The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Why is the glass half full or half empty?

April 3rd, 2011 by dimpledbrain

There is an old joke about H-A-B-I-T that if you take away H , you get A-BIT. If you remove A, you still have BIT and if you further remove B, you still have IT! Old habits die hard!

The same must be true for many other things. For example, there is a certain pattern as to how we process information and represent them. In NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming i.e. a milder version of hypnosis if you like ) this is called metaprogramme. I will discuss 5 major ones in this post.

(1) Outcome preferencemoving towards something or moving away

When we describe something, do we state ‘what we want’ or do we describe ‘what we don’t want’? Can you differentiate the following?

  • I like blue cars
  • I don’t like anything red

(2) Reference systeminternal or external driven

Does your motivation come from outside (my boss says I am good, my work is noticed, I win awards) vs from within (you don’t give a damn about it even if you win some major awards because you just don’t feel anything special about it)

(3) Sorting – by self or by others

Why do we feel that some teachers or some bosses are ‘better’ than others? Or say ‘that teacher/boss is smart but couldn’t teach/guide?’ The acid test here is how much attention do we pay to others.

(4) Processingmatch or mismatch

  • Most people are matchers, i.e. seeing sameness in things. e.g. ‘all the 3 kids are quite talkative’.
  • Mismatchers are the opposite; they see differences. “this kid is smart, the other kid is active and that one is naughty.’

There are 2 other variations i.e.

  • Matcher with exception – ‘all the 3 kids are talkative but this one is exceptionally naughty’
  • Mismatcher with exception – ‘that kid is smart, the other is active but both are talkative’

(5) Convincer pattern – do you think I am a good blogger? Do you have to

  • see/watch me
  • hear about me
  • do together with me
  • read about me

to be convinced? And how often before you are convinced? (a) immediately (b) a few times (c) a period of time (d) every time?

You ask ‘why doesn’t my boss trust me even if I have proven myself repeatedly?’ Answer: besides being an a**, he has not done the assignment together with you and besides he needs proof every time…

Points to note

  • It is totally fine if you see/feel that you display both tendencies! Just because we always use our right hand doesn’t mean we don’t use our left hand. The key question is which is our predominant trait?
  • There is no such thing as the better trait except maybe in different situations. (in situation A, trait x could be better than trait y). The key is to recognize and understand about them

So what next? To quote Anthony Robbins, the first is to calibrate and guide our communication with others (if we are externally driven for instance how would we persuade someone who is internally driven to do something? Would we say ‘your parents are going to be very proud of you’ or ‘I think this piece of work will be very similar to your previous assignment’). You get the drill. The second, a tool for personal change (where deemed fit).

Now tell me my friends, why is the glass half full or half empty?

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