tio'ns than the ones sta,ted. ~II. the Iabel, j lll~gmen.t orgeneralizl3ltim:i,'; '~rr which. st:.ii.m mates a. cOOl'llPlebi~y ,differ~D.lf;perlSpectiv€l with respeet to the label, j udgme:nt O'l" generalizatjl[lll..

is analogous ta



A.UOlher Pro(;:ess or Phen,mneno/'i'

An. analogy fOT '~fa,ill!Jl'\e," fo.~ iI!lstanoB.~ cou]dbe CQM1UllI!bllS· in:ab.ility to establish atrade route to the Orient, and. ending UPI in North America 'instead. A ib:a:by sw:an (or "ugly duc:kHng") is 8. Classic example of an. e:ori.ching analogy for an "un.attra.ctiv(t~ ~:1!3rSo,n. i\n. analogyc(twd be made between "expensera:ndtb.e "elle:rgy" required. 'fIbr physical le:x:ercioSe and. ~(I<wth. Jw.d so on.


'Tbe abillity to ic:nunk. Iateral ~yJ and create analogj}es is a iUJD.d;awne:]l t-all ski]];. fo·l" co.llI.slructmg th.ero8ipeutic mefi;1iItjph[l!:['s. The:rapeuth:: metaphors in.volvE< egtablis;Wng i.!3.0IDPrphi:sms or parallels between the cbaracWnand.evellts in the story and. the Hs:tene:rlg, ,sitUa.tiOIll in o.rd.@l' to help them 'find IDLeW perspeoo:V'ElSand act'iv3.te reJ3'lJlm::oo ..

The fQUflwing e:xfmCise I~..rrl!lhelp you to devlelopl and apply yaW" brte:r;rutwnking abilities:

1. A teU~ IIi and. C a CW"f'eI!i't pl"(]MsIiIl. or situation. for' which. A WQuld ~e, some guid.aIllce. e'.g'J Awould like to getm anew r-ela.tio!lllSw:p., but is hesitantbeea use ef problems he' or she has esperieseed from. previ:onspla:rt~ nerships.

2. B and C listen foc the signific<'lI1"i telem.e.n ts in A's sit.uatiCKfl Dr' prohlem. e.g .. ! "'The focus en tbepl3LSt; i Si [I'reven ting A frog;;!:moving 'Forward in. Jl:1iSI or h.erKfe."

3. Band G concur mgmUingtb.e impm1ant contextual e1[eme11lits~ cnaracters,re[.aijon:ships. and pl"<DCBS,8EH:,j in. Ks sitllla.tion.. B [,apbr~esthe~e to A tOI cbec1{ for aeeurac,Y·

4. B and Cget tQg,et'herand cornstruCE H. metaphor tOI de~]:V'Br te A 13 and C may n~e! the fonowin~ ·S!,ourCies fOT inspu'ation:

Umve:rs al th;emes' General Lifa lexpe:rie:rr:u::es


PersonalLife Experience,s

Nature: /Wimal:s, Seasoill!.Planfus~ Geology, Geogra,J)hy'!3itc . . Fo&. Talles

Science F':iction


e.g., "Mygrandfatheif taugb.tJne how tQ drive. He to.~d. me tha.t ill could. drive ql111Jt.e safely lllokingor.ruy in. the rear view mil"ror~p'rovi:ruD,g tb.e:road ahead is e:xaeUy the same aBthe n~:adbehlnd. ,.,

5. Rotate until each play~r has been in the Arole,

Punctuation and Repun.ctuation

The varikn~5 forms rof ,cl111lllkilllg' (UlPi dO'W]J[ and. la.iI:.@;.faUy) plIovide ap ower.f1ll1 set of lil'lJi;1T1llFStic teols to, help, us to eurich, retrame, and'T.e-pllnctlJlaten our' maps of the world. DifIeI'~fit "pu.Orc.tu.atiClus" of DUTil eroept:kDfII ,or the W01'ld. allow us to create diffe:reIl.t meanings of the sameexiPerience.~OO'" e:x_am ple~ in-the us e of written la:mguuge, we pun&tuate a series of words in different wa:y;s; as aq uesij]oo" sta~em@int or demand. The 'oommas, ro.:!ci<."l!mat:im];p [lints and questio'u m8!ru a~I.o'W' IllS kI know which meatning is im.pJ:i.ed. A ::sillmi]ar action eceurs In the org.a.niza tion of DUT experience.

Punetuetion is defined in the dictionary as "the 01l!~1; ,(lI' practice o:fins,erting ISitandawdiz.ed marks or signs to c],arizy the .. me~mnga:n.d. separate stm.GEl!!lF:BI.iLunitlS," In NLP, the term [!;punctua.tic:n" is used to l"ref'€r to .how an. rnd:iiv:i.(]J[ual chunks omexpedeUCle into meaningfal units of pereeptioa, This tYPfl O'f cogniiiblepmH::t.uationmnctio:m; analDgQlllsly t~, the way linguistic punctaation operates inwritten and. sp aken bnguage..

COllside.r lora mOlment the foUcr-wing woru:ls:

At first glance'. these werds seem like gibberish. They have no m.erurlng., But noticeb@!w your experience o:fthe:m. cllang€8, if they are pw:u::JtilI1,~ued in. the ~OnCl<\ring manner:

8udd.enllYi there is at Ieest some .!!:lU'!.aning to them.. The p:u.illu:t11atioJjJ~. which is [lin .!;l di::ff'e;rremt leV'ei tha.n the WQT\ds themselves, organiz!es a'l'1!d'framl.%!· them in. a. w~y that :s~ our jpemeptir,o of thew.

ThE!' words: could be punctuated. in othsr ways as well.

Cow,p,aJ."e' 1theprmQlllS punctuation with the. foilowin.g axamp,las:

That? That is! J s that thcd?' ls, nol!





l~. if; is.

Tlle con tent of our experience is like the first string of weeds, It is .relatively neutral and even. void of any real meaning. (Jognitiv,e, precesses, such a.'j ehnnking, time perception. and :representational channe1B t d.ete:rnrine where we place our mental and emotioQ,a] question marks periods and exelamation points. Our mental punctuatien intluenees which percepticns an el ustered together, where Dill" focus of attention is.placoo. what types of re],at:ionships are pen;eptible, etc. For example', ecnsidering an event in te1'111S of its 'long term future' ImpJicntionswi]] give it a differeut siguifieanee than -eval rut ting .it wit.h respect to the 'short term past'. Viewing a particular detail. with mBpect to the ~ig picture" is different than seeing it in, r,elationsmpto othe:l' deterils.

P'eople don't usually ,argue,become depressed 01' kill ea.cll other 'Oval." the content of their e>.rperi'enee and maps of the world in and of ibself. Rather, they fight over where to place the ,exclamation points and question marks that give the content different meruringl5l.

FClGr in:stanooJ take a piece ofinfoIlDHti.on like, "Prefits were down Iast quarter," A dreamer, n~alist and cribc 'WollL~d

perceive or 'punctuate' the exact same data. in differen ways, based oa diffwBnt beliefs,. velues and expeetations,

Critic: Profits Wcf!re down last quarter, This is terrible!

We'Jle ruined (e®cl,emanon pOifl~)!

Reali~:t: Proiitts, were down last qUID"t8'l'"~ We> bave had. diffieuU times in. 'the ]l,ast (co:mma), what can we do to make ourseJv'8S "leaner' (questioD mark)?

Dreamer: Profits we:r.e down Iast quarter, lt~s j'l1st a bump in the 1'0 ad. (semi eelcn); we'r,fl past the most difficult phase now. Things are bound to. look up.

SlI3],g,bt of :Mouth is largely about bow language leads us to punctu.ate and repunetuate DUI'm.a,ps of the werld, andhow tbese punctuations give meaning b:J our experience.

Chapter 4 Values and Criteria




Meaning 1I1.a.:Ei. to do with the infuenUolll 0.1' B~grufican.ce OfR message or experience. The tern'l, Hamtbe Mid.dle E.nglislh .~enen (Oid English m,!:U!11WJ.)., is am te Old High G~rn}an meinen. whieh meant ''\0, have in miad." TonE, m.erulmg :re1laJtes, to' the inner :repres autH.tions 0'1' experiences, tha.t are assoeiated with. external cues and. ,events.

NLP pr(]'ces~e~ m:a;d. models, wcba:stlrl.Qse cbaracteri.zedby S~e'lgh~ of M.QJ.uttt~ we-r,e developed to ,e.~p]o're and. di3em'Bl' 1l.Qw"WEl' !1:iymbQli21e;, ~ig:nify arrepl:e::sent ,exped{!tlit.~al d.a,t<l1 and how we in.berpmtolt givethBLt~ data, inner sigllw!cance in aUT ma]ps of lli.e world:--im. other w,o!rds, bow we mBlke "meaning." Fmmtbe·NLP' perspective, meamng ]is. a rullction of the relai]onshl:p oot\.v'ee:ru '''lrl:uru.p and tenitmy." LUfferent maps oil." the worrld will prod nee different inner mean.ings 'tor the same ex;perieutialter:rito:ry. The sa:m~incld.ru1.t OUt expe.rielll.€e in the extr.ern.a1. world. will '!:.ake o:n diffe:nm.t meamngs or SigmfiOOince to different :mruv:iduah~ Dr' i:illIeren.t cuJit'u:re:s, depending Qlll their mternel maps. Halving;a lot of mOfiey~ for inst<mce, may be looked upon >$ "'su~es.s'" for some pe:op:le,bu:t a ''''risk'' or a "ulm:i@!n" by others. .As anlrtJiJ.e:r ,~x;a:mple. belohing. in au .Arabic ,wlture,. typically sdi1gnifies, "thanks for- th.@ :satisfying maal," In. otheT' cwt-,ure s, however. i:tm:aymeal!1 th<lt tb.!2 person is suffe-ri:n,g fiGm inilige8ti.O];}.~ i81 unmannered, or rude.

All amm.als have true .ability to cr~ate code'S a:IlCilll!11LHps of theVi!·"(ltir'ld. and. to giVie' meanaig to their e:xperie:nc€- of these maps. Meaning iSi the natural cOOlseqoence of in'te:rpl"etifl.g' OlD" e}!;.p erience, 'W'hat meaning we mak.e and how w~m,ake it is oormecoo.d. wil1tfu theriehnessand flexilbility of our intern al repr,es'entatiolls of the wo:dd. A Iimi ted. map oj[ an e~pe:ri.ence wiIlmo:st likely prod11lce.a limited. mel8,ning;. NLP emphasiaes the ~mpod..ance .of"eqlloring wfJer~:Ilt perspectives and ~ev~ls, of ,expedenoo in. (u:-dle'l" to create the PQ\Ssibmty Q( cl:.i:scoverin,g ilifferentpoten.tiaiooeani.ngs with resllect to. .<1. situation OJ': ,e.x:perienoo·.

Because mean.iI'l.g is a function Qif OID' i.nteT"nal r-epr.esenta~ tiDn~ .of our ex,pterien:oe, .altet.i:ngthlOse internal re:presenta:tiJOfiS can alteI" the meB.]li~g an e'E:j) erie-ruoohas fo:r us. IS ens:ory l',epres:e:ntatio:ns eenati tut."e the tdeep :struetUTIEl' of Om' l! Feeling "saeeess" isa diifferenl;e.xpBne:ncill than visualizing'.it or t.allWtg·abou:t it. Shifting the CCllor~ tjO'UB, intensity, amount gf mevement, etc. t (the "submodality" qualities Jllf in teD:lru repm'esBr.rta.tio]]s can. also altar the meaning WId. irnIl:act of a. particular expenenoo ..

.Meaning is alse gr.eaUy influenood by cont:ext. The Sflllle CQmm unieaticn Oir beha.viar will ~e On ,iliffiBre.nt meanings illL diffieroo:t eon tex.ts.. We 'lWillre.s;ponG dJiffel'e'ot]y if we see semeone apparJ{!ntiy shot or s1iabbeil. Gn the :stage of a theater. than if 'we see the same behavi~ in.t.he ruley behind. the thea.ter:. Th llS,p erception of con te:'dt and eontextualeaes is an importan.t aspect oif the .ablHty to make meaning of a mess age or BVeT.Ilt,

The mental frames wepliaQe'a~ound ourpen~eption efa situ,atioin. message, lOr event serves as .atypel IOf in:t;ernally gen.erated oonte·xl; {or Qurex:peneIIlce.lP'e[looivinga situatiea frlfim a "problem fraimel," 'IiVill focus, OUI' s.tien;tion. on eertain aspects ,oflhat slituatli.o:n, an.datt.ach. different me-anings to evenm.,tlum:. ifwewrneive the samJ.e situa.lion.&om an "'outc~me frame." 01,': a ''ieedbal£;!)!;:vemu~ fmillln'ie frame," J\ssu.mptions aoout the' intent behind a heh.awl' ,or eemm ml:i.cation alsn ereatea t.rpe of frame that iml uences tll~waym whlcl:l. they .ruE interpreted.. ~ is w!l]_a.t m~eSi tl1.e.NLPp1'OOe..sses ofFnuning and Be-framing such p~,werfl!ll tools c'!, wh.icbt~ tra:n.s,lia'nn the, meaning nf'a situation 00.- ,ex.peri.elll.ce. influence on meanmg isfuh.€: medtum or Ckanli1ffl thrQugh which. a. mes-5~g,e O'I" experience is received. or percei.v,ed.. A :spakenwOO'd.lo'iFJlI 'trigg,er"e1teu·t t)'lH~lll Gfmeaflling than .30 'Visu,IU ~bol. a touch 01" a smell, Media theorist MarshBlJll McLuhall ,claimmll. that the medi:wJlltlli:m::nlgh which B particular messags was tJransmitt:ed had mQI'le impact DID. how that message was Jreeeived Bflldj interpreted 1Uum the mes!3,age itself.


:Sl...EWB'T lOll' M.OIJTB

Thn:s, the way a person makes meaning of a eemrauaieation is largely determined by thepara.-me:ssag,915 and meta me8sageB thot a,ecompanythat communication. Non verba.l "meta.messag,ea'" are like. guides and m1llr.I'kers on. traaemittsd messa,g:es wmch tell us bow to, int.erpreta message iill o,roe'f to giive it the approp,riata meaning, The' same werds, said. with. ,diff~nt in. tonation and voice. stress patterns. will take on cllfi'ertlnt meaning (i.a., th.ere is a. difference between "'No?'\

"'Yo,T" ,-- d "I\\i","), 1',.0, I' an .1ltO. •

One of the fundamental princip,les of NLP is that the mlIaning af tI CD11tmunication. to ;the. r:t:?ceiver, is the response it elic.its in tkrd nwewer, regardless of fh.e intMlion .of the c:011unu.nic,aror. Them is a classic uruD:ple of a medieval castle thBlt W.B8 under siege by foreign troo·ps .. Astbe sie~e went en, the people within the castle began to run. out offQoo. Determined not to glv,e up, they decided tOSiflOW their defiance by putting every last hitet theirtaod in 8. basket and catapulting it ever the wall at tliOOpS. outside. 'When the foreign ~oldiersil who, were also getting low IOn supplies •. 8aw the food. t®y int.el'pm·t.ed it to mean thatthe people mthe castle had so' much . .food that they werethruwing it at the .soldiers tlio tallIDt tJhem. Ththe surprise 'of the pe op:~e in the casti,e, the trceps, who had become disheartened by their interpretation of the. message, a.brupUy abandoned the siege and left.

Fundamentally" meaning is a product of our values and b€liefs. 1t relates to the qnesti(ln, '"'"Why?" The mesaages, events and experiences that we find most "meaningfa]" are these whieh are most Iconnected to our eore values (safety, ,s urvival, growth, ete.). Beliefs relating to ca use-and -effsct and the co::Il.1)ection be:twlElen. perceived 6Vlents, Bn.dl our values largely detennlne the m"eanin,g we give '1:;0 tb.OSQ pereeived events. AlteriJllg beliefs and values c:animmet3!iate1y ,ehlmg~ the mea ning of OUT' life experienees. SJleigh t of Mouth Pattems operate to, shift the meaning of events and e:xperienees by updating or altering the values and beliefs associated with. them,


Valuesa.nd Motivation

According to Webste:r's Dietionarg !l'alues Bra "prineiples, q,ualitie;s err entities that aI"e intrinsicaUy valuable Cllrd.,esirable," Tbeterm "value" oii,ginaJly meant "the worth ef something :lchiefly in the, eCIJ~ml'tic ~ sense of exchange value. The us e of the tezm was broadened to melude a mote philoll3:ophic intel''p'retaticm. during the 1'9th century" under the influence ofthink.ers and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche. Thesephill(lsophers ooiDal the term axiulogy (from the Greek nxia«; meaning "worthy") to describe the study of """aJ!ues.

Beeause they a!"o€! asseeia 1tied. with wodh. meaning and ~.e.siire';_val:ues are a, primary source of motivatiop in peoples lives. When people's values are met or matched, the:y feel a sense of satisfaction, haI'm.O(fiYt 0.1' rapport. WHen their values Me not met, people often feel dissatisfied. inc.,ongruent, or violated.

AJJ an exploration of yOI:l1" oWn values, CionsideJ" for a .moment how you would respond to the foUowing questions, "In generall what mo'i:.jv-atBl> Y0l!l,!'" "'What is most important to you'?" orwhatmoves you t;03]Ct:[,OD1 c,r 'gets you out mbed in the morning?"

Berne pcssible answers might be:

SuOe€SS Praise ition R>f:sponsibili t}J Pleasure

Love and Accep~a.l:llc.e At kiemaneTLt C:rceaHuity

ValUEl;S such as these greatly influ,e:noo and direet the euteomea that we esta.b~i!3h and the choices that we make.

The g;o'ah: thp.t we se,t for eureelvesare ~ in fad~ the taJ:l,gible e.xpressioED. of our values. A pet,sm.iL who has a. goal to ~fea:.te <In effecijve teanLI" :for instance, moat Thikeliyv.e]1lies "wor.lting togethBI" with ethers," Ape:noI!! whose gnal is to "increase proTIts."prnba."bThy values '1]:l:"l.ancial sueeess. ~ Sim:i.lar]YI It pEl'rson who has avalue of "stabUity"··wiJl set goals that are rela.ted to a.chl6ving stability in his 00,'" her penon .• d or p'r'Qf~ss:i@nal 1ife'. S'nc@ a :JleI's.o1'l will s·eek:d.iff~1'~ntoutDOm€8 than uperso:l1 who values ~~fleOO:bi].~ty." mew ,e:x;ample:. A pe:rs'on who values stability may be 'Clon.te:ntwith a 9 t~)5 job that has eensi steJut pay nnd lllvolveiS well ,esbblishea! t~ks,. A. person who values flexibility. on the ether hand .. may try to find wo:rk involving a i'!Ulg'e of tasks and B. vaziable time schedll1le.

A peI"son~oS 'Vahl!!es wiIlalso ,sltflrpe: MW that irl.(i[ri~ual "pun:etuatesl'l o:r gives meaning to his {IT' her pel"oopjf;i!on o,I a particularsi tU13lticrn. 'Ibis determines. which k[~ds. o~' mental st.ll"a1Ge,gi.elS ap erS:o.n sel~cts to, tha.t sttUa!.tiOll and, u~t.i: ma.bely,. tha tpers:on's 8.dions in that ai 1tuatl1on. Ap erson who values "sM"ety~" .fljil' eXlmlIple, will eenstantly ell.i"alua:te a sl~tlilaUO::Il o.ra.ctivi ty from whether or not it .ha.rbor's ,any pote:Dl tial ~angel".!.i A person lIN he values "funD win assess the samesitlll:a.tion ,oractivi~yseeki:l:!lg'opporbnMties for .humor 01' pl;ay.

Va.1ue.s, then, are the bas] 5 fo,t :m~tivatjBn, and sene BS a por·"ve:rrulpeJrce:ptmll Jilter. When. we can cO!l:llllect our futilllre plana and gO<ll!J.s to our eere values and eriberi a,tnOBi e bBeflmJE! even mora OOID pellin g. ~'Y] STh!eight of .Mon thpaUems TeV'QI ve aJI:'OW'lDd IJsm:g language ~n OJldier torelata and ]ink various asp ects of our experieWl.!:le und mtlLps of the wo,dd. to 'I:!Qre' v ai!ues.


In NLP~ valtle~ are eUen eqll.a:b:li(~l Witll:! what ru'f! known. as '''lmOO:ri.a". but the m'QI ~ .not. entirely synQn~ul5.V:aJJ!l,.es relate t01 what we desire and. wan.t. Cr.iteria I'Iefer b). tbe ~t~:nrnar& and eri(]i.eIli£es we a;pp]y In om.e:r itom.ake deeisiena and. judgment.s. The term comes rromthe Greek word. k:rit.wm ~ mei1llllling "'jud.g:e .. " Our criteria'me and shape tbetype.s of desired. states ·tbat welWiIDl seek, and d,etlM'min€! th.e eviden.ces we willuse to eva~ua.w our SU:MeBs and progre!3~ooth rBsJBct to these d{H3h'ed ste:teE>.Fq::r example, a.pplying the. cri.te'don of "shihility'l1 to a. ~:rmd.uct~ org:anizartiOOl 'or farn:ily;ffiU ~ead to certam ju[igme:n.ts.and CO[U;:Illll,s]!GD.S. Applying the criterio.ill of "a:b:illUy to 9cdap:t" may [!B!EI1dbo, different judgments and C~f.I.clUSiJOIl.s abaut the same pmduct, IDrg,Bniza.ti~n ow £6000]1.

Gn teriH are ~lben assoeiated 'wi th "valU!~s,1'l btl tthe:y :Ill"ec no~ Syn.IOl'Ji.ym.oUl!.S. C:riteri a nlaybe a~plplierl to any number of different le'Viels of experience. We ,~fuave envirenmental criberi,6o, behavio:ral criteria <)IjDcl[ in teUec:t uaJ. criteria SLs· wen as lemot.ioIl1:EI1[y bai$ed. criteria. From. this pe'rspeetive, values are sinrilarto" what are cwlM. (}!J'Fe t'Jri:te.ria 'in NLP;

Valu~ aDd core criteria are elassie esamples o.f "subjeetivEf ex:peri.ence~ ~D. contrast wilth ~facts" and ,obs ervable aetiens, "whichre~re'Sent "o~ject:i:vUy." ]\yo mdividuah,. ean claim 'io have the :5 emevalues and. yet act quite diffeoon:t1y in. similar situations, Th:J1E, [s be;cause. eventheugh people may

'h .. ·'1 _J {·l·~~· .. ~ -. .Ii "1l.. . ""u .. " and """",

s are Sln!ll·alr Vruues l~e! sl!lc:ces:s~ lLCIBJ."mOu". . .•.• .• ""-

sped;'}, they fuay have very diff~II!t forms of]].tC!El .~"o.[' jud,ging whethe:rfunese criteria halv,e been met 01' violated. 'fW.s ean be the sotn'Oe o:f ei or ereative diversi ty.

One of the. challenges in defim:ng, teachlng~ rlleba Ung. or evoo taJkingabou:t values BlDd. criteI"ia. is that the langu.age used to e:x:.pIlBS,s, fIJe]l!! .~ s oRen. very genaral and ~illO::n1~seIlISOry based.'. VaJ'I!lBE> and. eore eriteri a M~ expi!"essed by wo:rdls ,Sllcll . .".". "aueeess " . ."safeh .... "love," '''in 1!;i:1I~ h." etc. These type.s of

~l.i . ---:II . IjJ~ . ~ ~.,a..IJIJ~

wo:rd.!il~lmGwn as .~(JIlninali!ZaU6ns: in NLP. are n.otoric1J!,sly "slippery," .As labels"they tend '1:;'0 be mneh farther mm.oved firom any specific sensory experience than words like ",t:lhair/' "run, ~ ''', jj "heuse," etc. This makes them.ffiJlic.h more slilsceptilbl e to 'the precesses of g,e:n,eraliz:atiilOlii. deletien a~d m:storlio.[L It isn!otulloommon flk1' two 00 claim to sbare th~ same vaJI.uesand. Ylet act ,q_uite dlf1\'erently in similar situa;t:i.Cl'fl.s, beea ueetheir iSubjectirve definiilioIls of the' villilltues vary :S.C w:ide~y~

iP'eO'p[I!:!" ,or C@IW"",s-e, abo fr,eq1!lenUy opertilte fhlID different values. Ona person, or gnlUPi may sook. "stability" ,WId "seeu:ritY' whila a'.ll!othel' desires "growth~' and "self development.l;lRe:oog.W:.zmg that people have different valueaand criteria is esseatial for ro~O'lvitl,g CO~n]ets and ng dJi:veT.,s;i.ty. Cwbn'e ~OfltOlct~ me:rgers between o.rganizatio.n:s and trans.ittiol1s in a person's life often bring-up issuelSrelated to' d:iff'e:riences invalu.eli! and ,e,i:teria.,

'fb.epirind P~BS' andpettarae of S1e:~gb.t 'ofMouth can be used. to help resolve preblemsand issue~ rela.ting to v,aJues ,and. ,criteria in. a number (Df Wtl;yiS:

1. "'1Chainin,g" criteria and: vru1Li!eliI,b,y rtltkfining them '2. Ch un.king' Down to dell]jn.e "c!riterial eqn,ivr] te.~'es!'

.3. Chlllllkll:lg Up to ~dentllyan.d. utilize "hiertJ.IT' of vahtt:$ und crUitria.

Ch,aining Criteria and Values by Re.fiefining Them

Situ.a.tions often arise in wb.leh there s'eem. to be diffiarr!!'Dce.s, in. the core VaJ.UJ6S or criteria of .lIlJ.uv.hlurus O'f'gTOUp~. A ,oompany; nor ex:amph~:J may have a 'oo:revruule. of "glob[aliza~ ltj,cn." Some inmm u,a}$wiithln the ,c.'Ompa:ny. howev,er. ma:y be driven: by the ,criterion o:f "seeuri t.:ir~ " The~le,types of seemingly fwodamen:tal difi'ereIl.ces can. creats conflict and russ ensien if not proper'~y addressed in SQIIIUl way"

One: w,ayoo defllwith. perceive:d.t'Onf.lic1ts in. vruues is [0' use the Sleight o.fMouthpsttem of re:de{i ning ~n order toereste a "·rnmn.,j ll:m1ting the di.fftering eriteria .. ABa-I! example, "globalization" can he eMily re:framed to "working tog,ether with clive.r;se pMp]e," '"SecUl''Ji.ty''' ca:noefefn:nu:ed. to "the s.a:fe:ty of beilllll'Pult of .a.grDUp. jj, In. many way5~"'w()rkingitogetfie:r with. diverse people'" and ~eing pa.rt 'of a ,,gn.:mpl'are quite :s.iml.lal':

Thus!! .the simple verbal rnfl'runesba.,fe, d!(ised the 'gap betwe@'ll th.e two ~ee,nri.ngly inoQm.[la.ti.hl~critocia.

As anether ex'amp]e, let's .say a lcom.pany has BI.higbly valued criterion o.f ~qu£lliit,y;" but apl1l!rtic1!:llm- person Or team vritwnili,at com:pa.nyval uss "c.nati vity. ~ These two values might]y seem at odds. with one an.other. "Qua.lity," bowever~ eenld be :rtrlTamedas "'[!,onti:mll'll i:m,prov,eroen it." qCreativit.:f" ~u[ refJram,ecli. iil!l'1i ~~,j[odue:ilng better akbe'rnatili."<Els .. I' .Agam.~ the simp]'€! mrramt1s h~lp .p~Ol1'le te S~@ the CQ:IlIlJtlcti10;n. ]between the t.wo,ly ili>s~a.:rate en retia ..

