Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes
martinsummerhay

1st, 2nd or 3rd Position, how do you think of situations?

Over dinner last night, the conversation turned to how to engage with people in difficult and challenging situations. There is a skill in NLP that you won't learn anywhere else, except perhaps a limited form of it in acting or creative writing schools. Some people naturally have at least some of the skills, which is why some people naturally do this. It's called Perceptual Positions, the skill of adopting more points of view than your own in an organized way. So why use this technique?:

# It improves your understanding of other people.
# It enables you to think more flexibly and creatively, especially when confronted by difficult situations.
# It provides an opportunity to stand back and consider issues dispassionately without taking sides
# Helps you appreciate the influence of your verbal and non-verbal behaviour on others, and the influence of their behaviour on you.

So we discussed how to do the 3 position model and this is the summary.....

1st Perspective
This is what everyone does, you see the situation through your own eyes. Run through the meeting or interaction as if you are there in it. Pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings. Consider your own needs. The issue is, you do not consider the others needs.

2nd Perspective
Imagine what it is like to be the other person. Put yourself in their shoes - as if you are looking back at yourself, seeing, hearing, and feeling as the other person. How is 'that you over there' are coming across to you? Are you in rapport with you? Are they respecting you? Is he/she taking your views into account? Are you listening or just verbalising your own needs?

3rd Perspective
Take a detached viewpoint. This is THE most difficult position to take and takes practice and thought to do. Imagine you are looking at yourself and the other person 'over there' - seeing the two of them speaking, articulating, facial expressions, etc. Pay particular attention to non-verbal behaviour such as the body language and the sound of their voices. Then consider, as a result of taking this view, what advice you wish to give 'yourself' about how you are handling the situation.

The 2nd Time Round
Now repeat the process using the insights and advice from the Round 1. Run through it with the new behaviours - first as yourself, then as the other person, and finally the detached 3rd view.

Finally, think of up-coming events in which these insights may be useful. Mentally run through these while imagining that you are incorporating your new learning. You will suddenly begin to realise that in most of the situations you were in before, you were acting in 1st position, maybe, sometimes in 2nd, but very rarely in 3rd.

Try it, you might be positively surprised at the results.....
Tags: management of change, mindfulness, nlp, work
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