Professional communicator
Professional Communicator

Article by Dr.L.Michael Hall and Mr Shawn Dwyer  ~

While many people don’t seem to know what NLP is, the answer actually is very simple.  Most essentially NLP is a Communication Model and, Neuro-Semantics, as a development within NLP for higher quality and professionalism, is most essentially an integrated and systemic Communication Model. Now while just about everyone knows that “communication” is important, most are clueless about how important it is.

So, how important is it?

Communication is critically important because communication drives everything human-relating, parenting, managing, leading, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, persuasion, wealth creation, expertise, etc. In each of these domains, the quality of your communication is the quality of your experience, your skill, and your expertise. Communication governs each of these areas and many more. Now you know why we so intensely focus on high quality communication skills in Neuro-Semantics.

Further, because “mastery is in the details” in every area, there are critical distinctions about communication for knowing how to unleash your highest quality communication skills. If you learn these, you will be able to become a professional communicator. If you don’t, you will be unprofessional, and possibly a toxic communicator, and worse, not even know it. The following seven critical distinctions are based the extended
Meta-Model of NLP and on the Meta-States Model.

Here are core distinctions of every professional communicator. Given that mastery involves making critical distinctions, how well do you make the following seven critical distinctions? 

1) Map and Territory                   2) Person and Behavior

3) Meaning and Response          4) Sensory and Evaluation information

5) Frame and Feeling                   6) Advocacy and Inquiry 

7) Current and Desired state

There’s also an extra benefit in learning these.

 When you use these distinctions, you eliminate major communication diseases. What creates dis-ease in the process of understanding each other? Ellis and Beck in Cognitive-Behavioral psychology describes these as the ways to make yourself (and others) miserable. 

             – Confusion of words with reality

             – Mind-reading and hallucinating

             – Judging, being judgmental, exaggerating

             – Emotionalizing: minimizing, maximizing

             – Personalizing: over-identifying, defensiveness

             – Blaming, accusations, insults.

             – Distracting, changing the subject, refusing to focus.

Excellence in Communication

Conversely, the seven distinctions create the foundation for those powerfully profound skills and states that facilitate excellence in communication. 

             – Sensory awareness, able to observe what is present. 

             – Present in the moment and focuses on the now.

             – Stepping back into an observing state (to be as objective as possible).

             – Getting the ego out of the way to be “clean” intentionally.

             – Staying open and receptive to feedback.

             – Flexibly adjusting to real-time feedback and making on-course corrections.

             – Thinking systemically and recognizing leverage points.

             – Exploring curiously to discover what is.

             – Seeking clarity in problem-definition.

             – Solution-focus thinking in creating forward movement.

             – Suspending meaning and opening up dialogue.

No wonder these distinctions are the prerequisites of true mastery in persuasive communication. These distinctions, as high quality frames, facilitate mobilizing your best resources for dialogue, co-creating mutual understanding and unleashing new possibilities. As this fits for coaching, training, educating, therapy, parenting, managing, and leading-these distinctions are essential for any and every Professional Communicator.

Distinction #1: Distinguishing Map And Territory

It is common-sense wisdom that “The map is not the territory.” A map is never the territory it represents just as a menu is not the meal; a sex manual is not love making; a photo is not the person. As different phenomena, map and territory operate in different dimensions and at different levels.

Simple, yet so Profound.

Simple enough to know also simple enough to forget. How and when do we forget it? When we think that our thoughts, beliefs, values, and identities are real. That’s the delusion. What you think as a mental map is not real and never can be. When you forget, you identify and create identification. You identify map and territory as one and the same. Further, when you think that X is real, you think it is absolute; you think it is beyond question (unquestionable). This describes the concrete thinker, the absolutist, the pulpit-pounding pundit who has “the answers,” the guru who demands blind and unquestioning obedience, the fundamentalist in any system (Christian, Moslem, Liberal, Conservative, Political, etc.).

Map is the stuff inside which is generated from the way you code and represent the outside world. Map is your ideas, beliefs, understandings, feelings, memories, etc. which you create about the outside world of experiences. You do not deal with the world directly, but indirectly (the basic epistemology of NLP). You interface with the electromagnetic spectrum as mediated through your sense receptors, neuro-pathways, brain cortices, beliefs, belief systems, etc. Territory is the outside world, all of the experiences, words, events, and happenings “out there” which we can represent in only a very limited way. 

“The word ‘pig’ is not a pig.  It is a word.”

Neo: “You believe in ‘karma’ … in ‘love?'”  “These are just words.”

World To Mind

For someone mapping what’s “out there” in the world and seeking to create an internal map that’s useful, the direction of fit should be from world to mind. A world-to-mind fit means that you are letting the world determine what you think- facts first, then thought. The reverse mind-to-world fit first thinks and then imposes that thinking on the world. This is never the way to start. It works only after you have thoroughly studied and mapped the world. Here you push the envelop through your imagination to see what else is possible.

As a masterful communicator you also know that all of your mapping is fallible, and even at its best, is only a guess. You also knows that the value of a map lies in its usefulness, in it being able to provide navigational guidance for moving through the world of experiences. Does the map correspond well enough so that you can use it to direct your thoughts and actions? Does it facilitate you having the experiences you want to have and to achieve the things you want to accomplish?

          How well do you recognize that all of your mental mapping is just a map? 

          How integrated is this as your frame of mind?

          How quick are you to ask questions rather than tell, demand, or give advice?

          How grounded is your recognition that your feelings come from of your maps?

Starting The Journey of A Professional Communicator

How intuitive is this distinction so that you recognize that every emotion is the difference between your map of the world and your experience in the world?

Distinguishing map and territory enables you to begin your journey to being a professional communicator. When you distinguish map and territory, you tend to be much more careful about your words and sentences. As saps you know they all suffer of the limitations involved in mapping- you know you have generalized things, deleted things, and distorted things. You know that your verbal map is partial, incomplete, and therefore inaccurate. And knowing that, you cannot be an absolutist about your map. It is just a map and always can be improved.

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