The Responding To Criticism Pattern

Concept. We generally recognize the ability to receive criticism without feeling hurt or judged as an important skill and one well worth developing. I his pattern turns "criticism" into "feedback" and allows us to feel safe while another offers us a message. We may evaluate that message as unpleasant and undesired whether we find it true or untrue, accurate or inaccurate. This technology enables us to treat the products (words, tones, volumes, etc.) that come out of another's mind and mouth as theirs. This frees us from immediately personalizing and feeling bad!

rhis skill depends upon the concept that "words are not real." They only exist as symbols or maps of reality, never reality itself ("The map is not the territory"). Realizing this at the feeling le~oel empowers us to develop a good relationship to information, communication, and messages. Accepting that words only exist as symbols in the mind of the sender, we can breathe more easily in the knowledge that "criticism" (a nominalization) also exists only in our mind, not in the world.

The term "criticism" itself, as a nominalization, highlights a hidden verb, "criticize" (also "critique"). It refers to an evaluation and to someone evaluating. Ask yourself, "Have I adjusted myself to the fact that human minds inevitably do what human minds do best—they weigh, compare, evaluate, criticize, etc.? How well adjusted have I made myself with this fact?"

This pattern enables us to have a strategy for responding resourcefully to any critical communication while maintaining presence of mind as well as our own value and dignity.

The Pattern

1. Access a safety state. To "hear," receive, and respond effectively to criticism we need to operate from a state wherein we feel unthreatened. Physically distance yourself until you feel safe. If you find this challenging, then imagine putting up a plexiglass screen around you that will shield you from incoming information. Anchor this.

I'o strengthen and amplify your sense of safety and strength, take a minute to get into a physiologically powerful position. Stand or sit tall, center yourself, distribute weight evenly, breathe deeply.

2. Acknowledge and validate the other person. "Bob (use his or her name), I appreciate the time you have taken in talking with me about this issue."

3. Elicit fuller information. Ask for specific and quantifiable information that you can picture clearly. "What exactly do you mean. Help me to understand your concerns." Take charge of the conversation by only asking questions. Ask for details.

4. Fully picture the details offered. As you hear the person speak, make a mental picture of the criticism on your mind's screen to your right (for constructed images) of the criticism. Maintain a conceptual sense of a comfortable distance from that internal film. To get a complete picture, continue to ask, "Do you have any other details to add?"

5. Re fleet back your understanding. Reiterate in detail the criticism offered. "So what you specifically object to involves this and this. Do I have that right?" This aims to pace and match the other's understanding, so that he or she, at least, feels understood.

6. Agreement frame. When you feel you have a complete picture, ask the other person if he or she has anything else to add. Once you have agreement about the criticism, do not go back and add issues or details.

7. Check out your own understandings. On a screen, in your mind, up and to your left, make a picture (with sounds, words, feelings, etc.) of how you view the topic. What do you think, believe, value, feel, etc. about the subject?

8. Do a comparative analysis. Compare both pictures and, as you do, look for areas of agreement and disagreement. I low close or far away do you stand with your critic?

9. Graciously communicate your understandings. Begin with those ¿ireas of agreement to establish rapport, " I agree that..." Let him or her know where you agree. And appreciatively thank them, "I'm glad you brought this to my attention." Then let the person know precisely where you see things differently. "I do not agree that..."

10. Move from "understandings" to decisions. If the person merely intends to give you information with the criticism, as you thank him or her, say, "I will lake your thoughts into consideration," and leave it at that. If you need to negotiate or respond in terms of some action, you might inquire as to what specifically the other wants and/or inform them of what you intend to do in the light of the criticism.

11. Negotiate the relationship. If you want to further the relationship, you might wanl to ask, "What would you like me to do that would make a positive difference for you in regard to this matter?" You can use this format even if you choose not to do anything about the criticism. "Since I plan to do this or that in order to maintain my own self-integrity with my values, 1 don't want you to feel rejected. What else could 1 possibly do that would enable us to feel connected?"

