Content of Character

When Martin Luther King said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” (in his I have a dream speech), he was, of course, referring specifically to racial disparities. Unfortunately, racial disparities haven’t disappeared, and perhaps even more unfortunately, our culture has added a variety of other disparities by which we judge people. Like skin color, they are all superficial in nature and say nothing about the content of their character.

The first thing that occurs to me is the bias many hold . . . → Read More: Content of Character

What Did You Get for Christmas?

On a cold and frosty late-December morning, when I lived in a previous neighborhood, I was out walking my dog. It was so long ago that in the years between then and now, not only has that dog died of old age, but my next two dogs have also died of old age. Even so, on that late-December morning I said something that still haunts me. A boy who lived in a nearby house, ran up to me holding up a new pair of gloves, saying excitedly, “See what I got! New gloves!” My reply: “They are really neat. Did . . . → Read More: What Did You Get for Christmas?

Rush to Judgment

If nothing else, the 2012 election cycle in the States is providing numerous examples of communication with unintended consequences. For those paying attention, it has been instructive. As Yogi Berra famously said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.” One of the most interesting observations has undoubtedly been the reaction to radio host Rush Limbaugh’s comment that a young woman, Sandra Fluke a “slut” for advocating health insure coverage for birth control. The whole story is even stranger than that part.

For an overview of men’s most recent efforts to control women’s sexuality in the States, see On . . . → Read More: Rush to Judgment

Rules

Those of us in the States (and perhaps the rest of the English-speaking world) currently have a wonderful opportunity to observe one of the lesser-known NLP Metaprograms at work: The Rules Metaprogram.

Most behavior is “rule governed” in one way or another, so where and how rules apply is important in social interactions. The First Rule is perhaps to whom does a rule apply. Here’s one possibility:

My rules for me. Your rules for you. Everyone chooses his or her own rules.

This won’t work well in a variety of social situations. Imagine driving in a big city . . . → Read More: Rules

Framing—Again

In a recent article in the Huffington Post, George Lakoff (author or co-author of numerous books and articles on metaphors and other aspects of language usage), said the following about framing:

Framing is much more than mere language or messaging. A frame is a conceptual structure used to think with. Frames come in hierarchies. At the top of the hierarchies are moral frames. All politics is moral. Politicians support policies because they are right, not wrong. The problem is that there is more than one conception of what is moral. Moreover, voters tend to vote their morality,  since it is what defines . . . → Read More: Framing—Again

Framing and Reframing

Those of you who have studied NLP or persuasive communication are familiar with the concept of perceptual frames. The metaphor is fairly obvious: a window frame, for example, limits what we see on the other side of the window; a photographer can choose what is included in the frame of a photo by trimming the image so that it focuses on, say, one person instead of a group. The concept has been adopted by psychology for the purpose of understanding the context that determines how something is interpreted.

All communication (all? Yes, all…) occurs within a contextual frame. In . . . → Read More: Framing and Reframing