Our Intention Focuses Our Attention

Our Intention Focuses Our Attention

Every second of every day we are subject to thousands upon thousands of pieces of information hitting our senses. Our eyes see everything in their sphere of vision, near, far, in front of us, off to the side, out of the corner of our eye. Our ears hear everything, loud, quiet, near and far. High pitch, deep rumbles, everything. And so it goes on for smell and taste and for all that we touch.

What’s interesting is that in this rich soup of available information the human brain focuses on processing a limited number! First approximately 138 and then a further refinement down to  7+/-2 per second per second. That’s still a lot of information!

How and why is this important?

In simple terms, where we place our intention, focuses our attention, in other words what gets through to our brains both informs our map of the world in our heads and provides us with the data to make decisions.

Our ‘map of the world’, what do we mean by this? It’s our internal representation of the world we live in, we’ve taken the information, processed it to make sense of it, and settled on that’s how it is! It’s the reason why two people could go to a football match, watch the same game and broadly come away with the same outcome but have two totally different views on what they experienced. I suppose that may depend on which team they were supporting and the result!

Coming back to making decisions, our actions are dependent on what information we have considered important and relevant, because as our intention focuses our attention, we will not notice or pay attention to all other information. An example of this would be two people out for a walk. One’s intention although going out for a walk for some exercise is important, is intent on catching up with what friends have been up to, they spend time during the walk going through their social media, probably making sure that they keep going in the right direction, avoid tripping or falling over etc. The other person’s intention is to take in as much of their surroundings as they can during their walk. They spend time looking around the fields, watching out for birds and searching out those beautiful wild flowers they suspect are out there somewhere.

Once we are aware that it is us who decides intention, we can be more choiceful with our attention.

The next time someone is speaking to us, it may be worthwhile asking ourselves what’s our intention here, are we fully present in the conversation? Next time we are out, what are we possibly not noticing, that we could be if we choice to be wantonly curious? How much more can we enrich our own model of the world?

How Compelling are your Objectives in 2016

I was listening to the news the other day when the subject of New Year Resolutions came up, interestingly according to the reporter 80% of those who make  New Year Resolutions either break it or give up on it by the 10th of January. This of course has been long known in the fitness industry and gyms in particular, where memberships and subscriptions are taken out and then hardy used past January.
So why does this happen? Probably because the resolution made is not compelling enough for the person and is overtaken by a more compelling reason to go back to what they were doing! The classic example of this is in weight loss, where there is a desire to lose weight and all the evidence for the person is there i.e. cloths not fitting comfortable, breathlessness under exercise, tiredness, more effort required than before to achieve the same outcome etc. but the person does not do what they committed to doing i.e. more exercise, change diet etc.
So can you make outcomes more compelling for yourself?
Well Yes you can!
Why would you want to do that?
Well in the many clients I have worked with over the years, once we have checked out what they want is definitely what they want, and we have done the ecology checks to ensure that when they get it, it won’t have a negative impact on other areas of their life, making their desired outcome more compelling has in fact ensured their success!
Working with a client to help them alter how they represent their desires, targets and objectives is only a small part of using NLP techniques to assist clients in their lives and businesses.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you to achieve what you want, then checkout our website www.revealsolutions.co.uk for coaching, Therapy, NLP training and certification, leadership and management development.
Something to try
How do you represent succeeding in achieving something? It may be a picture you can see when you close your eyes, you may here yourself talking it through in the privacy of your head or you may have a feeling that comes on when you think about doing it, or it may be some other way. Whatever way that is, what happens if you alter that representation? i.e. if it’s a picture increase the brightness or bring the picture closer to you.
Happy experimentation

Why every leader should know about Modelling

Leaders must influence; they have the opportunity to make change happen, they often have both connection and power but must be careful on how they use it.
I guess your interest has been captured by the title!
We are all expert modellers, or at least we were! We are born with the innate ability to copy; it’s one of the ways in which we learn as a child. We see those who are around us the most, do things and we copy it, this extends to the way in which we learn language and one reason why a child can learn multiple languages at an early age simultaneously and easily.
I was reading an article on CEO strategy the other day by Roger Martin, a professor at the University of Toronto. In it, a small sentence caught my eye; “everybody watches the leader of his or her organisation. If the leader is successful, everyone will attempt to mimic them”. Never has a truer statement been made and this is where the importance of understanding modelling comes in.