11),1' this, 01l1.t yOlli'.self using th.e Spail&S {lI'ovld,ed bel(j,W.

Wri1i:;etw,~) seemingly opposed criteria in. the spaces titled Oriterien iii land. C:rite:r1!OI!!. #2. Then~. il"efrmne eg6b criterion u,s,m,g a wwd or phrase that love:daps with .the critcerion bu t offe:r.s at ,di.!l:ffierent peFspectiv,e. Bee n YDU can tindre'frames that '''chain''the two .i:rnitial crit.eria.togetbe:r In a way that In.aikie them meea com pE:lltihh~.

One rocrun:p]e m~~fh:t be: Chunkintg D'own 'to Define "C:rilterial


Try finding reframes thathelp to cbain 'tn,e two criteria ]istedbe~aw:

Ci!lstpmel' Semce --> . _

____ . <-, .illnc:rea&edProtit

Write' your OWl} eJj;amp~es fo(' (}riteri.ool #1 and CriteriOI1.#:2, in the Sp,aCBs. be]owt ana final simpl1e verbalreframes that win hl1!!ipoo ereate aehain lIinJ!!:IDgth~ twiO.

Chaining eriteriais a f@rm late:rnlly 111 o1'ldier ·to Iink seemmgly oppos-ing values, Anothe,r way to avoid. Oil" reso~ve I'o.1te.ntioallimita:t.U:.ol'll:5an.d. conflicts that ean adse :f[o.m the 'language used. to 8'XjpFeSS values is to chunk down valaes :ststements into more specific e~qn:ess~Gns, or cri~erU!l equiva:len:ces. equivalence" is the. term. usedin .NL.PIi;I) describe the :speciifi.c and. olbiServa.b1e Bridenoes tha:t:pe:orjple use to .define w hellier 0.1' not a partieular criteri.on has be en. met. "CD teria'tare related tu goals and. values, "Criteria] eqmvH.leneas" m-e related 'I:.,Q the 'HNoperiences and rules people use to ev,alu:aroo their auecess In . .acrufeving plIT't:ie.ular cri:teri.a. Criteria andvalues are lUiU,s(Uy v'ezy general, abstract and ambiguous. Th~y can take maDry ,8,ha.pM otmd [~)rms. Criteria] equivalences arethe s;~ecific se:n:sory or behavioral demou-' strations Or ObiSe:rva:tiOIlfl t.b,at areuaed to know if a crltoenofl efvalue has been sa.tH3·DJed. Criteria!. eq[uiv,rue:nDe$ are th.e result of evidencie IDl'rOCBdu:re:!'l .. An prmMililure links tIle uJ.hy (_t1lJte cr-ite:ri,a endv,alues) to tb.B fww (!:he,oilsel"Vatioms and strategies used to attempt to sat.isfy Elm criteria),

The type of sen s;ory evidence, or criteri,al equivalenees, tha:;t aparsen u8IHs. to evru uate an. idea, prod uet @'1" situation 'Wi!] determine to a Isrge erle.nt whe!tber it is: jllldged. as belling intel'eS'ting, ,[ie!!lirtlMe or sucesssful, etic. lP'eQlple o:ft~ differ in the ,s,eD£fHY chaenels, ~.rev:e] of$i!ii endperspeetives that they use tlll ev. ua te their sueeaas in. m.e-et-ing their ,crit@ria. Effe.ctivepersuasio:ll, :fi'o,r examp[JE!, IDvolv@s tile' abmty to identify and then meet apersonl.s core criteria.b)' matc.hing their eriterial ~uiV'a],eDoo.Establishmg criteria. a.nd. crifue.riaJ eqni1l'aJen!Ces i~also alii. ;hll!p@rt-a~ t part ef team. building" c:rr9!aiting I3!.m3l mana.ging m'gani::l.ationru ow lure, and sua tegie planmng.

Defining an teri,aJ equiva:~ence!i: mVD]ves asking ~ "How do YOllU. know if some. hehavior OJ: Q01JJ;BOq_ ueace fits aparlii{! eri terien ,Ol" val ue?" On. a. personal ~ev!el, weruoUli. ,orrepr~smlt the ""deeper Jstrn~t~" of ~UT values to onrselll,es 'l!CK]]. -linguistically in. the fih:r:m. of m:ller pi.cmres. ~oUDclB, words and f-eeUngs. To e;xplore some of your own eriterial e~valences. try the followin.g:



1. Think of some value or eriterion that :is important for you to satisfy {quality, ereativitguniqaeness, health, e·k·.}

2. How do you know, specifleally, that you have met tills value 00:' criterion? 18 it. semething' you s'ee? Hear? Fool? Do, you know i tbased lSlo]ely on. your ewn evaluation. or do you d. verifica.tion :fro:m outside of younelf (i, e." ITO~ another p·etson Or an objective measurementj?

The .sensory pereeptinus that form OUI' eriterial aquivalences greatly inn uence bow we think an d feel a bout something. Conside.r the wa:ys in which your sensory parespti an S inffuence ycur degree' of motivati on, Think of an advertisement em television that mads yOU'VII"I'!IDt to own the preduct being advertised. frar example. 'What was it abou.t the ad that iru3,p,tred y'ou to go out and buy the product? Was it t.he. color! hrigh1i:nessj music. words, time oivoice msvement, etc, Tbese . particular features are known as '''submodalitles]] in NLP. and often play a role in people's motivation strategies,

Explol\e Uris for you:rs'E!lf by trying 011 t the following eX!srelse:

1. Imagine that you have .alr{~ady acllieived a goal 01" outcome that matchea the 'criterion YOll identifie-d above J and are really enjoying it. Get in touch with what you . are geeing, hearing. deing' and feel!ing wlirile 'enjoying thesebenefl ts.

2. Adjust 'the sensory qualities: of your i nternalesperienee in auelra way that it feels, more moti1fating' Dr compelling; Does the rutiJ!lerielll!oo become m~ leompelling and.attraetive if you add. morn wfu.t-? Bri.ghttlet'3s? S> Words? Moveme:n·t? 'Vhat happens if you bring 'the image eloser or move it farther away? What happens if you make the sounds or words louder or softer? 'What do yen ex.~rie-noe if you make the movement quieker or slower?' Identify which qualities maka the experience feel the best.


Reality Strategies,

Criteriai equival enees are cl:osehy related to a( person's rewif;y sJm"te,gy. Re~ality stra:te'gles i.nvolve the sequence of mental! tests, and internal criteria an :iindi vidual applies in oroer to evaluate whether or not a particular ex.perience ,0£ ev'ent is "real" 'il!r "really happened .. ~ It is, essentially the strategy by which we distinguish "fantasy" from ·~reaHty."

It isa 'common drildhQod experience to think that somalthing really happened. lliatWHS actually a dream or a. fantasy. EV1en many adults are unsure whether or not a powerliiJ! experience they had as H Ghild was ]'\8f!LlL nr imagined .. AnotheJl" common frxpen.e·ne@ is Vi' h:en you have been .R bsol utely eertain you to~d semeone ~o:metbing end. tbey claim y>cm didn't,and later you .... ealized you IN!hearsed it in your mind butnever actually talked about it with the person .

From the NLP perspeetive, we win nevel" know what reality is,because our brain doesn't really know the diffID.",.mce between imagined. experience 'or remembered experience. The fact ia, the aame brain cells Me used to r~]fe8e:nt both. Them is nn spe(,'m,e pa.rt of the brain that has be~D designated fOT '''f311ta9y'' and "reality." B ecause of that, we have to have a stl[",ategy that teUs us that :i.MormaUon reoeiv,oo tlrrougb the, sensespasses certain tests that imagwed ini'ormation does not .

'fry a little experiment. Think of something that you could. hava done yesterday but bow you didn't. de, FOI' example, perhaps you could have gone shopping yesterdag but Y01l1 didn't. Then tbfa::tl!i. of something Y01ll1 know Y'OU did d(}-lik,e go. lto work. or talk, wi tb. B.frie:fl>~. Centrad the- two Ia your ntind-how do· yell cll@t~:r.mine that YOll didll"t do QJU'l and did do the other?' The difference can be subtlejbu t the qualities. of your intermd pictures,. seunds and. kinesthetic feelings win probably differ in some way. As you contrast yo,Ul" imagined experience with yOUi' real one, cheek yOIll" Internal repI",esen.taUoru-al.'@ 'they located In the same place in yOlll" field Df


vision? Is one clearer than the other? Is one a movie and one iii, stillp,icture? Are there differences in the ,qualities of yOUI' Internal voice.!!'?' What about the q~ali.'ty of feelings you. have associat@d. wi thtlm:se two ~xpedences?

The q_uality of inform atien that W,8 have in . .0 ur senses, is ,eomeb.ow coded more Jltecis;ely fer the real experien.ce than the imagined ona, and that'~ what makes the differenc.e. You have a "reality strategy" that lets you know the difference.

Many people have tried to change or "'Fe-p.rogram" themselves by visualizin,g themselves being sueceseful. For all the people whO' natU1"'llHy use this as a str,ategy. it will work. fine. F,DI' an the people that u.s e avniee that says. "You can do it." this 'Visual progr,nmming won~t work. If I want to make som:etmngr'eru far Y01ll, OF convince you abont S (lmethinjg'1 l have got to make it fit. your criteria for Y"llll" reality etrategy I have to make it 'c~nsi:steJlt with the required qualities ofyO'U.f' Internal pid;Ul'eS" sounds and feelings Ii.e., submod.a.lities.) So, :If I ,assist you in changing y,ourbehavio,r in some way, I want to make sure that it is going to fit ill with YDURS a. person. By identi:(ying your reality stndegy, yon CHn determine precisely OOW you need to represent a ehanga in bell avicr in order to be can vineed that it lis something tb.act i is pOBable fill' you to acc.,

In many ways" NLP i.e; the 81i;lIld.y cf'how w'e create 'Ow:" maps of l'ea.lity~ what hQldsili.a:t reality 0'1' map in a stable form, how i1l> 'is d'estabilized,and what makes a map effective or not. NLP assumes that there are different realities elC.pTiessed in OUI" different maps of the world.

The ,system or str ategies o:fr·e.ality tba.t we create, and how that system intel'a:c[s, to fbrm of reality~ bas bBen a feeus in NLP' smee ~t!3,in.c~tjon. Reulity strategies are 'the gl ua '!IV bieh hold nur maps bogethe.r - .h.ow we "know" !Something to be BO. Consider the following example of eliciting a persnn's reality strategy with respect to her name:


Q: What is your name'?' L: My name is Lucy .

Q: How ,do yeu lIm.ow your name is Lucy?

L: Well, tha.t i91 wbat I have been called all my life.

Q: How d.o you know, as yon sithererigbt now, t]hat you have been caned that "all YOUI' Ufe?" DD you near .Eiom.etbing?

L: Yes. I just hear a. v,Q,ice sa:yiQ,g,. "My name is Lucy."

Q: If you. didn't have a voice '!3aying your name is Lucy, how would yon. know YO'Yr name is Lucy?

L; I see a. in my :mind"s ey'e, the word "Lucy" is written on it ..

Q,~ If you eouldn't see this banner; or it w W5 out of foeus and you couldn't read the word. how would YOll] know that yOW" name is Lucy?

L: I would just know"

Q: If you saw many banners W'.itn diffel'en.t names on them, how would you know the one that says "L uJcy" is your name?

.L: Us a feeling ..

This example illru;tr:ates soma common. features of a "real~ty strategy.!') Tbeperson "knows'" Lucy is her real name because she has it "croSfi-ret"erenoed" in multiple representa5 !donal eJystems:. m.'timately, ''Lucy'' had a feeling that was asseeiaterl with that name. IfLuey could make 8IT,a.ngements so that she would uot experience I)I" notice that fooling" it would be intei'est.i:llg to find outIf Lucy would stiUlmow her name", If sueh an exercise is taken far enougn1 i:l person can even came to doubt something as fundamental as his or 'her o'Wnname.

'When aperson truly hegins to get to the root of his ocher reality st.rat~gy, it can become a, bit disorienting~ and even



fri,gb,teningi but it also opens up, the doorway to new learnings and drscoveries. As an sxample, there was an psychoanalyst. studying NLP. who was v,ezy interestetl in his reality str,atagy. He ,driscov.eredl that he had, constant in tarnal diallcg., The ps,yehcu!lina~ys,trealized that he ViI,as veibanyi:abeli~g all of his experieneatn himself F'o,r e.xample I he w omd walk into a TIlQm and mte'rnaJly say~"a picture," "a eeuch," "a fi::r,e_pl81ce," etc, When asked if he could ,mence t;b,ev'oice, he was l",eluetant to give it lIlP because he was, afraid be would lose eontact witbreality as he knew it.\Vben asked if there was anything' be could ,do which would allow him to comfurtahly let go of his internal veices, he said, "1 need something to hold on to." He was lllst:ructed tD held HI SPM,n: and maintain contact willi reality kinesthetically: EJy r),oing SICI" he was able to expand his reality s:b:'ategy and literally epen himselfup to a, new "non-verbal" way ofexperi.E'lncing reality ..

Tn ,explore y.our own IDeality st:rat€l'gy. try out the following exercise.


Relali~· Strategy E:x.ercise

Part I:

~aJ Pick same' tri-vial thing thlil\t Y'011 did yesterday. and something' you could have do The buL did not do. Make auze tha,t the thing that Y01!l could have done but did not do is something that is completely within your range of behavior. If YOU could have put pe-anut butter on your iee cream, but you don~t like peanut butter on your ice cream. you wouhln~ raally hav'el done that anyway. Pick e:-xmnp]es of things that you have done before (su ch as brushing yoUiI' teetb. and baying a" ell p of tea). The 'I::mJy difference should bathat yon "actually" did. do one of them yesterday - Le., you brushed yOUT teeth" hut did not have a cup of tea (even though you eould have 'had tea).

lWlat is the difference?

F anlt:i}fY of .wme,thiug thstyo« clJuld have done .but did na do

Memory of something that Y0l!l did. yest,erday

E~I~ ,~?1U'~~,i~Y Strategy 'by COIllO:a.8iinga, .M,emnr.y 1iiI{ Something tbat Ill!. Hall'pen Yesterday witb. Something that Could Have HaJl'pen.ed H:.t Ui.d. Not.


Cb} nB~Wl'.min,e how yrml know the ruffetenc€: between what ;\I'lnU did and wb,a:.t you cauld .. have clone. but did not do, 'What you come up with first. willt}'IlieaI1y be the ID[Jst obrio:usreali 11;.1 check. You might have a. picture' of one and not of tbe othefr. AfieJr you make thepictu:re I },"l)']J may notice O'therthings abnut it. Check the submuililHty dlfi'e.llenees fO"fips:tRn~e •. Maybe nne is amOV]6 and. the o::tlile:r is a s;ti.ll pictUfe:.. Maytne one has more coloI:' 0'1" h; brig,b:ter tha~ the ether. To exp]iOre s11].cces,gi~vely deeper laye:rs, 0([' yourre.ality strategy. ta.k~ each rust:iIl.c:tioll that YI)IU ruscOive.rand apply it to the memory th,at 'did not' actually happen, That, iSiJ make fhE' ~eTh.'Sory q uelities of yOUf' representation of tb.e even:tthat did net happen IfiO're ~.~ m.o:re like the ene t}li,at did happen. HQw do you still know that one happened and. GThEl did nat? Keep making the One 't~Bt't ·,ru.n .nt.o1l.' ha,ppe:n mo:r~ and. more like the' one that 'did.' happen until y,©u a,etuaUy cannot tell the differeuoe.

Th'e fo]lowi~g isa list .1],[ !Some o.fthe W <lYS in€!ople know ,s:[lInIething "n:eaUy" happensd;

1) Timing - Vl.1hlBlt comes W whIrl first? Often W,B determine an e~erie::nce is ":n:!1llil'" beca usa it is tl:ie:lll"st asseciatioa we maka w.benaskedl to think of semethi ng,

2) InvDh)'emft.n~fJirUultiple RqJrnsen~ationa.l Sydems- i "'e. j tltJier@ are sights, saunds, fee~ings;. 1I;a6it.e~ and .sm:eUs, a.'] seeiated with 'the experienCie .. USlU'al1y. the more senses tha~ ru:'e inv,tDlved in a m!l!'mory. the mere "real" it .~H:lenlI!S.

3) 8ubmadaliUf!s- The sensory quality of aD. experience is ,~)i];:I,e ['J(f them.os'l:. eonsmonreall p';r 9tr~tegie5. If a mental image is esseciated, in t~!\iSe.c~>eaJl"'} Hfe' 8iz€:. etc~, it. :soomB, mme ~em.'"

4) Continuit:}' - Theft t of a pmticw8!F'memoiry" (~I;g "logical mow") wi:ththe melllory of otbm events


pl",ececiffing and foUlJtwing '&.he (IDe upon whicb we axe

~ . Tf" tm· d' 't "fit . " - -,·~t'o"r' "t1l,..·",· .. ,

i.CCllliSlng. .,Ie. B!Ome·. . .ng '. ,~esn .' .ILIL. Ul ·Wl.~U ... '..,U¢

m~:mori,e!!3. it i:slike].y t(!, s'ee.m.less "mal"

5) P'robability- iProbabillity is an evruwatiol11 of the. likelihooo. tba:t something eoul d occur based on. i.nfo:rma.t1'on that we have about fMtS,tb~:.bavi~'S. Sometimes we. perceive :8,omethJing M notibeil1lg' "real" be'C<lUSR it is -Wproba.hle' or urilikely to have oeeurred, give.nthe m-e~t of the imoI'I!J.atiot.l. that W",e have. ('This b egln!3 to ov,erla.fI' with Ci'1!1r belief m' ooI:lvinmr strategies.)

16) CQntext- The degree of deteil relating to the surroundings or b:a.ekg:r,Qu:nd of iS~;l'IiIle mem.ory Is another eua about now "real" it. is.. Oft~~ mermfaetcred ,e~eriHIJ.ces delete d.etMll'la:bout th.e lSurToUndi.]].gDtllTh;text beea u:S.e they are net eensidesed im.portant.

7) Cangrui!l'ucy - Tilu: degree some experience fits into our b.e]],ef.s I' to our perscaal ha.b]1tE .illIld values al!'l,o e!ffect8o.urp~rceptjknl of its ~~ity .. ~ We are less likely to pereerve the' me.mory of .\3iOme 1polSsib],e action we could have taken as "'''-€laP if it is not eangru,en't wi.tb. our beliefs a.bolll t Ol!lt.$ell.ViElS.

8) 'Met~' MelJt:w;ry - A person wm oR,en have a memory of having created er mafliipu.lated. the im.a,ginary experie.'Il.c@i..This,{meta' memory can be. a key part of ape,mon'B reality strtlltegy. Suell. 'mElta' memOO'Ypml:lelSses can be enhaneed by having people learn how tu ·m.ark.~ in teraal ,~erioo,cest.h3!t ha.vebee:n faTh:lricacted or man;ipula.tBd.; b:YPM tting 311 imaginary pictu:teframe around them, for instance.

9)A(!OO5sing Cldles- A keypad. (If iIliIaID.Y reality strat~gieisl. that j s often of poopllf!'"s eensei OUB:nesEl~ is the pbysiology ~s,i3[gciartedwith. memory.. 1i!fe:mOO"ies arei;YJPicalily ac()®mpanied by an eye mOVBmGJll t up and. to the left (~or right handed people), '!iN :hile' f~]:;jtasies, me aeeem-


SLElGmI" OF .Moum

panied b:y an. ,eye mOiv,ement up andto the right. \Vhile peop],El' are not n$'I.lmiy ,oon.15,ciollI51yawaI'€! of ' such subtle cues. theymayusethemuncom,ciQ1ilsl,yoo dist:inguish rS1a)]ity from fantasy.

(c)P':ick two things' that happened during your cbildhood ,ann dete,:rmme, how y,Oll know that they were:reaL You're g;oing to:f:ind that it is a bit ham.e:r to demrmin'8 e.xiaI'ctly what hl3tppellledback then, In PaIt I, yo:u toek something that ha.ppe.n!l!ldlless than .. 24 hrnl"rs <lgo~ and shillte~ YOUT perce:pt4on of' reality wi threspeette it. WIlen. yon DOn.,~jder SIllIle',tTh::lihg' 'tbl3it happened ~24 YI€(J;TS' agn, it's an even more, in teresting dedsioo. proeass, because your pietures m.ay net be as dear:,and.IDalypossibiy be distorted. In fa,Ct~ :roo:- diS!mntw~:mo,ries> sOIo,etimes pehople know the real. things th~a.tha~{ined because they ar.e actually fusaier th~n the experiences-they have mad€: u p,

(,ill) Think of tha.t did. not h<lppen i11. y'Our childhood. butif it hadweuld have made a. p owe:druly pg,sitivl!;! im.pact Orllyilll.l!W' life. Create all in te:r.iI1,alre'P're~ sentation. of tills ev,ent. Then make the slllbmoda]ities and. O'the:r q Ilalil!;~!es oft.rus .fantasy mateh t.he qlHalitiies thait yeuuse in your reaEity st-rategy~ How does this cha.nge y'lllB" ,eJtpe:ri,en.e,e OfYOlH'PEIlSt?

ill botb Part I and Pm U of' tlU!3, esereise, t:ry to get to a point where yOUI\Bally to thlnk. ahou twhlc'0. eX;!] erience wasreal. But be careful as you begin~o change tile (Jill alities M the expsrience 'Ilm,tyou. dlidIIl."t have. to be'rnp:re.'5iHn.tlE!d lit!!!' 1I;fle experieTl.oe, you didhave, The object; 01 th1i sBXierds e is na,t to eanfuse YOlllr reality stra:tegie:s., butfuo find cut what :reallity checks exist :fijI" you.. Re.m(!m.ber, Y©Ull:' goal is tQ 'elicit yO'm'

l"6,a'lIity straee;g}'", n,ot disnpt it. If theprecess atarts get'l:ing scm-y (whlilih il; sometime.s ~)J you may begin to h.ear BI. i5wishing scund, '0'1" ma.ybe you1l fee]_ yO'uni'Blf 15 p,iruling,. 10. such eases it is ar.pp.rep.riate, and ec..ologiml '1::0 stop for a. while,

Co:nfus:ion withres,p~ctto Otn;e~iS reality stra,tegy can lead to dee:p uncertainty .. Iafact, th.e iuab:iiHty ben distfun.g'Uii:sh im-~,ginatian from. "realitJl' is considered. one gfthe :5lymptoms of p,!ilycl:n.os~s a,nd othe~ seve,remental di sowers. Thu8, understanding, lew.-icmngand. stre:ngth~mjng O:lIle~s; own reality stral,begy can be an im~ orta:J1lt source of increa&mg one's mental heliilllith,

Th.e value of blowing your reality s1trab:g,Y ]13, that you can us ei t :£"orfutuxep'aciI.lg ll!e'W experiences. so that they B]XtE!n.d.y :seem. ''';real'' People like LeIH1!arC!.[1 da Vmcil Nico]a Thsl~ and Wolfg.ang Mozart were a Me toerea te fant.asiecS, in their' ]]JElSLds~, ,and 1 by w.eJlri:ngthe:m fit the cri'l:ieri.a. of thBir roolity stra1;e,gies, turn thosefan ta.s:J:es into .rsaHties" 'l'hey can. also b e uti'ed,to help peO:]l,ie devtelop a 5t:rOQ,~Sens,E! af their O'WI!l point ,(J,f view and b,eco:me clearer abo ut their OWIil. thoug:btlS and elXtleriences.

When. applied. t'O gen.eI'<~.liz,ati!ons and. belie:fsas ene of the Sleight of MouthpaUernst €!Xp,iorin,g:' reality strategies serves to help people dhunk. down to dis'coveJ" the (freq_ue:ntlyun~.~:m.seious) repre:senfuations and[ assumpticns upon. which they havli!!btrlJlt ap,art],eulLar hel[.ef orr gen.M',al:i.:za.ti.o:m., This them to eithe'.rl'lea.i:f:n:rm o.rq_uestio:n the validi tYOT the gen,enlization, belief OF judgment. jll help:spBople00 recognize tlilatt.b,ei:rooHef1l5 are. mdee.d."beHef.s,)j as opposed to gJ:"ea:lity. ~ Tills lean. ,autQ:m,atii.eally give peeple moreeheiee, and. Se;:r'VBlil as a type of "'.meta frame" around the ·belief. Th€i person becomes fr·e'€! to ask, "Is this rnruIy wbat I want to bel.ilBve,?J' "Is tms the only g!en,e:r;a lizatii,ijin thateaabe dnlW.n from those ropIi.'t9se.n t~tiofi~ and. ex.pBriei!lC{1's'?~ ".run I r,eaUy,s@ oortrun a:bonlt the ex.]) erie:nces from whiclI 1i;m:s; lmlieif]s dra wn 1]0 wa.nt. ito hDTI..d. CEI to this belief ,so strongly?"



Chunking Up to IdentifY and Utilize Hie'rarchies of Values: and Criteria

It is alsopessible tOI chunk up values and criteria .in.. order to' ~,d,entify deBper levels nfvaluas and eri teri a=Le., their hierarchy of criteria. Aperson"s Dr gI'Ol1pl'S hierarchy ,at' criieri« is essentially thaordar ef'prieritiea that they app1ly~n order to. decide how 1:.0 act in a particular situation. Hierarehies of values and criteria nd,ate to the degree of importance o;r Jmeaning which people attach to various actiens and experiences.

An ex,ample .of 8 ~e:ra.:rchy of Crite:ri.H' would. be H. perSiOll who values 'health "more than 'financiel success', B ueh a person WOi1!lld. 'tend to put his. OT her-health "first," Thi~ person W ould probably structure his Oil' her life more arnund physical activities than prefeasienal OPPOTtim:i:ties .. A person whose hierarchy of criteria placed "fina:ncial success" over health would have ,8 differ,ent life-style' .. He or she might sacrifice health and physical well-b~in.g in order to "g,et ahead" menetari]y;.

C1:arifying people~ hierarchies of val U.ElS isinu, portant for successful mediatinn I negotia lion and eommwri.,c.abion., Va]uesbierarclries ruBop~ayan important role in .PeI'SU asicn and motivation ..

One. of the main ways to dicit B person'a hierarchy of criteria is through the prceess of finding what areknown as "counter examples,' Counter examples are, in essence, 'e:KIOOptions to the rule'. The followiQg questions ns e the pmc:es:s of ::finding counter examples to reveal I3lpe:rsoll.·s hierarchy of eri fueria.:

1. What is something thut yon could, do, hut do not do?


e.g., '''I would not go into a toilet. that has been marked fO,f the opposite sex, beeause, it is aga~nst the rules," Criterion = 'Follow the Rules' ..

2. 'Vhat cenld make you do it anyway? (Counter example e.g., '1 would go into ,R toilet marked for the opposite sex if ther~ wer.e no other choi,ees, and I really had ta go badly." Higher Criterion = ~xpedie:ncy in. a 'Crisis' .

