Note on Author – Bruce Farrow NLP Master Trainer, trained NLP courses for many years. His long term conviction to help every student embrace the knowledge of the science and art of NLP and, in doing so, change their lives resulted in his NLP trainings becoming highly sought after. He has now retired from training and lives in Windsor with his family.
Have you ever known someone who has done something that, in your model of the world, is totally ridiculous? Have you ever become really frustrated about someone’s seemingly abnormal behaviour? Has anyone ever done something that resulted in you choosing to feel hurt and you don’t know why they have done it? Have you ever said “why in the world did they do that?”
I think, everyone has experienced those moments at some point in their lives and I thought this is the time of year to solve that problem, or at least, understand how that problem gets created.
The first thing to realise is that everyone on this planet is different. Everyone is truly unique because everyone has had a unique life. No two people have had exactly the same experiences in their life and experiences will provide the basis for how we think and how we perceive our model of the world. In other words, EVERYONE’s model of the world is different. No two are exactly the same.
Obviously there will be people with similar models of the world but there will be differences at some level.
The thing is, our decisions and values and beliefs are all a result of our subjective experience and that can cause a problem when good decisions should be objective and not subjective. So if all our experiences are different and, to add a fly in the ointment, how we process those experiences are different again, then everyone will make decisions during their life that may surprise others. This is the normal.
We also have to understand that the basis of any form of rapport is that people like people who are like them – and that includes their thinking. So when someone does something that you cannot understand they are showing that they are different from you (no surprise) but this will also lead to a breakdown in rapport because that person is no longer ‘like’ you.
Now we have a problem because rapport is the basis of communication and, as I have always said, if there is no rapport then there is no communication and, this leads me onto another problem.
Most people think communication is ramming their point of view down someone else’s throat. This is NOT communication but it is the basis for conflict.
So the normal sequence is that person A does something that person B does not understand. Person B then admonishes person A because of their lack of understanding of person A’s model of the world and attempts to ‘advise’ person A how they would have acted in the same circumstances. Unfortunately they are now ramming their model of the world down the throat of person A and we have conflict, anger and frustration.
Since our values are formed through our experiences, upbringing, environment and geography it is highly likely that both these people have different values and a value is something that is important to that specific individual and provides motivation and focus. So we now have two individuals in conflict, who are both motivated differently and have 2 different models of the world.
I have often said that frustration is often caused by poor communication and the above example shows how.
Why don’t you reflect back over the last 12 months and identify someone that has chosen to become frustrated because of something you have done. Perhaps someone you have argued with or someone you have left with unfinished business.
Once you have identified that person, take a few minutes to consider how your behaviour has impacted their life, if it has, and, if it hasn’t, ask yourself “how has my behaviour become a problem for them?”
Then, pick up the phone (not a text or email) and call them. Explain your motivation for your behaviour and all the time accepting that their motivations will be different. You need to explain how, in your model of the world, that behaviour was the right choice for you AND listen to what they have to say on how they would have behaved in THEIR model of the world.
Ultimately you may not agree but with good communication you could agree to differ with no bad feelings.
So many times I hear of life-long friends falling out over something. They fall out because they don’t understand and they don’t understand because there has been no effort in the communication process. What a waste.