Posts tagged: children

Secrets of the NLP Masters by Judy Bartkowiak

 50 techniques to be exceptional

Metal door in stone wall with NLP CREW graffittiPrompted by my own curiosity and enthusiasm for exploration – described by Judy Bartkowiak as ‘key drivers of NLP’ – I opened this book enthusiastically, and I wasn’t disappointed.

 I like what I think of as ‘Pick and Mix’ books; books that can be read with both an open mind and, simultaneously, a mind ready to gather information relevant to my life and work; books that can teach me something fascinating. This book fits the bill perfectly.

 It is a book for everyone with an interest in change, overcoming obstacles or achieving goals. For the NLP practitioner the book is full of prompts and reminders alongside new perspectives on techniques you will already be using. For newcomers it is a comprehensive and readable explanation of NLP’s powerful insights into how NLP can make a real and lasting difference to your life. If you have children, or work with children, you will find much here to throw light on strategies and techniques that work well with young people.

Of course you can read ‘Secrets’ from beginning to end, it is interesting, informative and well written, but you can also flick through and find the part most relevant to your current experience.

Its style, organisation and layout make it stand out from many of the NLP technique books I have encountered. I particularly like the chapter numbers down the right hand edge meaning that you can open the book at any page and know immediately where you are.

Each chapter begins with a selection of well-chosen quotations from people generally acknowledged to be the ‘NLP masters’ such as Gregory Bateson, Sue Knight, Virginia Satir, Tony Robbins, and others from different contexts like Albert Einstein, Carl Jung and Helen Keller.

 ‘A few well-chosen words at just the right time can transform a person’s life’ Joseph O’Connor 

Repetition – so often the missing ingredient in books which set out to help us learn – is used with a light touch so that you don’t need to flick back through the book to find that neat ‘how to’ of a technique. At the end of each chapter you will find ‘Putting it all together’ and I suggest that if you read these first in the light of the chapter heading you will know how directly a particular chapter will speak to you.

If there was a single addition that would improve Secrets of the NLP Masters for me it would be an index. Children, beliefs, and goals, for instance, appear throughout the book and sometimes it would be helpful to be able to find them all.

The book ends with an Appendix perfectly placed to sum things up and be a readily accessible, and very visual, reminder of these two keys to being exceptional: The filters through which we make our own peculiar sense of external events and the logical levels which model the context in which it all takes place.

Knowing your purpose facilitates exceptional behaviour and if your behaviour disappoints you in any way then re-examine it in the light of your purpose. You could do well to take this book with you on the journey.

front cover of the book

…and now for the good news

Surely we are surrounded by safety… safe relationships, safe journeys, safe schools; isn’t the list endless?  Take a moment to think of just three ‘safe’ experiences you have enjoyed in the last couple of days.

It’s telling that when, in my research for this post, I searched for ‘safe travel’, statistics for accidents and fatalities consistently came top of the responses. I was looking for statistics for road trips made without accident; uneventful rail, air and sea journeys; people walking to school, or work or walking the dog without coming to harm. The default response to ‘search safe’ seems to be ‘find unsafe’.

I found the UK National Statistics Information Hub www.statistics.gov.uk/hub and, encouraged by the title, followed the link to ‘Child Safety and Wellbeing’.  In the 35 documents listed under Child Safety and Wellbeing I found only 3 references to positive participation, satisfaction, or emotional health and achievement. These were the exceptions amid multiple references to youth crime, sentencing and detention of young people, substance misuse etc.

It is not my intention here to criticise the Statistical Information services.  I am simply highlighting the fact that good news is so hard to find even while we are surrounded by it.  Look around you and see the evidence of children in secure families, play areas being used happily, successful youth groups, gymnastics clubs and street dancing etc.

Consider for a moment the millions of people walking in our towns and countryside freely and reaching their destination safely.  Isn’t the same true of thousands of rail journeys, flights and ferry crossings?

So why, if we turn on the news, or pick up a paper, might we allow one story involving ‘unsafe’ dominate our thoughts and feelings?

I suggest that it is because the version of ‘reality’ that has come to dominate the story – the narrative – of our lives is an unnecessarily negative one.  Once we realise this we can begin to see our life from a new, more balanced, perspective.

The good news is that there is an abundant source of good news all around us and all we have to do is allow ourselves to notice it.

Are Your Habits Good for You?

Are Your Habits Good for You?

hands washed in soapy water

 

Nail biting, tantrums, nightmares, we all have habits and most of the time we don’t even notice them. 

 

A mum was asking me about her four year old daughter’s habits and the question ‘why?’ came up several times. “Why does she bite her nails?” was a classic example. 

 

I have met NLP practitioners who say “Don’t ask the why question”.  And I disagree for a couple of reasons;

  • ·        Where attention goes, energy flows
  • ·        Every action has a positive intention

 

Where attention goes, energy flows

               Interestingly this is often the reason quoted for avoiding the question, ‘Why?’  In my story of the world I see the client’s map as a useful opportunity for directing attention towards new possibilities while remaining congruent with their experience.  If you are asking ‘Why?’ you are looking for reasons and by examining possible reasons from unfamiliar angles we can uncover unexpected information.

 

Every action has a positive intention

               Following the ‘Why?’ route leads us naturally and logically to discovering positive intentions.  For the little girl who was biting her nails, her mum answered her own question, “When she bites her nails she begins to relax”.

               I was able to join her on this pathway by asking “What other ways have you noticed to help her relax?” To Mum this was an unexpected direction and a few more questions elicited strategies that included whispering the little girl’s name and smiling at her, singing, and looking out of the window.

               Mum was able to break her daughter’s nail biting habit by remembering that its positive intention was to help her relax.

 

Adult or child, we all have habits that seem ‘bad for us’. By asking how, at some level, they are getting something positive for us, we can begin the process of replacing them with the habits we would choose for ourselves.

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