As the example ill ustrates, the' Identiflcation of counter exam ples oanhel p to uncover fhigher level' criteria which override ethers. Th get a. sensa Ofy01!lT own hierarehy criteria hy mr.ploring counter examples, answer the following queatious.

L What would .motivam you to t':I"Y something new?

2.Wba t w,o,U]d canse Y:Ollfuo stap d.oing ,s omathing, even. ifit sa:ti~fied yom' answerto question l'?' (Gounter example A)

3. What w,ouJd. make' ~rOtU start doing something (!;ga i 11 .. , even. if you stopped for the reasons you identified. in question 21' (Counter example ,8)

4. "\Vhat would cause you to stop doing it aguin? {Counter example C)

As you Nfleet on your an~wer,s notiee which criteria. have emerged, and in. what order af flriorl ty. Perha ps you. would. do sometbingthat you felt would he "creative," exciting" or "fun," TheBe would be' ymrr first Ievel of "criteria." You might stop dDing something that w8.S,cr.eativet exciting and. fun, if yon felt you. felt· fhat you \V',fn':j:l being "irresponsible" to your f~y (Ccn:mi:ler example At In this case, the eriterion of

.. ·b·u• ~.:." ld "d" "-~' "t··" "fu '0; v

resp ansI hIt, wou.· ~ overnc e crea,Wl Vl. y Or - 11:. IOU

mjghtl' howeve:rt do some.thing that YIOll thought was "irrespensible" anyway if you fe]t it wa.,s '''neoossary fOil' yOUJ" gro:wth as ,a, per,son" (C oun ter example B). "Growth" would. thnsbe higher on yom 'hierarchy Dr criteria" than "responsibility" or "fun." Going mare deeply~ YOll might find that you would quit doing s.omething tbat was "neeessary far yOW' growth as a person" if you believed. it would ''jeQ'Pardizle the


SMe:ty ofycm.r:se1:f Ot your family" (Counter example C)., "i1lafety» would l:J e higber on yom' ''1adder' of ,~riteJI1a than U:le otners.

Inciden.tally. another way to identify CO'lI1nter examples (and thll,liS hierarchies of criteria) ~,1I;o ask:

1. 'What wou Itlm!:)ltivHte }'O1!l to tl1' :!'lo.mething new? e .. g .• "If it sa:f;e and'''

2" What would motivate you. 1;0 try something' new, evenif itilid not did. WJt sa.tisfy yout' :1l1lSWm' to question l? [i.e., U it was ~wlt ,sEilfu and !I:'!<'llSyJ

e. g., "If I cou~.d. learn a ]:ot from it."

Hierarchies of eri teria are Qrne: of the main Si@'1,l]'lCe5 of diffe1'\efi£e',ople I' gr{lUpc$ and eultnres, S]m1lar hierarehies of criteria, en. the other h:and.~~re the basi is f{lir compa.tiJ.bili.ty DEltween grou p.s and indiviQuBls..Hier:<ITmiies of criteria, are a. kJey a,15']Joct O'f ti.onandmarketing. Ogn~idJeI'~ fut 'instanee, the foUowing bypothetiicalle%3illple o.f using tbe~e,siS, of :finiling eeunter-examples t,o identify a ,'shierMeby of ~n.tmia for purehaslng beer:

Q~m.B t ~ype o:f beer de you. usu any buy? k Well, I usually get.XY'Z beer:

Q: WhyXYZbeer?'

A: U'sthekind. of beer m always get. I'm justuiSed tal it I glU'!SS. (C.r.i,tenan 1 = Familiarity)

Q : Yes , iits important to be familiar ·with. what y'(Ju~re huying .1Sl1l~t it. Have you ever bought an.y (jther .kind. of beet? f1cknti!y oou,nter-e.r:()mple)

A: Sure. At Urnes.

Q:: 'What .madeyou d:eddieto buy it even thCJ(ugh you W61' used to iV? (EUcil higher It!:uel crite:rin.n ·related to coun te:r"~a,mple)


A It 'iN as OIll. sale. .Ii hie d;i$cOUD. t frem its us 111m price .. (CriteriQ~ 2 =8au~ Mo.noy)

Q: Saving' money can. .sul"<ehe:lIl',. I'm wondering~ have Ji'01I!leverh(lllgh~ BI. beer that you weI'en.~t used to buying thet wa su~t on saJe·'{ (Jde.ntify next c>t,)unt1l!rfY.WmtJlr! )

A 'ilea. Twas paying baek same mends; fm- helping me move into my D.ew house. (CritIRiI"lio~ :1 = 8.howApprli!cm· twn tQ Others)

Q: Go odftiendi!.s, can be hard. i;oQome,by; 1t;sgooo. to show them hew mneh you app:oocia:t~ them .. Is. the:reanJlfhin g tJha.t wiOW1dtmot~.vate you tabu)" a beer that WID> unfamiliar and wasn't inespensive even: though y<!u ,wdn-!t need t.opay S(DmBCUl:e back fo,r a f~y.oJl"? {Jdentify next cop:n:ter e."tampl'e; )

A: Well ,sure.~'ve bought more l~eDiSiv<e beers when I've h9'en lout wi tfll. the guys, at work. I'm no cheapskate .. (Criterion 4= Impnls8 (Jthfj"l"s1'

IQ.: Yes~ I gues,s thereare certain, si tuaticns where the kind of bes:I" you. buy ca.nmake a statemHnt about yUill:" priorities.lli'm.Ilealiy CuTI..OUlS toim{IW .if there's rulythm.g th.a:Jt mi,ght get you to bu.'Y BI. more ,e'Xpe£n::S1ve unfamilia.r bserif therre was DO ~:me you owed H. fruvor t[ll orthatyou wanfued to m<'1!.~e astatement to? a(bj~~t;ih ll£xl wr.tnteil'~xampi~e)

A:. I :51.1 ppese m mi gbt de it if Irea11yw<J.F.!. ted. to l'\ew:a:rd. myse.lI.f fbI' (i.o:mg S omethiog dH:l'icrut.. (Cnt,g,r.ion ,5= Appreci£.de: Self)

.A.&$umi ag that this, parson is rep1\@'Se.n.tative· ofa Larger popru,a t:i.o:n ef poiI;en tiel bee.~buyB)l:'s, the i:ruterviewe'r has, now unc(lI\l'lsred. ap:arUcu] ar hierarcby of eri teria tiklart may be a~lPemedto in. erder to sen an d mOl;'e e:~en8ive beer to people that nnght I1Il@t r::IormaHy p1l,llclb.a!3El it..


Tl:m!. prneass of eUdting m.erat'Cmes (If criteria. by identifying counter examples c~n ak'o help in the process of efti'ective pers nasion, lBy gE!ttiDgpe:op],e:ooa:n~~ thesetypQ:s, of q litElstions yo'u can help them tebreakeut @tthelI" babitual ways ·oftllhlnkilng and. can leern about the oxderi&g' of their values,

This .inrormation. ean then he u sedto get armmdbeuadaries that a,I'\B often take.n.fu:r gr llllibed •. A.s HIl ell;amp~,e, tMs method of questioning was once taught to agroup ('llif men wbo were :shy a:tUJllt moot:iE.g women be~-Hnseth.ey rudn't think. they had. .anything to offm:a woman. Th~ were instlrlUcbed to gOl]ut andin.tern.ew women and leam. to identify values in women that could help them reaIlze t1hat they bad. mere choices socially. The foUow.m.g·.is alI. example o:f {DOle sltlchinl.lemew;

~Ian.: What l:dn.d ofma.nwonld. yon most like to go aut with?

Womatl!l: Somoo'llBwho is. atnd. ~~dz;mn.B,m:l,'tl!lTa11y~

M: Have YlJU ever gone out with someone who wasn't pmiculady rich 01' handsome'?

W: Yes. There was furus guy I knew w hOI w:as Tea}]y witty.

H~ could. .make ms la.ugh about p:ra.rl:icaliy any,tillling.

M: Are the o:llly peoplLe you go Oint with. :rich and hBna!siome orw::i.tty, 0.1' do Y.OU ,ever OO'DliEhider goin~ 01&.t with oth:er kind.s ofpeopli,e?

W ~ WeU sure, I wen.t out wi Jtb. this penon who so infuemg:en:t. He seemoo. to know something ah out eve:ry~ ~hiRg.

M~Wh8.t would. male 'yolil consider going 'out With SQmeone who w.asu'trith, hani:l.l!HJffie or witty, and. wbo didn"t Hartic1ill~ly imp([·ess you witl'll their intelligence?


W; Th.ere was this; CIne guy I really Iiked who didm't have any ef these things but he juat lS:eemedbol know whe!te .n.e wasgom~ inlliiffe and had th€, to get there.

M; Have you ,ever gone out with anyone who didn~t have

mODelY, good [(I'oks~wi:t~ int.,e][ig,enlCe er dlete:nmnatJiom?'

W: No, Not Ultat 1 can. reme:mbe:r~

M: Can ygu think ofanythiu,g that WQuld. motiivate yon?

\V':: Well ~ i:'fthey cHd!qg or were Involved in !;lOffl)ethingtha.t WM unique er e;xd:tir(g n:"i be in~e:m'esrlt!@;cl.

M: .Anytmng else?

W: H they many cared. about ma and ll.elped me to get in touch wi th myself ,8iIS B. pefS'~:H:!. OT brought out something sp€eial ab®u,t me.

~M: How wom.d you know if someone reaUy cared about you? ..

This dialog'll@ d~moiflstl'aM':; how soms s:impI!e ql!lss:t]I[iru;. may be used. to get from surfaeelevelbeliefste deeper 'beliefs and. values: that ~l!I.bnJl!JLde:n1 a PeTSOI'l'El and! flet.'cibili ty.

RecogMzingtDii:It p eop[€l h.a:ViB dllferenteri teria (and cl!iffeI'en1thiera:rehles of cri teria) is essenmal forresolving ccnflicts andmJ!LD.agin.~r di vm.s,i.ty~ Some individuals and c1!lltU:il"e~ VMU:l,~ the 'a.cruevemoot of tasb' m.ore than the'y do. the 'preservatkm orrelationsmps·. OthEl['B have e·xactly thereveras .Ei'e;t Gfp,riorities.

Hierarchy ef Criteri.a .lis ,3.. key Sileiglt,t of Mouthpatte:rn that mvalvesfE7e'va]1Iicatil1g (01' re.illlfan::i'ng) a. g!enera[i,za:tio:n a.ccwding to ,<1 eri terio:n th~:tt is morE! impfirl-aut than the crU,eria that are cu:n::rootlybemg .;u:1il!resseOi by tilii.e gel'u:!,rrui2:3.ti(!lu.

Th.e :follo'!i'iing teehrdque :i~ a prClood1ll'etn'alt applies this palt.em~1I) oruet' to id~tify aud overrid.e (lonflitlts related to dii:fferent levels m critlena"


H• ,_1-" f'C' +,1:. '. l1l...Jmj"'

l!er;aruuy 0 ' ... ·n.l!!ena, '':;C.'· . que

Criwria at different levels o:f eae's "hleran::hy of criteria" oftl5'n bounea back: andfortTI. between "self" a1ld."others~" and meve s ruJ.ccessiVtely closer to tOOTl!, values by shifting to deeper 'levels' of exp~r.i.e:nce- That i!1O, hehaviora.llevB] cri.beri'a. (e.g.~ "to de Of a,cme\re samething fOI' oth~l'sn) are ofil!'1u Qve'l:ridde:n by those rslated to cap:abilitites (e.g., <ito learn something For myself'). Criteria ,!ltthe ~e'vel t(lf CB)p:ability are (lVterridden by those at the [el'e~ (jf1}aliefg and. values {e.g.~"tO be lr\esp~nsib~~ to othenl,J:i o:r"flJ,[low the rules"), Beliefs and values. however, will be to\1"lemd,den by criteria a,t the level ofidem.tity (e.g-1 "to hea certam type of pe:rsnn/' 01' ~w maintamperaonal ].mteg'~

·'h.") I1I"!j' •

Di'ffieren t [levels of c:ri.beria are also o:ft.ena:SlSod,u t.ed[ with pa~rticular representatianal systemi'l! O~ submodality ,qualities . 8siIS!ociated wi ththelr ~criterial equivaThences,~' Kn~t .. vingaoout thesedilferen t asp eds nfClrite:na. can help yon to ~pa.ce mnd lead' or 'leverage' VariOUB ]tevels of criteria in order to. overcome conflicts and achieve desired outeomes mere effectively. In the foUowi~g pTOoed.UI'e., spa:tiaiso~ting and the coun ter ex:ample ~-oce,s.'El, O1lIre used to id.entify dlifiiereJllt level;s of criteria", end their repmse]lta.tiona~ teharachtri'stics~, in order to help tr a!llafl:;!'nnmne:f'fe~ista:J:!ee to testabli s'hing a new pattern of hehavio!r.

Beforebeginning; lay Qut !£hur ,a)ifferent](n;c-atio'I1B. s,i:de~hys[de~as shown in. the foUowiug mawam.

I ~"'2] I Loc"i •• l 1

Loca:tioJil .3


1. In .. Loe,afui()t.ll. #lffid@nti£y' abeharvioll; that you want to do, btl t stop ycmrseU" .from doing.

e .. g. ,EXiEfcising 'OOlilil'3isOO:ntlJ1:,

2. St,ep m.!to locatioO.#:2 and identify th'e crit-eriathat motivate you to want thlil new behavier;

e.g., I want t() eXlm::ise in order to "be health:y" a.nd «look .11tJfJd,. ..

mderrw:y tha sens'~lr:lf representation or 'eriterial equivllLIenee' u sed to determine the eril;eri,3.

e.g.JI"1:n i"Ul:~e Df mys<.rzlf in the fu.ture bieing he:ritlthy and looking !goad

3. MQrv,e to Locatio]]!. #.3tand. telicit the criteria that stop you from actu.a:liy d.oing the desiI'<ed.behaviur ..

(NOTE: These will b911Ulber .b1:ve.l. criteria. because, by defiIriti.on., tihey ovenidethe ,crite:ria. fur motivatiOI!l") e.g.~ J dQ ntli!: e::lIie.IT1~~ cCJ'lls[stently bffca;u:se there. is "no

ti:.e"" Q.:ud' ~i.:' hurls'. ~

Identify th.e sensory represeetation 'Or 'eriterial equivaleJIIcEl;' use~ t'l:l determine the eriteria,

e..g .• 1"1 feeling af stress .g,nd tension t[l;s50cin.ted with hav" ing oo'fime ,and' .being SOre

ilL Step 1i.L'J' location #5 and. elicit B.hlghew level criterio:nthat Qivell"l"i<tosthe l!:i.mnting c:rlteriia of ~t:ep 3. For ex~ mI!lJlle" you could a"S:k:, "What .is something fhaJ is imporr tcmt' emJltgh, ~that 1 cn:l:l. talwllYIi ~l.i!1ke Ume fDr it ami. mauJd do it ~'ven lfit .hurls?' WhtiJ iualue does that .Si(J,~isrY tka.t mgkes it m;auimporta n:t?'''

"9 '1.. "I"". t .c. "1"

e.g"~ :.espo.D8.I\If!I\Z"bj' 0 my ~,£tRU,t.r.

lde:ntifythe seaaory representstian Qif 'eriteri al 'eq)1!llVa~euoo' UJled. to d.etermine tm:striierlon.

e.g., 1 lIJisnali2e my fam ily It'JO.k;ing safe rUl,a ,happy, f~el good (Xoorti U, a~il.d tell m.YIJrJf how i.mportu-n,t tilu tis.




I .Locatil:m 2 CapabUity




8eJI.(I1iiCJ' )''0,[,1 \~ilI11 ~!# ate ~rll dr.l.i~g

HigheSi .fe'o\e.l criieri~ let alff!Iriik9 Um'i~i~ criteria'

M~ri~'1iIli.r:lg erituiu_ for rhe be"h1]~i(}r


5 .. You are [lOW 09'etu p to use the fol]owing s£lq1l.leI!lCe nf teclhniq lile~,:

,3., Le:ve:rr,agiog-Keepi:ng in mind your hi~hest level criterion. gi(lback:~o, ~ocat.ion #: 1 i lI:a'~,assiI)!g lneabions #2 and #3. App~.y tlillemghest lev,!:!,. cntterio:n to tnl:l desired behavior in order to ovemdethe limii.ting o~j eetioIit~. ForE!xamp~e1 y,nu ,tau 83;Yt .. Sinc.e my !:renav· igr is a model for ,my family, wfJ'uldn't I be sltowing uwre responsib.ility by fi' t l~~ ti mg tn .kEep he.ali Ii;; and .look my b.est?"

b. Utillzin.I:' the ~crl;teri3Ll !equiv,all.em.ce'l of' flil!1i:l bigheis't criterio'D- StOlP to and the quaHtres of th.emtm'!l!Ialre:pn:!sefl.l:.a.tio.i!l o:f rJ!;]ae criteria QlSlsociatoo. with th.e desired b ab.a'\fior' so t.hat lh,ity


:matek. the 'cri.'be' Bquival,ence' Y01!l. usa to y~i~n"bighes.t level c:ri terion,

~.g"J Vi:!iu;ali,-~E YfJirlrSBt{ being healthy alz-d loo,kiug gfJ'mj, se,g' yo~.f' fa.mily liooking safe and kap'fJI~bfeel good about ,i-ll and tf!UyrnJ.1·self how impor~nnt ~hat is ..

e .Pacin,gthe Umit:ingcrite::ria.- Btep from location #2. :into 1oeation.#.3: and. e~lore optiOr.l,s, that win aUDW you btl ,acihievethe dleBinl!d behltVJi!Or~ tha 1[; win match the cri:teria. 0,11 all three ]eve]s and d..otesntt violate the limiting eriteria, For exrunp[IB. ~ls'~here 80m'!!? k.~n,d @f c:ans,i8te:nt ,!:l'.re:r,cwe pr{)g.ram thD~ doesn~' inke much time.wrn:.ddnt be painful and in whichl could in.~'lve my family? "

Chapter 5

Beliefs and Expectations


In additi.en. to values and criteria, one of the .most funda ~ mentalwa:ys that we frame ourexpmi€lnc.e an,d. give ;it, meaning is thl'l~rUg,n. OlU~' beliefs. BeMefs ara one ef the key components crf our 'deep strueture', They shape and create the ~iSurl'ace :structlH'f!S' fif [luI' 'fhO'ughts. w®ros and aetieas inm,any WHYS. H.elief:s ,determine hpw events Me giv'~m m.eaning ,and are at the (lore of meti V'atioll andcul:ture. o U1" beliefos, and. values provi,de the' reinfoil"ctm1iIElIll:t (moti vatio'l'l an.dp€~ ission) that 6l,]PPorlls, 'I;J'W irill:ribits jpart;ic1J!.iar catflabilities Bnd. ben<1ltviors..JBe]iefsami valuasrela te to the tian, nWhylu

Beliefs are essen tially jU~gn;I,enU3and evaluatiens about Olll",S elv,e~1 others .and the' w~lda:t(]'W1d 11S,. I~ HLP. belii efs 3r8c®ns:id.ered. to be closely .heM! generali:zail:ioos a b(Jtu~ 1) eausation, 2) meaning and 3)rbQ1llld, in: (a) tll.e w'Qdd M'OULIld. 11S, (bl) our beha.v1.or, {,e)1 :01.M" cap, and {d.} (J ill' ideIltiti,es. The 'Statements. "The shifting (If coatinental p]at~s causes ernll.qu.akie5," and. "G,!rH:l'S'INT<:itth~U'lHiB:S eru:thquakes,flfor msbmCle~ would. reflect diffe:r,ent 'beUefs about eause m.the world. areund us. Statemel'lts such as; "Pellen CB,USeiS allergies," '''It lJ:i unethieel to cOiwxeeal infow:m.atioJl!.'~ "'[1:; is notp o,s,slole fiOr a 00 run. a mile in less 't.han foUl' minutes,' "I win nev,er be s:u.~ee8sfulbe:ca.l!lse I am. a. S\[{IW leamer,'.! and ".Behln.d ,ev,ery behaviee is a. p esitive in tentiolfi." a n represent be:liefs of one ftrrm or another;

Beliefs :fUl'u::tiOtl at a dliFer€!:l!lt leve1 than behavierand percHij;ltiQ]l and influence our experience and. inte;rpT\etati~n. of ~eality by COfiIllec'tmg aur' exp.e:ri.e:mLce.Si to OtJ1l' ccit{!.ria. or value I!iYStems. 110 meaning, fl)I'e~ampie.val DeS must be eenneeted to experiences 'twQugh beliefs. Be.liefs COml.ect valuefil 'to the environment ,beh aviur'sj th~u,gh W all. a. re~).resen lations, or to OIthe:r behefs:and. values. B I;die:fs de'fiine the lIelatl.oIIl.ship between valuesand their causes, ~criteE:ia~


(lqnivoUences' ~ ruId cO'nEiequences (tills mil 'ge ,{!!J'vered in mClre deptb in Chapter 6). A tji']]iical belief statement links a partieular value to Some Dth er part of OUIJr exp~ien"e.. The be]ii,ef s.ta:tewerrut, <lSueel€!ss .reqmre's hard work." for in stance. links the val UJ@ "Sllu::oe:ss;P t~ a class oj' ~ctivity (''hru''d wo.:rk''''). The Elta:temen't, "Success, is mrunllya ma.tooroI luck,' eanneets the same value to a diffeM'@:Ilt class, of activity (qluck"). Depending 1I1·PIMl wlti.ehbelie.f a parson ha.d, be nr shewO'rud adopt fl. differen t o1.I.{lprQRcb to .a.1i;1i;empting to reaeh sucees 8. FlIlr1l;ber:m:cre. the way in. which a situ a tion. :activity. 'Oil: idea fits: (~ doecs·llol; fit) with. the ibelii.efs and.1/,aluB systems af ain .im:uiivid.ual or gr-oup '\<ViI] dstemnne how it will be 1l:'i€!ceived. ann ineerpeeated,

Neurologically; beHe'f'!; are asso eiated with 'the Iimbie sysoom and nyp0 thal;sJm us in the .m1dhit,aill. The Ilmbi'e system has been R~rumdl Eohoth emetiea and long-term. mem.ory~ WillIe the limbic system is on Olore "-primitiv:e" strueture than the corte,x of tbe beain in m<.'Wy way.s't it :8ierves to integrate in'fO!rmationttID:mtihe corlle:x: audlto regula~e the a,wgnomie nervous system (whieh :\iiontr(lls b\Bl.s.],C' 1body i1J1Dctions such M he,arfi; irate, body temperature, pupil dila'l;ioll!,. etc.l.8ecaus~ the, are produeed by deeper structures of fhebrai n, be~iefE, produoe. cl:l~gel5 m the fundamental phys.ffiologlcal funetinas in the body and are re:spons1ble .for I1iltmy of our uneonscious reepeasas. In fact. en e of the w,ays tha.t: we knO\V that WE:'!: rn8illy believE!s;ome,fi;mIILg is because it t:rigg13rs phys.iolo,IDca[ j['eactiuns~it makes oUl'''hea1't: pOilmd)" OUlf "blood ,boil.'" or OUI' ".skin: till gl e" (aU 'efiiects that-we ca:t:ilill1tlt t;ypi!~a]ly p:l'l)duoo consciou:dy). This is how a.polygra:pb devioe [s atblB to detect wb:!'lher 'o'r 110~ a person. is '1ying. "People show a dl:i1Fel'ent physi,t.tll reaetien when. th~\y lbelieve wba.t they Me saying tha;!1 when they are~j ust saying" it as a behavior Gii~e a;~ a.cwr might recite a noel', or when they are being untruthful 0Jr mc(mgr:uent.

It is, the intimate eonnecaon. between beliefs and. deeper physiolog[~aJ!funcl::io]].s th!':1!t also creates Al.he posiSihili.ty fur


them. to have sneha piilWHrful. influence intne area ell'[ health and. healing (.a.s in. the case of thB p],acebo ,effe'C't). Beliefs tend. to have a se]f:.o\rgarnzin.g (;l.r "'self~fulfilli]lt1f' ,effect on OUI" beh13/.vl.or at maay levels, mcusing a:ttel!1 tion in on.e: area. and filooring it out of G'tOOI's. A person who deeply beheves he or s.he ha,s. an ineurable ililnesiS win begin to orgamz;ems 0][' her life and. actions around that b eli ef; malut:lg many su btle and QRenURculL\sc:U@u;s deeisioas wmchre['1)ecttha t~e]ief. A persen wbo de.e:!p1y believes that his or her Illnesswill he elll"ed will m.ake quite Wffeore;n,t dec:Lsinns. And.b eeausa @xpect:a tion~ge:!El.elrated. by eur beliefs ,effect (l,m deeper nsum.logy, they ean alaeprodnee dronnatit: pbysiological effects .. This ~, i1111l.str.atedby the example of the .woman wh()adap:bed a baby~ atll.dl bacaus e sfu.~ be:li£:ved that "':motbe:rs" W9.l"E! suppOiEH:H::l te provide milk [@r 1t.helrbahl.eiS~ 3!ctuaUy began to lactate 8llld produced enough milk to bn~:3Bt feed her a.dlOpted child!


ThePower of BeUefs

Belief.s, are ,a, powerfu.] inilu!a!nce 'on our li ves .. 'Hley we' also nooo'rio\i1s1y difficult to cb.ange~hfOtugh typical rules of [og].c DI'I'atiO:] 19.9. There is an old. s t.ory~ l'e1la teGi. by Abmbam Maslow) about ! tient who was be:inigb"~abJd 11.y a.p's:yrihiatrist. Thepai;i@nt w,a,uh:in'~t eat or lake care of hlmBetf~ !Claiming tha:t he was a (l[u:pse. The pcsY'rim.rntrist sp.eut many hours ,argllling with th.8 pa.ti.ent tryin,g to convineehim he w,aSlJJ~a cmjpse .. Finally the p.-;;y,clriatrist M]ke;d thepHtillnl if enrpses bled, ThepaUen:t Jtep].i,ed~"Of eourss co'rpses d.o.n~tbleedlall of their bntlyfulJetious have stoplped. ~ The p:sycrua.trist then. co'uvinoed tbo !patient to tr,y an. experiment. The psycma:trist would carefully ~)rick tnepatient with a piillland they WUlldd see iI.he started. to bl,eed .. Thapa tient aJg)'leerl. Mte:raIlj he was. a eorpse. The psy\ gan Uy pricked the ilatli'~n:es skillowitlh a needle and, sure enough, he begaIlJ;tob],eed.Witlli. 3. look of shaekand amazemen t the patiu t gasped~ "I'll be' darned. ,.CQ'r~S D'G' bleed!'"

It is eommen wi.sdom.lh-at if someOnE!' really believes he call do ,8!ome:thing hewill do i:t~ and .if he belieYEiS !io.m.etrung is impossl1.ble .no amou:nt of 'effort 'WiU eenvinee him. tna;t it can be 8iiI;iCom.plished.. "What is!. .is that many sick p eopllElj such as thof;;em th eaneer or heart disease, will. often present deeters and mends wi th the same belief menHODed in the story above. Beliefsl lIl.k!e ''''It's too la:te ".0:00';," "'Them'S~f"ithiNg I ron dtJ an.y,wu:y/'~Pm a v.;ictim ... My n~mber call1iW' ~p;" can oRen Hmllittb;!,full J1es~nuces ofth.e patient. Our beliefs ab0111 t ourselves and.w hat is pO&sible 1n the wnw-M .. around lHigr·eaUy i:I'IiLpaJet (lur da:y~oo~da.y e:ffectJ."I,l'ooess . .All of us .haveb eliefs that S.E!nre as re!1!Glll"OOS as wen as beliefs that limit us.

