Meta – meaning ‘above or beyond’.
We all transform our experiences into a form that we can communicate through our verbal and non-verbal behaviour.
So, we experience with our senses at an unconscious level, and then convert the experience to something we can communicate consciously. When we do this, we delete things that seem unimportant, we distort other things from the pure experience and we also generalise.
The Meta Model language pattern is used to clarify language and link it back to the experience. Using a set of patterns and questions, we can reconnect the deletions, distortions and generalisations with the experience that generated them, and clarify the language we use to communicate the experience.
Using the Meta Model allows us to:
When we are asked to become more specific, we can recover the deletions, distortions and generalisations form the deeper structure of the unconscious, and this can transform a ‘problem’ state, help us increase our choices and handle the issue more resourcefully.
Deletion – ‘I want to change this’
Meta model response: ‘What specifically do you want to change?’
Distortion – ‘I have to take care of this’
Meta model response: ‘What would happen if you didn’t?’
Generalisation – ‘All companies are greedy’
Meta model response: ‘What, all of them?’
The Meta Model is a valuable tool for understanding communication and how we all communicate our experiences differently. By understanding the way we and other people are thinking through paying attention to language patterns, we can practice more useful ways of thinking, clarify what others are experiencing and make our own communication clear and unambiguous.