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NLP Presuppositions Part 1

One of the core principles of NLP is to give ourselves as much choice and flexibility in any situation, both in our thinking, behaviour and emotions. This idea has stuck with me and on the whole is a philosophy that has become very helpful.

Presuppositions are one of the ways this idea is put forward. They are a whole host of helpful ground rules that can allow us to get what we want, with integrity and positivity for all concerned. What is crucial to them all is the idea that we don’t need to believe them to make them useful, just to simply ‘act as if they are true’ and try them on for size to see how we get on.

We all have our own experiences, beliefs and values that shape the way we understand the world around us and how we live our lives. Specifically these things inform us of how we think and act and the decisions we then make as a result. Consequently we sometimes limit ourselves because of our uniqueness, as I like to think of it. These presuppositions allow us to expand our sometimes narrow perspective, look at something differently and experiment with our own thinking and understanding so we can be more flexible in all sorts of ways. This can be especially helpful when we feel stuck in a situation or don’t understand something that someone has said or done.

Crucially, understanding what someone else does isn’t the same as agreeing with them! So presupposing an idea or belief, like one of the statements below, can be extremely valuable in unlocking our own patterns of thinking.

‘The map is not the territory’

This is one of the most widely used presuppositions and means that the way you or I experience the world is not definitive. It might sound obvious but how many times do we get fixated on the idea that we are right and someone else is plain wrong! It can be very helpful to suspend our view so we can understand another. We can then choose to respect that persons reality and possibly even accept it, knowing it’s their ‘map’, without necessarily agreeing with it.

‘The meaning of communication is the response we get’

This simply means that it is the response we get when communicating something to someone that is the true interpretation or meaning of what has been communicated, irrelevant of our intention. So if we’re not happy with the response we need to look at how and what we are communicating and change it, if necessary, rather than expecting the other person to change. And remember the way communication is transmitted is primarily based on our body language, the tone of our voice and all the other non verbal details. The actual language we use has far less of an impact.

I have also written blog posts on other Core Principles of NLP or simply contact me for your free consultation.

 

 

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