As a behavioural change specialist using NLP based tools, I help people change the responses, reactions and patterns of behaviour that have previously prevented them from having the life they deserve.
These blog's are NOT intended to offer scientific explanations or supporting evidence of the concepts outlined in this discussion. I rather aim to consolidate some useful perspectives and offer practical tips and tools to expand your thinking, find some useful strategies and enjoy the benefits that you discover in the process.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are currently in need of immediate and effective support for what may feel like an overwhelming situation, please contact me directly to book a private session. I am available for either face to face appointments or on-line sessions. email@example.com
You’re also invited to visit www//linktr.ee/jenniknlp to listen to more interviews, podcasts and videos.
Follow the below link to listen to the brief discussion on the "Mind Matters", on Radio Todays' "Miller Time Sunday Breakfast show".
“LETS KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE” is a phrase we’ve heard a thousand times. When last did we consider the relevance of this statement, to the experience we have of our day to day lives. The star wars sculpture from the shadow series, by the artist Red Hong Li, gives a beautiful representation of how "reality" can shift according to the perspective from which we are viewing it. There are multiple tools that I use, both overtly and covertly with my clients, to assist them to broaden their perspectives and become more flexible in their thinking but here are just few simple ideas that we can start to play with to broaden our own perspectives and enrich our own experiences.
HOW DOES OUR ABILITY TO CONSIDER MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES ADD TO OUR ABILITY TO BE RESILIENT?
Virginia Satire is a well-known psychologist who worked with “Transformational Systemic Therapy” she recognised that, as human beings we exist as part of a system. Systems thinking recognises that, “the part of a system with the most flexibility, controls the system”. We exist in an ever-changing world within an ever changing systems and we interact with a multitude of different people on a daily basis. No two people can ever think or perceive any given situation or experience in the same way. We can only endeavour to develop our ability to be more flexible and to become better at understanding other ways of thinking in an effort to better understand others, enrich our own experiences, become more influential, become more empathetic and interact more effectively in our roles as partners, leaders, parents etc…
Below I have outlined just 5 simple strategies, that we can use day to day, to increase our effectiveness in these ways
5 SIMPLE STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP THE HABIT OF EXPANDING OUR PERSPECTIVE AND BECOMING MORE FLEXIBLE IN OUR THINKING:
1. INTENTION VS BEHAVIOUR
In one on of our NLP Practitioner training groups we were discussing how we do “experience” and how we give “meaning” to that experience. One of the participants mentioned an idea that I thought was a nice “DIY” tool that we can all apply to expand our thinking. She was challenged to keep a journal and to consider situations that she was challenged with where she felt in some way offended by or in conflict with another person and to write about it. She was reminded that we have a tendency to judge ourselves by our intentions and judge others by their behaviour. She was challenged to write about these events, and to flip that thinking around, so that she was forced to consider what their intentions may have been rather than to accept her own imposed meaning, of their observed behaviour, as being the only "reality”. You may or may not choose to go as far as writing a journal of these situations, but it is certainly a useful frame of reference to consider conflict situations through.
2. WHAT ELSE?
We just have to listen to the, often entertaining, radio segments where a radio presenter, offers a statement, scenario or topic and invites listeners to call in with their opinions or points of view. Without fail, there are multiple points of view that people express with a multitude of explanations, assumptions and ideas supporting those points of view. While it's entertaining, and occasionally even pushes our buttons, we can learn from it. We can recognise that there are always multiple ways that any situation, challenge or idea can be experienced. When we allow ourselves to become more flexible, we are less inclined to overreact and get stuck in “stale mate” arguments. Our ability to influence increases and our own learning and thinking opens up to a richer experience of life. The next time we’re in conflict with someone it may be useful to ask ourselves:
“What else could their behaviour mean?”.
“What else could they have intended?”.
“What else could they be aiming to achieve?”.
“What else could be possible?”
3. THIRD PARTY PERSPECTIVES
a. WHAT WOULD WE ADVISE IF OUR BEST FRIEND OR LOVED ONE WAS IN THE SAME POSITION?
The reason the cliché, “do what I say and not what I do” exists, is because we are notoriously good at ignoring our own good advice. We often get stuck in very limited thinking when we are “too close” to a situation. When we shift ourselves, physically or even just in our “minds’ eye”, out of situation, we’re usually full of very useful insight that we had not noticed before.
b. (WWJD) WHAT WOULD JESUS; MY SPIRITUAL GUIDE; MY GURU; OR ANY OTHER HIGHER POWER THAT WE ACKNOWLEDGE, DO OR ADVISE?
In a similar manner to considering a situation as if we were advising a friend, when we consider a situation from a higher or spiritual perspective it gives us a completely different set of insights. Usually the beliefs we have around spiritual or higher beings is grounded in qualities of unconditional love and ultimate good. When we consider our situation from the perspective of a higher or spiritual being, we are forced to apply those filters to the situation for all concerned. What better frame of mind to use, to find a win / win perspective?
4. WORST CASE SCENARIO
We put so much energy into the “what if’s”, going around in circles attempting to “ solve” a bunch of possible scenarios long before we are ever faced with them in reality. We seldom stop to consider that most times, even if the worst-case scenario actually came to pass, we’d be more than capable of navigating our way through them. It is useful to acknowledge that even if the worst happened, life would continue, we would survive, and our choices would just be different to what we hoped for. Once we recognise that, somehow the process of dealing with the problem becomes less threatening.
It may sound ridiculous but even taking it as far as recognising that, all we really need to survive are, water, food, air and shelter. Acknowledging that outside of these four basic needs, there is nothing that we can’t survive, shifts our reality. We can then acknowledge that, we always have options, we may not always like our options, but we do always have options. Recognising this gives us power to change or influence any situation.
5. WHAT IS THE GIFT?
Every situation presents some form of opportunity or gift, we usually find it easier to recognise in hindsight, but does not change that in every situation there is an opportunity or hidden gift. Getting into the habit of looking for “the silver lining”, the unexpected gift or opportunity that the situation presents expands our thinking and opens us up to seeing opportunities even when we are faced with perceived barriers.
How often have we heard stories of businesses that started after people were retrenched, relationships that formed between people that met as a result of an accident or families that have been drawn together finding creative ways to overcome difficult times. The recent Covid 19 lockdown presented the opportunity for environmental issues to resolve themselves, for parents to spend more time with their children and for business owners and leadership teams to find new and possibly more efficient ways to operate.
I hope that this information has been helpful, and that you find some of the ideas in this article helpful. You are very welcome to contact me with any questions or to find out more about what I do or the training that we offer: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org