The po'W,er of beliefs, WillE>' demoO.ri.ltTated in an eTD.l~ghteT1in.g .study in w bleb a group of children who were tested b) have average :lrl'i;eUig,en.c£l was cliivld.ed at random into two (HIUal gI.loup:s. One oftha was arss:ignedl:!o;it teaeher who was


told that the clrildren. were "gifted." The otbergronp was given tOt a teacher who was told that the children Wlll"El "'slow lelttDeI"s,'J' A yearr latar the two gmups wereretest.ed far in~eUigenoo. Nat surprisingl.yj the mal ority of the group that WaJ!S arbitrarily id.en.tifiedl as ~giRej(r" 8co,red. rughel" tha.n they had p,revioUisly, while tha ma] I)rity efthe grou p that was 'labeled "slew" seered lower! The teacher's beliefs about tbe students effected hedr a.bi1lity to Iearn,

In another' study, 100 cancer "sul'vivol's," (patients who, had reversed their symptoms fol' ov,er 10 years, were iutervi'Bwed about what they bad done to achieve success. The intarviaws showed. that .no one treatment method stood out a'S being more efi'0.ctive tban any o:t.hf!I'. Some .bad taken the standard medical ueatInent of' e:b@Mo,theraJlY a.ndlo-r radiation, seme had. used. a. nutritional approach, olbers had followed a spiritual path, while etherseancentrated on. a psychQlogica.1 approach and some: did nothing at all. The only thing that was. eharaeteriseie of the entire group was that they aU believed that the approach they 'took would work,

Mother good example of the P~'eI" of beliefs 'bQ both :lllnit us and empow,er us is that of tne "foUl' minute mile' .. Before May 6! 1'954. it was believed tha.t fbur minutes was an unbreakable barrier to 1i:;n,e speed with wmdl a human being could run a mille .. In the nine "ears prior to the histcrie day in which R(l:g)~r Bannister broke the four minute ceiling, no runners llad even come elllS:e. Within six weeks after Bannister's feat. the Australian runner .Jobn Lundy lo'W',ared the f\ecaril by another second. Within 'the .next nine yeazs nearlliy two hundred people had broken the once seemingly imp enetr:able harrier.

Certainly, these esamples seem to, demonstrate that om b@]ief.s can sba:pe~ le:ffed 0"1' o.VIOn. detemrine mrr degrae of inteUigtmce, health. relationships, cre-ati.vt.ty, even OUT' degree of happiness and. personal auecess. Yetj if Indeed OM beliefs are such a powerful force. in our lives, ho,w do we get control oft.:hem so they don't control us? Many of (lUI" beliefs were


installed in us when we wer,e childr'en by parents, teachers, secial upbringing and the media. before we were aware of their impact or able to heve .a choice about them. Is it pOSisihle to restrueture, unI~BD1 or change old beliefs that ma.y be limiting UB and. imprint new ones that can ell;pand ourpotential beyond what W,e currently imagine?' If so, hew de ws do]!;?

Neuro-LinguisticProgrammmg- and the Sleight of Mouth pa.tterns offer some powerful new tools with whieh we ean reframe and trans~orm potentially limiting beliefs.


I"' .. , 'B 6~

. ..llmItlng ,e '. e:£s

The three most ,oommO:fi areas of lnni~n,g beliefs center arOllln~.]£Stles oifhopele.!NlineJJS, helplessn.ess and wDrlhles:;~ ne,S's. The'S e WEE! areas or belief can, exert a ~ailt deal of mtlueQClEl with. Nspe>ct to aper15lJln's mental an d.pbys]!tN health.

1. Hopele~sness: Belief ~ha.t the CI!es:ired. goal is achievable regardless of Y{jtn' capabftTIlties,.

2. H0nplessness: Beli.ef that 'the de.:s;medgo:al is possible bu t tha,t yo<u _e net c-a.p,abl.e of a.cln€lving it.

3 .Worthl.essoess:Belief you. do Ol),t de&enr,e. the desired. go'aJ. because of sometbillg you 8J:ro OT ha,ve (not) done.

Hop el,essoesPli eeeurs when. someone do es net believe a. particular d.esiredgoal is even possible. It is eharaetarised by a. sensethat, ({No mat,t~r w}l,(Jt I dO! it. won'tma:lre lI!l difference. What J w6Int is not l/J'ossible. to g,et. l~'s out ,[){ ~i\ly wntrM . .l'm a

vict~m. 'n, .

Hrelpl.esSiD.ess occurs w henl 'Wren though he or she belirev,es thatthe outcome esists and is posl3ib]e tl:], a.c.meve, ap ersen does not believe that he !liT she is capable of :atb.imng' it. It pmduces a.S:e:n.Sie that, ":l~~s po'S,s',iblefor ol'.Mrs to ( this grxd bu~ oo~ tvr me. I'm notg.(]odll.:mJ,rtgh or ,capable enough to accomplish it. P

Worthlessness, occurs. when, even though a. pel's onma,y believe thB;1!;t'n.e desired. goal is possible and thet he or she even has the ca:pabiJity toacoomp~isb it, that individual beli!e:v'es llijjJ[t be or she doei8ll!.'t desel'v@oo get what he/sibe WRIllits. It is often eharaeteri ~ed by a sens:e'tlJigl!;. "1 am ,n fa1re" I dorn~ h~~on.g .. I don't deSEnlf! to be ooppy or healthy. There is s01'l.'W.thing I,aoSkaUy (md fund;amertudty W rfl1W , lI'll.~ .as a


perSOrn. and Ideseroe. the' pain and 5uf{i1r,i'ng 'hid 1 am np,g.rienei~g, "

Tb be. succf:ssfrnl,E' ~ople need to s'mft thesa type'S of limitwg beliefs to be],ief~ Th1l,vnl vlog bope !EQI' the fUtul'e, a. sen"~ of c,apability and responsibility, a~.d 9. sensei of self':"worth and b.eloDgiElg.

Obviously, the mest pen':l:sive Delil:@fs are tb.osere,garoing 'O.iIll" ~den tity. Same ,exampleiS of limi ting bli~iefs about identity a1"18: "!.Q m he.lple:ss Iwnrthl~ss 10: mctiln.." "I dOll ~ desero,fj' ,tQ SrUCGeea .. ~ ffIf 1 gel whr:J.t 1 wan' 1 will ,lose s()met.hi~g~ ~ Of[ dml~' iaueperm.iss:ion. t~ s.rtccem."

.Limiting beliefs ,EHlmeti~leiS operate like a. "t!l'ltought virus" with a ,diestru.c.tiv€ ,capahilltY!5imilar to! that of a cemputer virus Ol" b[o].ogical vims. A~t:llQught virus' IS a. UIllitmg belief toot canbeeeme a (self..;.fulfIll.m.g p:n)'Ph,~s:y' and. interfere with one~s leff~, and ability to heal or impr.orv:e.. (The structure and. ini1J1!100.:oe, of thmllgb:tviruses are ccvered in more depth m Chapter '8.) 'Thought viruses eontain unspo.ken a.;ssUl!:mption~ imdpr,esUiP'PQsit.iofls. which. ma.kethero. difficult to identify and. ct'laUeIllg!e. Fr,equenUy, fuihe most influential beliefs Me Mten out of our awareness.

Umitill:ng 'beliefs a;.ndl thought viruses ofte:n as searain,gly il'lkSttt.:mCI1!J.Dta'b[re~iimpa;sS'esH to the proooss of change. At 811.c'ful .. an. i!mpalS,filie, a jpersonwill ID'ee.[, "rV9' tti.ed ,e,V1erythlng to change thil.s and. uotl'fuIg WOOf ks."· Dealing efi'e,etiv'€lly with. .impa:s.s,gs .involves :finrung the limiting belief t.b at, is. at their' ears, and halding them. inp,

Transforming; Beliefs

ilJ1tima.tely,. we tl"'a-llSfornl limiting beliefB and become'im~ mumzed'l!;o, tthO'n,ght virus EliS' by expMuling and lel'lri.cbing (}I!ll:' ][[[Q(J!els cf the wo:ddt and becoming d.eal'm."ab'Out OUI' Identities and .mls,sJ.ons.liimiitil'lg beliefs, for iastance; are o:f'ben dev'elo,ped lin OM"dN te fulfill a pesitive P1l.lrp'l)SEl:. sueh as,, ,estill}lisillng bo'und.arie9~ feeB ng a sense ef per-

S.LE1.GBI" OF lMo,1I.T'l'll

s,oo,aIpow>er. etc, By aIClmGwledgiug tHese deeper intenti!GJ;.I£, and. upda.ting Olll' men tail mnpsbo Inelude other, more effec:'i;;ivle way,s tD f;ulnll those intentiQ[ls.belillefs can Otfte.[1 be chHn;ged with Si minimum aIllO'UIDI t of effurian.dpa]n.

Manylimiti:lJlg beliefs ariseas ;)I .. result of Ul'.!.anEiw,ered. 'howl cqjuestions. That is I if a person daes not; knmv lww to change his Gii!" her bebavio:r,it is ~a:sy .for-t.he p~r'son to build the b elieif. j.CTha.t c:a.n ~t be changecli." If ap ersoa does not kn.ow bow to aiccomplish a particular task, theper .. sonm ay dev,e~op the' beli.efJ "I am.inm1.pable of sruccessfully mmp~~elillJtg that task." Thus. it is eften also impertan t\topl'mride the mliSWeT,S fora . a l!llllilber of "':hO\~ bo'" q uestj:ons in OT\der tehel p a. pers on transform lim1 ting beUofs.. F.or'e%ample~ In order to address a beli.ef' i91ll!.chas~ "U is dangercu is to show my emntiens," wernilJ;st answer' 1trn.e question, "How do [sh~)iwmy emotions and. still stay sa£'e';iI:!

Limiting Be.U~ Moy be Trilnm'Ormed ~r lJpdatllild by Id8:uti(ying tb.eF'~iSii.ti:ve Imten.t:i.oD's mnd Pl'esn:pp fIIsiJ.tciuHS wmiC:b. Umded:ii.c the B:el[e:f :lm.d Pmriding' Alwl'Dative8 .ap.1i New Arulwe~ to ~J)w QIl.estiJolls.


Beliefs, both em.~fi'YtiTering Umiting, Me often built in. m-elat;[JC)·J]l 'to feedbacek ancl.reinfbrceme:nt from signific:a.nt others. OW" sense ,of identity and.miss:iOOl.fur~mt03!D.a~, is 'usually definiEld in. r~,ati()n tal si gWfic an t ~et'S, IOI'''men~on ,'iJ who senre as ir'.efere!!loe ,£lints fer the larger syste:mJ3. 0'[ which we ]lereciv'e, olllm~I'Ves, as membeI"iS. Because identity and mission form the lS'fgel" framework wmeG. SUffOl!1n.os QUI' beliefs and va11!1esr~e'Stablis.Wng (If shlJl:']a,tio:nshl·fJS ca,n e.xe:n a .streng iooue:mUbB. OR belief's., el a:ri::fying or alt:eringke'YrelBl't;io;nshipiS, and mess ages reoeivled) intbe oon:beext OfthOS€1 .re~~;]At;:ion,sbips. often :8{1on.ta]j[e~ Oll.sly fia.eili t a t~1S changes in.beliefB. Establishing new r,elatJiQiD&ruPSl!S often animporitant pm otC promotJI",g Iasting bel~,ef' change, ers,:peeiaUy mla:.tio.lIlships which prov]]d.e ~10si!;jve snppDrl a.tthe Ievel o:f~dellltit,y. (This is nna oftheprin:ciples: at the base (I( the NlP bellef man,getechni,qu.e of RBUn];!lrintingJ

In summary, Iirni ting beliefs ean be updated and transfarmed by:;

• mdeilltifying an.~.ac1rnow]edging the unded.ylng' pos.U;ive in'[,enticn.

Iii! Id:en.ti:fyimg any UIltSpO~en orlIDoonsci£ms presuppesitions 01" assumptiens a.t.the bas e of th,eb~lifil:f.

.. • Wide~~n.g tb.~p.el'cepti(}n ,of'th.e Gauslo ... e'ffeet !Chains lor 'complex le;qm¥alerlOeg~ relatedtotbe be]i.ef.

,. Prov:i.ding 'hl)/W' to' iiJr£orm.atJion with. respectbo alternafive,8,f'OT fulfilling the positivI!;) iatenticn or purpese, .or themmting Th:u:~Hlef.

., Clarifying or U1pdaling' k@y relati:onshipB: which ,shape' ;sense ofmis:Slltllll and plU'PQse~ an(l[te~ivirl1g positive support a:t an identity le.vel.



Beliefs, both empcwering' and. lim~tiGig. are relatadto Our' erpectations. .Erp.ecto. tion meruIS "to Ieck forw ard te" som,€! event OT outcome. Accol"diJ:lJg to Webster's dictionary, it "'bnpllesa high ,degree of cert.ainty 1.0 the polnt of making preparations or anticipn:ting certain things. actions DiIr feelings." Expectations influence OUl" behavior in ,different ways. d,epending O'D where they are directed, Sjgmund Freud (H3H3) pointed out:

There fM"itl' eerta.i'n, r·d~q.'$ whid~ h:auea.n a.ffect of ,expedon~' attm:ked to them: They ,are of twn kinds; ideas of my ~his Or thrlt-'wh·at UI,~ cal.l intention:s---and ideas of this or that happening to me-expectations proper. The affect attaciU!d, to them. is dependent on two fa€;tol's, firs~ Dn the. degree of importance which the outcome has for me, and secondly on tM.' degree of uncertainty inherent in the expeetation. of the

P'eople'sbeliefs and expect-atinns abeut outcomes and their own personal capabilitiea play an important role in their ,ability to achieve, deemed states. Freud's distinction between "intentions" and "expectations" refer to what are known. in modem eognitive psychology (nandur~ 1982) aE 'self-effiCB.<:y· expeetationand outcome' expe.ct.ation. Ou teome expect» one}, is a result of a person'ij, estimate that a given behavior willleed tQ ceriain out:come8l. ~S'ri:llf-eflic.r:lcy" expectnt,iC)n relates to the conviction that one can pet'scn,ally"ully execute the beha vior requll:ed. to produce the desired ou tcome.



Penon T Behavior --f~-II"''''''' Qllnrome Sel]-tIjJicacy Expectau o',n


Expet::.ull.i ()fl

The Relationship of jS.elf •. Efficacy~ E~ectatiQn ,to ~Ontcome· Expectation

Tbesetypes ,of beliefs ,and oBlqleciations often determine bow m 1J1C_n ,effort people will invest, and how leng they win sustain their ,efforts J in dealing with stressful 01" challenging situatiens. In self-managed aetivitiea, for iastanee, people who are slap'tical about the possibility of the outcome oeeurrln,gJ or about their abilities to perform tend to undermine theirown efforts when they approach their limits. TYPically, II Iaek of 'Outcome espeetancy leads to B. feeliug of "h.ope],ess· which eaesestae person to give up out of ap.a,tb.y .. The absence of ·s'elf·efficacy' e·~~ctaDCY, ora the other haad, leads to a. Sense of inadeq_IHitcy which. malkieg' the person feel llelpi~eg:s:nes.s· ..

StrongposiUve expectationsl On the other band, can push people to' put out extra effort and r-elease dormant ahilities .. A good example of the influence of strong expeetationa is the so-called. "placebo effect." In the' case ofthe placebo. a person is given. a "'fake1t drug or pill that has DO medically active ingred_ienw. If the patientbelieves the pill i8"re~l:" how,e,verJ ancllexpects to get better. he orsl1e win often begin to manifes't real physical Unprmremen ts. In ftJ.e'tn some plaeeba ,studies report quite dramatic results. In these instances, the persen's expectation actually triggelli'S beha.vio'rul capabilities 'that m-e latent but largely untapped.



In rela.tionship to learni ng and ehange, outcome expectancy relates tathe degl"lee to whilih a person expects that the skills or behaviors he or she' is learning 01' engaging in will actually produce the desired benefits within the, anvirunmentc:d system. that consti tutes his orhel"['~Wity. Se]f-e:mcru~y expectation relates- to the degree of confidence one has in his or her own personal effectiveness 0.1' ability to learn the' skills, or enact the bebaviors necessary to reach B.I1 outcome.

Attaining dlssired outcomes through effective performance In challengiIlg situations ean help ,to strengtnen a pe:rsDn's confidence in his Or her existing capabilities. This is because people usually do Dot perform. to their fullest potential, even though they pcssess the skills. It is under Clond.i tiens that test; th,e:irllimi,ts; t.ha.t people find out what they are able to dlo..

Expectations, relating to, the: prqjected outcomes of one's behavior are the primary enures of motivation.. From this view, how people feel, and wb a.t they do. depends nn the vaill1iIl'E! tha.t they attach 100 J and. the en rues the'y attribute to. amietpated consequences. Strong 'Olpositive" nuteome expectations, for instance, can push people to put out GXt:ra eITort in. hope of reaching some desired, sta till. Expected eonsequeneee that are perceiv,e,a ,asUnegati V@~ lj on the other hand, win ~,ea.d to either avoidance or a.pathy.

From an NLP' perspective, eqJecta.tions are a elassie example of the' relationship between map and territory. and the mfluenca of fultema] maps on behavice .. AJ)CQrding to NLP~ an "ex:pecta tion Il is a mental map r,eh:l!'ting to' 'future actions and cons eq_ uances, The map may be of one"s own behavior, the results of one's behavior, 0'£ eventa which may befall. us. \Vhen such m,aps .are very sttmagl,tney can have more infhrence on us tbMl OUT ongoing reali try.

All people create' expectations. and. bope thatth~ world will moot them. The ,slippage between the world at large and the expectations we farm. with. respect to that WID"]d is the basis o:f m,my of OW' disa.ppom.tments in Ine. As NLP cofcrunder Ri,chard B'andlel' points out, '"Dis a pp ointment re-



quires adequate planning," The strml,g anticipa.tion of the prospect. of SllCcess or failure is also the basis for what are known as "self fulfilling prophesies."

Thus. expectatiens serve' as anothe:rtYJIe (If powerful

"f.-- , ... _ .. .:l, . . " •• "'fl"

l'Mne BrOlULlltY our elJ!:pen,en~es,; In mBlly ways Ul' lIle:ncmg or

deterraining the beliefs and j udgments we draw from those experiences. Knowledge, of the impact of expectations has been used throughout the centuries to infllUHlloe peo1ple',s ]:I ereeptionsand their eval uatiens of' partleularevents and situatione. CCIli,sidef, for inata nee, the fcHowing comments made by Adolf HiUer in his. book M.ein Kampf:

The gl',e:at n'mssu~J rrJ:cep#vf! abil#:y i$ only Uflf)! limited, th, ding is small. b u,t their f-orgetfu lites::; is great. As a consequence Df these fatts, all ,effiective p'.ropnganda has to limit itself Oll,ly to a uery {CW poin.ts and W' lM'e them. like s.logam3' until eu,e,'11 the very last .man i.:s rJ.bZe to imagine what i.<; i'1"ltende,r.t boy Ii>UJ!h a ,wofid. As smm as one sacrific'B~ this basic principle and tries to becom« v~l"satile, tbe effect will triner away~ as the ma,ss:es are neit her able to digf!st the 1:l'l4derial '{}ffered no',- to r~tofn iJ. Thu~'il the resulc foS we.akened a,nd {inn lty e.l imina.ticd.

Tl~ gr~a.ter the line Df itsl"epresenl.ation ,hru; to be, till? mOfiecorrnctly from. the psychmogicaZ poin.t of view will its lBd:i:cs kave to be (Jum ned:

For exa.lnple~ [during Wor;td War I] it was ,comp.letely wrong to r,iilic:ule the adversary ,IlS' wm;: done in. AU.s'tri4~J, and German prDpagandain comic papers,. It was basicaU}r wrn~ for" the .rnu.'itJ1l t fmt ,wiuJJh ,11 man met t he adversary· inre« lity he. wns bound to r,eeeir;€ an e.ntirlf!ly difforent im.pression; som.e.thing took its 1JIDSt terrible revenge; fm' now the. German soldier. un..,d'er ~he direct in""p ressios» of t he res~s.tam::e fJ:f the ettemy .. feU him:;elf decewed by thos.e .who so far were



re.spons:ibllfl! for his enUght'l1.nmentJ a.n.d in::;tf1ad of slnngtneniug his (tghting spirit or eLlen his firmness, quitFi the !Contrary occurred. The marl d~paired.

C(.rmpantd' wi~h this, the warpropa.grmcia of the British. a.nd th~ Americans was Psycfu)logicaUy r~ghl. B:y introdu.cing tke German as a barbaria.n an.d a Hun to its own people, it thw; p.repared the individual b"Oldier for the terrors of war and hr:lped guo. rd him agail':l.St dir:.uppaintment. T.1w.. n'UJiSt terrible. ,weapon UJh:ic.h was na,w beillg used against him ,then appear,ed fo him rmly as the p.roof of tlU'. enlightenment: aln?aily bestowed rL]mn him. th Us ~tr,(!ng,thening hi.s b~lfef that his gOjJ~mm,e nt's; ass>ertiQ,cf,l,s were rightcm.d· (l'R the orne:,. hand it increased his fury and hatredagainRt the larmcimu. enemy. For the crnel,eilect u{ tire weapon of .his enemy. whi-eh he learned to kn.ow b), his o"W~ experience, app eared to him gmduaUy {} fi ,the proof of the already proclaimed '''Hunnish); brutality a/the lmrbarl,c enemy~ wi.thdt.!f •. howeu,er" making him thi.nk for' evel1 a momen;t fhat his own weapons could haae, perhaps~ Dr e!;len probu.bly. ~ s(iEl mope terrible effect.

Thus tke E'ng.l is.h .soldier cDuld ,u:ot ,euen for a mOlnent have th'fl i,Mpressitm ,that his .countfj' had taught him the wr-ong faf::ts~ sOl'flRtning which was lInfortunalBlJ' the. ,oo.'le ttl slf,ch an e-:x:tent wiUi the German soldier tha t he:finall.y r~jec.te,d evel'yt:king that ca me fn:J'ln.. this side as "swindle" aad: "'han.·i" OOa,:rnp.f).

No doubt, a great deal of Hi tler~s fnfluence as a leader c.amefrmu his ewareness J uaderstandin g a:nd appliea tion of the p.rin,ciples, tlllderl}@g Sleight o:f Mouth - and.unfortunately. he stands as an arehetypic example of the misuse of these principles; His statements above illustrate the .im.pad .. that ~ectaticans have as "frames' w hi!ch influence the eoncllJlsionslliat people ,derivefromtherr experience. The


Germa.n. soldiers felt disappointed, d'e(':eiv,ed., and disheartened when they dis'f.Qveroo that their adversaries w'ero nOI& silly buffoons as. ·they had been led to expect. On. the Dther han(lJ,.trne· experience of the British and American seldiers confirmed th.eir expet't.atiol'l: that thej;-r ad.versaries wouMbe hru tal Huns-e-strengthening their belief in their cause and "inereasing their fu.zy and hatred" against their enemj;

Thus, OU1' expec.taJii.oos exerla. strong impact OB our .m.o:t:ill.v,a;tion and the conclusions we 'L'ieriv·e, :from our exp eri.~ ence ..

Expectations about reinforeaasent, for example, exert greater influence upon lle.bavii,orthan the' r,ehnorcement itself.!ts, dene with Situde:~,ts W'DO have received rewards far d,o:ing particnla.:r behavieeal tasks, show that the effort exerted by students decreases, significantly when they are led to ,expect that the same aetiens will not be rewarded on future uccasions - whether or Dot they are in fad rewarded later on., beliefs and expecta.tions about future reinforeemen] have mors influence on behavior than the objeetive faet that the behavior has I"l€!ceiv,ed reinforcement in the past.

The strength of an espeetatlen is a fnneticn of the robustness of' the IHpresentation of the a.ntidpabed couseqeence, In the view ofNLP, the .more apersen :irs abUe to see, hear and. feel some future consequence in. hia or her ima,gination .. t'Jb.e stronger win be the expeetatien, Thns, expeetaticns may be intensified b:y the internal images, sounds, words and :feelings associated ,apoBsible future action or 'consequence. LikewisE'!r e.xpeeta:ti.oU,{S, maybe we.akenedby dimiuishing the quality 0'1" intensity of the in ternalrapresentatiDns assodated with the petential futUl',e co:llsequeuCles.

As the example of the students above indicates"the stl'\ength of an expeetatinn is also intlueneed by underlying beliefs about cause .. and-effect, If B:tud.ents believe •. "The eq:leriment is over ... they will 1'1.0' lon,ger ,ex-pec:t tone recm:vi:ng reinforceIDent for the some ta.:skl:!ltbey WI!r'a being, reinforced roc


earlie;r. Ii!] this Semi e. expe'~:l;.atiorui are eften reUectio:ns of underlying beliefs. If we believe, "Hard work pays offJ" then we win expect to be rewarded ftrr out lahars. If wehelieve, "So and. SiO is a. good student.." then we will1expect him or' her' 'bo ,do weU in class.

lJnd~:rlying beliefs can also create resistances or "counter,expectatioJ'ils'''wbich come in the form of interfering inner representations. As Freud described it:

The siubje.ctwe ~,m.DE'r,t(l:inty, tke cot:mt,er"'~pecta.tion. ~~ itself represented by a {Jollf!c:tio.n af idea: s to. whic.l~ I shall give the of "distressing ,antithetic id~as" ... In the ea s e of,a.rl in.te.ntio.n, thes~ an:titlcticideas iwiU rtln: ,OJ J shall nOi~,d in carrying {] [l t my intentions because thicS or that ie too diffl£ult {Dr me and I am unfit to. do it; I know, too, that certain. other peap(le ha.tlEl failed in ~ si.milar sit:JJatian. " The of her ease, :that of an e:xpe:ctatron. needs .n~ comment: the I;l.ntithelic idea. c>onsis.t'S of'enumerating aU the ,thinjpJ that c'ould possibly happe.n to me .other tha.n the: 1 desire.

Thtw. expeetacieas maybe either 'ipositiv~' or jn@gative~ ..

Tha'l; 'is, they may either support. de.sired outcomes or oppcse them. Expecta.tions which ron counter to one another can create confusion or inner conflict. NLP 0Ifi'@l'S a n limb sr of tools imd. stya'te~es ttl help develop ,asi five 16'xpecta,tio:ns and deal with negative expectations. 'The basic NLP approach to establics.hing or altering e'xpectations Invelves either:

lit) work:i:ng directly with. tbe in tern al sensory rElpreSeD tations associa ted wi: th the expectation,.

b) W01"king with the un.derlying beliefs which are the' S OUI'\OO of the ,e-.rpe.ctation.



