This is the 2nd in my series of NLP posts for NaBloPoMo.
NLP has a number of presuppositions – things which are always true (according to NLP). The presuppositions are intentionally ambiguous, with a number of possible meanings and this applies to the one I’m going to discuss today, but bear with it, there are valuable messages in each of them.
Today’s presupposition is a double edged sword:
“The meaning of your communication is the response you get.”
My interpretation of this is twofold:
- what you say AND the way you say it AND the body language you use while you’re saying it AND everything else which makes up the way you’re communicating something will effect the meaning in your words.
- be aware of the response you get to your communication because it is a direct reflection of what you said, how you said it, the body language you used etc. (as above). If you don’t get the response you want or expect, look to yourself and how you communicated your message….. then change it.
The Magic Suit of Great Expectations
“My wife recently bought our youngest child his first suit for the Jewish festivals. He is only 6 years old – or six and three quarters if you ask him – and putting a small suit on him was a transformative experience. Not only did he look more grown up but he acted more grown up as well. It was as if the suit was magical. Whenever he wore it he behaved extraordinarily well. He was polite, temperate, gracious and a pleasure to be with.
And here is the really interesting bit; this grown up behaviour continues – for the most part – even when he is not wearing the suit. Now if you are an exasperated listener wondering where to get hold of a similar magic suit for your own rambunctious kid you needn’t worry because any suit will do. You see it’s all about expectations. When you treat your child like a grownup that is invariably how the child will behave. For us it was a suit, but for others it might be something else that communicates to a child that you expect great things from him or her.
In the opening passage of the book of Jeremiah the Hebrew prophet recalls his first encounter with God who instructs him to prophesy. The terrified Jeremiah replies
Ah, Lord God! I don’t know how to speak, for I am still a boy.
But God responds by saying:
Do not say ‘I am still a boy,’ but go wherever I send you and speak whatever I command you. Have no fear [....] for I am with you [....]
As a result Jeremiah turned out to be one of the most prolific and fearless prophets in the entire Bible.
Children are capable of extraordinary things, but that depends, in large measure, on what we as parents expect of them. For in believing in them, they come to believe in themselves.”