Javi just sent me an email asking me to comment on that.
He read my exchange with Fatih in a previous article (you'll find it in the comment section) that resulted in Fatih resolving an issue he'd been struggling with for some time, on which he'd spent serious time and cash.
During the exchange, I said:
Pay close attention here. There was an “IF … THEN … ” link, but it didn’t exist in your nervous system as language. It was a straight sensory connection. This plays a big part in what kind of question will unlock new choices.
Javi asked me a few questions about this. Here are my answers for everyone's benefit.
"How do you know when there is a sensory connection and when there isn´t?"
Javi added: "(as I see this, there is always a sensory connections, the person is always feeling in some way the beliefs he has, and when he express his beliefs using language, that sensory connections is always there)"
Javi's right. Linguistic links are always stacked on top of sensory links. Always. Keep that in mind.
So linguistic links can't exist without sensory links. But sensory links can exist without linguistic links.
It's like atoms and molecules. You can't have molecules without atoms, but you can have atoms without molecules.
So what's the give away? What reveals whether the link is sensory or linguistic?
The answer lies in THE WAY the person describes what's happening.
Specifically, Fatih wrote:
Whenever somebody disagrees with me on something, I immediately feel “They must know it better than me, so I’m wrong about what I know.”
He first describes an external trigger (somebody disagrees with me). That trigger cues a feeling that he labeled "They must know it better than me".
Notice how the external cue went straight to the feeling (I didn't say emotion).
In NLP jargon, you'd call that an anchor. External stimulus --> Internal response
It's a gut feeling. No thinking involved. No rationalization. It just happens. It's prelinguistic.
It's also not cause and effect. It's not "if somebody disagrees with me, then I respond in that way." It's "When somebody disagress with me, I immediately feel..." It's instantaneous.
On the other hand, when Fatih writes: "They must know it better than me, so I'm wrong about what I know."
That's an internal linguistic link, and it's clearly articulated as such. "They know it better than me" means that "I'm wrong about what I know".
It's a complex equivalence between two ideas, two thoughts. Read this sentence carefully: "I'm wrong about what I know." Is there any sensory element in here?
So this second link is definitely coded purely in language. Much easier to manipulate and play with. Probably no sensory grounding whatsoever in this link. So it's weak.
If it wasn´t a sensory connection, what type of question would you use then?
I actually used both types of questions in my intervention.
The first question I asked was:
When someone knows something better than you, what else could it mean?
This first question targets the linguistic link, the complex equivalence.
Fatih believed that "someone knows something better than me" means "I'm wrong about what I know".
My question invites him to substitute the second element of the link ("I'm wrong about what I know") with a new choice. Based on his Model of The World, Fatih can choose any number of possibilities:
"Someone knows something better than me" means "Wow! I can learn something new now!"
"Someone knows something better than me" means "Now I can focus on my core talent."
So that question addresses that link. Fortunately, Fatih made an empowering choice.
The second instruction I gave was to:
Wonder: What’s great about someone disagreeing with me?
This question targets the anchor. The sensory association.
It links the external cue (someone disagreeing with me) to an internal feeling. And the word "great" presupposes that "someone disagreeing with me" triggers a great feeling.
Once again, the question invites Fatih to come up with additional choices, bound by the "great" criterion. The cool thing is that Fatih had no problem in coming up with an empowering answer.
Here's how you reengineer sensory anchors
Remember. The structure here is "External trigger --> Internal feeling".
You simply ask:
What's ***emotion*** about ***trigger***?
What's exciting about speaking on the phone?
What's funny about returning merchandise to the store?
What's relaxing about approaching an attractive person?
What's stupid about running red lights?
Here's how you reengineer complex equivalences
The structure here is "Idea #1= Idea #2"
In Fatih's case, it was "someone knows something better than me = I'm wrong about what I know".
When ***Idea #1***, what else could it mean?
When you get a bad grade on the test, what else could it mean?
When you make a mistake, what else could it mean?
When you forget about a birthday, what else could it mean?
Recap: this is simply...
Now go do it.