NLP lessons: rapport
modern NLP & human capability
Various techniques have been set up using a neuroscience called Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which allow us to discover if a planned goal matches that of our most inner part. It allows us to discover if there are any barriers that could stop us reaching our goals. In addition, it has developed quick and efficient systems that allow us to enter into direct contact with our unconscious and subsequently change, stretch or abolish our interior limits.
But what is it exactly NLP? The science of NLP originated in the 1970s through the work of a linguist and a cybernetic expert, namely Bandler and Grindler, from the desire and necessity to develop our capabilities. However, NLP was created at a much earlier time in 1949, from a study of assertiveness. Brandler and Grindler studied people that excelled in their particular field, managers, scientists, trainers, sportsmen, etc. They asked themselves: “What strategy do they adopt to be winners?” By studying them, they realized that these people used motivational and self-motivational behavioral strategies that could be reproduced. In fact NLP states that if only one individual exists in the world with the ability to do a certain thing, we are able to acquire that ability for ourselves by modeling the personal strategy that person used to gain success.
NLP studies what to say, what to do and how to do it! Let’s analyze the term ‘Neuro-linguistic Programming’ more closely:
Neuro-linguistic Programming is defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience. In the first half of the 1970s, R. Brandler and J. Grindler started to study active Psychotherapy professionals that had achieved wonders by using communication. The surprising discovery was the realization that these individuals, each one completely different from the others, used the same mental and communicational syntax to achieve their objectives: this common structure was identified and then made available.
In twenty-five years of development, MODERN NLP has put together a strict, scientific interpretation model of both communication and the brain, in line with the most up-to-date Cybernetic and neuroscientific achievements. MODERN NLP has clarified a fundamental aspect: subjective experience has a structure; therefore, internal reality can be studied and improved on to allow each individual to creatively interact with others.
NLP has devised a functional model to interpret the human mind’s software. This feature enables intervention on a whole series of restrictive factors that stop us achieving our goals. NLP doesn’t act on the content of mental representations, but on their structure. This approach allows us to intervene and restructure obstacles that are present in our life in a decisive and extremely fast way. Mastering NLP means knowing how to use one of the most powerful change technologies that exists today. NLP, with the functional models that characterize it, poses itself as the most advanced tool to efficiently communicate in any field, professional and/or personal. Furthermore MODERN NLP poses itself as a powerful, personal change model, intervening on restrictive factors that fill our life with obstacles.
NLP’s hands-on skills
MODERN NLP’s effectiveness in the relationship field is based on the understanding of our interlocutor’s deepest points of view. Some of the tools that it has developed allow us to:
success through NLP
How comes some people constantly achieve positive results, while others even if gifted with talent and personal ability encounter difficulties when trying to achieve the same success?
MODERN NLP provides an answer to this question: individuals, who have achieved excellence in their field, use a common mental structure to define desired objectives. It has been shown that the brain, to be able to direct an individual’s behaviour towards achieving results, has to organize its Resources in a very precise way.
MODERN NLP has formalized this structure into a series of steps that, if followed, allow anybody to define goals that can be achieved in an appropriate and “ecological” way.
NLP for marketing
MODERN NLP is an extremely flexible and versatile tool for solving problems that are inherent to human relations. For example, in sales and marketing MODERN NLP’s technology can be conveniently used to understand:
MODERN NLP’s techniques can be made more effective if we associate them with hypnotic and self-hypnotic methods, instead of using positive thinking techniques. We can use a metaphor to explain the differences between these two methods:
Hypnosis can be compared to modeling with clay aided by water.
Positive thinking can be compared to modeling with clay without water.
It’s obvious that, in the first example, using water allows us to be more efficient in our modeling, unlike in the other example, where only the dampness of our hands is used.
The changed conscious state that hypnosis induces allows us to mould the structures of a group of neurons (cerebral cells) that are present in the brain.
NLP intervention at the neural level
Each of our thoughts corresponds to a specific neural pattern. If, for example, I decide to raise my arm, the neurons immediately take on a particular arrangement. Therefore, it is possible to rearrange cerebral cells in such a way as to remove internal limits and focus on our goals.
neural automatist patterns
All our automatic behaviors have corresponding neural patterns and when a necessity occurs, we access these patterns following previously agreed paths: when someone offers us their hand we shake it; if the traffic light is red, we stop the car; if the telephone rings, we answer it. This is also true for all those undesired behaviors and behavioral disorders which make our lives difficult: when previously agreed conditions occur, the program triggers our undesired behavior.
