Role 2: Role-modelling solutions

Now you’ve met your role model and had a taste of what it’s like to be them. Don’t you wish they were around when you needed their help of advice though?

Here’s a way you can have the next-best thing.

Role-modelling solutions

  1. Pick a situation where you would like the advice of a particular role model.
  2. Encapsulate the situation: Be sure where the experience begins and ends.
  3. Begin by running the experience through from your own perspective.
  4. Next, imagine your role model is present.
  5. As before, ask them questions and glean any advice you can.
  6. Now step into your role model and look at the situation again. From that perspective, what would you do differently? What would you keep the same?
  7. When you’ve gained all you can from that perspective, step back out, taking the knowledge with you.
  8. Now step back into yourself at the beginning of the experience. Given your new knowledge, how do you respond differently and how does the situation unfold this time?
  9. Cast your mind forward to a time in the future where you may encounter a similar situation. How does it play out in that instance?

In this way, you can draw upon a different, expert perspective for insight and problem solving. To gather further perspective, repeat the exercise with a second, different role model.

Interesting? Your questions and comments are welcome below.

(This is just one of the techniques you learn on our NLP Practitioner training. Go here to find out more)

Role 1: Who are your role models?

‘Role model’ has become a meaningless phrase, broadened to cover just about anyone who has something going for them. Whether it’s business leaders, teachers, athletes or rock stars, everyone is now considered to be a role model. The phrase ‘role model’ has become cliched and consequently lost all of its vigour.

That’s kind of a shame because the concept is really useful. I’m not talking about how it’s used traditionally either – you won’t need to slavishly mimic the attitudes and behaviour of someone you wish to emulate.

Here’s how to revive your role-model

First, you’ll need to choose someone you find inspirational or aspirational as your model.

What is it about them that inspires you?
What is it about them that you wish others could see in you too?

  1. Go to a room where you will not be interrupted for a short while.
  2. Stand with a clear space in front of you.
  3. With eyes open or closed, (whatever works best for you) imagine your role-model in front of you.
  4. Speak with them for a short time, asking them questions about the aspect of their life you’re interested in.
  5. In a moment, you’re going to step inside them to experience what it’s like to be them on the inside.
  6. Physically take a step forward into the space where you imagined them to be, allowing yourself to see through their eyes, hear what they’d hear and feel how they feel inside when they’re exhibiting the aspect you’re interested in.
  7. Take some time to just absorb this new experience. What are they saying to themselves on the inside?
  8. When you’re ready, step back out again, taking with you only the aspects that are relevant to you.
  9. Let the new knowledge and experiences settle in.

In this way, you can gather crucial information that is in a mental ‘blind-spot’ – namely, how they experience the world on the inside. What does this do?

You’ll gain insight into what makes them the way they are – deep motivations and ideals that drive them.

You’ll also pick up some of that too – by experiencing it for yourself, it becomes a choice you can take and a set of behaviours you can draw upon to expand your own growing capabilities.

Look past the cliche and become inspired again. Who are your role models?

(This is just one of the techniques you learn on our NLP Practitioner training. Go here to find out more)

NLP Techniques, Psychology and Problem Solving

Do you still try and solve your problems by replaying and analysing them? You may actually be intensifying the issue according to a recent study.

If something goes wrong, do you replay the experience over and over, trying to think of what caused the difficulty? This is the approach most people take to problem-solving in their everyday lives and at work.

However, there are certain obvious disadvantages to the analytical approach:

  1. it rehearses failure
  2. the context is frozen by any strong emotion in the experience
  3. the resources available are limited to those accessible in the negative emotional state

A 2008 study by Kross & Ayduk(1) suggests this approach (immersed analysis) may actually intensify the problem. The alternative approach they offer involves re-experiencing the event from a detached perspective, as though they took a step back from the situation (distanced analysis).

They found that those who used the distanced analysis approach focused on finding solutions rather than on recounting the experience. The emotional effect of the experience was greatly reduced – and that reduction was lasting.

Bear in mind that this approach makes it easier for people to face the reality of the situation in a new way, rather than just pushing their problems out of awareness or using distraction to cope.

These results agree with the distinctions made in NLP with regard to how you can re-experience an event in a different way. We refer to immersed analysis experiences as ‘associated‘ and distanced analysis experiences as ‘disassociated‘. In fact, these distinctions are used in many NLP processes, such as the fast phobia cure.

A host of additional distinctions (taught at NLP Practitioner level) exist within NLP to adjust the way a memory may be experienced, offering extra flexibility to those seeking to improve their ability to solve problems and become emotionally more resilient.

References:

(1) Kross, E., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Facilitating adaptive emotional analysis: Distinguishing distanced-analysis of depressive experiences from immersed-analysis and distraction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 924-938.