Personal Resilience – Mind Rescue Kit

Stressed and overwhelmed? This simple course will help you to take back control of your life.

mind_rescue_kit

Mind Rescue Kit is exactly what it sounds like – a practical course that will take you from stressed and overwhelmed to calm, focused and resourceful.

It combines ideas and exercises from Psychology, NLP and Coaching to increase your mental resilience, creating a positive effect for you in your life.

You learn everything you need to know through a series of practical exercises, so you can make a positive difference in your life while you’re still trying it out.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • How to take control of your state of mind (and why that’s so important)
  • How to master your internal dialogue (a master-skill)
  • How to make goals like the world’s most successful people do
  • How to recapture your drive and stay motivated
  • What feedback really is – and why you need to get it right

In short, you’ll understand yourself a bit better, so you can get yourself into a more resourceful mindset and have a workable plan for your future.

If that’s what you need, sign up below.

£75 £15 while places last.

Go here to book now

NLP, Mastery and Success

What could your life be like if someone gave you a compass that always points the way to success?

success_compass

There are ways of thinking about your aims, goals and desires that are different – and far more powerful – than those you currently use. Ways that put more of your life under your control, making it easier to get what you want.

successThere is more to it than determination. There are activities that successful people definitely don’t do, because they know those actions lead only to failure. They know what the actions of success are – and how to repeat those time and again.

Successful people ask better questions about the things they want, because they know how to build a blueprint for success. In fact, if you can’t get the answers, even your most strenuous efforts will fall far short of the results you truly deserve.

When you make a study of success and compare the highest achievers, patterns start to emerge. Patterns in their thinking, behaviour and outlook on life. Patterns that are often profoundly different from the norm.

These people became special by their own efforts. Successful people don’t work harder than others, though they often work hard to get what they want. They’re not necessarily any more intelligent than the average person. Most were not born into wealth or privilege either. What they do have is a set of skills that many people do not even know exists.

In this course, you can learn those skills, modelled from some of the world’s most successful people.

Learn how to:

  • build a blueprint for success with 10 simple questions
  • stay totally focused throughout your master plan
  • use any results – even failure – as material for creating success
  • master your inner success system and make it work for you – even while you sleep!
  • keep your life balanced throughout the process.

Through a series of simple exercises, you will learn how to think, act and react in ways that will move you towards the things you want from life.

These new skills will be your compass, always keeping you on track, so you can have more of the things you want with less of the time and effort.

As you move through the course, you will put it into action in your life and begin to make success part of who you are.

Go here to book your place and access the material straight away.

NLP – Daily Practice and Integration

Too busy to practice your NLP? Build your skills in only 5 minutes each day with this new training program.

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You’ve completed your NLP Practitioner training and want to make the most of your new learning.

What do you do next?

Some people take more training or join a local NLP practice group. Some people do nothing.

In my experience, those who make the most of their NLP do so by making it part of their everyday life.

  • I don’t mean doing therapy or changework with friends and family.
  • Nor do I mean becoming an ‘NLP bore’ by talking about NLP constantly.
  • I don’t mean changing your job to ‘live the dream’ of being an NLPer.

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Those who have the greatest and most enduring success integrate their NLP learning seamlessly into a variety of normal contexts, improving their daily lives in the process.

That’s why I designed this 8-week integration program – to guide you through that process.

How does it work?

Each week, starting on Day 1, you will receive a concise audio lesson of approximately five minutes duration. The lessons are brief and to the point, so you can easily find time to listen to them before the week’s tasks begin.

Every other day you will receive a brief email outlining that day’s task or exercise. Each task or exercise will help to integrate that week’s learning material into your natural awareness, language and behaviour.

Go here to book your place and access the material straight away.

Creative Solutions – NLP and Creativity

Looking for solutions? Expand your creative skills on this 4 week course and save time, money and effort in the process

Creativity is the most prized ability in business today because new ideas can save you time, money and effort.

creativeDespite its great value, few people know how to become more creative, because many people think that creativity is an inborn skill. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Creativity is something we can all have, whether we realise it or not. It is a skill, an attitude and an outlook – all of which you can learn, perfect and train. For example, why do artistic people go to art college? They’re learning skills that will help them to better express their creativity.

There are two parts of the creative skill:

  • coming up with interesting ideas, new perspectives, or solutions to problems.
  • expressing those ideas in a meaningful and accessible way.

