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Listen Carefully: Key Words In-Depth NLP™ (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

May 4, 2008
Those familiar with In-Depth NLP™ are familiar with the concept of unconscious communication. Those not listening carefully may have thought that it is not important to listen to the actual words that our clients speak. Actually nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only do the words that our client say have significance, but the client will tell you loud and clear exactly which words are most important. How will they communicate this? They will use analogue or digital non-verbal markers.

Let's say the client is talking and then changes their tonality when saying a certain word. The coach or therapist immediately pricks up their ears; what was that word that the client's unconscious mind chose to mark out for us? What meaning does the client assign to that word? Is it a problem? A resource? Maybe a belief or value?

Similarly suppose the client says a certain word and their unconscious mind chooses to mark this with a gesture. Exactly the same thoughts arise; why did the client choose to mark out this word for us? Is this a resource or problem state? Is it a belief or value?

When we have determined the meaning that the word has for the client then we have a tool to use to help them to change. Let's take an example from a recent session, Bob talks about "Karma", clearly marking out the word. Up goes the radar; what does this word mean to him? We decide to test the meaning of the word by suggesting that changing his behavior will result in positive consequences while continuing the old behavior may lead to adverse Karma for him. The unconscious response we get is immediate. This is the meaning of unconscious communication.

So how do we calibrate unconscious verbal communication? This is based upon proper training and experience. I have seen therapists casually pass over words that were clearly marked out by the unconscious mind. However, there are things that an In-Depth NLP™ Practitioner can watch out for:

* Is this the sort of word that is likely to attract meaning? For example, Karma may be a charged word, hotdog probably isn't.

* Is there a change in tonality in respect of a certain word?

* Is there a specific and noticeable gesture associated with the word?

* Is there a specific physiology, breathing or other change associated with the word?

* Most importantly, is the unconscious response repeated when we encourage the client to repeat that concept?

What do we do with a word, which is marked out by a client's unconscious mind? In terms of In-Depth NLP™ the question is easy: the word acts as a trigger, or in NLP terms, an anchor, for a particular state, value or belief. By "showing" us this trigger, the client's unconscious mind is inviting us to use this word to help them to change.

So by repeating this word at an appropriate time, together with the tonality, posture and gestures that let us know the importance of this word, we trigger the state associated with the word. Listening for these terms gives us exquisite control over over the timing of our client's state at any particular time.

These techniques and more are taught on our In-Depth NLP™ courses in New York.
About the Author
Shawn Carson is Director of International Center for Positive Change and Hypnosis offering NLP Training in New York, coaching, www.nlptrainingnewyork.com Melissa Tiers is founder of the Center for Integrative Hypnosis, offering Hypnosis training in New York and personal change www.melissatiers.com
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