NLP perceptual positions, is an NLP technique that allows you to see an event from the perspective of you, another person, and a neutral person’s view.
This NLP technique is very powerful and can be used to resolve inner conflict, make better decisions, and much more.
How many NLP perceptual positions are there?
There are basically three NLP perceptual positions in this process. However, some NLP masters use five NLP perceptual positions.
The three NLP perceptual positions are
- Another person
The other two NLP perceptual positions used by some NLP masters are
- Neutral observer
- Relating with observer
NLP perceptual positions Technique
The NLP perceptual positions technique/process will require some movement to make sure you have space for that.
Before getting into the process of perceptual positions, you must first know or have practiced NLP anchoring.
You can select spots or even chairs to be used as three different positions in this NLP perceptual positions exercise.
For each position set strong anchors preferably spatial anchors, this is required to be done first without fail. Remember to have strong anchors otherwise the whole exercise will not get the desired results. Weak anchors will make the process much more difficult.
Remember, You have to create a separate anchor for each spot here. That is for self-positioning, for other’s positions and observer’s positions. You must feel strongly associated with each of the spots, this will expedite the change process quickly.
Step 1 Set up an anchor for each spot.
You must select an event where you want to change your perspective or want to understand other person’s perspective clearly.
Please note, to take a break state in between in each anchor set up.
Step 2 Self position
In this NLP perceptual positions – You remember the event as if it is happening again in front of your eyes.
Observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions as this event is happening just right now.
In this position, you will see what you saw, listen to what you heard and feel the emotions you felt.
You will become more aware of your own thoughts, feelings and emotions in this spot, You must be able to recognize what you want to achieve out of this interaction, what is more, important to you in this event.
Find the positive intent behind your behavior in this event, set up your boundaries and recognize the limitations.
Remember, do not spend too much time on this spot, otherwise, you can become very self-centered and may not be able to understand other people’s perspectives.
Step 3 Other person’s spot
Now, imagine how it would be like another person. How that person will react or have reacted in that event.
Here the key point is to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Sit, stand and be in the motion as the other person is likely to be in that event. You can even mimic the gesture and posture of that person.
Try to see how they would see, listen to what they would listen to and feel the emotions like other people would have felt. While you do this imagine you are looking back to yourself sitting on the opposite chair.
As you are now able to see, listen and feel as another person this will allow you to understand their viewpoint much better.
You can also find out what is their positive intention behind this behavior. You can also find what they want to achieve out of this event.
This step in NLP perceptual positions exercise will help you to understand how other people will react in similar kinds of situations in the future.
Remember if you spend too much time on another person’s spot, you may lose the importance of your own needs and goals.
Step 4 Observer’s Spot.
Now, imagine you are at a little far away place and watching this event as an outsider. This is also termed “Fly on a wall”. It simply means watching and observing the event from a neutral outsider to this event and parties.
In this step, You are dissociating from both spots and watching the interaction as an observer, you are not attached to any of the spots or parties.
You can see the bigger picture of this event, rather than seeing it from one or two perspectives. You can observe your own behavior as well as other person’s behavior in that event.
You can now identify the similarity and differences between the parties involved in the interaction. This allows you to analyze the situation more logically and end with positive results with both the parties involved.
Do not spend too much time either on this spot, this will take you away from your own goals from the event.
Now, You can have one more round in each spot. This time with new learnings from each spot about the event. You can use the learnings and find a conclusive point where all of the parties align with the positive result for oneself.
NLP perceptual positions questions
I have prepared a list of NLP perceptual positions questions to ask at each spot. This questions can also be used in coaching.
Questions to ask First perceptual position.
What, I am seeing, listening and feeling as myself?
What positive outcome I want in this event?
How do I pursue this event?
How am I reacting? And how does it make me feel?
How am I feeling towards the event?
What are my postures and gestures?
What makes it difficult for you?
How can you relate with the second position?
Questions to ask the Second perceptual position.
How do I see, listen and feel as per other?
What positive outcome do others want in this event?
What are all resources other want or need?
How would other have felt in this event?
Could he/she have approached differently in this event?
What were the posture and gestures of the other?
How can you relate with the first position in the event?
Questions to ask the Third perceptual position.
What advice will you give to both parties in the event?
What is your take on this event?
Can you summarise what was happening there?
What do you think is the problem here?
What can either of the parties do now?
How do you see yourself in the relationship?
Can you where the first position can make changes for better results?
Can you observe any change from the third position?
How can you relate with the other two positions?
The other questions you can ask each of the spots are about eliciting representational systems. This will help you at the time of setting a spatial anchor to each perceptual position.
Where can you use NLP perceptual positions?
- For making better decisions: You can use NLP perceptual positions techniques to make better decisions. Just set a spot in favor of and in against to see the viewpoint of each. The observer can be useful to summarise and take the decision.
- Building Rapport: You can understand other people’s viewpoints much better with NLP perceptual position technique. This NLP technique can help you to walk into other people’s shoes. You can also understand your own behavior and emotions much better. You will know where you can make a change in order to win rapport.
- Relationship: You can simply assume another person to be the one with whom you may want to improve your relationship.
- Goal Setting: you can be creative in setting your goal, you can put a spot like what it will like if you achieve the goal, what you can do, what you can not do likewise.
Some people argue, that how will you know? What Do Other People think?
Please remember NLP perceptual positions technique will help you to be more aware of your own behavior, emotions, and thinking.
This NLP technique will certainly not help you to know what others will think exactly? But you will at least get a fair idea just by modeling their posture and gesture.
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