This training course focuses on the first part of creativity, which is arguably the more valuable one. Ask a painter how to paint or ask a writer how to craft a story and they will have plenty of practical advice to share. However, ask them – or any creative person – how they come up with their ideas and they will struggle to give you a practical answer.

They’re much more likely to tell you that ideas ‘just come to them’ or seem to ‘pop into their heads’. And that doesn’t give you anything you can use to duplicate the process.

Fortunately, there are ways of accessing that information. There is a structure to creativity, drawn from careful study of creative thinkers – a highly practical way of becoming more creative.

In this course, you will learn several simple ways to enhance your personal creativity.

Learn practical ways to:

  • Tap into your deepest creative resources
  • Synthesize new ideas and applications from existing ones
  • Use your resources to improve on past solutions
  • Take ideas from other areas and creatively “re-purpose” them

Through a series of simple exercises, you will learn four fundamental processes and begin to make creativity a part of who you are.

Go here to book your place and access the material straight away.

NLP Language – Meta Model

Struggling to cut to the heart of the problem? You can take control now by asking the right questions.

meta-model

The meta-model is a way you can identify patterns in language that show you how a person thinks in a fundamental way.

It reveals how they personally see the world – and how they see you and others too. Think about the potential – what could you achieve with that knowledge?

The meta model will show you their assumptions, the limits of their thinking and what they deeply believe is true.

This means you can begin to ask questions which cut right to the heart of the issue – pointed, intelligent and transformative questions.

Assumptions

When you make assumptions, sometimes you will get it wrong. The consequences can be small or they can be serious. Some misunderstandings can end a relationship or cost a business millions. All because you were wrong about what you thought you understood. With these tools, you will strip away misunderstanding and avoid potential disaster.

This level of the meta-model recovers hidden information and combats vagueness.

Limited Thinking

Everyone has gaps in their understanding. With the meta-model, you will find those gaps and see the edges of their worldview. Through a series of simple questions, you can open up their world and help them to do the impossible. The result is transformative and can create a better future for all.

Underlying Beliefs

Everyone has deeply buried ideas about how things are – how the world works, what people are like and what you need to know to make it to the top. At this level of awareness, you will hear the clues in their language and in your own. Here is where you free your mind from the past and open up to a wealth of possibilities in your future. The result is a revolution for the mind.

Take control

With the meta-model, you can slice through bluster and vagueness, eliminate objections and take control of the conversation. You’ll be able to identify faulty thinking patterns and intervene powerfully. You’ll be able to map the thinking patterns of excellence and make them your own.

Learn faster, understand more deeply, ask transformative questions and create breakthrough.

How does it work?

You will learn five patterns each week for the first three weeks as you descend deeper into the model. I demonstrate every pattern with examples across the breadth of normal life, so you can apply the meta-model everywhere. Every situation becomes an opportunity to practice and develop your mastery of these skills. In the fourth and final part, you learn how to combine everything you’ve learned and apply it as a single powerful system.

Whether your needs are in the field of business, coaching, therapeutics, sales, learning or every part of life, the course contains everything you need to make these skills your own. This course is an opportunity to gain an edge – a significant advantage over your competitors in every area of life.

You can enjoy all of this for a single course fee of only £75.

Take control today – sign up here: Meta-Model and access the material straight away.

Working with Belief Clusters – Part 3: How Values Form Chains

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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 3: How Values Form Chains

Previously, I demonstrated how beliefs and values are related and how beliefs form chains. In this third part of the series, I show you how values also form chains – but only if you elicit them correctly…


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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 3: How Values Form Chains

There is a completely different way we can track the formation of chains – this time through the connections between values.

However, it’s really important to elicit the person’s values without imposing any sort of order on them.

In this instance, we’re just modelling the value structure and relationships that currently exist.

There are, broadly speaking, two formal values elicitation questions and both have different functions.

1 – “What’s important about X?”

This question identifies the values in a particular area of life, X.

For example:

“What’s important about relationships?” will tend to elicit a value in the context of relationships.

So far, so good. One way to progress from there is to keep eliciting values connected to relationships. The formal way to do this is to ask:

“What else is important about relationships?”. This will tend to elicit another value in the context of relationships. Then keep repeating this question until you get a list of values.

However, if this is the only type of question you ask, you will get a long list of values relevant to the context of relationships, but you will not have any information about how those values are connected to each other.

So the classic thing which is done in this situation (especially by life-coaches) is to impose a hierarchy. This is done by asking:

“Which one of those values is the most important?”
or
“If you had to do without one of these values, which one would it be?”
or
“List your values in order of importance.”