Yet, sometimes we manage to escape from these behaviors and interrupt the pattern. For example, we don’t stop at the traffic lights if we have an emergency, we don’t answer the telephone if we are doing something that we don’t want to be dragged away from; we don’t shake a person’s hand if he is someone we abhor: our mind is able to escape from these patterns and we are sometimes able to change undesired behavioral strategies when these have gone over the endurance threshold.
overcoming limiting neural patterns with NLP
When we were children, we had to put up with a whole series of emotionally involving situations. In order to overcome them we adopted a series of behavioral strategies which, at that time and for that age, we thought were adequate. If at the age of three we found ourselves in the dark and didn’t know where our parents were, we started to scream, to shake and imagine the monster that our grandfather had always talked about. This type of behavior may have been adequate for three year olds but might not be so at adult age. Now, we can’t understand why we have such a strong desire to shout when we are in the dark, why we feel awful and we get restless. A part of us has remained trapped, frozen in time at the age of three; our neural patterns have remained stuck in that sequence.
Thanks to the work proposed in this course it is possible to re-program our restrictive convictions into strong convictions thanks to guided visualization and specific MODERN NLP techniques.
self-programming with NLP-hypnosis
Hypnosis is a means of direct communication with the unconscious and during guided visualizations you will be induced into a light trance. This will allow you to mould clay, to reshape those behaviors that you no longer need. We often restrict our life because we think it is restricted. This conviction should be broken because our brain’s potential is vast and we only use 10% of it. Very few people know that correct breathing can give us access to those sleeping neurons, opening up a series of thought processes not yet used. In fact, deep breathing provides us with more oxygen, giving more energy to those neurons that are asleep.
boosting communication with NLP
How can I communicate in a more effective way?
During a communicative process the right hemisphere prevails. Using percentage figures, 38% is made up of tone of voice and 55% by gesture and body language, representing a total percentage equal to 93%. The other 7% is managed by the logical part, i.e.: by words. Therefore it seems plain to me that if we want to manage effective communication we need to interact with the unconscious.
How many times have we met people that have made brilliant speeches but at the end we still weren’t convinced? We register and store hundreds of informations that escape the rational side of our brain, yet they get processed by the emotional side. It is our emotional side that makes us like, or dislike, our interlocutor. It is important to get onto the same wavelength as the right hemisphere, as each one of us has his own “frequency”.
When we want to listen to the radio, don’t we search for the right frequency? The first task a good communicator has to do is understand the type of subject he has in front of him.
sensory channels in NLP
As NLP points out, each one of us processes information on the basis of sensory channels (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting). NLP recognizes types on the bases of the preferred system used to process internal information. In other words, there are people who prefer to process information through images, others through sounds or feelingss. For example, after a group of people have seen a film there will be some that preferred the soundtrack or sound effects, others the scenery or special effects and others the “vibes” and the atmosphere the film created. These three types are: Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (this last type groups together sensations, taste and smell)
Human beings perceive the world through these different criteria: the VISUAL system, AUDITORY system and KINESTHETIC (connected to sensations). In reality, the three representational systems work together, in a synergic manner, although every human being “will specialize” in one; this preference will greatly influence the way of thinking, speech patterns and behavior. By interpreting our interlocutor’s representational orientation, we can calibrate our communication on the basis of his subjective reality, therefore building a communicative interaction based on “unconscious rapport” (representational preferences unconsciously push us to verbally communicate using speech patterns characterized by verbal predicates belonging to that representational system).
This doesn’t mean that Visual people don’t also process in an Auditory or Kinaesthetic way, but frequently they will process by images and if I want to get on to the same wavelength as them I need to use all that is connected to the world of images. In fact, we give preference to one particular system, another less frequently and we use the third very rarely. Therefore, if I have a Kinesthetic person in front of me who processes using sensation, taste and smell and I want to tell them about a trip to the seaside, it’s useless to talk to him about the ‘brightness of the sun’, the ‘clearness of the water’ and the ‘color of the sand’. Instead, I should talk to him about the ‘sensation of the water against my skin’ the ‘sea breeze that caressed my face’ and the ‘heat of the sand beneath my feet’.
But how do we know what type of person we have in front of us?
determining the preferencial system with NLP
One way of determining our interlocutor preferencial representational system by using NLP techinques consists in observing his physical appearance. To each type corresponds particular characteristics:
NLP eye movement patterns
Another way consists in observing eye movements. We need to ask our interlocutor a question that has a ‘specific’ answer. For example: “Where did you go on holiday last year?” “France.” Before answering, the eyes will move towards a particular direction, indicating the preferred channel. The Visual looks upwards as if searching for an answer from an imaginary world above the head; the Auditory looks sideways; the Kinaesthetic looks downwards. It is important to catch the exact moment just before the answer as the eyes could then move in different directions, searching in different sensory channels. In this way you will obtain their primary channel or ACCESSING CHANNEL that will allow us to get on the same wavelength as our interlocutor.
