Creative Solutions

We all know tht NLP is a communication model. It is also a linguistic model and specifically, a neuro-linguistic model-we study how language affects neurology. When you study NLP, you study the Meta-Model and learn how words work to create experiences, emotions, and sense of reality. You study Representational systems and learn the “languages of thought.” When you study the Strategy model, you learn the organizational structure of subjective experience and how to enhance it. When you learn Meta-States, you learn how to detect and set up the higher level beliefs as frames that manage subjective experiences. When you learn Meta-Programs, you learn how your higher level thoughts (meta-states) create your perceptual lens.

That paragraph summarizes NLP and tells where Neuro-Semantics begins. Neuro-Semantics takes things further by studying the meta-level structure of meaning and meaning-making, the Self-Actualization Quadrants that synchronize meaning and performance. You study the Matrix model and/or the Meta Place, and you learn how to think systemically as you recognize the landmarks of the mind. You study Meta-Coaching and you study the structure of compassionate challenging to unleash your potentials so you become “fully alive/fully human.”

Now in all that we have in NLP and Neuro-Semantics-what is its essence?

Anwser: Conversations. After all, that’s the essence of communication. When you and I commune, or have co-union with someone, there is a meeting of the minds. Your thinking and my thinking come together so we can learn from each other, understand each other, and commune with each other. We may or we may not agree, but at least as we respect and care for each other, we come to understand each other.

When Coaching became a thing (1992), thousands of people suddenly realized that everything actually comes down to conversations. There are outcome conversations, clarity conversations, decision-making conversations, change conversations, experiential conversations, and on and on. Interesting enough, the first book I wrote in the field of Coaching was Coaching Conversations (2002). After that, we developed a set of coaching conversations for personal coaching, a set for group and team coaching, a set for executive coaching, transfomational coaching, political coaching, etc.

Why? Why all of this focus on conversations?

Answer: Conversation is how we relate to each other. In Communication Magic, I wrote that “communication” and “relationship” are two sides of the same coin. To communicate is to relate; to relation is to communicate. You can’t have one without the other. Conversation is also the heart of therapy (healing). It is the heart of civilization (collaboration and science). It is the heart of leadership; the heart of management; the heart of parenting, etc.
In all of these, what are we doing? We are having a conversation.

Now isn’t that amazing? Leadership, management, parenting, therapy, consulting, education, etc. may seem radically different experiences-yet at the heart of each of them are conversations. That’s why learning how to truly and effectively communicate-have a conversation-is what unleashes individual and collective potentials. But there is a challenge: Effective conversations do not occur naturally. No one is born knowing how to do this. We have to learn how to have effective conversations with each other. Merely opening your mouth and start talking is not the same as having an effective conversation. It is often the problem.

What does this mean?

It means we have to learn how to think effectively and we have to learn how to think with each other. This is not easy. To do that, you have to learn to listen- consider, ask questions, detail specifics, and make distinctions. And listening is another significant barrier for most people! They have not learned how to do that. Merely having ears and picking up words from others is not enough.

Given that quality listening and thinking requires significant training and learning, there is another barrier. Namely, the non-thinking states: reactivity, automatic thinking, borrowed thinking, shallow thinking, agenda thinking, “knowing,” and expectations. These pseudo-thinking states are extremely common. These are the cheap substitutes for true listening and thinking.

What Does It Say About Us?

Now if we, as the human race, cannot have a calmly rational and respectfully caring conversation about the things that matter most to us (e.g., religion, politics, sex, finances, government, philosophy, etc.), then what are we saying?

  • What is implied in our inability to talk with each other about certain topics?
  • We are saying that we can’t remain civil, decent, respectful, caring, tolerant and human with each other!
  • We are saying that some of our ideas (mental maps) are so semantically loaded that if someone disagrees with us we are ready to become ugly, violent, and hurtful!
  • We are saying that our ideas (beliefs, values, understandings) are so sacred, so divine, so absolute, that anyone who denies them is bad, evil, and probably a demon from hell!
  • We are saying that we have the right to condemn, blame, accuse, get nasty, get ugly, become intolerant, dogmatic, and engage in boycotts and blackmailing if our views are not recognized by all!
  • We are saying we value our ideas over being civil with one another.

Obviously, our focus at The Coaching Centre is to learn how to have great and wonderful and humane conversations. Then we can get along, collaborate, build better civilizations, and unleash human potentials. And if we can spread this far and wide enough-we can eliminate wars. Imagine that!
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