This article was originally written by Michael Hall – gently edited by The Coaching Room
What is Neuro-Semantics about? What is the essence and heart of Meta-Coaching? The answer is simple yet profound. In fact, for many people the answer will be quite unsatisfying and for others it will seem to be no answer at all. And there’s a reason for that.
The reason involves a cognitive fallacy, namely, that we assume that there’s nothing to a “conversation.” Since everyone can open his or her mouth and start talking, we easily fall into the faulty thinking that there are no skills involved in holding a conversation, that everyone can do it, and that it is just what it is— talk. Yet in dismissing conversation in this way, people fail to understand the complexity that’s within a conversation or how someone could get paid for holding a conversation.
Yet to raise appreciation for conversation, think about this. What a leader or manager does all day is hold conversations. They get paid, and sometimes handsomely paid, for the conversations that they initiate. The same can be said for political leaders, for those in Congress— ultimately what they do is talk. And while it is all too true that some are just talkers who flap their jaws and say nothing(!), it is through specialised conversations that they sway minds and hearts, create alliances, collaborations, negotiations, pass legislation, establish funding for agencies, and much much more. Such conversations are impactful and can radically affect the lives of millions.
In Coaching, we have identified the 7 core conversations, and then added dozens and dozens more. There are specialised conversations for groups; there are specialised conversations for those in the executive suites. There are conversations for achieving a great number of specific outcomes from goal setting, problem defining, problem solving, innovating, holding accountability, establishing responsibilities, inspiring, resolving conflicts, and that list goes on and on.
So what is Neuro-Semantics, and for that matter, what is NLP and Meta-Coaching but the study of the structure of precise and focused conversations. Whether those conversations occur within a person’s mind (what we call “thinking”) or externally between persons— human experience is experiences within conversations. Your life is a conversation. By your conversations you create your sense of reality (make mental maps about things), generate your internal world and experiences, even create your skills and competencies, your relationships, etc. You are a conversation.
It is by conversations that you develop as persons, that you create the quality of your relationships, and that you do business. It is even by conversations that you create your wealth and health. And in all of these ways, Neuro-Semantic NLP and its application in Meta-Coaching offers models for how to be more conscious (mindful) and skilled (competent) in using conversations effectively to achieve your goals.
We do that by exploring and understanding how the languages of the mind work as tools for understanding things— how pictures, sounds, sensations, and words come together to create mental models (maps). We do that by discovering how words and images can take a person somewhere and whether you are aware of what your words and images are doing in the mind of another.
“Where are you taking that person with that question or statement or frame? Is that really where you want him to go?”
People need Neuro-Semantics because most people are not even conscious of the conversations that they carry on constantly in their heads. And without that mindfulness, they are not able to control their experiences (their emotions and behaviours). It is only with becoming conscious of your consciousness and what you are doing that you are able to move to the choice point where you can effectively make intentional choices. So you first wake them up! Then, because all conversations are not the same, we then begin to make many kinds of distinctions between conversations.
Neuro-Semantics is the art of effective conversations. It is the study of conversations inside-out in order to unleash potentials, step up to responsibilities, and begin to lead and manage oneself. Are you ready for the conversation?