Read More

Beliefs Underpin Behaviours

Behaviours are visible, the actions we take in support of the things that we believe.
Beliefs have a powerful and direct influence in all that we do, let me give you an example. If you believed that it is solely the council’s responsibility to keep the public park clean and tidy and free from litter, cigarette butts, other rubbish etc. and with the litter bins emptied regularly; you might not be too worried about discarding your half-eaten kebab and polystyrene tray on the ground on your way home from a night out if the bin you just passed was full up! If, however, you believed that we all have a moral duty to look after our environment and that by doing our bit, we maintain and promote public spaces as nice places to go, always clean and tidy and a safe place to take our children; we are more than likely to keep hold of the rest of our unwanted kebab, take it home and place it in our own bin. We might even be compelled to pick up someone else’s dropped litter whilst walking in the park!
A belief is something that we know to be true! The distinction here is we know it to be true at that moment because nothing has yet come along to prove otherwise. An example would be, as children we may have a belief in Father Christmas, we know that to be true, we have evidence, mince pies and a drink are gone on Christmas morning and presents are left as we have been told they would be. Then one day another child from school breaks the news that no, he doesn’t exist, it’s been your parents all along. New information and belief change occurs; we have updated what we know to be true.
If you want to alter another person’s behaviour, then you first have to find out what it is that they believe that underpins the behaviours being demonstrated and then seek to change the belief, the result is that a new and different behaviour is generated.
So is this the reason why most attempts by one person to alter the behaviour of another fail, because they tackle the undesired behaviour, by pointing out it’s wrong, or telling the other person why they shouldn’t be doing it, or maybe what the consequences of the behaviour are to others. The interesting point here is, this only works if the other person goes away after you point out the behaviour is unacceptable to you, thinks about what you have said and decides to agree with you. All that assumes they are prepared to reflect, understand the relationship between beliefs and behaviours, realise that what they had believed was in fact incorrect, and change their belief.
A much more successful way is to find out what it is the person believes to be true in the context and to provide new and compelling evidence to the contrary. The rest, as they say, is history!

Wyatt Woodsmall to deliver Advanced Behavoural Modeling training in the UK later this year

What a start to the year!
I am yet again honoured and extremely excited to be able to confirm that the man himself, DR Wyatt Woodsmall Phd has agreed to join Reveal Solutions and deliver module 1 of our NLP Master Practitioner training this Autumn 2012.

Wyatt will be delivering Advanced Behavioural Modelling and will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to be taught by the master himself.

Not only can you book on to probably the best NLP Master Practitioner course being run this year in the UK with not 1 but 2 internationally recognized exemplars delivering training sessions, but there is also the opportunity be able to book each, or both, of these two workshops separately through our website http://www.revealsolutions.co.uk/shop-nlp-courses.asp

We believe that these workshops are going to prove very popular and will be limited to a capped number of places, this is to ensure the best interactive learning experience for each delegate. If you would like to register your interest, please send an e mail with your details to info@revealsolutions.co.uk Priority booking will be given to those registered first

My first blog of the year entitled 2 weeks in and 50 to go covered the subject of what will the year hold for you?

Achievement is driven by making it happen! We set out to get both of these two wonderful trainers involved in delivering an exceptional NLP Master Practitioner training this year in the UK and now its happening. My invitation is make what you want happen for you.

Frank Pucelik delivers training in the uk later this year

I am excited and honoured to confirm that Frank Pucelik, the third originator of NLP along side Richard Bandler and John Grinder will be joining us at Reveal Solutions to deliver module 3 of this years autumn Master Practitioner course. 3rd – 6th Nov 2012
Due to Franks popularity and reputation we will be making this 4 day workshop available as a separate bookable course.
Further details and booking information will follow shortly.
If you would like to register your interest please e mail us at info@revealsolutions.co.uk
Advanced Booking opportunities will be given to those with a registered interest first. As availability to this workshop will be limited we anticipate the workshop is likely to be over subscribed and therefore a sell out.

