Martin Messier

September 6, 2023

Does this story suggest people are flakes?

It's 1985.

The world of NLP is on fire, because the Grinder and Bandler Brothers Band has just published their book "Reframing."

The book begins with this story:

"A very old Chinese Taoist story describes a farmer in a poor country village. His neighbors considered him very well-to-do. He owned a horse which he used for plowing and for transportation. One day his horse ran away. All his neighbors exclaimed how terrible this was, but the farmer simply said: 


A few days later the horse returned and brought two wild horses with it. The neighbors all rejoiced at his good fortune, but the farmer just said: 


The next day the farmer's son tried to ride one of the wild horses. The horse threw him and the son broke his leg. The neighbors all offered their sympathy for his misfortune, but the farmer again said: 


The next week conscription officers came to the village to take young men for the army. They rejected the farmer's son because of his broken leg. When the neighbors told him how lucky he was, the farmer replied:


Is the farmer a flake?


But perhaps the story serves to illustrate how a change in context radically alters the meaning of the events — even retroactively. In NLP, the operative word we use for context is "frame," and one of the master skills we want to learn to use as a coach is controlling the frame. When we shape the frame of the communication and the interaction, we influence the meaning derived from it.

I first learned about framing from my NLP master teacher, Rex Sikes. Not so much in the content he presented during Prac Certification training, but the way he went about teaching that demonstrated in practice how to do it.

If you're interested in getting trained in NLP, and you want to see a master in action, definitely check out Rex.

The only reason I don't run my own Practitioner program is because I don't need to. Rex is the one I recommend to all my subscribers who want to nail down their NLP basics.

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