(It’s quite common to advise people to do this – just Google ‘NLP values hierarchy’ to see some examples.)

However, if you do this, you’ve just lost something really important and re-structured how the person perceives their values. This is bad.

I know – some of you may be thinking:

“But I’m sure values form a hierarchy. What about the ‘hierarchy of values’? and what about Maslow’s hierarchy?”

Firstly, the hierarchy of values. We made it up and it has lasted because it appeals to our need for simple order. That’s all. Elicit values cleanly and you won’t find a linear hierarchy. Just test it out and see for yourself.

This is not to be confused with a ‘hierarchy of criteria’, which imposes order on criteria (which includes, but is not limited to, values) in order to leverage aspects of that order.

Secondly, Maslow’s work has nothing to do with values whatsoever. Read up on that if you’re still not sure about it.

So you have a list of values and imposing a hierarchy is not going to show you how the values are naturally linked together. What do you do?

You ask a second type of values-elicitation question:

2 – “When you have [value] what does that give you?”

Or simply

“What’s important about [value]?”

This allows you to identify direct relationships between values and therefore you travel down the values chain, rather than across the surface.

For example:

“What’s important to you about work?”
– a sense of accomplishment

“ok, so a sense of accomplishment. When you have that sense of accomplishment, what does that give you?”
– it gives me satisfaction

“Ok. So when you get that satisfaction from your work, what does that give you?”
– a feeling of well-being

So far, we have identified the linear chain [accomplishment -> satisfaction -> well-being] Is it a hierarchy? It looks a lot like one until we keep going.

“What does that well-being give you?”
– a sense of accomplishment

What we really have here is a simple loop. This is not uncommon, by the way and there are other structures to be found too, if you elicit the values chains cleanly.

[By ‘cleanly’, I don’t mean use the ‘clean language’ approach, necessarily. Just stop assuming how the system is ordered and find out what is really there.]

Access the next part of this series to find out:

  • What other structures do values chains form?
  • What strengths and weaknesses does each structure have?

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Working With Belief Clusters 2 – How Beliefs Form Chains

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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 2: How Beliefs Form Chains

To create lasting change, we often need to look at the bigger picture, especially when working with limiting beliefs, which are connected into larger structures. In this second video in the series, I show four ways in which beliefs chain together.


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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 2: How Beliefs Form Chains

In order to identify clusters – complex structures with many linkages – we need to look first at simple connections. I call these ‘chains’. Let’s get started.

Working with the ‘If – Then – Means’ belief structure from the previous part, there are several ways that chains can form:

1. Cause -> Effect -> Further consequences

When we start with the cause and effect part of the belief, often the effect has consequences too.

if X then Y (means Z)
and
if Y then A (means B)

X -> Y -> A

For example:
If I try then I’ll fail (means I’m a failure)
If I fail then I’ll never try it again (means I’m a quitter)

These causes, effects and further consequences work like a row of dominoes.

2. Cause + Condition -> Effect

The chains can also branch, especially if multiple factors work together to create different effects.

For example:
If I try then I’ll fail (means I’m a failure)

If I fail and I’m stressed then I’ll never try it again (means I’m a quitter)
or
If I fail and I’m not stressed then I’ll try it again (means I’m learning)

This way, we get a complete and more complex structure.

X -> Y
Y + stress -> A
Y (no stress) -> X

Notice how ‘trying it again’ loops back round to the start (X)

3. Cause -> Effect 1 + Effect 2

There can also be multiple consequences to a cause-effect.

For example:

If I try then I’ll fail (means I’m a failure)
If I fail then I’ll never try it again (means I’m a quitter)
and I’ll get depressed

In this case, getting depressed is a second effect of failing, rather than a consequence of never trying it again.

4. Cause 1 or Cause 2 -> Effect

The or structure demonstrates that some effects can stem from a variety of causes.

For example:

If I try then I’ll fail (means I’m a failure)
or
If I don’t try then I’ll fail (means I’m a failure)

If a condition or its opposite create the same effect, as in the example, this is a bind, which is a special condition of this structure. In general, limitation is what happens when the flow from cause to effect narrows rather than branching.

From all this, it’s clear that cause and effect chains can form complex structures. However, those structures can be extremely unwieldy and when creating change, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to focus your efforts.

So we need to have a way of targeting the crucial areas. Values can help with this.