NLP a controversial tool?

I had made my mind up on the content of this month’s blog, when whilst reading the Sunday paper this morning, all that changed.  I was drawn to the centre pages and an article ‘How to tackle Town Hall excess’. Within this article, were the very words you dread to read as both a Leadership & Management development trainer & an NLPer.

‘WASTE: The council spent £400,000 on training courses involving controversial Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques popularised by television hypnotist Paul McKenna’.

Over my many years of involvement with the NLP community, with individuals on a journey to better understand themselves and with organisations wishing to improve their communication, leadership, customer service etc., I have not heard anyone say that their learning was a waste of either time or money or was in any way controversial. What I have experienced following training that may have elements on NLP or NLP practitioner trainings, is individuals expressing a greater understanding of why and how people do what they do, understanding they have more choices personally, more ways they can encourage others to examine the choices they have and improved communication & leadership skills.  In what way can that be a waste? Why would such a well-respected organisation as CIPD recognise NLP? In fact they describe it as ’significant and important in business today’.

Here is the downside; I have witnessed people and organisations having a cautious approach whenever those 3 letters come up…’NLP’! Why?  Well we all come to our own conclusions and have our own beliefs, what is certain, is that we all reach conclusions and establish beliefs based upon our own experience.  So where are these experiences of what NLP may be coming from?  What is the personal experience of NLP of the 3 journalists who wrote the article referred to above?  In truth, I don’t know, but I have my suspicions.  I am, and have been for some time, worried that the only limited exposure that many people have to so called NLP techniques has been through television programmes made for entertainment purposes & featuring celebrity psychological entertainers.  They, in my opinion, have chosen to seek personal gratification and celebrity status from their knowledge, rather than to use their keen understanding and skill to help others.  A prerequisite presupposition for me is to ‘do with not to’!  And always to test the ecology of any intervention.

The way NLP is referenced in these programmes and the size of the audience that they have is the issue for me. Personally, I think that these celebrities have the opportunity and the influence to show people the very positive aspects of the collective study known as NLP, not just use it to enhance how it makes them look and how they feel!

It may be that when John Grinder and Richard Bandler were discovering what they were discovering back in the 1970’s at Santa Cruz in California, an alternative name other than Neuro Linguistic Programming might have been more useful.  So many people take a mental step back and possibly the name congers up thoughts of a ‘cult’ or ‘mind meddling’ etc in peoples minds, which I think is a pity.

What we can do as trainers and educators, is to ensure that we are open minded, seek the opportunities to link science to the techniques, encourage and participate in studies so that the scientifically-compiled data is produced to support what Bandler, Grinder and others since have noticed in how humans code, order and give meaning to their subjective experiences.  Neuroscience is producing more information, which is informing our understanding  on how the connections in the brain work, MRI scanners were not around 40 years ago! http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/charles_limb_your_brain_on_improv.html

Research into NLP techniques in education is starting to show teaching techniques incorporating NLP knowledge helps more pupils learn successfully.


We might also wish to remember that there were others around before Bandler & Grinder with more than a passing interest in behaviour & conditioning

Pavlov http://psychology.about.com/od/classicalconditioning/a/pavlovs-dogs.htm

Skinner http://www.terapia-conductual-cognitiva.cl/archivos/descargas/B%20F%20Skinner%20-%20Science%20And%20Human%20Behavior.pdf

Korzybski  http://www.generalsemantics.org/etc/articles/40-1-read.pdf

Bateson http://www.som.surrey.ac.uk/NLP/Resources/BatesonLevels2006.pdf

The significance for me of this, is that NLP is not an invention, it’s a discovery, a blend of what people notice in others.  It’s not exclusive and it links well to other tools and frameworks such as MBTI, Spiral Dynamics, the enneagram and understanding personality Type & Trait, brain science, etc. NLP is not manipulative, those who are manipulative by nature, who put personal need or gain before respect for others, will be running patterns that support their beliefs and values anyway.

A hammer in the hands of a craftsman can produce great works of beauty, it is merely the tool to externalise the values and beliefs of the holder. In the hands of another with contrasting values and beliefs it can be used to wreak havoc, break and destruct whatever is in its path.