Expectations and the Sleigh.t of Mouth Pattern of Consequences

The Sleight of.Mcm~. PllttenJ, ofCon.sequencf" u8BS,expeda~ Dons to, either rei_niorce or challenge generalizations and beliefs. The pa:tt.ern. mvolv,es directing attention to a effeet (peeitive or ne,gative) l'€!sW.ting from a belief or the gen.eraliza:tilm defined by the belief. Anticipated positive censequensea w.ill strengthen and I'e'infirroo beliefs and judgrmen:t:s- even if the judgment itself is,a five nr limiting {an applieatinn of the principle tbat 'the ends justif,Y the means'). How many times haw we heard someone sa.y, 'Tm only .sa~g' this (O'r: dcing tlris)w.r yOUl' own good,"

Negative eonsequenees, of course) will challenge generalizations aad cal] them. into question"

The Sleigh.t of' pattern. of Co.1!isequenees is related. to the NLPprestllp,posli'tioJ1l that:

No, response~ explerionc,e .or behavior i:s ;m,eaningful ou:ttdd,e of the ,context in which it was ,estab1lished uribe flEi,Spo:ns:e' it ehcits :nmr.t" Anybehavior~ experience or respo,asemay serve as a resource orlimitption depending ,o.n bow it fits In wirth therest ,of th.e system.

Thus" Wlftlc:iparted consequences opel',nliEl as g type of frame with. respecl 'to other experiences. IdentiI}1ng a positive ecnsequence is another way to reestablish an outcome frame with respect to hmiting orn~ative ji[]dgmefI~ or generalizations.

A good. illustra.tion 'of how thispa ttern might be !il.J]lplied relates to the example of thepsy'chiatrlst and the pati,ent who claimed that he' was a "corpse'," which was cited earlier in this chapter. The psy;cmatrist was a ttampting to use 1ng;ic t® een vinea the pati'e'llttbat. he' w.osn ~t B. oorp8 e by prickin,lg the patient with a needle in order to demou.s:t1fa te to him 'that.


he shU bled, 'The psycmat.ri,iSt·s effOrts, were thwarted, hew'llfiveT~when. the patient gaspoo in ama~emeIllt~ !<I11 be darned ... corpses DO bleed!"

If the {lsy,clli.atris,t had been famBial' wHb. the' Sleight of .Mouthpa ttern of co:n~equeDOO.. and the principles that we ha.vebeen. ex;p[onng thus far in this book, :instead of being stymierl by m$ p!ltient~ he wolllld h.ave:beena'blueto make use of th€ipatie.ut~s, eomments. For ~~am p~e, thepsychl,atris 1t could said" 'Wen can bleed, I w()oder wfua.t e]s;e they can do,? Perha ps carpses can s:in,g. dan(;!e, laugh!. digest food! and even learn, Let's try out scme of those things as well. You. know, YOItl discover that it is posErib'le to' halve a prettygoed life as a. cor,se {some' ~eofle 8eemba~, liII1Id I1;itiU maintain thepasitive benefits that you ge1t from bBiThg a. coqu5e." Rather than trying to attack and challenge tbee eli,ElI, it can. be r.I!U amedl from aprcblern to an adv3.n,tag,e. (& EiIilstem. pointed out" you cannot solve a p:fi)b~ Iemwith the :S~ tbi nkingtha t has C1'ea:ted. thBpnlibiem.)

Iapp.Thed thi~ ~purticnl.a:r pattern. s1l!ccess[uHy myself with a woman who had besa 'magnasei:W as "'obses.s,[V'El eornpulsive,' She believed that lb!1L:J,gs got: her-. She ca]led them. "real imaginary f1J'9<9.S"; "im.a,ginaryl'beeau_se ni@hGO:Y else ruceeph~cl that thOfY WeI',e l'eal But they were ~a:["'bec;ause when they g,gt on her. she felt it, She c01ll1cl:n't ignuFe it. They g~ve her the tem)ble fuetiogthstsne wash eing "invaded."

The woman I5p e,nt an ]mmem~e amoun t of time trying to pretest .h(m~efuf fro:milie .... fleas. '" ~he had s'eventy two difrelt@nt p<ill:isof' gloves: for driving' her car, ,oooking, on her' ,clliO'thes~etc.. She a]w.a.ylS bo'Ug;i:l.t elethes tJ:I;a.twe~e [Qn.gEI" than herarms so that she would ha ",eng exp csed skin, She was eonstaa tly L\lcr1IiJJ;ibingher .sclDD. to. wash of[ the fl eas, She IS erubbed her sm. se ha:rCll it was red and. THW an the nm.e ..

The fact Ulat the flees were "imagil1l!~ ga'V'~ them. some\img options. For' e,Xilim:pl,e::. eV!erybody had these flea:sJbut some had. more ,af them than. otheifS i especially be~ parents _ She ICl'ved. ber pmeuts de~:dy~ of colYSej. but, as they had the most


tlIep8~ shs counlclln.~t 5:ffiJend IDnchti;me with ~m. B~u.:se1tbe fleas w~reimaginaryj. the-y eould 'even rome tbroughthe telephlGfie. S'll when Ml"pments called,. fleas w'Own. now .from. the receivee; and. she would be farced to'rnm,g up enthem.

This wuman was in liTh.ffi': e4uiy tbirti'eli andhnd been stru,g,glimlg with this ~GmIl'ul13io:llfor mOI'\8 than fifteen yearn. Ofoowse, 'people had tried many times to convince her that 'lJl]s belief .system was er@L~j a~ways to no ![lli'Zliil. I took the time to .get ra pp tad wi th har, and. to' find out abous .h.~r ~eri terial equivalences" and. reality strategies.. 'The]]., ~t a '~,ertmn paint, I s ~Ijd, "You. know, aM your life YOlll bave been tJryIDgoo .g~t rid rif the fleas. Y01!lMvE!' m.lwaLY!> triedto wash. them off ,and' them go a.way:; Maybe tllilat'san ineffective way to deal wi ththem . .Has anybrn]jy evfftIDE'l'!3i~ed yOIn" ~real allergy to the 'real imaginary' fleas?"

I er-xptained.thlllli: her si toa,1!;itmmJll:belll:ld. all. tbe symptoms of an .anergy. Some fleQpI~~ [or instance, havaan allQ~gy to po,uen mthe air; they can't see pellea but it ~etfi iTiltheir noses and. they f,ee]bat1., mste'nd of haying tohida ITom the' pollen, wash i,t offt 0'1' .make. it gO' away, howe'I\Cl!r:~theslep eople can use medieines tha t treat their immune syst:em00 reduce the ,allergy ,Bynl:pt,oms.

Th.en Ipul100 ou.t a bottle Oif 'pl,aceboiS~ .anc3l said~ "Theaeare 'real imaginary·piilLs. They are "jimaginl3ury" lbeC8.DISB they ,dkm't; have Ol1\Y real ,dbrug,i5 in flJlemj imtl;bey are ":rea].~ becauseU..,e,y win cure your' anergy and. ehange yoUr' fueling. J:! Using what I knew about bel' c:ri.te:ri,al eqjUiv.a]ell~:es ,and }",eal:ity ~b".at-egy. I

. described JmQW the placebos would wor~ and. how they would J(I1J;~i~e:rn.e:r .meelmffier,e'nUy; 1 carefully ,e!Xp1ru~E1d the IlllWI€F of the, 'placebo e.tieret' and cited. a. Ii umber of studies in whlc.b lP~aot:lbolS hadbOO'll effecti1l'elyusetitO' trea:t .all.ergic ~m'eaJt::tiollS. Heca.nS'e this e,xp,[anatiou fit so well as a consequence of her Own belief sy;ste.m) she CiCiu]dn't find. any holes in my Iegie, and agread ta by' thepills,

nrte:restingly. when 'she c,a.m~ back the ne'xt week; she was l1eally rngh~nelt She was mghtsll.e.d. becHuse those «real

imaginarypiUs"i ha.dworked. She sat downand, ~ow win I know what kind. Df d,®thes to buy?' How will I lm:l}W ho<w to in te:!'\<l.ct with my paron ts? Hew will 1 blow who to let touch me? How will m know what to do [Dr wh.e~ebo go, in the wodd around me?" Sh.e was sa.ying that this behef'bad s~bsti tuted foranlll'l!Ib er of decision-making :sir!l tegie.s tha Ii she had. uaver d!l!'vif:lloped. J:!.&; I pointed out earliM". Hmittin.g beliefs are rrequendy t.he result. of unanswered 1:ww' q1!lLeiS~ tiens, In (j),ro.e.f'IDGI eoo](lgicWl_y 'cmmge hIM"OOli,ef~ she .needed. to .appT-O'p:riately a,d.dreS8 aU of these unanswered 'how~ que~ti!ons.

OnaB tbe woman. begaaJ. 00 believe tbat it wasp 0881 b1,e fClif . her tebe free from the "fleas," she hOld to faee her beliefs ehout bel' O'Wll MplalbHitiers. A. new'O"I1b:-ome expeetation' eaused he:rbo ooevah1ate her own. ':self-effiaa:~ expectation". With coa.ching~ the woman was able to Iearn 1lI. n umber of effecti¥e~ deci sien - InakiiDg ,stra tegjlBSj and beeame .frei(l:~uee and. fer aJOl. ,of her ob:l;!,e,s.sTI.oo.

'Th eKpl:ore thepattem of oomJ~enoo row ym,ll"~el~ ~denti:fy 1:1. limiting belief Of 'ge:l'le['w1l.zation tha.tprev'ent.s, you or someone e]se fr;o:mpe.r~ as, (flft'ecDvruy as YOll] b1.c'W you that yiijl]! can. Enrich YOUl" pereeptiG'Il!. of tms situati.on 0.1' experie:llt:e by considering: ~'WMt .fu3 apooitiVie efFect of the belief or the genocaliza:ti@IlI, de:fin@d by the b~lief?jJ [One W€liY to do this is to consider the problem or difficulty fromm,o;re th.nn one time frame, Fw im;tanoej ,,'1.9";\1' the ~tuaUOIll with respect 00 an. hour, a. daJ' a, Iilllonth,<ll', and mmy yeats, :fraln

e.g., Limiting belli,ef: I f~l like Q c,QIwurd ;when: 1 bet!v;nW' f~arful in c.halie71,ging ~:itua..tiDns.

Posi~ve 'OO1JJ.SeqUeJnCle: Fear prel'.uln!:s pf!:Dpte .from rushing intt) $omethi~g, wrui(;h helps them to {]let mo.m eca~r&gi(;oUy. TIle:r,emre mari'Sn1: such a bad. tJliI;!.gOOcl;lluse it causes peo:p]!e to be more deliberat.e and aet more eC'[]logieruly. Inthe~t:m;g rtsn, ymu :fBB.!" will make you a wis;~.~an,ti more. detJe;rnDned parson.


In gem!raJi" fn':lop[e ciIan.g,e theirb<ehavlQf by HCqUirir:!.g new refe;r,oo.CJe esperieneee and cognitive~m,a ps In. order to fOn)!1 ,<1. 'plan', The ,samebebm,t)r~ bowe'veJ\ does llLot always. prod 1J1C€l the eameeuteeme. Certain factor'S, such a!1ii the·wthe the degree of .sUPIIQl',t ([11l!t! I"ecelves,th.e ameun t of variahility of the 8ys~em. and the tools one has av wahlei wiU d.E:tel'wne the p,robabilityt1,at ~ certain beh<lvIOI' '\>'riB ehtain a, d.esired!ll that sys[,l1lm •

Man.aging dl<mge ,and reeehing out.comes involves havin!g the CIJ<g!lritiV€' maps, .11efereo.oo 'eKPerie:nces~mlatiOOlm i5Uppor:fi; and tools neoessary to establish tbe most a:ppl'op.ri,a~e kinds of a.ss1Umpti.o:M find e~ eetatieas b), have with respect to a particulaI' geal, task (If si "'nation.

ORI" e,xpe~tati[D",S. for iMtrutQ~, greatly influence the degreJ~ of o.GM~lJIte we win have about .ac.ruecving a. particular goat Theb<'3l.s~c' be]ief issuesthat lari:s'e 'inregard t() .reaclrinlg anr IYI!l,tflomes; eome from ex,pecta.tionsre~B 1tOOlto a num ber of fundamen tal cmnponen ts of change:

t. The de.sil'ability of the outcome.

.2. Corrl]i,dence that t.he 8JctionswiUp!fod nee the o1llMo'me.

.3. The ,~valuati(ln 'of the a.ppropria.te'lll!E!ss. aJiJld dlliffi,cuJ.ty of thebehav.ior (regardiLesflI of wn.ether it is believed.tha.t it w:mJWt)d.uce: iffihe desired. resml1tJ.

4., The' bellief tha t one ~s rop\albh~ at IDlFOducilllg the required !be.naviors ne,oossarybo complet:e t.hep],an [ea.ding toth.e outenme.

5,. The senseet .r,e5pornrihility~~eJlf worth and p.En'ffiission ens has in l"elati©fl. tcthllreqmr,edbe.ha~.ors and ou:teomeL






C~"bl~ EMlf)~af

, ~ ,

PlD,D, ... 11...1 _B_@!_k_a_V'll_'·o_r__,· ~patb !",I



Belief Issues Related to 'Cbnnge

For example, consider someone who is attempting to beeeme weU, learn samethieg new O'I" be s uc:m:!s,s,ful in a,es.s (lI'ojlect. Belief issues :may arise wi thre~pect to any one of'tbe elements of c.hange identified. above.

A first issue relates to the desHabmity of the mrteeme, How milch dees the perSQn. maZly W,ruIt to be healthy; Iearn, or succeed? All thingsoein,g equal, everyone no wants all of these things. But it is, rarely the case that an things, are equal, and the fact is, tb,athealth, learning OJ' success may not ~] w ays be ,0 t t.he top of ap8l'BOI!l~S bierarehy of cri te.ria. S~me[lnemight argua, "Health is nut reaUy a priority ferma 'right now." "1 have so many thing's demanding my attention, 'learning somethi ng new is not ·~1btBt nnpartant", "Other p-eople need me. It would be selfish to be concerned with my own



Even n a person desires beaItht learning or success ""ery highly, he or she may question whether it is pos!J;ible- to achieve them. A person might ,say. "It is mat possible. til get well no, matter wha.t. I do ... · "Old dO,gs lcan't learn new tri.cks." .. .I .moW.dn.·jt; build falseoope abeut succeedillg. There is nothing I can do tbat win make any difference."

A person may deeply desire an outeome and. bell.E!ve it is possible to' achieve, but be in doubt as to. whether a particrnM beha"ViorBl path is the most appropriate way taachieve the outcome. Th,ey might contend. "1 believe it is possIble to achieve my outcome'. but not by using thits (plan/techniquel



pmgrrunletc.)'" Uthers might think that a particular pathway is efi"edive, but object to tha efforl..s or sacrifices required by a particular path, or worzy abou.ttbe consequences it will have on other aIieas of their lives. A person may ooli,eve~ for ill!lstattce~ that ,e·xel'ci:sing or ea tmg a better dietWiU he]llrum OO,"h,e:r became heal.t.hier, but not want to go through the hassle of changing his or her lifes:tyle. Others mighthelieve that a particular enursa willI help them to learn something important" but not feel that they have the time to do lit. Similuly, a parsen may believe that .8.. new job may lead 'to sueeesa bu t. be concerned abaut the impact it would have on his O,I" her t'amiry.

It is also p@ssihl,e tha tp EmpIe 'can desire the eutecma, think it 'ispessible, and believe that theprnpesedbehavioral pa.U'], is €'!.pp,ropril1te to odneV'E! the result, yet dou bt their abili ties to perfbrm the' required actions. They might tbi:nkl '1. am. not (ski11ed!J;C:cQnsistjen:tfi.n:telligel!ltlfi::l{~usedl,etc.) enuugh to successfu11y do what I have to do in erder tD complete the path necessary 'lJe mach my desired outcome,"

Even when people want an outcome, trust 'ihot it 1.19 posEriblet beHev,e in the aJ]ctions tha.t have been deftnedIa ord.l{!.f to reach. that outcome, and have. cO'uIDidlence in their OWn abiliti'esto perfarm the nece;s s'ary skins and actions J they may question whether it is their responsibility to perform the required actions or reach the eutccma. A person may complain, "It is not my responBibility to make myself healthy, Weam or become sueeessful. That is the job of the experts. I wanf to be able t-o rely 00 someone else." People may also doubt whether they neserve to be healthy, to 1 earn Or W sneeeed. This is an. issue IOf self est,eem. ,sometimes p@,ople, f€!e.~ unworlhy of health, inteUigleuoo or success. If a person dnes not believe that he or she des9'r¥es to raaeh n goa[ nr is responsible to do, what needs tnbe done in order to acme'Vie it, then. it doesn't matter if he or shs is capable, knows the. appropriate path or desires it.



Assessing MotIvation for Chan;ge

It is, important to be ableto a,a,~e:s;~ and. addreiS.EI, this who.le ,system of beliefs in DrdBE' to bu:ilp people achieve their go,als;~ Or' do so ourselves .. Plans and acticaa eannotbe earriadout ]fthere is too much conflict or doubt. On the other hand. 819; the placebe effect demorurtrates, empowering beliefs and assumptienscen release capabilities and 'uacoaseious <competencies' that are inherent in a. partacular person 01' groUPI but which have ll,ot y,et been. mobilized ..

One way 00 detennine the mntivation of R pen'lcn or grnup is to make on aSEU!Bsmm:1t of the five-key beliefs we have identifiBdas relevant tothe preeesa 0:[ change, The 'beliefs can be assessed, by :making a. specific statement of the, belief M, mtl~trated in. the fellewing examples;

1. The ,desirability of the outcome.

Sta tement: "The goal is de~l'"able and worth. it."

2. Confiden~ that the outcome is attamable.

Statemelll t:"U Is possible toaebieve thegoal. '"

3. 'fbe ev aluation of the apprcpria taness ordiiffieuUy of the behaviors needed to, reach the outcome (rsg.a:rli1,ess of whether it is bellev,ad they will produce the desired result).

Statement: "What has to be done in or,der' to achieve 'the ,goal is appropriate and ,am:ilogical .. "

4. 'nu:!, bsliefehat one is capable' ofproducing tb e required behaviors.

Statem.e:llt: "E/we have the eapabilities necessarj' to achieve the goal,"


5. The Sens,e ofselfworlb. 01" permission one' has in n~latiOin to the required behaviers and outcome.

Stat.ement: "I1we have the responsibility and. deserve to aeweve the goal ~

Mer the beliefs have been stated I individuals m.ay rate hlilmr degree' of eenfidenee iu relation. to each of the statementson a scale of 1 to ,5, with 1 being-the lowest and 5 being the highest degree IQf belief. This cn:n providE! an immediate and interesting pI"'ofile of potential problem areas of motivation or ennfideace, Any statements which aI'<B given a low ra.tin,g indicate possible areas of resistanee or inb3'1'·fer,ence which will need to be addreseed in ,some way;

.Th!~' E eUef A.ssessmellt She!~1t; en fhe next pageprevidee a. snnp]Je but effeetive jnstrument for 'Quickly assessing the relevant areas of belief in. relation to a. goal 00" plan,

B,elief Assessment Sh.e:et:

Write ,down a one-sentence description of the gIla] ow outcome to be: achieved:

GoallOufuDome: ---------~~~--

In the ~pacespmvidedbelO'w, :rate your CIlegree of belief mn t]],e DU 1t;oome in. r'ela.tio.n to saeh of ~b.esta tements on a s:~ale of Ita ,5. with 1 being the ~Gwes1!; and. 5beingtheltighest d"egnB@ ofbeUef~

a .. "The geal is desh-able and. w(JIJ.·th .1 t. j;t

h. ~It is pessihle toacbieve the goal,"

c. "'What has to, be dO-fie in order to a.chl~ve the goal is ,app:mpriate and. ecological."

d. "1 (You. I We.) have the capahili ties ]].eoossary to acl:1i~vl~ the goall.,H

e. '~E (You' We) have th@r-espons.~bi].it;y and dsservB' 1:0 aemev,ethe gOBl"

r:l L:JI


Onee YOIi], haN1El! assessed y>our d>egr:ee of co'n:fiden~ and aongtll,ence with ire:spBct to these If;jey areas of belief~ you. tan stre:n,gthililn YOUI' b~Ue:f In areas: of doubt by considering the: f:O'Ui.owing ijuestiorus:

1 )Vlha.t else would you JD.Md. {;(] !IDOIW, add. to your ga~.[. OW' believe in ordertabe more congruent 0'1" mnfiden:t?

2) 'Who wouM be ycmll!" mentoii" for tbat belief[

3) 1iIVhat message or advice would that mentor have £'0>1." you?


Usi'og'the 'As If'F'r,am'eto Strengthen.

Re:liefs and Exp,ectation:s

1'he ~a8 if' fr.r1.fnfJ is a p.roce:ss: by whichan inrnvi.dual or grQUP acts 'as if' the desired gl@a~ o:rouh~u:me has ah-.e3!d.y been B'€hlevedt orb)" whlcl:JL an 00."3. gRlllp pretends to be so~e other JlIeJtSO:l!JL oil" entity. '['be [HiS .if' fram.e:l.S<l pO'WM'fuJ W\ljJY to he~p~eO'ple identify and e!lll"~eh their pereeption of the 'W!Od[J[~ ruId. 01' their fu:tlI11"e desired. ste te~. It is ~i!iO a ru::;eflliw03!Y 00 help ,eop['E) OViertlom@ resistanees and. limita ~ tiQns within t.beir cur:ren1tma.p ofth.e w01'1d.

The "as if" frame :iis oitenused. tochaUen;ge 'timi tingbe:liefs by cCr,eating CQl!UI.W'r examples Of' aJtermlt]ves. F'Of mramuplE!" if ,ap.erSQIll!5ia:y8~ "I can't da X" o:r "It is impossible to do X," the "as if'ftame wo uld .be ap;pli~dbJ ask:i:rlli:g I "'Whattwo1!lld hnppe:n if you. could do X?,. or fi Act as, if you oould. a.a X.What would. it be.I.llre'('" m:' "Jf you weJre (already) a:b11~11;01 do x., what would you be. d.oing?" .For Instaaee, if a cm:Ilp<lIihy executive werEi' I!lnab]'eoo describe what bi.S.Of her desired. state for 3. parlic:warproject is, gomgoo be, Iili men to~ might ,Sa!.y~ "lmag~ it iis five yeal'.s from ndiW. Matis goi!~g; m~ :thatis diff'e.rentr

A.oting ~.!:liS if' anCl,w:speop~e to drop their current pe.we..eptio~. of the canstl'am.t;s o.f:reality and. use theit im~l'!Ltim:il. more' fully. It utilizes our innate ability to imagine and. pretend. It also allows us to drop the bCFiI,Uld:srie!.i· of ourpeu·S:Qnalh!istury~ belief syst..emS't and -ego.. In fat::tl it helps to recognize aLndi. utili'l.e the notion of "ill" as a funetien, ius tead ef a. rigi d IilomrnaU:za tion,

Many NLP praeesses and 'f.iechni.q'l1ef], <::il:pply~he "as if' £ram.e. In the prceess ofcrea,ting goal~. outcomes" and dreams, fOT instanee, we firs tact "as if" they are]) nssibiliti es. W~ area tepietnres of tllernvisually in OIUl' min.d lS, eyes,. and give thQ,sfl@ietures the qu.alities, we desire, We then begin to blt'ing themw life bya:etirrg "a~ ~r' we were experiencing' lIJJ.e

feelin.J:~s'aet:i!Cing the 1'3.pecinc behaviors that 'flt those dreams and gQBl~.

Th.e: 'as if frame is very im.port~nt increetinga space in which we ,ean ThJ egifl to stimulate the neurology t;ha t ean s,upportatiammg eur geals. ]v[i]toI:l Erickso[l said m~;ny times, "You can presend a:nyth:i.n,g and master it,"

The 'asW'frame is (H)e (If thl!! k.eybools for men.por.s and advi.sol's. TIl.e foUowing' ex~ise appUes the. if' frame as a means ttl help semeenete b)1l~s 1imit.ingbeliefs ..


'As If' Exercise

1. Tbe e.xplorer is, to think of soma goal or situ,ation about 'whim he 00" she has acme doubt. The explorer if!; to express the limitmg beHefvel"baUy to the mentor - i.e., "It is not possible fOT me to . . .", '" M am not ca pa ble of . . . ". '"I don't deserve . . ", etc.

2. The Plentor respeetfully enceuragea the explorer by saying things like:

"lVhn~w(mld happen if (i.t was pussiblely(n~ wero c:apa,ble I yrm. did deserne if,).'2'''

tJrAet ~as' it (i ~ was j1o,sBible I Y(JJ'rt were ca;pr:z,bl'e I you; did de.t;crve it). Whal would it; be like?"

"lmagUj;,fJ that you. had already d.ealt wit.h u.U of the. issues relati n;[f to your billie! ,that (it is not pO'6-.sible I you are n.ot capabte.lymt 00 not ckserve W. what would ,YCJ u be think irtgjdoing O,Ir lrelieuiUrg differently f"

:3. If other obj ootions 00" mterferesrees arise from 'the explerer, the mentor is to cOIl,tinue askilD,g':

"'Act ~as if"':you hase already dealt w,ith thatinterferene€ or objectinn. How would you be responding ,differently?"

Chapter 6

The B,asic structure of Beliefs


The: Linguistic Structure of Beliefs

The mainpurpcse ef Q1IU" beliefs and be]ief 8y'S~ems is to link eore values to' other parts of ow experienlee~nd. .maps of the world, .&i wa:s pnintad out earlier,the beliefsta:temeut~ "Su.cceasi rnquke~hard work,"linlsthe value "sm:ceiS:sD to a pmticula.r elaes of activity ,'1lliE.rrd work"), The st~:tem~nt~ "Success is mainly amatter of lnek," ecnneets thesamevalne to a ilifferoo11· cnit:l~e {'1uck"} .. &thesB ,ata.tement.s iUnsttabe~ belliiefs ar,e. fundamentally staooments afreA,ab>llsm ps betwe@u various elements of our experience.

Lingui:sticaDYtbeliefs are ,typicaJ::[y 'ElNpre;s,EJiI:!d in the :form: fi'f v"M"bal p:atUerm, known as "complex €:l:Jluivalenoes"" and "cause,effe;e;ts,." Com,.ple~ equival.e.nce.:s me lliingmistic statements which imply '"'equivEilences''' between differnnt, as~ed.1:'l of Our ,experie.nce ""'A = lBJ'" or ""1\ maans B") .. 1'1:1ls &YlP!fl 01" language pa:tt..erl1l is typicru[y used to make d.efuritioDs of values and. estaJ,bl~sh. evidenees fol' whether 01' nOlt values have been Jl.1!et orriolated.TQ fi~Y, "A restiI\g hfmril;rate of 60beat15]J er .mllltarte is hemthYJ D "Ha ving a. 10't ,of mODey ntearu; you are sueeessfal," OTIr "Lovle ~(ms IlElV& having to say you,'re sorry.'" aTle 'ID.::amp[IBS of emnplex eqmvale:fioes refleetirug beliefs.

