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I wrote in an earlier post how NLP is NOT therapy. Most beginning students mistake NLP to be a form of therapy because so much has been published, debated and criticized about the therapeutic models developed in NLP.
If you read through this entire post, you’ll have figured out 99% of the NLP game. Many experienced NLPers that I’ve talked to haven’t understood the distinction I’m about to share with you. And yet, when you get it (and you will), you’ll breeze through any NLP material and assimilate it much more quickly, because you’ll have a framework with which to absorb it.
As you progress in learning and mastering NLP, you’ll come across the content-process distinction in a number of books and seminars. This distinction is one of the lynchpins of NLP and “experts” are constantly debating where the boundary falls between content and process.
How can we understand what they are talking about? What is content? What is process? Let’s use a metaphor to start understanding this.
One of the critical components of calibration (yeah, I know I talk a lot about this skill) is the ability to read and interpret eye accessing cues. Literally, the ONLY skill more important than this one is The #1 NLP Skill You Must Master.
Below, I’ve included a standard eye accessing cue chart that will help you record these. If you’re an advanced student of NLP, you’ve come across images similar to this one countless number of times.
Eye accessing cues are just a model. The co-founders don’t intend to make them an absolute truth in any way.
With that said, they generally clue us in correctly in which representational system the other person is processing.
But let’s learn how to calibrate using eye accessing cues.
The way to do this is to ask questions that elicit the use of specific representational systems.
So you could ask the person:
“Remind me, what was the color of the second house we looked at?”
Pay attention to the person’s eye movements.
If the person is right-handed, (s)he will normally look up and to the left to access this visual cue.
Attention! Often times, the person might first repeat and re-hear the question in their mind prior to accessing the answer. Should (s)he follow that process, (s)he will first display a different eye movement pattern. This does not discredit the eye accessing cue model. It simply means that you need to pay close attention to all the processes that person follows before reaching an aswer.
Use questions to effectively calibrate how the person accesses specific sensory information.
So now, let’s go to the drills! Remember, you MUST practice to become proficient.
Drill 1: Come up with 5 questions you can ask to calibrate eye accessing cues for each representational system.
Drill 2: Apply! Ask each question to at least 20 people over the upcoming week and calibrate their responses.
Drill 3: Observe people’s eye accessing cues in every day conversations.
Drill 4: Play around with eye accessing cues yourself. Try to visualize while looking down. Try talking to yourself while looking up. Try to elicit a feeling while looking sideways.
Of course, let us know how you experimented in the comments.
Philip Farber is an interesting character in NLP. I did not know him until I watched this video:
In this lecture, Phil gives a light overview of neuro-research done on mirror neurons. I’d heard and read about this in passing, but the pieces of information he mentions are very interesting, notably when he describes how we run mirror neural patterns when we see someone else performing any activity.
I find fascinating that merely being in the presence of someone performing an activity immediately engages and begins to “mold” our neurology to conform to what we’re seeing.
This research backs up the NLP Modeling methodology that John Grinder espouses and fiercely advocates.
***Incidentally, it also supports the famous adage “You become who you spend time with.”***
Who would have thought…