If you want to communicate effectively with those around you, be that your family members, your work colleagues, your boss or even your clients, then a great way to channel your curiosity is to find out what makes people tick. What makes them think and behave the way they do? I’ve written about these things called Meta Programs more than a few times now – just as a reminder these are deeply rooted mental programs that automatically filter our experiences and guide and direct our thoughts and our behaviour.
To find out someone’s Meta Programs you can ask someone a range of simple questions – you could call them the conversational personality profiling tool if you wish. By talking through the questions or just dropping them in to everyday conversation – be it one of them, a specific selection or all of them – you have the opportunity to learn about that persons preferences. For example, what motivates them – a reward or a threat, whether they need to hear the big picture first or prefer to start from the details and even how they are going to deal with change.
So far I’ve covered four out of the five Meta programs that I think are most useful, especially if you’re in sales or in business.
In All Change I covered the Relationship Filter and whether a person looks first for similarities or differences and therefore if they will prefer stability or change. This is one of most important parts of a person’s personality, integral to the process of understanding and deciding. It can help you predict if a person will change jobs frequently and how they will deal with change.
In Carrots and Sticks I covered the Direction Filter and finding out whether a person is motivated by moving towards or away from their values, with an attraction and reward or an avoidance, repulsion and punishment type of personality.
In Chunky Monkey I covered how to find out if someone prefers the big picture and helicopter view or loves details and specifics – the Chunk Size Filter. This one is all about how a person best receives and incorporates information – so it’s really useful to know when it comes to communication, putting forward a proposal or selling an idea of any kind and almost any situation where you want to get a message across to someone.
Most recently in Ducks in a Row I covered the Temporal Operator, also known as the Adaptive Response, that gives you information on how a person adapts (or not) to their environment. Do they try to understand life and adapt to it or do they prefer a decisive, planned and regulated way of life, that aims to regulate and control events, i.e. they make life adapt to them?
So today we get to the last of the BIG five – the Frame of Reference filter – that will help you find out how people judge the results of their actions and how they’re doing. For example, how do you know when you’re doing a good job? Do you “…feel it inside…” (internal) or “…my boss told me…” (external) or do you need a bit of both (balanced) or do you “feel it inside, but it’s good when someone tells me…” (internal with external check) or “…my boss told me, and it felt good to me too….” (external with internal check).
In customer-orientated roles, such as sales or even hairdressing, the most useful preference would be a person that is strongly ‘external’ so that they are focused on the client’s wishes and client’s response. But ‘external’ people also need to be closely managed as they will always be looking for their boss’s feedback.
When selling it’s important to remember that for an ‘internal’ person the key words for you to use to them will be “…only you will know…” for them to make the final decision to buy. For an ‘external’ person providing references from other clients may be the key to getting the final sale. A successful entrepreneur may be totally ‘internal’ and will be motivated by what only he/she thinks. This person may be a challenge to manage if they don’t agree with you.
There’s still masses more to come on Meta Programs, but for now why don’t you try out the five major sides of the circle. By understanding these preferences in yourself, and in those around you, you will be able to be an amazing communicator, you can flex your behaviour to best suit the person you’re dealing with and as a result you can only achieve fantastic success!
© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- Do you run towards pleasure or away from pain? (rocketcoaching.wordpress.com)
- The Heart of Values (Values: Part I) (gatehouse13.wordpress.com)