Perceptional positions, is a wonderful exercise that you learn and practise in your NLP Master Training Program, it is a technique that gives you multiple perspectives in a troubling situation in your life, it gives you greater flexibility and influence reference, and a better understanding which leads to a better outcome.
It certainly helps you not to make snap judgements, gives you a better perspective and helps you to revaluate a situation in your past that still hurts or haunts you, helping you to see a situation more clearly.
I like to think, also from a place of Grace.
“Don’t judge someone till you have walked a mile in their shoes”
Wisdom comes from multiple perspectives, as we all have our own filters, our map of the world and the family rules that we abide by consciously and unconsciously which can limit our perception and understanding of a situation or person.
Here are the steps to a greater understanding.
Set up three positions in a room, by either positioning chairs or putting markers down.
The first position is you expressing how you experienced the situation, that is or has caused you pain in some way. Then you step into –
The second position, where you become the other person and how they experienced it. Then you step into –
The third position from an onlooker’s perspective looking in and observing, (a neutral position)
You would need to do this exercise with a partner, who will continuously check that you have moved into the correct position, and are looking at the situation from a different perspective, by observing body language, tonality and language patterns. This is a crucial part of the exercise.
First position– would be looking at the situation from your own point of view, through your own experiences of it. Not taking into account anyone else’s point of view, giving you the opportunity to really be honest and speak your truth, voice your anger, pain, frustration, jealousy, hurt. Giving yourself permission to do this, no matter what. Explain how this is or has affected you. Be honest, express this sincerely.
Second position– From this position you would look, feel and hear the it from the other person’s point of view, after listening to how the situation has affected them, you would express how the situation has impacted on you from the second position.
It is important that it is a clean transition from position one to position two and that your partner continually checks, listening to your language patterns, that you are talking from the correct position and that you have left position one fully.
It is important that you have good rapport with your partner and you are able to recognise that they have moved position.
Third position- or Meta Position: (from the Greek word meaning beyond, above, at a higher level). This is the neutral position where you can observe the communication from both sides and give feedback from a disassociated position. An independent observer someone with no personal involvement in the situation. Give feedback to first and second position.
How this communication would look to someone who is not involved.
An objective viewpoint from which you can evaluate and get a better perspective and generate some useful resources in a difficult situation.
All three positions are equally important, and the purpose is to be able to move between them freely, taking the feedback gained from all three to get clarity and be more flexible in your thinking, make better choices and understand the situation or other person a little better.
This is one of my favourite NLP exercises. I have found it very useful with clients, it helps them to let go of the anger, hurt, disappointment, whatever they have been holding onto. clients go through an array of emotions and you have to stick with them, but the results I have witnessed over the years has been astonishing, clients seem to transform right in-front of your eyes, it is wonderful to observe them letting go, and embracing the freedom that then brings. How much more relaxed their face and body look.
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