Access the next part of this series to find out:

  • How to identify and elicit values chains
  • how to elicit values without damaging the chains

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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 1

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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 1: Beliefs and Values

Beliefs aren’t isolated things, so they shouldn’t be worked with in isolation. This is the first in a series about working with beliefs as clusters. Part 1 describes how beliefs and values are connected.


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Working with Belief Clusters – Part 1: Beliefs and Values

Many people talk about beliefs and how they form into ‘clusters’, yet they only work with single beliefs when they want to create change.

They don’t describe:

  • how beliefs cluster,
  • why that is important,
  • how to identify the beliefs in a cluster,
  • or how they are interconnected.

I’m going to answer some of those questions in this series of videos, so when I’m finished, you’ll have some simple theory and some actionable knowledge too.

Values are an interesting place to begin, because

  • they’re easy to identify
  • they’re interlinked
  • they relate directly to beliefs
  • they focus you on the areas which are most important

Again, many people elicit values in a particular way that imposes order on them and will prevent you from seeing how values interlink.

So before we get into values, let’s look at how they’re related to beliefs.

Values and Beliefs – Relationship

First, some basic information about how a belief is structured:

It can be useful to look at a belief as a meaningful system of cause and effect.

Robert Dilts* uses this useful structure to map beliefs onto:

if X then Y means Z

where X is the cause
where Y is the effect
and Z is a value judgement

How is this useful?

Firstly, you can also use the ‘If – Then – Means’ structure to make sure you have identified all the elements relevant to the belief you’re examining.

For example: (If I try then I’ll fail, which means I’m a failure)

‘trying’ is the cause.
‘failing’ is the effect.
‘failure’ is the value.

So we can use this structure to identify values from looking directly at beliefs.

If we’re already working with beliefs, why bother with values?

Well, we can backtrack from a value to identify a belief, or set of related beliefs.

How?

In this case, we ask about the rules surrounding a value.

Suppose, for example, we elicited the value ‘failure’.

You can ask:
“How do you know when you have failure?”
and
“How do you know when you haven’t failure?”

You might get the answers: “I know I have failure when I try something and fail (don’t succeed)” and “I know when I don’t have failure when I try something and I succeed (don’t fail)”.

Again, it helps to use the ‘If – Then – Means’ structure to make sure you have the structure of the whole belief.

So that is how values and beliefs are connected.

To summarise:

Working between beliefs and values is useful.

From beliefs to values:

  • What does it mean when X causes Y?
  • If X leads to Y, what does that mean?
  • If you Y because X, what does that mean?

From values to beliefs:

  • How do you know when you have Z?
  • How do you know when you don’t have Z?
  • What makes you Z?

Access the next part of this series to find out:

  • How to identify and elicit belief chains
  • how belief chains can branch and loop

*Dilts, R., Sleight of Mouth, (1999)

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NLP – The Magic of Structure Part 1

(1) Do people have structured internal experience?

One of the presuppositions of NLP is that experience has a structure. This is a very useful thing to presuppose as it opens up clear channels of access to a person’s experience and enables us to have a means to re-encode it. This is the basis of many useful techniques in NLP, whereby we can reassign someone’s beliefs, their preferences and their hopes and fears in order to enrich their experience and improve the way they interact with the world.

However, if taken as an absolute law, this presupposition can be quite limiting. How so? The difficulty arises when one questions how much of that structure was there before you started and how much was ‘installed’ as part of an intervention by the NLPer. I see no problem in itself with installing temporary useful structure if there is none evident. The real problem is that when one believes the construct to be real, the structure can become limiting.

How do these frameworks become installed? When one pre-frames a technique and asks for structure as part of an elicitation, one tends to get what the language has set up as an expectation and continues to presuppose throughout the process. So what is really there?

What structure is commonplace?

So how can we tell what structure is present without elicitation? The structure we can observe analogs for from the outside initially seems like a safe bet. This would include sensory modalities, submodalities and metaprograms as well as a great many other things. If one can observe those in someone who has not undergone NLP training, then they must be inherent. And the place where you personally keep pictures of people you like must always be the same, right?

Now, how does this vary between individuals?

What structure is individual?

While many people exhibit similar eye accessing patterns and other structure, it is evident that many other patterns vary between individuals. As a simple example, both myself and the reader have a ‘location where I keep pictures of people I like’, but mine may be in a different place than yours. This is meaningful in that it suggests that this part of the structure may be flexible. Some constructs, such as that elicited in the submodality belief change, may be even more flexible – and it is important to realise that such structure may not be absolute.

