Monday, February 19, 2007

NLP: NLP is about Thinking Part 5 - Missing Perspectives


This is Part 5 of our series of NLP is about Thinking.

There are 5 factors making "the Map is not the Territory". The first one we talked about in our last part is Sensory Channels. Here is our 2nd factor: Missing Perspectives.

You see what you see, but not what others see!

Einstein once said that nobody can really know the reality. It might be because everyone is just seeing from his/her own perspective. The more perspectives we have, the more reality we can see. But we can't have any additional perspectives if we are seeing things in our own position. We must shift position in order to see from different perspectives.

In NLP, there are at least 6 different Perceptual Positions that we can shift ourselves to get more perspectives. There are 3 most important ones, the First, Second and Meta Position.

1. The First Position, or the Self-Position is seeing things from our own position. Most of us get used to this position as we perceive everything from this dominating position at most of the time. Any additional thing, which can only been seen from other positions becomes our blind-spots.

This position is still very useful because the information we get from it forms part of the whole picture. But if you are too stuck in this position, it will cause you troubles. One of them is being too subjective. Another one is Phobia, the unrealistic fear. If you can see the same thing from other positions, phobia might simply go away.

When you are in this position, you see the situation and others who are involved. But you can't see yourself.

2. The Second Position, or the Others-Position is seeing from other people's positions. There can be a lot of Second Positions as there are a lot of other people, who can see the same situation. The more Second Positions you can gain access of, the more objective you are. Some people can get stuck in the Second Position. They think and feel like others think and feel. They lost their own self and sometimes co-dependency is resulted.

When you are in this position, you see the situation and yourself, might be some others who are also involved. But you can't see that person.

3. The Meta-Position, or the Observer-Position is seeing from a totally unrelated, imaginary person's position, just doing the observation of the situation, yourself and others involved. You see everything, everyone in this position. You are in a mindset of "this is nothing about anyone, anything".

How can we access the Others-Position and the Observer-Position? You must consciously and intentionally detach from yourself and move to these positions in your mind. Or if the situation is already over, you can physically move to different positions. After many times of consciously and intentionally moving to different positions, you will be able to do it non-consciously and automatically.

One of the key factors that makes people be able to move into different positions is that you must go into the Observer-Position first before you can go into Others-Positions. How can you jump from one position to another? You must go through the transition position of the Observer-Position first!

That means, when you are detaching from any positions, you tell yourself "this is nothing about anyone, anything".

BTW, if you want to know more about our NLP Practitioner Training, which is done only once a year, go to our website at

See you again in our next part of this series.

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