Together with State Management NLP Presuppositions form the foundations that support the understanding and practise of NLP.
In the pursuit of excellence NLP Presuppositions form a set of basic beliefs and attitudes that effective NLP Practitioners work and live by.
They provide the practitioner with an effective starting point in their work, and a better way of thinking and interacting with their clients.
Exposure to NLP radically changed my way of thinking and interacting with others. As a result it is fair to say that NLP changed my life and I recommend consideration of these guidelines to everyone.
I hope the originators will forgive me if I have adapted, misquoted or added some of my own.
THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY
People represent the world internally by creating their own model of the world, an inner map of reality.
It is a personal and subjective reality.
We all tend to respond mainly to our own internal map which is based on our own beliefs and experiences. Yet we may fail to recognise that our own map does not always conform to the external reality itself.
How we represent things in our mind are our interpretations and assumptions: these interpretations may or may not be accurate. However they determine how we experience our reality moment by moment, and they lay the foundation for our experience of reality in the future as well.
Having choices about how to interpret subjective reality changes the experience of it.
Increasing available choices begins by choosing to interpret each experience in a way that frees up thinking, and allows the individual to explore different points of view.
Exercising freedom of choice and not getting bogged down with habitual ways of seeing things creates new and different choices, and so the map of reality is expanded.
Other disciplines may have a similar concept and use the word ‘schema.’
RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S MAP
We are all unique and we all experience the world in different ways.
Each individual has their own special way of being.
Because reality as we perceive it is not fixed but fluid (the map is not the territory) we can often come into conflict with other people who have a different map.
To maintain rapport it is always useful to respect another persons personal reality: after all, your map is no truer than theirs! Just because someone else has a different point of view it doesn’t mean that they are wrong and your are right.
PEOPLE MAKE THE BEST CHOICES THEY CAN WITH THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO THEM AT THE TIME
A person always makes the best choice they can, given their map of reality at the time.
The choices they make may be self-defeating, strange or even self-destructive, but for them it seems the best option at that time. People make bad choices because they are not aware that better options are available to them.
Increase a persons options and give them a better choice in their map of reality and they will take it. Updating a persons map by exposing them to better beliefs, attitudes and perspectives will increase their options in future.
We all have the potential for more choices than we are aware of when dealing with problems, difficult situations or other people’s behaviour. Recognising that more options are probably available to us and exercising freedom of choice helps make us increasingly flexible in our approach and ultimately more effective.
INCREASE CHOICE AND FLEXIBILITY.
By aiming to increase choice you are choosing to expand your map of reality.
Expand your map to one that gives you an increased range of more effective choices.
The more choices you have, the more flexible you are. The more flexible you are the more choices you can generate and the more influence you have over yourself and others.
Choice can be increased by changing your point of view: Looking at things in a different way can present more potential solutions.
NLP offers 3 main Perceptual Positions i.e. First, Second and Third positions as a means of generating more options. These perceptual positions are especially helpful when dealing with interpersonal difficulties.
With practice it is possible to move through different perceptual positions to get more information, increase choices, and personal flexibility and effectiveness.
THE PERSON OR ELEMENT WITH THE MOST FLEXIBILITY IN A GROUP OR SYSTEM WILL HAVE THE MOST INFLUENCE, AND THE GREATEST LIKELIHOOD OF ACHIEVING THEIR OUTCOMES
This is the Law of Requisite Variety, and the first law of Cybernetics and systems theory. It means that the person with the most options and behavioural choices will control the system.
In any field, the top people in that field are those who have the most variety in their behaviour. They are more flexible in their approach and have choices of behaviour that their colleagues do not.
Whenever you limit your behavioural choices you give others the competitive edge.
If you are capable of responding to a given situation in a variety of ways, then you are more likely to achieve your outcome.
More to come …