The Power of the A2 Switch

capital A and number 2 created with feathers

Someone very close to me who shall remain nameless is incensed by the habit of some speakers who
A . . . begin listing elements of an argument alphabetically and
2 . . . switch to mumerical or even
Continue without either.

I was amazed to hear Malcolm Gladwell make the A2 switch at the beginning of this conversation Blink but it triggered my curiosity.

And maybe that’s the point.

Perhaps some people are unfettered by the necessity of sticking to the predictable when they are thinking around an idea.  The breaking out of the alphabet or numeric sequence might irritate some of us but it may be an indicator of a free thinker. Perhaps their processing is non-linear, a little looser, more creative.

What I’m noticing at the moment is that the unexpected switch from A to 2 is grabbing my attention and anything that grabs my attention is worth considering.



From present state to desired state via stories

A little boy bites his nails while adult lives are dominated by irrational but all-encompassing fears.

I’ve been watching LinkedIn conversations in coaching and NLP groups with interest recently. Many of the questions asked there revolve around the selection of techniques to address specific problems.  Questions along the lines of “Any suggestion for nail biting in a 6 year old?”; “How do you approach phobias?” and “I have a 30 year old client who is afraid of driving over bridges, what would people recommend?”

These questions are all about real people experiencing real difficulties, but the focus is on the problems.

Interestingly I have been working with two clients looking for the same outcome; “I just wish I had more confidence”.

With the first I found myself working with her internal dialogue, meta-positioning conversations both with herself and others, and re-generating positive messages she may have forgotten, disregarded or ignored in the past.

With the second, a single piece of timeline work released him from the hold of an experience that dated back to before he started school.

These were my NLP structured, intuitively accessed pathways for their journeys from present state to desired state and both were narratively influenced. Their present state view of themselves had been strongly informed by power they had inadvertently given to their “lack of confidence”. One of the many possibilities released by our conversations was that they could have been confident since childhood if they had picked up different messages.

Once these messages reappeared from wherever they had been hidden, overlooked or disbelieved, they began to gain strength.

Both clients have reported significant changes in their own view of themselves and both are exploring and nurturing their new confidence.

Narrative NLP is not about the problems. It is about the story you have been telling yourself.

So my answer to the technique questions is always the same; I don’t know what I will say or do until I have listened to your story.



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