Martin Messier

August 21, 2023

Few understand this NLP anchoring nuance

This weekend, my family and I spent a few hours by the Ottawa River.

It seems the groundhog was wrong this year. Spring is definitely upon us! Last year, there were still massive ice caps on the river in February. This year, they're already gone.

Watching the river flow reminded me how ingenious humans are at leveraging naturally occurring phenomena in nature.

We harness river currents to draw electric power for free.

We take advantage of the elasticity and pliability of sticks to propel arrows through the air.

We concentrate sun rays using magnifying lenses to produce fire.

Thinking of these activities reminded me of a common misconception NLP rookies fall prey to.

Take anchoring, for instance. New students think it's a technique.

It's not.

Anchoring is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Anchoring is happening constantly around us, all day, every day. It's happening right now, to me, as I write you this email. It's happening to you, right now, as you read it.

As a coach, you can harness that phenomenon to help your clients, just as human beings have learned to harness river currents and the elasticity of sticks to achieve their ends.

Most high-level NLP practice is about observing, catching and harnessing. The most elegant coaching work isn't even detected. When you play the game at a high level, you can coach people, but they believe they're just having a conversation. It can feel surreal at times.

Take another example: the fast phobia cure. It isn't a technique either. It's a phenomenon Bandler observed and captured. Once you understand how the phenomenon works, you can reshape and remold it in any way you want to achieve the result.

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