Do we pass judgement on the hammer or the holder?

Research into NLP http://www.som.surrey.ac.uk/NLP/About/whoarewe.asp

Association of NLP http://www.anlp.org/

Coaching with NLP O’Connor J & Lages A.  Harper Collins 2004 ISBN 0-00-715122-5

NLP Techniques Cont.

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Following on from the last posting I thought it would be interesting to look at the Meta model. The meta model was the first pattern detected by Bandler and Grinder http://nlpuniversitypress.com/html2/MdMe03.html from the work of therapist Fritz Perls. http://www.fritzperls.com/
Pearls was using questions to challenge those parts of the clients experience that were omitted from the verbal recollection. To challenge parts of the verbal recollection that the client used to conclude implied meaning and to challenge parts of the verbal recollection that the client were using to make generalisations i.e. a previous experience that has been generalised to all future experiences. In doing so Perls was able to assist the client to have greater choices.
Bandler & Grinder realised that this style of questioning had benefits not only within therapy and named this pattern the  meta model, a language pattern of questioning that recovers more detail i.e. seeks to recover what is missing, generalised or distorted in the clients spoken word.
Our language as we have looked at before is a verbal representation of our experience, in order for it to be usable we generalise, an example would be. ‘I sat on a chair’ reading this we all know what has happened, what we don’t know is how the person sat an what type of chair they sat on’. We have our own representation of both and they are likely to be different for each of us. Now I can hear you say well it’s un important and in some circumstances it may be less important than in others.
Also we delete parts of experience when we speak, for example ‘It will be difficult to make a decision.’ Here what decision is to be made has been deleted from the verbal language, and in fact so has the reasons for it being difficult. Often what happens unconsciously for the listener is that the bits that are missing are filled in from the listeners perspective to complete their understanding, which of course may be from a completely different personal experience. What one person finds difficult another finds easy and maybe vice-versa. Here is an example A says to B ‘It will be difficult to make a decision.’ B perceives there only to be 2 options to reach a decision and one in their mind is a no brainer B may say to A ‘No it’s not’ what you need to do is…….’ To B the problem is resolved, but that is in their mind, their representation of the context and applying their program!
The third aspect of our verbal communication is distortion where we may distort the experience to mean something else. An example would be ‘you give me all the toughest of jobs’ the person has distorted possibly being asked to complete a more complicated or complex task and is distorting this to, they are tough.
There are many Meta model violations in our language that will fall into these three areas of Distortion, Deletion and Generalisation. Examples of ways they can be challenged can be found at http://www.nlpls.com/articles/NLPmetaModel.php
So what of the practical application of Meta model questions?
Your partner may become a little confused if you start to challenge Meta model violations i.e. ‘ I have had a awful day’ if you respond with ‘ In what way exactly have you had an awful day?’ this might result in a quick loss of rapport. That said Meta model questioning is useful to help an individual recover information or to consider they way they were representing an experience to themselves.
An employee who is having difficulty in some aspect of their job may be verbalising it with some or all three elements of deletion, distortion & generalisation. By being aware and listening out for them you can choose the appropriate challenge. They may completely omit specifics of the problem, we may describe this as talking around the issue, by questioning to recover, the lost information may help the person to re present the context and obtain a different perspective.
It may be that a person has had an experience in the past and is generalising it to all potential future experiences of the same nature. An example of this may be a person you have asked to call old and existing customers to generate new business. The person is reluctant and may even appear to be delaying the phone activity. Simply asking them to get on with it may be insufficient to produce the activity, or they may make a couple of calls and find a reason or distraction that prevented them from completing all the calls. Further dialogue and questions may uncover that they once had a particularly unpleasant experience in a previous job, where when calling an old customer to generate potential new business, the old customer protested and said nobody wants to be hounded for business. This may manifest it’s self as a statement ‘everybody thinks you are hounding them for business’.
In this case, it could be that the person is generalising, that all the old customers they have been instructed to call would be feeling hounded if they called them. By challenging this generalisation i.e. ‘have you ever called an old customer who welcomed the opportunity to see what you now had to offer’ the person is likely to say yes they have and therefore produces the evidence that not everyone thinks you are hounding them for business.
As for our distortion example ‘you give me the toughest of jobs’ it is often beneficial to challenge these especially if the distortion described in the negative where it is likely to effect moral or motivation. Her we would look for a reframe http://www.nlpuniversitypress.com/html3/R21.html challenge the distortion ‘toughest’ and then to reframe as a more complex or complicated piece of work for an experienced trusted member of staff.
For further information on NLP training at your business or public course, please visit us at www.revealsolutions.co.uk
Techniques so far
Matching language
Meta model
Looking forward to your comments and questions