In fact, one could usefully describe three different categories for structure :

  • Rigid structure (e.g. eye accessing cues)
  • Flexible structure (e.g. submodalities)
  • Arbitrary structure (e.g. concept/belief submodalities)

So, what use are these distinctions anyway?

Who needs the structure – the client or the NLPer?

It is reasonable to say that an awareness of such patterns is of great use to an NLPer and of lesser importance to the client. The structure is essentially used as a system of classification for the client’s current world-view, so the NLPer may reorganise items into more useful places – basically to reorganise their perceptual filters and associations more harmoniously.

Is it more useful to suppose that we, in fact, install a structure in order to sort their experience?

In the purest sense, it doesn’t matter whether we install the structure or not as long as we get the flexibility to rearrange any ‘inherent’ structure that is not geared toward supporting the change the client requires in its current form.

It is useful in that we get to choose and modify the structure at will. With this recognition that we can install useful constructs and sorting systems, one can pre-frame some very useful things and elicit exactly what one needs to in order to make a considerable change. It is possible to be free to generate more useful structures for change, creating a potential short-cut to a lasting solution rather than supporting the belief that ‘this is how that person is’.

Are many techniques just reorganising experience once it has been pigeonholed into the installed structure?

In the case of the submodality belief change and many other NLP patterns and techniques, this seems like a promising description of what actually occurs. The real potential is in understanding how one may reorganise the structure for greatest ease of operation and benefit to the client. Which distinct pigeonholes would you need to re-sort an experience beneficially? Why not just presuppose they exist and, within a good rapport, the may come into being! For how one rearranges current structure, see the next part of this series.

Questions and comments are welcome below.

NLP Modelling, Criticism and Scale

NLP modelling

Recently, I’ve seen an increasing amount of people who don’t understand something important about NLP modelling.

The first group struggle to know whether a model is complete – whether it has enough information or too much. So many (otherwise promising) models languish in a desk drawer, or in a neglected folder on the hard-drive for just this reason.

Perhaps that is why there are so few published NLP models.

So add “How will I know that the model is complete?” to your set of questions preceding modelling.

Bear in mind that I’ve heard a lot of glib answers to that question – answers that don’t hold up very well when modelling moves from pure theory to practical activity. And it really doesn’t matter what your favourite NLPer says about modelling unless you understand it well enough to actually create a useful model.

A second wave, composed mainly of armchair experts, criticise the usefulness of models that others do produce. Common criticisms are:

  1. the model doesn’t do X
  2. the model only works in a certain context/situation
  3. the model only works with a certain type of person
  4. the model is ‘too simple’
  5. the model is ‘too complex’

Some of these criticisms may be valid. However, it’s much more common that the critic has misunderstood something about the nature of the model.

There is one idea which will help with both these problems.

That idea is ‘scale‘.

Let’s use maps as an analogy for an NLP model.

Maps are a simple way of representing a complex physical space. Different types of map represent that physical space in different ways. They do that for a variety of reasons because they fulfil a variety of purposes.

Mostly, the critical principle is to omit information that does not support the purpose of the map.

For example, a road map does not feature individual buildings. It includes no information about power cables or drainage. There are no contours, or information about height on a normal road map. Even some (extremely minor) roads may be omitted.

My point is that you know when a road map is complete when it is fit for purpose. If you focus your mind on the uses it will support, you will more easily understand what territory it must cover, what needs to be included and what can safely be omitted. This is true of any model. So this principle of scale (map detail) can be used to answer concerns relating to completion of the model.

The second group – the critics – have a different set of problems. When you look at the five commonly used criticisms I have listed above, some answers now become clear.

For the first three criticisms, the answer is “so what?” Yes, it’s valid to slam a road map if it doesn’t guide you from A to B by road. However, it is ridiculous to criticise a road map if you try and use it for a walk in the woods. That’s not what it was made for. Few people would get upset when their toaster can’t be used to boil water, so why complain when a telesales model doesn’t work well through the medium of email?

For the last two criticisms, the answer is “too simple/complex for what?” The scale of the model depends on the purpose for which it was created. A model for selling lawnmowers in person will not necessarily work fully for selling lawnmowers by phone. It probably won’t work for selling coffee either. A general ‘model of selling’ should work for selling all these things and will likely embrace greater complexity than a more specific sales model. In short, scale matters.

These are principles of design and are easy to learn. Perhaps that would be a useful place for NLP modellers to begin – with good design in mind. It would certainly give more people the confidence to finish – and publish – their work.