Monday, December 6, 2010

NLP - Is it Manipulation ?

I have often been asked if NLP is Manipulation ..
I often wonder when being asked, isn't all communication Manipulation ?

You see the word Manipulate has little meaning or attachment for me, it describes a process of Skillful Movement.
Truly we have many Hot Button words that create feelings within us and I believe this is a great one to explore today.

The Map is not The Territory:In my opinion it is not actually the word Manipulate that may offend others it is more the experience and Feeling they attach to the word.

Again words alone don't mean anything unless we fully understand what a person is attempting to communicate.

Chances are the Feeling a person is attempting to communicate has a Purpose ..
So we can gain more information when we ask:
What is that Purpose ?

Calibrate and Feedback Communication:
We need to listen more, sometimes to what is not being said to find out more about the meaning of a persons communication.
Is a person saying, for example:

a)I am afraid of being taken advantage of ?
b) I am afraid I will take advantage of others ?
c) I am afraid of  how any of this will Feel inside me ?
d) I once had a bad experience and this reminds me of it ?

We are all different, what would you be saying, if you said NLP is Manipulative ?

What Websters online Dictionary says about Manipulate:Here is How Websters Online define the word Manipulate.
How Websters have chosen to define the word may provide proof for one person to prove a point that NLP Can Manipulate.
In fact I could use it and say NLP can Manipulate ...

Let us look closer at what Webster is saying about the word Manipulate:

I quote:
1: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2a : to manage or utilize skillfully
b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage
3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose : Doctor
End Quote.

Is NLP Ever used for anything Positive:
NLP by itself is just a Technology, that can be used in a myriad of situations. 

Can NLP be used to help others ?
Will they have the unfair advantage of benefiting through NLP ?

Can NLP be used to artfully play upon an Unfair (what does unfair mean ? - By Who's standard) advantage.
The result of which is always a change of one sort and another that serves one's purpose.
More likely to be win win more often, since NLP is about understanding what others are communicating.

A closer look at Websters Definitions:
Now we can add and take away from these definitions, I do not believe in Absolutes ..

1: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
So ..
Would then a Seamstress Manipulate a machine or fabric ?
Would a Forklift Driver Manipulate Things they picked up ?
Would a Diamond Polisher Manipulate a piece of Rock ?
Would a Grandmother making a crochet blanket for a baby Manipulate the wool or crotchet hook ?

What other examples come to your mind ?
Lets look at the second one:

2a : to manage or utilize skillfully
b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage.
So .. Questions to address this segment:
Would a Archaeologist manipulate their brush while carefully sorting through a discovery ?
Would a Concert Pianist manipulate sounds through use of Fingers and Keys ?
Would a Waiter carrying 9 Plates at one time Manipulate the plates in a way that they could be carried well ?
Would a Professional Footballer Manipulate the Ball across the Field ?
Would a Polo player who is winning Manipulate the Horse and Equipment ?
Would an Actor hoping to win a Oscar Manipulate their Acting skills to be the best Candidate ?

Taking the Stuffing out of a Word:
What do you think of the word now, all that happened is that we changed the Frame, it is still the same word.
When we add other implications, Suggestions the meaning of the word can change.
The thing about this is, the process is assumed and then it is not questioned.

If we were to ask more questions:
  • We could get more information
  • Make a qualified decision for ourselves,
  • Keep the process moving
  • Choose for ourselves if there was greater value instead of being told what to think
Uh oh, did you notice .... The frame just changed ...More about 2b

Changing the Frame by adding words that Change Meaning:
2b adds the word Insidious ... What does insidious mean ?
The word insidious could change everything, because now we know that The Frame is Negative, we are not given specific examples of how or why suddenly, but just the word being present has given additional information.

Is it possible ...
We have been given an Insidious suggestion to Influence our understanding of the word Manipulate.
See how easy it is to play with words ..

Moving on ...
Back to the examples ..

3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose : doctor has been given as an example.

I honestly have no interpretation for what is meant here !
I believe this suggestion is open to your own interpretation .. Deletions, Distortions and Generalizations.
We have been given a suggestion of a Doctor, are we to believe that Doctors are Unfair and Artful ?

more investigation needs to be done, and in what context are we establishing meaning ..

My point here is only to suggest that Language can be used however you would like it to be used.
In NLP we play with words and meanings frequently and since we are doing that, Let's play with our Kinesthetic associations to Words Too.

A Word Means:
Whatever Energy, Association Connection, Feeling you attached to it at an Unconscious or Conscious level of meaning.
"The Meaning of our Communication is the response you get", We often have no clue exactly what our communication means until we get the Feedback Loud and Clear, at which time we can continue the conversation until we are both on the same page. 

Being Creative with Communication:
The whole objective in communication is to find new and creative ways to use  Language keep the process moving, and not always to say things that people like or agree with.

The Language can be Verbal on Non verbal, all language is considered as communication, and all must send the same signal at the same time, for it to work well.

I beg to Differ:
Sometimes the best response can even be a response of disagreement, in any case the process of communication continues to flow.
Whatever it takes to get a person Talking means the process is still continuing and leaves room for agreement.

End the Frame with Agreement:
A skillful NLP'er will learn how to create a Frame that is suitable to draw an agreement all the way through the conversation, there can always be things to agree about if you look for them, we close with Agreement in the end.

Would it be better not to have that skill ... only you can answer that My Friend.

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