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The Strategy Of Elicitation

Aug 12, 2008
Elicitation is a process of gathering information.
The process of elicitation has a few prerequisites. First, you need to be in the right state. This is a state of curiosity and exploration.

Secondly, you need to ask the right questions. The questions should be clear enough and based on descriptive information and not on judgmental assumptions. For instance, when you ask someone "How do I swim?" You might get an answer like, "jump in the water and start moving your arms and legs."

Instead, the question can be posed as, "When you swim, how specifically do you behave? If I were you, what must I do? What should I see myself doing? If I am moving, what part is moving and in which direction? Is there any special angle at which I must place my arms?"

The number and precision of questions that you ask will yield the best result for you. Do remember that the people whom you model most likely will not have the same lingo as you do as an NLP practitioner.

So, if you ask something and you are not clear about how you could go about doing it, you should take the time to clarify. Giving the other person extra questions will sometimes allow them to answer the question more fully. Clarification requires you to ask questions again. Sometimes, you might even have to rephrase your question.

At other times, you may have to state your assumptions or even tell your partner what you understood from his or her explanation. The moment both of you are clear on what each other understands from the modeling process, both parties will be able to better understand each other's model of the world.

Here is a list of questions you might ask in order to elicit strategies.

First, you have to elicit the trigger. The trigger is required to help you discover how to start the strategy going.

Most of the time, I would ask a question like, "How do I get started on this?" To phrase it even more directly, I might ask, "What makes you know that you have to make use of this strategy? Is it something you hear, see or feel? Maybe even taste or smell".

Another way to phrase it would be to ask, "What must happen for you to execute the strategy" Whatever the case, once they have the trigger, you need to check with the model about alternative triggers and the reasons causing them to work or not work.

Once, I had someone who taught me his speaking strategy. I asked him, "What must happen in order for you to execute the strategy?" He replied, "I need to feel extremely nervous and get my hands cold. That is when I begin to jump around to psyche myself up for the audience.
By the time I am done jumping I see the audience in my mind enthralled." I thought about it for a while. Then I asked him, "What does being nervous mean to you?" He said, "Nervous means I am breathing heavier and my heart is pumping harder than normal."

So I responded, "Does it mean that I need to get nervous before I know I am ready for the audience? What might happen if I was perfectly calm?" He responded, "Well, if you were perfectly calm, it means that, you have met the audience before or you know your topic inside-out and have been doing the same thing over and over again.

So, I asked him again, "You mean, you are nervous most of the time?" He said, "Of course, if I am not nervous, I do not think I can really psyche myself up and perform at my best.

The nervousness drives me to want to perform at my best, not at eighty percent, not at ninety percent, but at a hundred percent."So, I had elicited a very strong trigger for the motivation strategy.

I also asked him about alternative triggers and whether it was necessary at all to have that particular trigger. Through this process of clarification and testing, this eventually abled me to identify an entire string of different speaking strategies, not just from this speaker, but from many other speakers as well.

Using the strategy of elicitation, we will be able to extract strategies from models who are experts in their area and thus be able to produce the results we seek to have in the particular skill area.
About the Author
Adam Khoo is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and a self-made millionaire by the age of 26. Discover his million dollar secrets and claim your FREE bonus report 'Ultimate Success Formula' at Patterns Of Excellence.
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