(Jause.-e.fle:d statements (char.aderlzifld by W.OI'd8 sueh as: "ea use. '" ~,aJke /,llfu:roo, OJ ~.ea.d:s~o,," ~,e:sulU3 in," ete.) Ii IIlk val ues CftusaU;yto other asp eets of our exp.erie:nce. Su.cll. lin.gWs,tic ISt;n.U::.t·UHS are used to detinetbB ea Im'BS and f4DS'Ii!:qlIU!11I0eS of partie:rulk values. BE1!EI;jami:m F.rankILin's classic B!cliage, ~Ear[r to bed and! learly to rise rm1.kes .a DIan healt;hYj wealthy aDd 'Wl.13!e;" is all M13ernQI} of eausal factor'S ~e9Jrun.g to th.€! ft(:.nt,evement of certain values, Th.6l s.aying that ~POW(!r: conupts"or ~oV'eh.eal:s" Me sta.te:m.emi:.srelatlng' to' th.e cCl.nsequer:mes o:fexpre..s,sing patrtiC'ula,r vajUJEls .•

Hard Work


Lots ,of Money GtU!.r.J.'Ol' BrtitknCl!


Beliefs i8iine 'ifyldcaUyExprBs:sed. :in tme Form. Df Eithe~ a C'o,m.pleJl: EqlQlivo.[e'lu~e (ill' CluJls,e,.l!:lf.e,ct

no:mp]~ eQ.wvaJences, and eause-elfaet g!:mer"EIli::z;a:ldlons are fu:lIldmnen tal struct1Jlli@sfrom whieh we b1lli]d ollll"map S of the wOO."li(L


ComplexEquivmeill~e illlvo.~vle~ ta:lliki:ng about tWD ermore experien.ees as if thEY .!IN! tlle .same, or ~eqIDvale:nt". Co,mp]ex lequivalences are distantly :related to criterial ,equh,;ra1en.ces~ but aJTIro€l' quite d:l1.E;tTI:ncl;fimn th.em.. Crlteriru. eqllIiivalence.s are esta.bu:sla.ecl in th@fo!fm of s ens arybased!. evid1elil.tel5 [lJ'lL a particular value ereriteeia. They involve ~,cbunki:rng d.own~to specific inru.catoI'S of some' val ue or core aitenO:l!l. A. oompllli~x eqmvalenoe is moreef a '\d.efuritioI!!.·tha:n an 'evidenes procedure'. It tends tube mere of a la.teral ehunki :rngpmcess. A IXHnp~,ex equi. valence fur a p articular value Or ,(!ri terion, fO'l" mstancE!, may be in the .:thFm IOf some othe:rg@Rerali2:a:t~,on m'" nomin,wh,atifJllII.

In the s&atemen t,'IHe:is irrpaor he~Hh> he must l"@aUy hate him,s elf~" [01''' e:xam:l)le, tlle.sp eakier i simplyillg tha 1[. ''''puOt

. .

bealth." is in seme way equ:iv.rue:nt; to ''":s elf ha tred." These two



'experience's are samehow the "same thing" in the spe~'s m,ap of 'the world. (aliliougJ:l. 'lli@y may bave no c:O~(;lctlon fII~ all in :reality). Some other examples ef ',oomplex eqUlvalenoes would be !l!tai:;Ements such aa, "Thinking or acting outside of the :social nonns means iliat you. 8l',emenWly uasteble;' '~S,afety means having the power to fight u.n:fri,endly flll"Ces;" "If yoo don't say m ueh, then ]it must m..ea n y'Ou don ',t; have In ueh to say."

E,aM statement establishes a kind ,of 'equivalence' between

two terms. Perhaps more s,(:Cill"a;tely defined 8.Ei "simplistic equivalence~ n the d ang,er ,of such statemen t~ is. tha.t a . ~omplex relationship on a deep structure level 15 o~nmllmphfied at the leve[ of surfaee structure, h, Einstein ~aid., "Eve,zything should be made as simple as pnssi ble, but lIlot any aimpler,"

Our \llte'rpre,j;,atJ.QI1S' of events and experience's, (lome from. the establishment and ap'plication of clusteFS o.f complex aquivalenees, On th.e posttive side .• the cermeetioes estabMshed, by some in tequeta tions may help to either simplii)r or explic.:a:l'ie complu. relationships. On the problema tk side, however, complex equivalences, may distort 01' oversimplify s.y;stemic relat:icmships. Patients (and the families af pOill!"" tients), for example, o.ften interpret their symplioms in a very negat.1v,e wa,y~ or in B. way that continues to maintain the


From the persped:ive of Sleight of Mouth. the' "lSSllH is not so mueh y,lbethe![' one has found. tbe "correct" complex equivsleneeJbut rather whether one is able to find. interpr,etation s which offer a new perspective, a wider map or a way ?f thinking which is different than the type ,ofthlnking which. JSi ,creating the problem. tob:egin with.


The perooption of eauseand effect is tbe foundatio.n of our models ofthe wodd. E.ffBl!tiV:e analysis, investigation and mod.eling of all types inv'olve identifying the 00 us-es \IV hieh underlie observablephemnnena. Causes are the underlying elemsn ts responaible fbr creating and maintaining a. partieulal' phenomenon or ~ituation. Successful problem solving, fo,l' exwu:ple. is based upon finding and treating the eausets) of a partleular s'YllJ!jptom 00" sat of syn~.ptoons. Vfuat you ide1.'l,tUY as the cause of a particular desired state 01' problem state determines where you will focus, your effom.

For instance, if,YtOu believe tbBlt an allelrg)' is CR used by an external "allergen," then y,ou wiU 'try to avoid that. ,aUergen. If you. believe an allergy is caused bythe release of "histamine," then youw-ill take an "an hl1ishunme" If you bali ev:e an all£\lrgy'is causedby'"s.t:r,ess/,' then you. win attempt to reduce stress, and so on.

Ou.rbeli,efs, ebeut cause B.Ildi. e.ffect are :reil,eded. :lin. the languagiep.iilt't.t.ern of "cause-effect;" in which a. eansaleonnection is, either explicitly or implidtly implied between two lexpeii'ence.s 01" phenomena wi thin aver bal [iescriptio:n. As with. comples eqursalenees, such relatienshipa may lOr may Dot be aceurate or valid. at the leve~. Dl deep structure. ~O:f' instance, iu the am 'l:eIIllelil't,!:iCri tic:izing him will makemm respe.ct the rules," it is nut clear just how, specifically. the aefion 'of criticism 'will ill {net make the individ U.aJI baing reID'er:redl 'till dlevelO'p JOOspect for the rules. Sucb au acti on may just as easily cause the opposite effect; This type of statement leaves mauy potentially impDrian,t missing links unspecified.

Of eeurse, this does not mean that all cause-effect state-ments are invalid. Some' arevalid but incomplete. 'Others hav,evalidfty~ bat only under certain cOllditions,. In fad, cause-effect statements are <II. form of unspecified. verbs. The Prllna:ry dangBJ" of cause-effect statements lis tine implication

that the .l'ela.tl0rn.s.rup being defin.ed is, ovedy simple an.dJior mechanical. Because eomptex syste:m!s are mooe' 0-[ mBL1lIY mutually causal links ~ such as th~ h uman ])'N'VOU8 sys~~m] fol" example), are tbe reslIllt of multipb2!' causes' than a :sin_gIe ell use"

A:dd.itionpUy, the elements invel ved fun H eause .. efl\'ect chain. m<ly each have their oW.n "cellateral I@n:~rgy·." That is, aaeh has its o\"'i1'1El. 'E!Il!ffl"gf SO'Ul\Cie and. does ]lot l'eiSlpond in a. pl'ede~ teJl.',ed. way; This makes the systems, nllilchm!o.;re ,oomp1Bx because ,BmH'gy does .n.ot fl~iW through t11e system ill afixed mechanicel way; Grego~ Bates[)o poi.ulted. O:UE that if yiou kick aball, you. can. deoormine'wnel-,e :it wilTh.endupwitn <lit fait degree of ,a.cetl1'aayhy calculaJ.ting tbeangle of the kick,the amcunt of :force lJut into the· kie~ the friat.l0fl of grcund, etc, If y'Oukick. at dogj Oln 'l:.ll.e othm' h.a.nd. wItb 'the saane angle~ with same fo:rce~ on. th.e same terrain" e:tc.~ it win be much mnre ,ruffi.IC:wt to prediiCitwn.e:r,e itvriU ,efid up, baeause it bas. im ()ViIn " energy.'"

Ca1ES!liJiS are o:fte.u less obvious J broader anrJlmor.e 8ystemie ill nature than the pia;rticwa.r phenome.non or sympt~m: . that i.E; being exp].o'l'e[Jl or studied . .A drop in p,ro-fit o:rpmdl!lctivit)!, fb.r m8~tanDe, may be the. result of ,s.omethJing l'elat@d. to co:m:~etiQOD. o['gamzatiitOln.1Eha; change in th.€: market,,gel in eerihno,logy~ commumc:atioI!J:s channels. C)l" ,sometrung ,Eilse.

The same w,s j nstas true for ofGwbeHe1ts mlatin.g t.,o physical reaiity.We cannat adu.',liHy sse, hear or feel atomic parlides inbaraetlng with one an.oth..eT, no~ can WB dir,ed 1y peree:ive "gr,f]v;itulional" or afiltootro-fflf.'l/ip'bel1;c'" [@I['"ees. We call only perceive and w!ea,!O'l!IrB results; \Tile pDstl!lla:te the imaginary ccnstruet "'t;q'au.ify"· to explamthe effects. eaIl~ cept,s such as ,f<gmuitr •. ""'electED-magnetic. foree, '" . ~lwm~. " ~cau!Se-,g,n.G-effect,'" '''energy • ., even: f'lim!.?" .end "spnce'" wert!.m J:n;a[lY ways just arhi b'ary consteuets tbat eamc frem our imaginaltion (not the mItside 'Ili'imdd] in ordeI' to ea tegOTi.ze and bring Orner tl) our s enS(lry S::qllBrienoos"

OIIJum~' m WI dear,fy that c,ertaoin '"On(iep:t~, as for ~mp.,le t.hat ,q{ causality~ can1Wt be IdedYlc.~d from the. mate..r.ial of experience ,by logical meth4ds· ... , .. AU wnr!!epts, even thos;e w.hich. at\eClo.t!.1~gt to e;ll:p.e,lI",i~fu;e.a ~ from t~ point ,of view 'Df logic frifue~y chm;.Bu ·cpnu.entian s, .,.

What Einstein is saying is fha it our senses de Dot aetna]]y perceive tmngs llk!e "causes", they cau oruyperoeive tllal!; first one event ba.p'penfld and. then another event happened right after the first OJ],.lB. .Fo;r 'exlaHJinh~! we ma.ypeir'ceiive a .s eql!.u;~:~ce of event-lS sueh as"fi:rst, ~(i! ln~in coops 0)11. a tree: with an gxe~ !and! t'he:n.~ke tree faUs down~. ()~ "aWlU'l:1a.n .9tl['l!S something to a ell ild'" ml.d. 'then 1,~ eh itd startls', at ~thar:e is an eclipse Df the sU.n ,rl/.ll<d t1~~n flit 1~a;n!hqUl.1ke the' nerl day~. ACicordi~g to Einstein, we CRill say that '''the m8I'l. eaused the b'ee t~) fall down,~ (.!.the, w:om,Rn calmed. tha ehild to cry" OT "the eclipse c:aused.tbe rn<arth:qillalte/'bu t that o:n]ythe seifJQe.mee Or:fIhE!' .eveIll ts is what is ]] ereeived - "e amlSg'isa. .free1y ehesen internal OOI!hl.'SUul:!!ttbat we apply>elatiQru!mfl we perceived. For instance, one coukll just <liS easily SiilliJ4 "gra:vity caused tifuteb"oo to fan .. " "the elilld'S'lillfu1:1ill[@d lP;~ec1f:a.tioIMi eausedhim ta cry'" or "force'S :fioo:m. inside the earth eaused the earthquake" d~pe[l!ding on whim. fr~e of reference we choose to take.

EiI'llSi:e:i'l]. ~spoi nt is that the baste rules we use ta' operate in the' werld, and the JtlJillestha:t the world itself operates from, are. not obs.e.'f'll"ab~e inthe co]]teiE1~ of rmr' H~eriem:e. Afj, he put it, ... :At tl!£.ory canb~~es.ted by expenenD£l. bu:t t,Ju~n~ is no way .rrDme:qJ€ rieru:c to t.he sBlttimg up of {1 :theory . ..,.

This sazne dilemma\vith eqllal farce to ]}syehology;. n6'lll"olog}'1 and probably ,every area efhuman endeavor, Th;e clw;er lOra: gif'!t to {he ac'tunl nla.tiouships and rules tkril.f; determin;e g:nd n:l7:~ OUT uperie.n~~ tar!. furtlul.( .we are

SLmGBT' OF .Mom.u

from anything tMJ iariliref!tly pe.roeiuable:. We 1~!lllL.D.(l,tphys:ieaJly sense the :fun.drunental prihu:iples and .. rules tha.t generate our behavior and. only the:]Jrr' ,efCec.ts .W1heIlL Irfu,e l}I'm.u,for instance, tries to :p erceiv€! jibelf, then:! wiillbe certain tmaV@lidahlle blind spots.

ACQOO"'ding to the nn~ek philosoplller Aristot.le {Posterior Analytit:s) there were fOlllrba.sict)'lDes of callses t@'De eoasidIBred in all. mvestigation and. analysis: (1) "anlte,celient/' ~necest!3itat]ng" or "pre>ci. pita.ting"ea1i.l!ses, (2) '«'con:s.t1f,aining" or ",@·ffici.entn eauses, (3) ""final" eauses, .and (4) "for'mal" eauaes. Ga:uses

Pastavents, aci:iO:D.s. ©r aacisJkl!llS that iIIflueneetlhe present. sw:lte ()f fhe system through a linear chain of actionreaetioa,

Linear Cllmim of Events

Precipitating I Leadi ng LO 11Ie: Prese'n l.


2. C,QnsHai ]!!Ilj ng CQ.uses

Pres ent re]'e~uppo.sjtiO]lS and.D{)1llII.dMY CO]!),di:tigms which mmnWn. the current state of the system {regardltlss ofh(lw it go1ti;herE!').



Oonst.raming Canses

BOl!lni1ll1[]' Cnndil'iol1l~

3 .. Fimm. Cau8@s

]F"uture obj eetives, goals or vistons which gmde OJ!''' 'infl ue.noe the pre:s'ent stata of the system. givingcl!U1."1Emr.t aetlans meaning, relevance or purpose.

N en-Linear Guiding Influence olil Preseru S Hl1i.e

Final Caase


4. FOI'1lll.Rl CaI.u.s;es

li'1l.f.I.di,amentaJ delliniitiollS and pereepbans of something - i.e., baeSic a.8:=l1llllptim:u; and mental maps'.


Looking 'For' precipitf.;lti.:ngc:auses leads us to see the preblew. Or outcome as a. r,esul t of pertieular even is and exp~l'iences from tbepast. Seelcin,lif cDu.s(;,.ing muses leads us ·~o p@oo:ive the problem or eutcome as !Something hrought out by on;going eonditiens "vithin which fhe current situa:tl!on is occlllIring. Co]]]Side:ring /f,nrd caus@s leads us topeorCii)i[ve a. problem 01' outcome as a. res 1!lllt of the motiV':H5 and. intentions ,~.f the individ.uals involved. AUemp~gbo find 'the f()er~ l caUses of a prohlem or euteeme Jeadsus ttl view it as a function of the defillitio:llSl and. .asSl!llJIllptiolilSi we are .app,[yiug to thesituaUw ..

C].ea::dy~ anyone of tll.ese ca.1l.!lS:.I1!,s, t aen to be the wholB exp.]anation by itself i.s like.lyto lead to an incomple:t~ pid;lIIre. In today',s science, we lnok. mos1!;[yfoI' mechun,ical ~au:ses, or what Arlstatl~ rete:rl'edvJ)' as I aateeedent' or prodpita.tin.gcauses. '\IVh.en we study fie phenemenen sci entifireally,. we tend to ];001: for the Iineae C&U~EHlnd~effect ehaln whichbro:u,gnt it about. F~.r,cl!fl, we s aYI' "Our umVierse Was ,M;nsed'by1f!h:e "big ban(J whlchba.PPlaned billions m years ago.~ 0Jr we: say~ "'AIDS ~i" caused by avirus that enters the body ann. mteJl'f.ere,swith theimmune s;ystem.~ Or "'This orgarnzat:ion Is suc.cessfu1 becan sa it took these particular steps. at thosep,arneul ar timea," Thaae iUlderstaJ::[diJ[]Lgs are certainly imJH).r'l;~tand. us.efu1 but do not necessarily teUl!IS the whole stery o:f these phenomena.,

IdentifYing cvns~rnining (;Q;US(M', w~uldmvulve eX~lIlg wha.t holds a particyJ.arpheoomen.llJu's current structure in pla[:,E!, mg,!YIill.es5 of whKt brought it tn@re. \Vhy ~13 it. for mstance', that many peop~e whe ha:v,@llie1\]])8 virus do not manifest anyp.hysieal syn'll.~ton1J;ll If the uIlli:verse has been 'B'x.~ anding afiier the "big bang', wlha.t determines the current :rate .at wh~ch it is e~andiIlg? What eonstraints will eause the universe to stop e:xpandiin,g? What arel1le current ['!oIlBtraints or Iack of COiflstraln.ts. that couJd ea UE e 1m organiz~'tiCl<nt'" frul. or suddenly takeoff, :reg.arill@ss of its history?


SeaI'cbin~ foJ' ,fi,nal causes'~ w0lI11d. involve exploring the potentia.] eiras or ends of tb.esephenome·n H. 'With respect to tb.erest ofna.iwe. Forinstanc.e~ is AIDS si:mply a scow-ge, 'is it a lesson, or is U an eYolliJoonarypro oess? Is God "pb.yiD;g" di~e~witfu. oris -it heading tQWru'd!i!th:m.g? VV'hat are the visions and geals that makJe an o-rganbation suoCle:s:s:fb];'['

MeIllti:(ying the {annal C'au,se.5 or the "universa," a ,jSUCCiElS9- ful ()I"g,8ni~Btio:n" or of ~.AIDS"wQuld involve e;Xl3!mimng our bask russumptio:ns and In tllitiOill'lS ;tJlbont theph~nome:na. '\V1b.,a.t exa.ctly ~OW'B mean w}nan we talk about our "universe" or about "sueeess," an !·Of'g<aIDzati.(!Jili" or about ""AIDS?" ~Vhat _e wepresnppo:sin,g about their structure and. their "nat:U1'e?~ (Tnm:: eW'e:rce the tYIH! of q ussrianatbat lead l\Jbert Einstein to refol'lllulate QUl" whole. perception oft:ime, ~)JIa!ce and. the st:nm:l::ru'e of thenniv~se,"

In many TeSfU~CI;,S.. our langulag;e.1heI11,efl'S and models of the WIOI'ld fundi1o,nas the 'fDrmaJ eausss' @f oorr;{l,ality.. FOnDa.]. causes Nlale w OWl" :rund,aInenta~ de.finition.s of .some phenemeaon or esperienee. 'The netinn of "cause" itself,. is B type or 'fo:rmal eause',

.As the' term. impUes, ".fon.nalcauB:es" are asseeiated more ,~ith the "rOl'mj .of something than its content. 'The ~for:mal cause" oJ a lPhen~menCl"n i~ tTh!at which g].V'eB 'thii! definition of its es·sen.t:i!al eheraeter, It cl}u]db~ said that the "formal cause," Off a human lbei]1g~fOl' instiIMJ.Be~ is the deep structure relationsmps @lllcod,ed In tha.tperSOiill~s . .DNA. Formal caUSNE!S i~ also intimately relatedse ] angu;age· and menta] mapsw tha:t we Cr:E~'3.t~ our l'Mlities by co,ntleptn;a]izmg and. labeling omr experience,

We eall a brenze statue efa .four-Iegged animal with a mane'., hO(l'V8S and a tail a ·'1ilOr's,e.," fQI' i.ns;tance.beCBluBe it

SLE'IG_B]' oFMoum


displays the form 01" 'formal' eharacteriatics we have associated with the word and concept '1)[ "hors~'. We say, ''''The acorn gr,ew inw an nak tree, " il:mcallim we define something that has a trunk, and a certain shape of leaves as being an 'iJoal!:lJr,ee'. 'l'h1l.5" tatpp:ffig Inta ([I.rmal CIilWl,es are one ef the primary mechanisms of Sleiight of Mouth,

Formal causes actually say mere ahou t the pereaiveethan the phenomenon being perceived. Identifying formal causes, involves lilncovering our Own basic assumpcions and mental maps abnut a. subject.Vlhen an artist like Picasso puts the handlebers of a bieyele togetherwith the bicycle seat to make the head of a 'hull', .he is tapping :into ·fo:nnal eaasea' heeaase he is dealing with the essentia! e~,@m~nts o:f the (0,1'1111 of something

This type of cause is re1ated to wha.t AristolJe eallad "in till:tion. " Before we can begin to mvestiga te something like' "sueeess,' "alignment" or'1ead.aTsrup:; we have to have the idea that sueh phenomena might possibly exist. For Instance, identifying "lE!:f5ective 'leaders' to model implies that we havo an. Intuieion 'that t.hese individuals are in fact; examples of what we are looking for.

S Baking the fermel causes of a problem or outcome" f®r' instance, wcndd involve exam.iEling OUT baaic definitions, assumptions and intuitions about that problem or outcome. Lden:tifYing the forma] causes of U]eadership."a "successful urganizatien" or "alignment" would involve examining our basie asSUDlp,tiOns and intuition.s about these phencmena, What lex.aClUy do we mean when we talk about our "leadership~ or about "success t" an "organization" or a.bont "ali,gnment?"'Wbat are we p,resupposimg about their structure and their "'na.turn?J'

A gnmi esampls of the influence' o.f forma! ca uses is th at of the researcher wbo wanted 00 interview people who had experienced "remissions" from terminal eaneer, in erder' to find any potential patterns in their 'healing process. He :secured permission from the local authorities to be ,able ts


gather data fran1L a -regional medical !',ecords eentae When be appr-oaooe.d 'the computer ~perator to. .get. the names of people currenUy in I',emiss:]nn~ however, she s aid she was un-able 'tOI ,give him. the information. He' explained that be had. the appropriate a uthoriza:ti.oD i but s.he s aid that w~sn't the problem. The issue was, tha.t the ICOlnputer had. no categary for "remissions." He asked if she eould get a list OIan the people who had been given aterminal diagnosis of eancae ten to twelvs yearspiI'eviously. She said ':Yes,'" He then asked if she could get alist, of all of the peoplle that had died of eaneer from tha1t time period. "Of eenree," came the reJply. He then cheeked to see if they were equal I t turned out that there were !5l8V,el'al h undlred people l;vho had. been givell a terminal diagnosis. but WIa'f'e n.m reported dead. .A.'Iter sorting out those whohad moved out of the area or had di ed of' other eausas, the researcher ended up with the names of 0\11er two hundred pellple who were in "remissiol!l" but slipped till"Ollgh the cracks of the medical records center because there was no WJBgory for them .. Beeanea this ,group of peopte had na "formal causa," they did not exiat fol" the center's computer.

S (Dmetmng similar happened tc .grolilP 01: researchlets wlru were in'~ete.slr;ed. in rss'@fl:Khing' thephenemencn of 1reDll.8SHU1. They Interviewed mewlffi.] doeters to find the names and hisuni'es of psopla w no had remissions from terminal Illnesses. The. doctors, however, kept saying that they had no such patients. At m,st the researchers were coneeraed that perhaps the ineidenea 'Of remission was much lower than they thought. At one point one of the researchers decided. to, ask. if the ,oloctorn had anypa tients w he had made '~remarkablereC'overi,e;s '" in5tead of "'be]ug in remission, tI The deetors immediateiy responded, "Oh yes~ we ha-ve a lot of those."

Formal ca uses. are sometimes the most difficult typ as of causes to :ident:if:y beeanse theybecomeparl of the l1nCOR-' selena assumptions and premises from which we operate, Iika the water in which a fish i~ swinlrning.


Sleight of'Mouth and the Structw'"e of Belfefs

ill surnm JflJwy~ complex eqmYolenc{!san.d cauSEH~lff6et slta temerub3 are thepriruarybwlwng blocks [)[ 1[llU' be.lliiefsand. belief ~ystems. They we fuhe basis upon. whic.h. we ehaose our aetieas. 8tatement~ sueh as "If X = Y then. do Z"" invoJ'le initiating a. eaus al '&ctionbaslffld on Umperce;ption of an. equivalence. It isul hiI~'l,ate]y these .typ es of struetures w bieb datenni1ll8 how we oonerete)ly a.pp,lywhaLt welkno\v ..

Acooniinfrto th~ p;rinciples of81eight of Mouth and. NL!P;, in ordel" 'for ',[]Ieeper iStroct1He~' such as vaJ.ue:s (wrncharemo:re absteact and Bub] ec:tiv~) to reach. the t.aJn:gible ,envirol.nment ill the form of canerete behaviers .. , they mllst be Iinksd to .more specific oognitivepro(;e:s:s'e:s a.jj'}d cap.abilitJi.le:s '~hro1]!gb bel:ieJ:!1I_ At :som.e .~evel. @am fine ,of .Arisooli;~{!'s CaU.8leS must be addreseed.

Thl]I!l,,~beJieifEi aretll.e aDSWB!I"S t.o ,questions sum as:

1. "How, s:pecifi,caJUYJ do you denf.l,'€ the quality or entity Y'01a vall])e.?" "''What oil:.ifu~ quruit:J!!t!s I l.-riteri,a and. val U:ElS is it l'@],ated tOl?'" (Formal e.a uses)

.2 .'~a.t eausas Or eraa te<'5l 'fhls quality?" (PJrec.ipi tatJi:ng Causes)

3. ''\Vhatw!!ls:equ,e1I.oes OJ[' otlltoomes msul1t &om.l;hB:t val11ler "'What :is U~e:amng t011<1 fFm:llill. Causes)

4. ~How, s~@clli.~illly, do you klm€lW If soma belh:aviof' or IB';rq:aeri'enoofi t-s apartioo] er criterion or value?'''' '~at spceeificbena:v:iocs and.E!Xi]1eriefi!ces accompany this critenon. ,[lrVahle?~ (C(m,:strmn~ng CausBs)

'or example, aper'S(m may define (ZcSUCClBSS" as, "BernE-Vement" and "seH s:atisi;'acrnan." The petSOIll .may'belieV1e thaI; "sueeess" camesfr[},Ol "doing your best," and that it leads to


"security" <U'l.c1[ "ac:1Iulowleclg:meu,t from '!l.therEi," Thepers'Ill1l. may know that he Of she 'hail been SUCtloos:f:ul when the pars 0,0 "'feels a. Icerta:!:n s'e~a ~61i!" in hi 51 Drhe'r "chest M1.d. ~tQmpch."

(f01lmod Causes) ~.:g~ '·Ad:d~v,e m'e n L~ ~:Self S~I:t;~.fu~'liU[l"

DefinUion WJwll:i)' if?

'. What else is it reli:uedJ l>O? ..

e"~", ''Doing )'Ol!If best" E'V'idiel!lces

I H 0'1<11: ,~o ~l\ClU know ~tr lJ; tile:re?

c.g:_. ".sl:~ uriry"

" AidtIilCIWlerlgn,~e ut [rolll Oiilier~:·

e,!];_, "PI. fe~lifll!: in the ~ile5:lfI[)rl: ~U:lilmt:b"

(Cumrrm:n;ing Catlses)

Beliefs: COlD!Ded VaIliles t~ Y.a:riou;s Aspeds; o:f 0 lU' EKpenen.ce

In order for a particular value to beeome operetionel, tbis entire syst!Bill. Qfbeliefs ID1Ii15t]be s:pecifl:!ed to some degree'. For a value such. a.15 '·pmif"e::osio:nalism." to be enacted lbellal'Ji.Dil",aIly, foc le~mple.olle must bll1i1d. b®.lilafs. about wha't :p.roIDss,lio:nal~,sm is (the "criteria" furpro£essionl\ilili:sm)~ how you know it is bHiIDlgena.cted (the "eriterial eqHiva[ences"); what CI.'UlseS it: and what it leads, to. The;; e behef'S arB as significant as tbe valu:eitg.elf in de'l;.ennining how peoplewill BeL.

