Gaining Perspective

You may know the old saying, the darkest hour is just before dawn. While the saying isn’t literally true, it serves metaphorical purpose. First Light precedes astronomical dawn and provides the first proof that night is coming to an end. “Political night” has descended in the States, leading many to wonder whether “first light” is right around the corner. Many are hopeful. I’m not so sure. I think we (all of us) need to gain some perspective based on history. The history of humanity has been primarily wars and exploitation.

War, of course, is not new. Tribes went . . . → Read More: Gaining Perspective

Evidence Procedures

In NLP, one of the central Metamodel questions is, “How do you know?” An honest answer to the question provides information about a person’s “model of the world,” which is essentially a “reality strategy”—the way people decide what’s real. In most cases, what we think of as “real” is more accurately a “belief,” in some cases with very little in the way of supporting evidence. Most beliefs begin, of course, with some evidence in the external environment. Through the natural processes of deletion, distortion, and generalization, beliefs that have a logical beginning can become increasingly distorted over time. One of . . . → Read More: Evidence Procedures

The Importance of Inoculation

In the book, Persuasion Engineering, and in workshops of the same name, Richard Bandler and John La Valle discuss the concept of “inoculation.” In medicine, the shot you receive to inoculate you against a particular disease anticipates your exposure to a pathogen and teaches your immune system how to respond appropriately so that you can avoid the disease. It’s a good metaphor to creating resistance to harmful ideas in a wide variety of change work, including sales, behavioral change, and therapeutic interventions.

If you buy a new car, say an ABC from the DEF dealership, not long after you . . . → Read More: The Importance of Inoculation

The Bell Curve Theory of Life

The “Bell Curve” is the common expression for what is otherwise known as Standard Normal Distribution. The concept basically states that in any category, most members of the category will be grouped in the middle, with fewer members at the extremes. Wikipedia provides a fancy definition:

In probability theory, the normal (or Gaussian) distribution, is a continuous probability distribution that is often used as a first approximation to describe real-valued random variables that tend to cluster around a single mean value. The graph of the associated probability density function is “bell”-shaped, and is known as the Gaussian function or . . . → Read More: The Bell Curve Theory of Life

You, You, You…

This blog is brought to you by a reminder notice from my dentist:

We would like to remind you that time has been reserved for your next appointment on

  Mon, 02/07/11 at 10:00 am.       We look forward to seeing you then!


From the standpoint of business communication, the reminder contains a number of problems, but what really caught my attention is what in NLP would be called a failure to adopt second position.

In business communication, second position is usually called the you-attitude or the you-viewpoint. The writer is supposed to . . . → Read More: You, You, You…

Does This Mirror Make Me Look Fat?

Perception is a strange thing. We can’t always see what is “right before our eyes,” and because perception is fraught with deletion, distortion, and unwarranted generalization, what we “see” may not be what is actually “there.” Self-perception may be among the most distorted of our perceptions. The classic question, “Does this dress make me look fat,” is a variation of the question asked by the Queen in Snow White: “Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?” The Queen doesn’t like it when the mirror proclaims Snow White the fairest in the land. The . . . → Read More: Does This Mirror Make Me Look Fat?