NLP Techniques

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You may have heard people talking about techniques used in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and now is probably time to slay a few myths here.
Firstly we do not want to produce technicians from our trainings, that is to say individuals that have learnt techniques  and do them on other people. What we strive to achieve are strategists with a full understanding of not only why the techniques work but also understand the ecology of their use.
NLP is not a manipulative tool it only becomes manipulative when used by someone with un ecological intentions, someone who’s aim is to create a win loose situation, where they are wanting to be the winner.
NLP is a do with, not to technology, where its techniques can and often do produce staggering results for the person, or client, coachee. www.revealsolutions.co.uk/testimonials
NLP is not a weird science, or an invention, an explanation of the scientific research conducted over many years is covered  in a previous blog looking at the origins and developments as being a discovery of how we achieve results and how they can be replicated for others.
Bandler and Grinder uncovered a number of fascinating techniques useful to everyone, firstly that the language patterns we use in every day life or not random, they are a linguistic representation of our personal experiences. Have you ever noticed how someone you are talking to may comment ‘oh I see what you mean’ or another person says ‘I get a feeling I understand what you mean’. These are language patterns in operation, you see we do not consciously choose our words, communication would be difficult if we thought about each and every word we were going to use before speaking it.
So if when speaking with people you take notice of the words they use and use them back in your communication. i.e. A says to B ‘well you see I have this rather large problem that I need to resolve’ B responds to A ‘ So would you like to tell me more about this rather large problem that you need to resolve’. There is no confusion or doubt in A’s mind that B has the same representation and therefore the level of rapport between A & B is significantly increased. A is likely to be at ease, comfortable, have trust in B quickly. www.cleanlanguage.co.uk/CleanLanguage.html
To give you example to illustrate what happens when someone does not take notice. A says to B ‘Well you see I have this rather large problem that I need to resolve’ however this time B responds ‘So would you like to tell me about this small issue that you would like to clear up’. B has changed many of the references in A’s language ‘rather large’ has been replaced by ‘small’ and ‘problem’ by ‘issue’. ‘Need to resolve’ replaced by ‘would like to clear up’. This subtle changing of the language may lead A to believe that B is talking about something completely different, or that B does not understand. The possibility for conflict is almost inevitable, that is if they can get past the lack of rapport that has been established.
So in summary. When listening to someone else, take care to listen to them, to notice the words being used, it is not what you make of the context or the situation that you are listening to. You may even hear your inner voice telling you what you make of the situation, this would not be uncommon, it is the other persons representation that you should be listening to, and it is right for them, they are describing their experience.
How could this be useful not only in our personal life but also in business? May be you might like to stop here before reading on and consider that question. What’s your answer?
I will give you my opinion. All too often conflicts occur because of a lack of understanding, born out of poor communication. And CRM systems only provide statistical information based upon existing relationships. Great business make those relationships first.
In sales, the sales person sells what they believe the customer needs, in good faith, but is later found not to have been the ideal product of service. The customer does not return to make further repeat purchases, but advertises their dissatisfaction to the world. We buy a commodity once, relationships generate trust, understanding and multiple repeat business! Think about the impact to your business.
The lost sale, because there has been little understanding of what is important, i.e. time, cost, durability, etc. The opportunity was there. The customer walked away. We walk away once! We rarely return! Think about the opportunity to your business when a relationship is established right first time.
The manager that did not listen to what the unhappy member of staff was saying and believed the issue or problem is far less important or impactful than it actually is. The member of staff left. People join an organisation, 80% leave the boss! Unfulfilled employees deliver poor levels of productivity; they also spend time and effort spreading the word outside of work that makes so much more difficult for a business to attract the highest calibre recruits!
The assumptions that we can draw out of listening to our own logic, to make sense of what we believe we are hearing contribute greatly to the chances of this conflict occurring. NLP training at your business or public course www.revealsolutions.co.uk
Published in HR www.hrmagazine.co.uk 46% of HRD’s agreed that healthy workers are more productive. Stress is the biggest threat to a healthy worker and can be accentuated by poor communication skills and poor Emotional Intelligence in leaders!
The clean language forum can be found at http://www.cleanforum.com/