Two people call! share the s amevm.ue of "saf@ty," for example, One p.e:Jf'S'Ilnt hOVii'leve:r~mJlY believe that safu~y is caused b:y~be:ing s,trongertha.n ,one~s. ,'" The other person may belii.e,vt1!thOlll·t safety Is ea used by '~lI,llnders tmIding and.res]ponding to the posi tive initenlio:n:s of those who tbreat,en us." These two win seek. safety [II. quite clifferent wa.jlS. Th~ app.l'1o'aches may €!vetn appear to cOl!l.tradict one another. The fiwst 'One will slElek.~a1\'ety by building-power (havio,g "a lblggeT stick'' thall. tbose he or sh,eperceiv'e:5 as, an "enemy"), The' 'rJ~rwiUse-ek saFety tbf'Olligh eommunieation, g.rutb.erirug infilrmat'i:JIln. afld~iOo:king' .far O'pti01lJ.s.

Clearl~ acn il!ldividuars be!iefs 'rela mug to his OTher CCiar'e values will d.ete:r.mmetTIle ]J erson ~s' '1nl'3il!Jltal mapH w.ith.respeet to those val ues;and thus. ho,w the persen a ttell~pts 00 manifest; those values. In. (I,rdell"tioadeqlllately macl:lL 0[' establish values, all o.f these belief issues must be <lJPpmpria.oo]y addre-ssed, For iP eop],e in a. systel"fi to act ~ohere:n:tly willi corevalues, they .m ust all :s:hane certain 1b,elief$~ as well <lSv,alues~ to some d91gI'iee.

Sle:igfut of Mouth pattems canbe viewed as verbaloperatiens that shift or refI':mle the various ,elem.en.ts anal lli:nk~g~:s whichm,ake up the com:p,~ex eq;uivaJ,enees and eause-effeets wmchflon:n. beliefs and helief statements. A..11 Sleight of Mouth. pa ttel'US revolve areuad using Ianguege in arde'l" to rela te and link varions aspeets of OUI experience and map s of the' w{lir!d to ClOreV' alues,

In the model O'f Sleigbt ofMauth~a complete 'belief statement' mllstm:inimal]y enntain either a. cm:np],ex 'eql!li'l,I'<:I:lenee g:r cause-effect assertion. A verbaliaa tio:a :sueha 51, "'Pl'lO pIe don.~t care about me'," ffl:r mst<'!!noo, ],S net yet !3. full ''ib~l:i.elsta te:menf. n is agenerali.:l,l;a,tion raRg'1!;ed to theval PIE! ,or"earin~;bfit does not yet :reveal the beliern, associetedwith th~g'lelJl,e'Yl:iliza::tiiQu. Th ,elici t the ber if!.f,Srela:t€d to this gene:Faliz'at~cn. one would need. to ask, "HoUJ do yau. know that people dCIl!\ eareabout yOlJ?" "What .m!1he\~ people nllt cam about yon?'" ·~a.t are thecQns'tq'll1:e'lwes of people nut

cari~:g abo1!1 t ygu?" and ~~at do as it ~n.~anthat peopJe don'l; care a.bout you 1'"

Suehbeliefs <are @ften G:lidteci. throu gh 'connective' WOMB j' slllch as: "baeause," "w benJBvert'{if/" "aflar," "themo're/,' etc.· i.e •• "'People ,illon't C,Me aibo,utm'e be~rL.'iiie ... " ~e(Jp~'e doo!t eMit! abou1!:: m.e if, • ,"" "People don~t Cru!E! about ma th.erefore .•. ""

Again~frol)mthe NLlPpe'r.&JH~ctivle', the i~sue :is n~t so. rnueh wnell:;l.I:n· onehas fl;ull.nd the "ico:ttec:t" eft use-effect bellief, but rathe·f what tYlPes of pra.ctical results Dnf! is able to aehieve if cme acts "aa ir'a pa,rl"ticu]al' equivlole.nce or causal Tela.tiol],ship axists.


Values Audit

Thepurpo:se of 'o,1ll' beliefs is, EO guideus in i~:n"~a.s where W~ donot know I'ea1ity~ That isw by lbeUefs have such me rrrofound

'._~, ' p"'r .. e1l'ltl· '" an' d ·.,t""Qn,s of' the future. 'I'b

lUll.~:uence ou 'ou][" ,00' '" r u '" '''''i ., ,u,"'"'.· , "

:reach, our outeames ,andm,amfes'l!. ourval ues, we' m ust belil€)ve that it is, possible tor sometmng to occur ,even tncmgh, we are

not certain that i:twi11 happen, .

TheValll!€!s, Audit i:5O a tool w.rueh ap~U{!:s. ling''Idstlc cmmeetives 1];0 help de:fia€! and, establish key heliefsI'elatedllJo e:stabUshing andIDamfesti]][g enre val nee. The values "auditing" praeessusee ¥erbal prompts and. key wom,sto helip YQ'U make Sl!llTe Y01!] have fullly e~[ored the sup~orbng system ef beli ef5O,neces:sary to. bring values intcaetien.

We build and stnm.gtb€!ll our beliefs and. values based o;n the cognitiv€ maps! reference ,experiences" reb.tiona]. support and tools that we h<3JvlE!avmiable ~~US. These fOrrnth.e 'reas ens' why webeTheve so:mething In the filr'st place, In order to bolster mn' OWl!, oeliefi.s.wi1t'lC!r.espeet to GU.iiV:fih.tes and goals, 0'1," to Influence the 'bel:i:efS ofo'thers. we must identify 'gi(lcd rnasOII'ls'why someone should b@li.evBlll. th.ose" valu~s !HIl.d.goabl•. The more reasons 1!:h,at WE! ?ave" to ~e~eve ~I!L -" " .. l!,.,~ -i';'l!., 'I--. 11- e m "',.,.. likelv it is tha!t we will belie-vie m ,1'1:: .• Tl:ri s

so.m!e 1WIJI!.llliE:>'~ ;~tiL ... , ,W\~ '0:> Lt!i.."". . . ,

inv[ and ~upplyiD.g the answers to sevffi"alll1lpor~

tant "why" q 1Ilestl!()nlS.~ such as:

a) ills s0lnetllin,g desi.ra:ble?Why is it de."ir,able?'

b) Is itp ossi bilE! to ac~:h],eve i t?Why :is .it possible?

c)'\lVba:t isrt:fu..e path that m..1JlSt be fellewed to achieve .it? '\Vhy is thiEl, a.pprOfJria.oo path?

cD.i\m I (ArE!' we J ca pa.ble af ,w]l1Lpletingtll,e path? '\Vb,. aan I (a:rewe) capable?

e) Do 1 (we) deserve to! complete 'the path and ge.twllai; we W8!D.t? Wilily do I (w,g)',e it?


AClcording to .Aristo-tle. a.nswering'tbese~es of ([lIAestJIo,us woUld mvolVie, :flndling the rnIderlying' 'ea uses' Tela ted to 1i:;n.e vari.cus 'issues. II!, 'Cltnef werds, we must disQ(I,v,er~

a)l W1Ila:t ea..ust's iit 00 'be d.<1!sirahle. b )W'halt ell uses ittobepossible,

c) What !::tauses tms to he! the apporoplriate p:a.tJh.

d) What mfijkes'metu.:s caJIIable. It!} Vlhat: makes meius: deiEiHmng ..

Linguistically" .Aris:tQtle:S aiff'6ren:t types of ca uses are 1'Ieflect@,d. in ,cerirun l,e,y woraJts bloWE!. as 'coffnectiV'e:s:·. Cenneetives are words 'Or phrases mat link one idea. 1[;0 aIiI.Qtherj S:1!lch ,as:

b~cause ~hile ,in the.

same ,way that

befun wh~~'l.1~r

if therefolre


80 that aUJw.u;gh

C I!Ul.nectii:vesi

We relate ideas tpg:ether:, and values to expe:rie:lilcss.lliroug,h tnesetypes ref 'eormective' words, F01" mstance, if we were to, make 6" value staoom!ent such as , ~learnil'.lg :iis,:imporlan t;" and funow it with the word "because," we would be, THad to idei!ltifJ some 'ea USB~ whlcll bro'UlghtllS to our cenclusion, A.s an eXaIDJI,le,we might say;. ~arning is important because it helps ustlo grow and ,sm"rivE!," In. '~hiE; t~,e~ ~ .important link: lliliBiBooen ma~e to a consequence (!).r "final mnru~e' related to learning.

DtB"e;rent CQllJlemVe woodis can be Med as ameans to e:X[plc,re or 'andit' the \.I'ariOlllS''cilillSe:!S· relat1:ed to a partiflultu" value Dr' eriOOTIoo. nne simple method is tolili061Se H. plU'ti.c.mar value and syst:ema.ti.callLy .gothrough 'BEI!~h of the (';oFm..Bctiv,eg to fin(J[ any otfie:l'relat.ed. snp}BJod;in,g ,BlEisociatiorn; or m:.sumptions.


F,or examplB, if a person wanted to ,s;tr,engthen his or her he.liefin and commitment to the value of'"health,," the process would start wi th.the sta:oom6'I1.t of tba t p,artilcular value:

"Health. is important and. dHsi:r.oble.," Holding this value statement constant, the mdividual would. the-tw, g,othrough each cennectsveto explore aU IOf the, 811l pp:orting reasons,

In this case it would be important to begin each n.ew sentence prompted by the eonneetive with the WOI"-d: "I", TillIS helps to insure that the individual remains associated in the e~erience and avoidsme:rely making "rationruization.s'. Thoo, 'tbl:! series of new statements would be eraatad in the followi ng manner:

Health is important and dasizable,

b£eausel --------~ __ --------~

Health is important andl desirable,

thR.ref(Jn~ J ~ ------~_---------

Heal th is important and d.astra ble,

wkf!.'nefJe'l' I _-- ~ ------~_-----------

Health is Impcrtantand desirable,

sa that I ~ __ ------~----------

Health is important and. desirable',

*aUhtJugh I __ ------~-_---------------

Health is important and desirable,.

if I ~_---_-----

Health is. Impertantand desirable,

in tkE! same lony ,hal 1 -- -------


An ,ex;amrple of how someone would complete these sentences might be:

Health is important ,and desirable bec.aus~ I need. strength w:ul anergy in O'ljdflf to crea:te ,BJ1d survive.

Health is, important and. desirable Uwr.efor:e ill willbegiu the B ppropriate steps to take eare of myself.

Health is Important and. desirable Wh6l'll>e'Uer I want to be prepared for the future.

Health is impmtant and dsslrabla -,,(J ,that I eaa ,enjoy myself and be a g,ood Iiole model for otheI's·.

Health is important and desirable if I want to ha happy and prodiuctiy,e.

Health is. important and desirable *ral fro() 'Ugh Lhave other goals. and responsibilities to he fulfilled.

Health is, .important and des:ii:rab,le in, the same way a~at I need the necessary foundations and TIlSOl!lFOe.!'l to reach .my dreams.

After finishi ng the new statements J it is interesting to read each of the en.tries dele:ti;ng the prompt words -with the e:xce'lJtion Df' ",altho1Ught.l. (It is! important to wet-sin the word "a1.thCl'ugh." or that particular response: 'will appear' negative.) The series ofrespenaea ean foem a. snrpris-ingly coherent and 11 aluable sta tement of reasons to enmmrt; to the ,I:!OTH value that you have s-elected:

Health is: important rEnd desirabl.e. l.rumd strength and e:ulffrgy in (J,rde,. to create and l>u1i1Jive. I will be.£,i.n the' appropriate. step.-q to take af myself I want fu ,b,f!; p.repa red fot' .the future. .1 (Ian (!~Voy myself a nd lie a good role mt;del fur' of hers . 1 wlud to be happy and pToductifJe. Although lhave other goals and r-e-sp'ansi bilities ttl 7,e fu.lfilled~ I need ihe necessary fou:ndations and reSO',U1'Ces to reael« my dreams.

.!v;:, you can see, this creates a ~Dfuen!I1Lt set ofideaE,and affirmations, thateanhelp to strelllgthe;rll a 'pe,rson's eommitme-otto and. belief in the value of health. The p'lREligTaph defines elements of apa:1thway fo:r lexpl'ElssThn.g the value, pfil'ride;s, motiva,ticm, and even a;d.d;reiS:S!e8 possihle obj eetieae, Be eause the greup efsta temen ta ~d.~n tify a raulti p]ici ty of reasons (CIT causes) ~n.dpuw them into W[J~I' it becomes a powerful sow:-ce of pO'.siti Vie affinna:t.Ions. It provide.s, an overall exp~.anat~ilJJ:!. jius;l;;jfyin,g ceramitment to the value-. n[]1 ~'iro-videi8 arieTh! source 01[' idiJeas f9I'ad(ke8~mg d.Qubts.

Try this p1rocess on one of JUJUI' ewn values by g01l'n,g tJn-,ougJi1 tbe f'0I10wlJllg staps, and refe:rri.:D.g to the Val ues Audit WoruheeL

1.. MdeJQtiry a. corn vruule that is important far you to establish 00:- suengthen,Wri'oo down the via] ue yQU want to strengthen in the space marked "\i'"alue' bBlo'w to completl! the. vi:11l!le st-a.lJeine.n.t.

2. FO'r eaeh of the 'pron'lpilt" wOil"&~re8d. YOlilit val tie sta t:e~ moot~ add thtlprompt wo:rcl:(;s). and ct)ill"plete the .senteaee wl,th WhB!.tevef ~sp@'n.taEeou~ly' comes 1];0 mind.

3..VVhen Y'ou are finished. read Y01.ilralilswer~allbog,ether and netice what has ehanged ,andbee]l.. s'trengthe.ned.


Value: . lis important anrl desirable,

Whai is a~1)Ire!}p;lu:etl(!lt; is imp(Jlrta.n:t for )'D'U to eS~(J,biUi$h or s:t'l'tt!ngthe n ?

beca;use.l .. _

Why is it Ir:ksimbk and flPPffJprW.tero hfweth~ as. a ool~e?

fhcerelbre l~~ ~~ _

What is ,[;I behavioral OO'll.<;eque:",ce fjf haui~g ~his valtM?

Ul,heAe[!eT.l ~~ _

What is.(i key situa.lion or oon.ditiOl'J, ta tkisYialue'?

80 t.htlJ 1 _

WhaJ is the fJosUiu€ purpos-e; Df this UI!;due:~

fi(.dtho,ltgb.l. ~~_

Wim,t aUerll'mtiufl's er c'Dns.traint;; urn the re ;wit h .rn!Spe,ct to t,ni$. vmue.?

ifl~ _

in. tie same way that. .1 _

What is a si.milar t1al'ue~hat }'D'U alr-eady hllud

AfteT yauha ve d filling iueaeh statement, -read saeh of the entries. deleting th.epoomplt words and 'begillilil!:lg with the word '"1''' (the exneptio:n :is, :l;he word ~'a].th'mghnJ lit lIS imp@mntw, TEitaiIllthe word ~al~heu,gh~ ortha.t parlicl!llmmsponse '!W:ill ,lIP]] aH!r negBLtive..)



The "a! uditing"pfiU]MS. using billgu.i:stic oonne[:tiviBIS, can be applied to ,st'rengU, ether beJief$ a-s well, by establishing ~eliefs about beliefs." These can serve as ,adctit;i.aruali and 'Su~po:rtt[]1 have eonfidence in aparibieular belief.

A.B. zm example, let'~ .!l ay 8c person has doubts about whether he or she d.esenres to be htBalthy and attr:aetivI8. Applying the Behlef Aum.t pmce!~Ls, wou.ld. i:n:volver-.epeating this .belief ,and adding differ.en!; loorrnecltiVf:l'S. to the end of tone. st<ltmne1;ltt. Fm.inl iIlllbe b]ank:crea.tedby H!dding the eenneetives 8e.nes [.(I ereate links 'between th,at belief and otherheliefs and eK.perie]!(lE!s~alIl1d ~eframe' PQRsible mterle:r~ enees.

'Tty it 100IJ.t llsing~ the fo]lliQwing "ffiJiOOcedure.

'BeUef Audit"Pl'oeedlH'l!

1. IdentitY a.be11lefthat yonn.eed. in. order to ,'f!.Crn.eve a desired ol.llitcome~ but abeut whic.h yOllJ harvel' s,ome doubt (:refer to the J2hlllie.:f Assessmeat Sheet in. Chapter 5). Write dOiWD. the b elief Y'lJU want to strengthen in the spaeema.rkoo. 'Belief'below .

. 2. For eaeh of the 'prompt' wCl:I'ds below, repeattill.e Eiie'])tenee leoqIresslngthe' b@lie.f. Then, add the prompt wom(s) and. cGmplete the sentence 'Wl'tb wha.tev~:r 'spcntaneOU:s~yl oomes to mind ..

:3. When you are flnishs d I read yOm' a.fi8we,rsa][ to, and HQt.i.oe what has chang!edal1!d what has been strengU',Il€!ued.

B.elie.f -------~----

b~c\ause llytJu ~ _

WhyiJil'i.t (ar-e you) desirablrg lp{),'Ssible I a:pp,ropriat~ (00- pfi!_b,~e ldesB.nJ.iu,g I ~poruJ,ible) ~€9 rm~h the Dutcome:?

As you try this,p:r()C8SS with cm.e of ylJiUT O'!.VD bel~efo!l!] y'©~ will realize that some of 'thepr1ij'mpm are easie.r to nspond. to th<i'l:il others. l'i"ou m8!Y aisJOnnd 1!hrrt it is em;ier or more appropri atew respond to th,epromllW in a diBe:re.nt erdsr ·[hom they are ]jgted. Of oourse y'01!l oan feelh mM8w:m- t.he prompts in the order that feels most .nat1.!Iil:'"ruarnd lemnfQ:ooble for JUU o;ryour group • . and it is okay to leave sQme (lfth~' prompts Mank. ~on will 'lind. bocwev,er" Khat t;Jrne1prnmpi:s whi~h seem most difficult to aaswer often ~eadto s,ome, ofthemCist andinsightfu] results ..


Auditing a BeJiefProm a, Difforent Perspective

Sometimes, it is difficult or unfruitful to audit a belief from yOUI' o,\YIl perspective. In fact, doubts often arise beea~e we are stuck in oUI' point ofview and cannot see any other


Another way to U,8,j;] the Belief' Auru t prceess :is to do .lit

while consid@ring the vision and belief from thes.hoes of another person, or ·mentorf,. Thls can open up new 'PeT'OOPtual space' andhelptc remove unconseieus blocks bo, creativity: It call also help yenl to fiaduneenscteus OI' unnecessary assumptions.

'JI['his, '[ann. Ci:ftbeBe]~,ef Audit ean be done by identifying ~ person, ,either actual or hypothetical", 'Who does have full eonfidenee ill! the particular 'behef you have doubt-s about. Then you_, ora partner, 'CHn step in to the shoes of that person and "role pla.y his or her rasponses to the \rmi,ons p,rampts. 'To facilitate the ro1!ep,la.y~ you would want to use the word "yau~ ins;te,ad m "1'" when init;rn.elIyrespondmg W theprempts.

To test the innuem~e of the (In your own eenfidenee level, you. ean then repeat the respnnses gener= ated hy the other' perspectiw sUbstitu.ting 'the word "''1);1 :for"You" . It often helps to have another person read the responses to YOUlfirst,- so you can get Q. sense of the statem.ent

fromb othperspectives. . .

For 'example. if the statement generated from the role,byedperspectit,f,e is ~O1ll deserve to be healthy and attl"RC-

~ f u Id

ove becanse You are a. precioUEi Pl'OllllU± 0 . n ature, you wou

repeat theresponse in first person. That is) you would !Hl!, '1 deserv'leto be healthy and attractive because I atn apremuus product of nature."

Using' Counter Examples, to Reevaluate I..imi-ting Beliefs

The Values Audit and Belief Audit apply principles of NLP and. ,Sleight of Mouth in orderto belJl us become more open. too be.fiev~ in our goals" our values, lOW" cap" and curselv,M. Theyar,e simple but powerful processea that help us t01!!stablish n.ew and empowering beHefs.

There .1lI"B time.s",how,eVer,. where we mas enCD,nnter l:ntel'ference frum limiting beliefs. In such situations, it Is also tm portan t 1::0 have tools to heJp us become open to doubt thootl, general, zations 01' judgmB']J[t~ th at limit us, Pt.iJce6£8,s :s:nch. as finding the intention. ehunking down. ehunking' up,nnding analogies, and identifying higher level ,criteria, offer sever~ metb.ods seftening an_cllrerraming Iimi tiug beliets, Anotner verypllwerl"nl pattern, that 'wo:rks with the strueture cf beliefs, is to identify "counter examples to the beHets.

A counter examplf1; is an example a experience. OT piece of imorma.tion, which does not lit a particular g,eDerali~ation about the world, Counter examples are eseentially e'xl::eptilElus to a. rule.FoI' ex-ample" a perscn .may say that "all Masai are cattle UtieMes~:" !Stating a generalization about ,S, group of people. 1b this representaticn, we w auld. s aareh fur any examples which do not fit-that generalization - perhaps a time when a. Ma_sm returned a nrissing DOw t~ semecne,

Finding 00 un tel' examples is a simple but powsrful way to evaluate and challenge potentially limiting-beli.ern, and to deepen our understanding of other beliefs. Counter examples do notneoo'ssaril,y dispirOve a belief statement, but th_ey do challenge its 'uniVeI"sallityJ" and fr,equeuUy put it in a broader perspective. (In Chapter 4. for instance, we 11.&.00 lCiOtmber exLU:lIp~ea t-o i dentizy hie:rBrclaie s of eriteria.) As, was mentioned e.arl:i,er~ benefs and eririeisms become Hmiting wben they-are stated as 'univereala '; eharaetertzerl ~y Ian-


guage such as '":all." "every/' Ojall.ways." «neV'Hr~'" "neae," "no one," etc. It is different to sayj "I am not succeeding because 1 lack the necessSlIry Hxpedence," tha.n tel say, "I'll ne:v~;,r sueceed because I lack the necessary experience." SimUarly. there are' diifferent 'impliea tion~ and expectatio]!~ eonneeted the statement, "I am sick because' I have cancer, ~ than the sta.tement. "I willalwaY,B, he sick because I have cancer." Beliefs stared as, universals fuequently have more' im paet '0011 our 'expectations and m,otivation.

Fe·r a .statement to' be tru1y wrivHI'sal, o:f course, we sbeuld find no coun.ter examples. With respect to Sleight of ll.I!outhj establishing a counter exrunp,le involves finding an ' that does net :fit the eause-effsct or complex eqm valence statements, which make tIp a belief or belief' system. and whlch ,sb.ifts and enriches our 'peI"lCeption of the generalizatio.n OI' ju.d:gment being asserted. So, jf someone claims, ""All employees, B!r'e .mlstru.stful of their basses," then we WQu] d seek anyexamp1es of employees who trustled then- bosses, We sbouldelso find out if there' are bnsseswho are mistrusted by people other than. then- ,employees.

Finding' a counter example" b1 the wa.y, does not mean that a h~Uef sta temeo t; is "wrang·., it gene:rallymemIi!l that the ,system erphenomenca that is bemg elq)l.orrui 01" studied. is more complex than. it has been petceived. to be" or that its. mesr fundamental ell@me.nts h!1ve not yet been discovered. This open.s up, the: potential fm othe'rperspediv@s and pOEl~ib:i1i ties ..

As we have a]ready established, the structure of belief sta.'tements typi:c:ally takes the fo:nrt. of e,i ther:

A means B ([lomp~,ex: equicalent); e.g., Frawning means you am .un,happy.

C caliJJlies D (cause-effed): e,g ..... Allergens cause allercies.


To seek counter e:EaDlpie Ii we 'Would. first ask:

Does A ever oeeur wUhout B?

,f!).,g •• Do pf!!:aple euer frtJwn tahen they are happy?'


Are tbrH when C is presaa t but does not en U,15 e D?' ,e.g.~ Can. peopk be around an aUergrm and nut have an allergy?

You can also reverse, or 'convgrl,·,. the terms and ask:

Does :8, ever occur without A?'

e .g. ~ Are' people. (!lJ,firu.nhf1.pP:fj yet do not {ro.wn?


Is tber,eany D th at Is not caused by C?'

'f!.g .• Can someone hftve an cdle.rgic reuetion. even though nn aUli!.rgy ispr:esent?

Fin.ding; eounter @x:ample-s ,often. leads us 'to a, deeper undeI's:tanding of the phenomenon we are 'considering. and helps to enrich. aUF' 'map' of the temtory: Often~ there ].s, a. superficial validity to eertain ~ensralizati,oD.B (like the relationship between frowning' and unhappiness 01' allergensand ,~nergie.s.)~but the deeper proeesseste which theyre[:er are, in facti much more eomples,

Keep in n:riQ.d~hat,beca use beliefs are linked with deep level neurology; a in beliefs by finding a eountar

example. can often pro· d .. c....· .. eli' t .::J' .::I~. ..' =

_. - _....... . ... 'Ul .", Jimme .. a e ,D.ll!1..iJ dramatic e1.lects_

Finding counter ex,!unples. for instance, is the tore o,f- the ~L~ Allergy Technique (which involv'els finding something' as surula'fas poss:lible to the allergen,bu It wJill!w d.[!I8'" not produce the aUergicr,eaction).



'Some Verbal Fr3DlCS for Eliciting Limiting Belief Stateme~n:ts

In 'order 'to praetiee finding' e~un.teT e:xa:mpli€!S fol' Iimi tiog beliefs, you wilH nsed some lexrunples, ef limiJtin g beliefs. We can utilize verbal prompte, similar to those apphed in the Values Audit and HeUef Audit, in order to generate limiting bellief' statements.

As with all be]ieUi} ,EUld, the 'verbalization ofbeJliefS, lim:iting beliefs typically take the form. of ",eause~e;ffect" and ''1,complex equivali,ence" statements. That is. we belleve thasom.ething ]Ls, the' r-es,uIt or' consequence of' else, or t.ha t something is e'l;Il tdenclI:! of O'l" mfa.r~5 so.m€thiflg, elsa. The fcUOWlng pro,mpts us-e these veinal forms as a way to elqlloI"'s and elicit clusters of limiting beliefs relating to the sense of bopelessness, helpleij~ne5S1 and worthlessness. Filling in the statements with. resp ed to seme situation or a-rel!lli in your life where you. feel stuck or at an iiimp«ss~" can belp yon La uncover important linriting beliefs which can then be addressed by thevaricus Sleight of Mouth pattJerns tbat we b.avtll been explori~g in this book

If I get what I want then _~_--------Whaf wtxtild you k;se' OF could gtJ wrong if you get, mhnt you want?

Gettingwbat I want would. .mean.__-------W1u:Jt wou.ld ,i~ mHUl ne;gutiuely a.hout you or others if yQ~ grJt what you; wan.ted?

