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Monday, 19 March 2012

The Power of the ‘Know Nothing State‘

\n   When working with clients in business one of the most powerful skills an NLP Business Practitioner can develop is the ability to enter into a ‘know nothing state.’ What I mean by this is the ability to shut down your own internal dialogue, stay out of your ‘stuff’ and just listen to and watch the person you are working with.  We leak all sorts of information and clues about what is going on in our world through the language we use, tonality and how we hold our body. When you are in a ‘know nothing state’ then your mind is clear to notice lots more that you do when you are busy having a conversation with yourself whilst trying to listen to someone else. Many times when I am working in business I find people looking at me as if I am really stupid.  I can almost hear them saying ‘why is she working with me as she does not seem to know what she is doing’ I call this entering into my ‘Miss Marple’ state. I ask people to help me understand as I have not quite understood specifically what they mean.  I say that I must just be a bit slow so can thy help me by explaining the thing we are talking about in a different way. You be amazed at the clarity, quality and detail you will get when you do this as most people will give you very precise information. When I am in a state of ‘know nothing’ I imagine starting with an empty cinema screen and every piece of information I find out about is being used to build up a scene from scratch.  If that information I am receiving does not make sense then there is something missing.  It could be something that is deleted, distorted or generalised. The moment I fill in information from my own experience it becomes ‘my stuff’ and I miss all the ways that I can help quickly resolve a situation. Elegant use of the Meta Model to retrieve the information is key.  Questions like according to whom? Compared to what? Who specifically? How do you know? What’s stopping you? When you ask people questions in this way they have to retrieve the answer from their own experience so you get more of the missing information. So next time you are in a situation where there is a problem to resolve, instead in jumping in with a solution STOP.  Take yourself into a ‘know nothing state’ and ask the right questions to find out what is really going on with the person you are working with. Stop making assumptions about what is happening.  Take the time to really find out what is going on.  Build the scene, check back with the person to see if this fits with them if not get more detail. Look for all the clues, listen to what they are actually saying, retrieve the missing information and you will be amazed at how quickly people come up with their solutions. How powerful will this skills be for you in business?

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