Why should I be interested in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

Ever heard of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
Well it has to be said that over the years NLP has received some bad press. Why? Well that in the main in my opinion has been down to the un-ecological use of some of the techniques and the unfortunate spread of all the umcum bumbcum on the internet. Get rich now, pick up every time guaranteed and all that malarkey, peddled by those who’s ego needed some massaging’ or who are so focused at looking after their ID, that all that counts is money, money, money and as long as it is flowing in their direction they are not bothered who or what gets damaged in the process! We may have only ever heard about NLP by watching some well known celebrities using it along with illusion and other psychology for entertainment purposes, not something to which we subscribe to at all.
So what is NLP. Well it is not an invention or some dark manipulative art, more a discovery of how humans achieve what they do successfully. Of course, if you study a stonemason using a hammer, they are exquisitely using it to produce a work of art. The same hammer in the hands of someone with a very different intent can cause destruction or even death! Think about that. Its not the tool it’s the way and the intention of it’s use.
All of the conclusions and therefore models are drawn from studying very precisely, what a person is doing to achieve the results that they are getting, it is called modelling and is distinctly different from copying.
Richard Bandler and John Grinder were brought together in the early 1970’s at Santa CruzUniversity.
Bandler a computer programmer with an interest in Gestalt therapy was transcribing the therapy sessions of gestalt therapist Fritz Perls and Grinder was a linguist with a gift of acquiring languages had served in the US military before becoming a resident professor of language at Santa Cruz. Bandler being a wantonly curious guy took the unusual strep of trying out some of what he had been transcribing on some campus ‘guinea pigs well other students to be precise. To his amazement, he got the same results as Fritz Pearls, long regarded as one of the most effective post war therapists around. Yet Bandler had no therapy experience or for that matter training. He went to Grinder and told him what had happened with the result that Grinder  said, ‘you show me what you are doing and I will tell you how you are doing it’.
Their work continued studying both Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson another two therapists with renowned for their ability to bring about behavioural change but all in very different ways.
Erickson by use of a language pattern that is vague, has inferences but little specifics or detail. From Perls came a questioning for the recovery of specific possibly lost information and from Satir the treatment of psychological problems within the context of the system that supports it in Satir’s cases the family. They recognised that people coded, ordered and gave meaning to their experiences in very different ways within their brains the  ‘Neuro’
Grinder a linguist also started to notice that the students around them who by which time were becoming very interested in their work used different language patterns. The words they repeatedly used were describing the representational systems they were using both to gather and process information ‘Linguistic’ patterns.
What kept coming up in their work was, if you replicate exactly what the exemplar is both thinking and doing  is doing then you get the same results, your running the same ‘program.’
Now many parts of the jigsaw of behaviour had already been studied many years previously to Bandler & Grinders work.
Korzbski 1933 General Semantics  or as he was originally going to call it ’science of man’ http://www.generalsemantics.org/etc/articles/40-1-read.pdf
And it is by no means a complete ‘user manual for the brain’ as it is sometimes referred to as more a continuous work in progress. However unlike virtually every piece of complex equipment you should purchase or be asked to use or work with, we do not pop into this world with a user manual.
NLP is an interpretation of how we work, yes Bandler and Grinder were catalysts in bringing previous work and their own together and since the 70s many others have added to it.
Tad James
Wyatt Woodsmall
Robert Dilts
To name but a few
In our next blog we will look at some of the techniques, or patterns already uncovered I will talk about there relevance to both work and personal life and where and what you should look for in NLP training.