. 'c;a,USBS; thl.ngs tIl stay the way they are noVIT.

What prevents things from changing?

Getting what I want will make ' What pffl,blem.q could be eoused. by gf! what you want?'



The sitl!lation will n eV'ElI' change beeaus e (!,onstrain,ts or boociM] k"utp thing;,. the.-w-a-y-t-h-By-a-,·-e?~·-

I can't get WMt I want because


What' stops you fmm geUing w.hat ,'OU want?

It is not poasihle for me to get what I want because

Wh~t makes U impos.sible. (or YO,rl to ,g~t whrdyQu want?

I am not capable of getting what T want because

What persrm.aZ deficiency p'1"euents' you {mm ge~ti:i'lg your o,utCOln e',?

~gs will never get hette!"' bacause

What will alw{l;Y:S prevent yun from-, .,-, tn-, '-i-ly-su-' c-D-ee-d-;-~n-g-?-

I'll al ways ha~r,e this problem beta use

What prevents you from Teaching yo.u-r-or;-I,t-,c-o-ln-B-t-h-(jl-t-c-a-:n---'

wnutr be changed? - - -

It isw:rcng to want to be: difJerent beea use

What: makes ,it wrong 01" iu.approp.r.iate .to' w-, -a-n-t -to--e'-w-. ~-8-'"e-?'

1 don~t dese:rve to, get wha,t 11: want because

What hau,e yo it ,done~ O'r nat donie} t,hnt m4k-e-s-}l-o-u-u-n-w-o-rl;-h-';'

of getting ,what you want?

Cb.oQsea belief (cornp.1ex equivalent or earuse~effed) to wor kwith and write' U in the s,~Hu~es provided b,~low.

{A) ~~_ because (B)_-------

,~',g.~ (AJ lam oo.~ capable of Zearnin,g ~,o operate a c'lJmpu.te.r bec,ause (11) .l ,am not a ,tq;Chl1Wa,lty oriente.d person.

F:Uindilllg examples would invelve U s'eilll'~hingFor' easesIn which therewas A bllt: not ;0,;; i.e., cas~ mwhich people Iearned to oper:El!.te eemputers who we're Dot teehnically orie:n:tedi..

You can. als~)! ide:n tify conn'ter examples by:!} seeking instances in wmehtb:er,e W:aJ:S B but Dot:.A~ ie. ,situati.c:ms in \vru.cllpeo,le wllo were' teehnicaI]y oriented did. notlearn to ~pe:r.ate computers.,

Hereare 6! '~"lnple or otheJr ,exam:ple:s:

I will n:eiversuceeed acwdemically I har;e a ~ftarnin,g disa bility.

1, Arte 'th,e:tle ~p~,es of people who did not succeed a.cadelllilically even though tbe;y did not hava ~n.y learnmg disabilities? (i.e.IPe:ople who did not take Bdvrultage of the cpp ort:tll:lities pmvided for them.)

2:. Ar~ there examples, of poop]e. who did hav~ ]'e.arning wsabilities (such as Albert Ei]].steiJ.l.J yet did. succeed academically'?

! don't dCJser!.l'€ to get WM~ 1 ,want bec.~e .1 h.tuJf! Hc!!~ made 1B.n.augh e:f!iiJrl;.

1. Dill.!: YOH thiIJik: of esamples ofiindiv1iduals 'Who do net d.(lserve to g'@t wba.tthey want even thougfu.tihe.y have mad.e ,ft lot of efi'w:-t?' (e.g., ,thlev~s or assalS:Sfus who put a. ]ot of effort Into their crimes)

2. Can. yO'u think. Cl:f ~nyinru:vidlUI]51 whemakene efifo,rt at all (SU.chOIS !3l new born baby) I y,et s'tiH deserv,e to get 'wMtthe~l womt?

You can. ,sE!,arch 'for emmter exftlillples eUhe:r m yOW' own ~j.~rsQnal lliID'e. 9'Xllerie:noo8 or In theaccompli13hmenm and adilleveJmen m ~if others,. Tlle aeticrns and 3.ehieveme.:I1lt.s Cilf others g'cen€!l'wly lOonvin.08 U~ tha.t something is possibIe or desira Me. OOtlmitM' e!X:amlPies co:m~, frnm OUil!'" life 'experiences convinteus th:at we persenally bavethe ca.pabilibe's and. d.e8:eTVe :T.t.

Gene.r.allyifm.cling ~'I{,efl. OJlle person. who has'beel1. able tD a.caomp]~sh 'Somethin,g that is believed llriIpoSis:iblle bundE, our sense of hope ,and "autoome ex!pecta.ti{l'n~,S'b:;engthen.jjn:g OUT canfidence that semething Isp ossible,. Finding examples fmm I~tn" own lIik lexperieJ1!ces goes, a step further, 01l1f' confid'en!oo'j DOt cuily tbat !:llometh::ing is possible, but that '!!VIe ar-e cap:a:bleof I\eaclring it already '1:;0 S<Qme degree - I.e .• it srtJre.ngthens nur' ~elFeffi.caey e~ctation.

Once. ame,anin,gfW eauater erXlltIil1]Ji[e has been. fOl!lI!Ld, it cau be presented to thepers:,oifi who-is,gling: witb the ]~mit:in.g helief, Bemembe:r. tbe purpose of fulifu1,g counter exam, af Sle1lg',b'li rifMouth m geoerru.j is not to attack 01' humiliate someone fj)]' having a limitin.gbeUef; ra ther,.kt is: to :he].f! the P€:rs'C~,nM.dieIll.a:nd emicfu. his or her map nftbe w@dd,and shift from a problem frame 01" faihll'@ frame to an otrboome frame' (a,r fieedibae.kframe.

As an example. if a child s,ays. "111 never to learn to ride this bik,e I I keep falling down all thetime," a parent could respond, '~OIU wer,e able to keep yom balance fur almost 10 feet a little while 8i,go.. So you a1'~ not faJling al~ the time. Keep practicingand you willa Me to keep your balance longer and lon:ger." This C01l1.J]"OOl" example is arrived at from "chunking down" the child's ~erl,enc:e and, narrowing the frame size to facus on, th@ moments of Bucce,ss,. Because it is drawn from the child's own behavior; it :is likely to help reinforce the clrild>S belief in the d.ev,elopment of his Ol" her own cap,abiliti,es. This supporu the child to. become open to believe that he ,1)lI' she can, indeed, learn to maintain his 'Or her balance.

A parent could also m,ake' lEI statement like, "Remember hew yow brother fell d,awJl all the time when 11,e was first to ride his bicycle? Now he rides his bii~e e9$ilyall the 'time. Falling down is just apart of ~'" In this case, the counter example is established by "ehunking up." wl,deniug the frame, and pointing to the achievements of others. This will serve to. build the ,tihiid's confidence, or "mrtcome expeetaticn," thgtit is,pnssible 'to, learnte dd.e a bic.ycl.e~ ev!t!:nif Me faIls down a, lot. This can help the child '00 become ope.nto doubt that falling down means one will ultimately 'ail to [earn,

Both. counter examples help to put the ]imiting geneI' 'tion~'''I'1l never to learn to ride this bike, I k!eep .fa.lling down all the time" -b,ack into a feedback frame. instea.d of a failure frame.


Chapter 7

Internal States and Natural Belief Change


Th.eN.a.turaI. Process of Belief Change

ThepWjpose of all 'of the Sleight QfM:olilth p.atl:1ernls we exp]!~roo npmtMs:]Joint is fi; us to become more opelil. to believem 'Our goals, eur val 1!1eJ3. OUT capa.bilities and QUI'selv,es.They ,[!i~IIJI. ats'l) help ILlS eo 're'frame? negative gene1"aliza.t;io:ns~ st:imw,ating 1D te become more Clpen. to doubt evaluations all.djudgmenw which limit us, Sleight o:fMouth pa.tte:rll1s are simple but , v@;f.'bal stmeturea that aid us' i~ the e~tablishroe'nt 'of' new and empow'BMgbe]iem, and in. ,ehangin,gl.lli(Etitm,gbelieilrs. They ,OU'epow·errfcl tecls fo~ co.nversational belief change ..

JPeopte ,~,flen cOins:iderthepm'oceiS s ef cheng[Il!,~ beliefstobe oiiffictittand. eflfottfl!ll; and aeeempanied by struggle and. conflict,. Yet,,1!b:e fact remains that people naturally and spoutan:ecna5]y establilSh and diseS!1r'd hl!llldre,dsl ifno1t.tho.usands~ of belief's. d.mingtheir lifernmecS .. lPe:rh~psth.e difficulty i sthat when we co.nsdou s~y a:ttemptfuo chang.e OUT be]~ efs, we do, S(I, in a. way that dmeslJlot respeet t:he na:t'l!1r£ill cyde olf belief change, W@ tryl:i.o cnan;g"@ OiU:il:' bell!efshy "f\ep!1~.'3iSiIl,g!'l them, di13,proving them, Or' attaeking them. Belli ef.'!! coo bamme sm'prisl:111g1YMmp~e fiEld to chang'e if we respect andpaee the na.turalpro+cess of belief chaing13.

ill have spent a great deal [)if time stllldy:ing .andmod.eling theprnness of III elief c!i::nJnlge. 1 nave worked.w:i ili many people,mditvidual1y and. in. se:minars~ over the past twenty yea:r:~~ au.G. ma.V1e wiblE!SSOO the semetimes miraeuleus .. l"esuUwhen peopieare a ble to ll"ele:ase old 1inri.tln,g belliefs and I{!Btahlisb new and. empowering ones. This tr£m:s.ition ean g.enlle·.

I have als~o see([l!l my tw:o children. (who are 10 and. f.! ye.a:r.s old at tllile tim.e O[ thl!S wri.tfug) chlmg!emiilfiY, many potentia:lllyl:in:ri.ting beliefs inth,e:rur short lives; and leiSt~bli8;hmore emi.cmng ones. F'e:rhatps .m.ost im.'K.rt~tlY, they did it wilthout ~iSychoithe·rapy er m.edica:ti.on. Caltn.cmgh;a Ii 1t1r.~e men toriog

and Sleight of MQiul1t.h. is of'OOn helpfuU. These limj~ng bellef:s. eovered a variety ef'taples and activities, including:.

Ttl nevte<:r learn to ride thls hleyde. I am not good. at math.

TIl neYie:r·live thr~ugh this prun.

It Is too hard fllTmJlE! to learn to ski.

Learning. 00 play the pi,ano (01· this particular song) is difficnll t

lam. not agooQ[ bas.ebill.player.

I oan't Ieam bow topum.p the ~wing by myself.

At a certaln pomt in their liyes~ my children adually made statements tJucn .. as these. The degree to which theybelievecl. fd1Lei'u.-' ow.nw'ords fiJ:iJ.Itea, tened theirm.oUv atien to keep trying to sucoeed.Wh.e.n. such beliefs are taleen to an em-,eme I peo:p'legiVE! up, ~fl! d CSlU act1Jl{'.lUy eease to enj,oy or ,~tJ~;empt to do sueh aletivities fol' the restof their lives.

The:p:roceos5 through wmch my duJd,ren changed their 'beUef:s OCCUIT'Bd as a natueal Icy'cie inwmch they became mOI'le and more open W daM bt the' Jlimjti]].g' belief, and mere and. more open to bel ie.ue that thfJ:Y ceuld be Scl!lGCif!ssfuT, ThllS Ji],EI!J3, ~ed. me to 'f!mllu]a:te what I eall the B~l,wf C.han,ge Cycle (see StmliegiEls ofOenius Volume HI, 19H5).


Tb,e na.tural cyd.e ,ofbeUef change can 100 l:iJke([1ed, tDth~ cibt.anging of t11le seasons, A n~w beJ!lef is ]]lu::l a seed. that becO'me&p~,allt!.!ld. in the S]priHg. The see,d grows into the Summer where' it mat.uIDes!'becom~s strong and. takee rcct, DurifJ.g the process of its growth, the seed must at times compeE'e fOir survival with otherpl.ants or weeds that may already be growing in. the ~a:rden .. Th StlCCe.8sruUy aooomplEsh this" the De-Vii seed. may requirethe .as~istanB~ of t;he garolB.nQf Iaerder to' hel~ fertili:z;e it ,or provide protection fromthe weeds ..

. Like in the Autwmn~ thebeHe:f e'ventu:aliXy serves its purpose, a,ndbegi;n;s t~,hecome, 'ou:lt;daledl a:nd. 'Wither. The "fnuits' of 'the bel:l,~f, however, (the positive intentions MId. p'Ill'[I{lS~S behin.d. iM are re-tained. or 'hanres ted.' ~ and separated from th.e pam thafuQI'e no ]onge·I":I1€109ssary. Flinally. in the the parls of th.e belief w:rueh Me ]}.ID longer needed are let .go ofan.d. fade .away" aUowi:ng the cycle to begin again.

i\s 'We prepsee f'OIUL the diff~e:nt .EliM,ges in our lives, or careers, werepeat 'this, cycle manyttmes; {aJ WebegjR by twa ntil1,g to belieUfl that we, willbe ahlel:.o mannge thenew challenge l3uccessfuUy and ffif;;oW"uefmny. A.s we enter that stage of hfe and llElarn. the lesso.ns tha.t we need in Mder to mruJl3,g)t!, w.e (b) beeeme ~()p'en to ,be.lieue' that we may,. m faet, have fhe eapabilitie s lobe su.ccessful and .l1Iesomc!C.illll..M our eapabilities becenre oo~fir:medjwe (c) beeeme confident lIP om' <belief tho t we Me sucesssful and reeonrceful and. that we hat w'e ~e domgis right f,'or us :now.

Sometimes eur new COfl.vl,c:tio:n. eomes in. conflict with eNisting limiting b.eJl:ie[Si tha:t oon.trial!d:ictthe, new gefiE:ll' tion or jud,gment we are attempting to establis'h.FrequeD tJy, these intede:ri.n,g beliefs are gen el'aJi:zat]!OIJIS rI!l1i'.1.t have S'Bl'ved '1;.'1] suppcrt o.r protect us a't SQme time in. thG past, b,y esta,b.lish:in,g lim]_[ts and pI'i.o.r.[.ttes]l1erceived as n~UlE!,s,sa:ry for

!Safety 0.1' snrvivm ,a;fj; tba~ tim.a .in Olllrr lives. .& W,!a' rncogniZ!ia that we a:r,efJassrnglt;h~t .8tag>E! of 1if~ or wOl'k~ webegin 00 become (d) 'rJpe..nio do~bf that the bm!Ulldru:ies and. d.eci6ign~ as seeiated Witlli. that. stage are. really 'Wblilt is mos~ .important, pn.ontW. oT·~bue' fo:r us anymore'.

When we are' abl!eto move on to the IIlext stage in Our lives oc careerti. we' can look back. Ili!:l}d see hat used to. be im.po.rtan.t and.tJru.e 'fiQru,s iil3 .1Il0 ].~)1lger the ,ca,se',We can 'fe-cognize that we (e) 'ueed :to believe' that we werre a eertain W<liy and that: ,certain tihi~lg:s w.ere .important. We can also lIetaiintneb elie.& and! ~apia.bil:itie:sthat win help us illl ol!lr ,eu:rIIentphas'e ,but we-realize tha.t ,~UI' values ,priorities and beUef's are now diffeJre]]! t .

All OIJH~ m~eWl to do is: toreUect up on the cyde~ of change thl1lltoue has gOD€ thmugh sinee ,chiMhoQd,. adolescence, and the stages O'f a.d.nllthoQd. ,to: find many f!!%3l1llflieSi of this cyd~. As we enter al!lclpas,," tlHough lie] at:ion.smjps, jobs, rnlBud ~ SruIJiS~ pa.:rtne:rsb.ipiS. etc., we deveh)p bsliefs I31!.lld values which serve llls~and]!et them g,~ again as: w:e transtticnto a .o:e'w part ,of OWl'" Iife'spath.

Tb~:fil11lidamen talL steps of thiscyde include:

:'Wan'tingbo,be];ie:v:e~ has to dOlwilil®1ll' expBt!t;a.tiiOr:!£1 and our motivations: fQlf' establishing a new belillef. When we 'w ant 00 believe) som.etlring • it Ji sllf.l,1i,laUybec;a U se we think that the ]].ew be~ief will produce ,Positive Cllo.seqllBJ!lCe s in our. Iivss. "W'antingl;a believe' something also wV'o~ ves the a'~;kn(l!\.vledgmen t that we d.C:lJllit yet 'beHeve' i t ~the ~ew belief ha s not yetpas.sed (}:Ul' 'reality strategy' Oil." the 'erlterial e~.uj;valenc:es> I!I'ece."g:saryfor I!lS ta bow that we have iinco'r{Jorated. fUlly Oll]!," 'f;urrent mode] of the world.


BeCicmring Jopeo..tO' be1iev~' is 1UJi. 'B<xci tmgand gem.era.tive experienea, typically aeeompanied bya sense ~f freedom and exp1ora,tiOOl,. "When we aIDe ~c'pen to believe'>! we m'I€l not yet ecnvineed that tihe nswbeliefis com.p].ete]y \r:alid. Rather. we ~ga:th.ering' and. weig;hlng if!videnc:e which. could &upport the belief. Being opefi~o believe invclve:~being :fully immersed in the Q'Qwome fr:rm:n:.e~ the feec!';back frame and the 'as if'&ame. We knQW that we d,Q net beli.eve it,hut th:ink~ '1l4aybe it is ~ o.'!!si:ble." "It could. be." ~B.t w,orud. my life be like: if I did 1!;~e, on this new be1ief?' "What wouLd m have to see, hear er feel 00 beeeme cOilvlneJ€!d. that the new beBef :is valid and usefUl?"

The ,gene:raliizatiOtn5 that wle ·cW"relltIybellieve· makeup our OJ1:g'l(lrng belief system.. When we 1belieV',e so:methi:iag (wheifuhe:r it. is positive or negative;, empowering or limiting), we, fWll, ,;i'~bo that bellef' as .our CUfl'1!mt ~rewi:ty~ ~ We Q©ngruent1y act ",as if' that beUef were true f(ilri!:" us. It is at tms p oiIllti;h~t the belief begins to' 'take on the "s'elf-fulfiJlling" as soeiated '\ilo':itbbeJlieving some:thinlg (as in the 'pmc/BDo effect'). ''\iVhen we fuU,. believe sO'mething. the:I'B are no questions or don bits, in our minds.

Frequent~ when weflrst attempt to take on a newbeli,ef, ~t cernes inm 'oorillid with. exi~ting beliefs. A. d;rilid who wa,fI[W to beJ]leve, "lam able '1'J(l ride a bicyc}e,''t rnnst oftel!l co.ntend with previoua gen.erruiz;)ltions d!enved. fr.omthe ,ex,peri enCle of rallin,g d@wn onmtm];y Pf!;!v10US, .attempibs.. Simna:r[y~ a (li1!ild who wants to heUeve. "U i~ s,a:fe for ma '1;0 CI"OSSUle street on my own," may first bave toadrlrussand 1Ht go of the belief that Iris. er ber pa'[',ent.s have estab1li'Shed. previolllsly tbat~ "You cannot cro:ss the street by YDul"setf, wiithoJut an. aduU to' help ]i'ClIl1L"

It is not uaeemmon [or aueh Clo'llflicti~g ooliefB toarise as: we, begin. to ~e:riomdy eeasider baUeving in someUri.Ilg new 'or rlfferent. Th.u s, the .aUe:mpt to' fllln" tak!e on a :n~w beMef can wequentlytri:gg& 0';1' bMg aut ,oonflitlts and. resistaneewi th. raspeet to otberbelie:fs that h~v'e aheadybeen. es1tl¥l!bllishea as p:l1art of OUl" e:lci.sti~g beHef lSy,s,oom.

4 .. Be'ODming (Jpe1l to Do u 11 t

In to reeval nate and l~t g,o fff ex1.s1t.iin.gneliefsthata:re m:tedl:!ring witll. tbe IBstabli~hm,ent of a new belief" we must b~co.m.€! "Of' en. to doubt' tlbi:eexistingbelief. The e'xpe:riIiElneJe of being Qpoen to d, il9the complemen~ of bemg open to believe. Rather tl'lian thinkin_gtha.t some new beliefnrigbt be tl'ne~ wh.el!l 'W~are'open to doubt' we itte open taoom:;;iid.€t tha.t somebetief that we have been holding onto for a. lon,g time be the I(!a:SE!. We tbllt~ "'.Maybe it lis IDIot valid],

'1 Ii';]1 U "P h +t· .

o.r IlO ~on,glET'va. t:I.. 91" api81.·: rs not so lmparl.ant or

neces~a:ry tOI be11JeVlEl it." '1. ha:\'B changed my 'fiBh ef ~ ho'lLl t thlngR be.lOO"€!,. H ''What counter e'xoamples do 1 .lhave that Dl:ight ca.]1 this o]d belief into question?" "If illvieVil' it from a b.lJrger pe:r,sp~ctiv~ whd other :possilM!ities ~o I heco:m.e aware ()r?~ "What h!ithe pesi tive' purpcrse that this bellief .has ;s!9rved,. and are there other ~~hievetlla;t positivlEl intention that areless ]J!mitilng and.ffi.Or9 enriching?""

Beeaming ,(lpen to d:.oubt ~ypieaHy ttt'!.l'olv'esre:ft,amin,g belie& foffitulaood in terms of the problem fralli!3 or filiil U1"e ttalll€l so that 'tney maybe pntback. intO' an outcome fra:mE!'ol'" ltieedback frame. rSleThght of .Mouth. patter.n:spl'Ovidep oW'ed'w verbal tools to help us reframe endbecome open to d:oubt elcisting." inte:rtering !beliefS.

15. The 'Mu,s,euln of P'e'rsoMl.Histary' -Remembering What We 'Used to~ Belieue

Wiben we ,$tap ibeliTheving: something I we dOWJ1t uZlually develop amnesia for the belief, 01' fotgE!t tna.t we used. ito believe it. Rat1i1.e.r,. the emetienal andp.~yriho.logicalaffee:t tba.t the belief proo.U!cesmthin lIS ch'ama.ticaUy. We ;r·eruembeJF that we '''1IlS'eCl to" believe it, 'but know th~t irtno longe1' h.a:sanym.,e.amngf'lll.l i nfbJlel!!ceoIIl ~:ntt thoughts 01" bshavier -:it no l!OiI.lge~f5i.ts, our criteria. for "':reality.]'

'Whe~ wetnd:t change. a be:U@f, we n.oliorJig~er need to exert any effort to d~ny or. suppresS' the beThief. Our :re],atiOJlJJ.smp to :it Is mere like!ee we havle of s.eeing items in a mu.sE!1]lffi.Whe:n. W~ see Mediel':alweapmJ!s and. tJo,rtme: mS't;I'1I1IDenis in. a. g:1 aas case at a ID1!lSBl!UI1, W~ are curieas and. rei1ectJive;, not frigb:tJeI!l:ed~angry or iliis!gllsted. We DOW tha tpeople oneeused thesE!' w,ea.!D rms, but that we have,at now. In .fa.ct, it is impClrtant to rem,ember the mist.ak.esandlllimiting beliefs of eur a neestors, S~) ·t~a.t we dfJ not repeat them.

A similar ~p erienee li:ulPfefi:!S~th respset to OThr own disearded lual.i!efs. We knowtbat W~ 'used to beJlievt;!' them, hut now no l.o.nge:r b€llieve them. The belief lip. Santa. Clausiea d.assic examjple of this experience. Most adults (in cultures, that ce~ebj["8.ilte Christmas), remember that, as children "they believed. that the chru'acter. I!iSa.nta Clans" lived. at the No:rth Pole and would ride thT~l!Ilgb. tha socy Oln a. magic sled to d.elii.'Ii!'ei!"~fts i:;", cbiMre:n all OVA:!1' tb~ world. on Chr:i.stma s Eve. When a pe.r.iE!OGllO Ienger-believea m Santa Claus, .h.e or she dJOes not need to angrily and vehemently d~ny the existence o:f the .fictitio.1!ls cllar.ade:r,R,athe:r. one can lo[]k back on :It .IilostarJlgieaIThy, and mm.embe:r the positive intenticn O'f the belief to ereate the sense of magie and. e~citem.e(flt.

Similarly, Uris :ili.8 the way w,e, recall other beliefu thatt we have let gl) {lf~ We Cru1 :re:member&h.em and think, "I usedte 1beli:e¥e tbtatt I (oo1li~d llot ride a bicy(;h~1 ,€ould. not cress the atreetou my

0WI'l1 W@,$ not capabThe of Jestablishill1!g a. heal thyp~trern m bMa:rior, did. mot deserve to succeed, etc. ),b1!lt. ~ no 10'IThge:t believe it. It isno lon,gBr partafmy reality. I have other waY5 to, satisfyUle! posicti\re m.ooIlf.non and purpose of the old be~ief~ ,j

6 ... Trust

In many ways,.t.tu8it is the corrumdone of the na tural p,rocess ofbelie:f ehaage. .Me.nimn. Webste;r~ Dictionru-y d!1!tlnestr.uS't <ll:Ej, "'a8ismrerl!reHa,nce on. the charaeter, ability,. strength J 01' truth o.f S1JMeOne or something." Thus, tT'ust, i ~ chMacteri:zed by ctlnfidell.c~ or' belief .in ",sBmethiingfutnre ur j(j .P'eo!;:t~ fOT instanoo,th'lJ:.t a pers ~D. w:flJ "be true to lhls ward.,,~ Ol"tha.t "'iD.ings win tm:n out fmc the best,"

ElIIiLoti:QnaUy,. trust ~s related to hope, H GJpe is a. function ().f OUI" belief thats o:mething i:sp ossiib,le, A person who> has: ho'pe that be or she will J'.ecerverfrom a s:eriolJ:s nln:ess~ must oelie'!l1'E! that~;1!lch a :recovery is pnssible, Th.e fooling of trust. bowever, is often sU:o.El~ thanhepe. It has to, de with the expeeUl.tion tba.t something-wiU happen, :r,at:h.~r than s,lm:pl1>J

the. belief that it eeald ha;~pen. .

1'rtlst~ in. :fact~ is often .s:orm@'th:ffig we must I">ely en when \V,e' ha'!;tel'110 proof. In this sense, trust ~:rtends beyolld be1ieHto the ~evel of ii.d,enti~y O<lf' eV,Elfil spiritu,a] experience). In. the natn:rru cycle. of belief change) "trust" ~s L;-ypilied b~.r a. state that allows UiS ~o .go ;!) eyond curbeliefs: to the stats from which ,(I'l1iI:' beliBfsare ffinned.

ThiS ssperienee in 'trusting' in. sometWngtba.t is beyond Qne's, b.~lie:fs~ ortru.'1ting in a Im:-ger system thanenes elf, can belp to make th.e ~rGOO88 ,ofbe.1bief ,change !Smoother, mera com_fortab]@'J ana more 'ecO\l(l,gicaL

Vlben used e:IIectively, Sleiight mMouthpa:.tte:rn~ ":H~nleas verbal tools which help to s up.p ad too, natural cyc],e of belie.f cha.ngej leading people to beeeme ope.n to be]~'ev,e ·l:iI.ew and. empowering [u:llie£s,. and ©pent,o, doubt U1,Ose beliefs and generalizations wmch limi 11; them.