Perceptual Positions

We often hear people say the words “from my point of view”, but can we really understand what that means unless we have the skills to truly put ourselves in someone else’s position and understand where their perspective comes from?

Gregory Bateson (English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist) said “wisdom comes from multiple perspectives”.

We often say we understand in order to avoid argument or move things forward, but what if we had the skills and perceptual flexibility to really step into someone else’s shoes and evaluate their point of view?  We might discover all kinds of beliefs, feelings, values and ways of thinking that could be useful to us, as well as experience a wider sense of what the world is like. We might also decide to adopt some new healthy and positive perspectives for ourselves!

So how do we do it?

In NLP we create ‘positions’ from which we consider perspectives.

  1. First position – we consider a situation from our own point of view, taking note of everything that is happening internally, and externally for us, asking – how does this affect me?
  2. Second position – we consider how it could feel for someone. So we change the look, feel and sound of the situation and appreciate it from a different point of view, asking – how does this appear to them?
  3. Third (Meta) Position – We become an observer of first two interpretations of the situation, seeing both points of view with no personal involvement, asking – How would this look to someone who wasn’t involved?  This position provides us with an objective viewpoint

From these kinds of exercises, we begin to be able to generate alternatives within what could be a difficult situation. We move away from being ‘stuck’ in situations, unable to see a way forward. Instead we create more choices for ourselves.

Exploring multiple perspectives increases our flexibility, creativity and resourcefulness. It can teach us how to adopt new, more useful perspectives on life to replace any that are out of date, and it allows us to cope with complex real-life issues with a deeper understanding of our relationships and appreciation of other people.

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Axiom Training UK

Axiom Training » Coaching http://t.co/w1oJ1PM3zT - very insightful at such a tender age. NLP Training dates out for January!