Useful Assumptions

Hypnotist Dr. William Horton

by Dr. William Horton

Since I have had the honor of becoming a CMI, Certified Master Instructor or “Trainer of Trainers” for the NGH, people have asked me recently what is it that I consider important for people to become top flight trainers. I have given it a lot of thought (and yes it hurt) and would have to say that there are a few things that are important:

  • Mastering the basic skills

  • Keeping an open mind

  • Being confident without being arrogant

  • Having the courage to tell the truth

  • Being humble, (not believing your own press)

  • Being an ongoing student yourself (know that you need to learn to grow)

  • Having a useful way of viewing the world.

In NLP we have a set of presuppositions that we can use as our foundation, for your review, here they are:

A List of Useful Assumptions

Each of us has a “map,” or model of the world, or set of assumptions from which we communicate. These personal presuppositions are communicated through our behavior in the world as well in our treatment rooms. Every tone of voice, gesture, choice of phrase, moment of eye contact is a communication of those underlying assumptions that add up to the “gestalt” of how we are perceived by the world in general and our clients in particular. These elements create a “meta-frame” around our behavior and our relationship with our clients. For most of us and for most of those in the real world, this essential element of our communication experience is largely processed by the unconscious mind.

Most people can turbo-charge their development by fine-tuning the assumptions we carry underneath our relationship with the world.

The Primary Presuppositions of NLP:

  1. The meaning of your communication is the response that you get. It’s what the world perceives you said that matters, not what you intended. If you get a response you do not like, or want, change your communication!

  2. Communication is redundant. You are always communicating, and your non-verbal communication carries about 90% of your message. Any of us in long term relationships can attest to the fact that sometimes silence carries a very strong message. When your non-verbal and verbal communication is aligned, then you are a powerful communicator.

  3. People respond to their map of reality, not to reality itself. Entering the other person’s model of the world is the key to influence. How the other person experiences the world is the most important thing you can uncover.

  4. People work perfectly. No one is wrong or broken. It is important to look at others as basically fine, they may need some help and that is what we offer.

  5. People make the best choice available to them at the time. This may not make sense as you look from without at their behaviors and actions, but to them, it is the best choice. An alcoholic drinks because, to them, that is the best choice.

  6. Every behavior is useful in some context. Where/when/how might this person learned to respond in this way? If you look at others with a sense of curiosity, it will help in your drive to communicate.

  7. Choice is better than no choice. Ethical NLP is expanding the other person’s range of choice, not choosing for them. Do not play God.

  8. People already have most of the resources they need. The question is how to assist them in accessing their resources when appropriate.

  9. Anyone can do anything. If it’s possible for one person, others can learn how to do it.

  10. The most flexible element within any system will control that system. The one who communicates with the most choices, wins. (And so do others.)

  11. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. The space shuttle is off course 98% of the time. By adjusting to get back on course, it reaches its destination. This also allows for freedom to help others. If what you are doing is not working, or getting the results you want, try something else. Do not just do it harder.

Now that we have a general basic foundation of looking at the world, we can add a few assumptions for trainers and teachers that I have found very useful. If you teach, try these on. In our NGH Trainers Training I use these as a base. I have found if you incorporate these it make training much easier.

Some Useful Assumptions for a Trainer

  1. What you model is what you get. Your behavior is the most powerful message you convey to your group. What you do, they will repeat. What you say can be ignored or distorted. Your curiosity, openness, and enthusiasm for learning are the single most important message you send. If you are in a bad mood the group will reflect that. If you want your group motivated and excited, you need to be.

  2. We are all learning together. Today, each of us is in a certain stage of personal development. We have grown since yesterday, and are growing into tomorrow. We face our own individual lessons. Everyone is moving down their particular path. No one has “arrived.” A lot of trainers can inadvertently “look down” or be condescending to those just learning. Remember the new student in your class today, may be the leader of the field in a few years. Look at the changes we have seen in Hypnosis and NLP the last few years. Be humble enough to know that others have valuable information, once you believe yours is the only way, you cross over into ego based teaching, make it about the learning.

  3. Every map is valuable to guide us on the journey. There is value inherent in every participant’s perspective. Each member of the group is a teacher. We are all students. If you can learn from your students, you are on your way to elite status. Remember accepting someone for who they are is not approval. You can learn a lot from those who challenge you.

  4. The foundation for accelerated learning is safety. People learn best in an environment in which they are respected and welcomed. Criticism, comparison, sarcasm, and cynicism undermine the learning culture. People open up when they feel that they can. Many of us remember high school, where not speaking up was important.

  5. The 10% Rule: The Group is on YOUR Side. The members of the group are there to learn. They want to have an enjoyable, useful experience with you. You want the same things they do. They will be very forgiving as long as you remember you are human. The 10 % rule is: 10% of the people will love you, and 10% will not like you. 10% of the people will love you just for standing in front of a group, but these people will love the next trainers just as much. It is what I call the lead singer phenomenon, do not let this give you a big head. If you surround yourself with this group, you are headed for trouble. On the flip side, 10% of the people will not like you or your training. It is always fun to read feed back sheets where most of the group, lets say, “loved the humor”, there will be a few who say, “not serious enough”. They may be other trainers, or just true mismatchers. One of the hardest things for a trainer is to realize that you may be hot today, but it will cool, if you offer quality services you will have staying power. How many “hot” bands have come and gone since Madonna started?

  6. The group’s feedback is your finest coach; take it professionally, not personally. The best trainers learn from every interaction they have with members of the group. An approach that may work well with some members of the group will offend others. Sensitivity, willingness to learn and change are the most important resources you bring to your training. Be flexible and use your NLP to teach the skills.

Set your expectations for your own performance in a range. At the top is your outcome – the finest performance you can imagine yourself delivering. At the bottom is a performance that delivers solid value and allows each participant to experience his value to the group. And so long as your performance falls within this range, be satisfied with what you did. Scripts