Instead, if we ask them a question that demands a longer answer, they will provide us with their secondary channel, used less often than the accessing one. Later on we will see how we can manage it.
NLP sensory predicates
Another way of identifying type consists of verbal predicates that are used during interaction. Below you can find a list of those most used.
There are also some predicates that don’t belong to any of the three types. For example:
Once the accessing channel has been identified, we can use the corresponding verbal predicates and everything that is connected to their world. Then, we can use the second channel that is used less often, in order to follow a strategy. We need to imagine that we want to enter a house: We need a key to open the door (Accessing Channel), to turn the handle (secondary channel) and finally we can go inside (“dormant” channel).
NLP approach sequence
The aim of a good communicator is to be able to use the processing channel that is rarely used. But we will not be allowed to do this if we don’t first follow the sequence in the correct order. In relationships we normally only use the “dormant” channel when we are emotionally involved with our interlocutor. It seems clear to me that if we are able to interact with this particular channel, we can emotionally involve the person we face, going well beyond simple understanding.
pacing and mirroring with NLP
Therefore, our job consists in pacing the subject’s information strategies. However, there is another system that allows us to establish an understanding relationship: Mirroring. This means mirroring our interlocutor’s physiology and tone of voice. In other words you need to adopt the same posture as him. For the other person it almost seems as if they are in front of a mirror and, unconsciously, they feel accepted because they think they are facing someone just like them, they feel they have approval.
The most important rule of rapport is: be alike!
Approval creates the basis on which to continue a discussion. Naturally, “to mirror” does not mean “parroting”. If our interlocutor is jiggling his foot nervously, I can move my hand to the same rhythm. If the subject changes position, so do I; naturally I don’t do it immediately—if they are speaking, I wait until they finish. Then, when I start to speak, I change my position to that of the subject. To mirror means that if the person I face raises his left arm, I need to raise my right arm, as if I were in front of a mirror. After mirroring the interlocutor for some time, you will notice that he will start to follow your posture. This means you have established the right wavelength, you have tuned to him.
Have you ever noticed how lovers behave? Their posture is unconsciously in perfect harmony, as if they were performing in a ‘ballet’. We can artificially create a similar situation and when we have established Rapport, our interlocutor will be inclined to satisfy our requests.
NLP matching techniques
A similar method is Matching, an indispensable way of tuning in to peoples’ internal processes in order to understand their state of mind. I will still imitate their posture but if they raise their left arm, I will also raise my left arm recreating the same muscle tension in the same limb. The subjects will more or less unconsciously see themselves being mirrored, but we will be able to understand their emotional state. In fact, if the person I face has tense legs, contracted facial muscles and is moving his hand nervously, by matching him I can get in tune with his internal state.
The basics of Matching are:
When a person is sitting on the edge of a chair, leaning forward with all his muscles tense, it is impossible to understand what he is feeling inside if we are stretched out on a sofa completely relaxed!
pacing beliefs with NLP
So, we have looked at many tools with which to tune in to the people with whom we want to talk effectively with: the use of sensory accessing channels, Mirroring and Matching. There are also many other nlp ways to match and mirror: I can match the subject by Values. If, for example, my interlocutor holds family as a fundamental value, I will talk to him about the importance of family in today’s society. If another person values ‘money’ I will let him know that this value is also important to me. Obviously you shouldn’t alter your own personality. Instead, we need to behave like a twig, which bends in the wind but then goes back to its original position.
In fact, once we have established the right wavelength we can bring the subject into our world. If we aren’t at all interested in communicating effectively with those we face, we can ignore everything that has been said so far. If instead we want to communicate effectively to reach a consensus, we should follow everything that has been examined up until now even if this means making some sacrifices.
NLP-rapport lesson conclusions
At this point we have a series of tools available to us that allow us to interact effectively, to recognize the types you communicate with and above all what are the preferred types of the people with whom you have a good relationship.
EXERCISE: when speaking with people, try to establish which verbal predicates they use most often and in which circumstances: you will understand a lot about their way of thinking!
But this isn’t all; there is another tool that let’s us instantly know if we are moving in the right direction: NCV—Non Verbal Communication (body language).