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Calibration For Business Using Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP

May 7, 2008
Calibration in Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP refers to the skill of observing and listening for the unconscious responses that the people around us (whether business clients, suppliers, colleagues, subordinates) offer us.

These unconscious responses offer clues as to the thoughts that are passing through the mind of the other person. By noticing these clues, we gain insight that can help us to communicate with both the conscious and unconscious mind, and become more influential.


Surely we are not suggesting that a client, sitting in her own office, will reveal her unconscious thoughts to us? Yes, she will and she does!

We should firstly be aware that people reveal their unconscious thoughts when they are emotionally invested in what they are discussing. Often when people are discussing purely business issues they become more guarded, or more "consciously minded", or otherwise more difficult to read. Therefore it is easier to read unconscious response when we lead a person to become emotionally invested in what they are discussing. In a business environment, this means that we should ask questions such as:

* What does this mean to you?
* Is this important to you?
* What will you get out of this?

When we ask questions that relate to how a project will affect a person individually, we are much more likely to get unconscious response.


So what would we be looking and listening for, to allow us to calibrate in NLP terms, when we meet with a client? Here are some of the major clues that may reveal unconscious process:


The way a person's eyes move can tell us what they are thinking. "Eye accessing cues" as they are called are taught as part of any Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner Course.

Essentially we tend to move our eyes a certain way, when we think in a certain way. By calibrating to how the person in front of us thinks (whether a business colleague of a client) we can begin to recognize how they are thinking as we watch their eyes move.


Predicates refers to the type of words that we use when we speak. In terms of Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP, we theorize as follows: if a person says, "I see what you mean" it implies that they are seeing a picture. If they say, "That sounds right" then they are judging by hearing.

As we listen, really listen; to the words others use, we may begin to notice how they are thinking.


Several other clues can help us to understand how the other person is thinking. These clues may include:

* Breathing
* Posture
* Gestures
* Voice tone
* Speed of speech


The gestures that a person uses indicate where they locate certain things in their map of the world. You will begin to notice that an individual consistently gestures a certain way when talking about a certain thing. This is not random gesturing; it has real meaning for that person.


People, whether in business or otherwise, tend to mark out words that are important to them. They may do so by, for example:

* Gesturing on certain words
* Adding additional tonal stress to a certain word
* Breathing at a different rate (or sighing) on a certain word

As an example, a student talks about a resourceful state that she felt. At the same time she makes a gesture by her side of rocking her hand, a universal signal for "I'm not sure". Noticing this we asked her if this was really the resourceful state she wanted to access, and she said no, there was a much better one.


As we begin to notice these unconscious cues, we arm ourselves with ammunition that allow us to uncover the real reasons our business clients and colleagues do the things they do.

How we use this ammunition will be the content for another article!
About the Author
Shawn Carson is a Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer, offering NLP training in New York. Shawn has 20 years of business consulting, management, and sales experience www.nlptrainingnewyork.com Tel"212-714-3574 email:iphnewyork@aol.com
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