12. Disagree agreeably. If you disagree completely with the criticism and plan to take no action regarding it, then aim to offer your disagreement in as agreeable a manner as possible.

"Thanks for sharing your viewpoint about this. Since our views differ so much about this, it seems that we have come to an impasse at this point. Do you have anything else you might want to offer?"

In closing, let the person know that even more than the specific criticism, you really appreciate their openness and willingness to offer you a different perspective.

#72 The Establishing Boundaries Pattern

Concept. We experience "co-dependent" relating when we become overly involved with others and assume responsibility for things that we should leave to them. Because co-dependency involves poor ego-boundaries and the failure to assume proper responsibility, people who get into this style of thinking-and-feeling typically lack a good boundary development. This pattern enables us to set personal boundaries, which, in turn, leads to a greater sense of personal power, security, and centeredness.

The Pattern

1. Identify a boundary problem that arises from the lack of good, solid, and firm boundaries. For example, you might feel responsible/or how ¿mother feels; you rescue them from the problems they create for themselves, or worry more about something in another's life than they do, etc. "Boundaries" refer to ego-boundaries that give us a sense of "me" in contradistinction to "other." Within the "boundary" we experience our values, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and sense of identity.

2. Create a sensed/self space and its boundaries. Begin with a physical sense of your territorial "space" and imagine it moving out to eighteen inches or two feet as a literal space all around you. Begin filling up this space with qualities, thoughts, feelings, resources, values, etc., that belong uniquely to you (e.g., assertiveness, confidence, dignity, love, trustworthiness, etc.). Anchor it with a color, word, or object.

3. Solidify the boundary. At the rim of your personal space imagine an invisible boundary. You might imagine it as a force field as in Star Trek, or as plexiglass, or ¿is a boundary form that provides a separate sense of "me" apart from and different from everybody out there. Fully experience this individuation from first person and anchor it.

4. Take second position. Step out of yourself momentarily as you take second position with someone who values you and respects your boundaries. From their eyes, see the you with good boundaries. Hear them validating and appreciating these boundaries. Notice any tiling that you might need to make the resource even better.

5. Reassume first position. Identify, amplify, and validate even-personal value, belief, and understanding that makes you distinct from other selves. Future pace this way of orienting yourself in the world.

6. Trouble-shoot. Imagine meeting someone who does not respect your boundaries and who talks and acts in ways that attempt to pierce your boundaries. See them trying to do this, while your resourceful self expresses the thoughts that keep the boundaries up and in good shape.

7. Check ecology and future pace. Imagine using these boundaries as you move into your future. "And you can now imagine how it would feel to move out into the world with this..."

#73 The Magical Parents Pattern

Concept. Some of us find ourselves entering adult life having suffered from inadequate parenting. Somehow we got stuck with parents who skipped Parenting 101 (i.e., parents who did not study how to become good parents!). Today, we need to re-parent ourselves in order to become more mature, loving, assertive, etc. Often the inadequate parenting we received inhibits our developmental growth so that we get stuck at various stages of development. This pattern addresses the deficits we might have experienced as children and gives us the technology to engage in creative and productive self-nurturing. Source: Sally Chamberlaine and Jan Prince, From the Inside Out.

The Pattern

1. Identify needs and resources. Imagine a blackboard or use a piece of paper. On one side, list the emotional needs that you did not receive as a child. On the other side, list the qualities necessary to fulfill these needs (e.g., understanding, empathy).

2. Identify parental models. Begin to construct in your mind model parents who possess the qualities necessary to fulfill the needs of the child. See, hear, and feel them completely. Use models that you have seen, read about, or observed. Especially see parents who respond with unconditional love and concern. Anchor this resource.

3. Enrich the parental model. Visualize and discuss how these parents relate to each other and to the child. Do this until you have a fully functioning model of effective parenting.

4. Time-line back to birth. Float up above your Time-line and go back to the day of your birth. Drop into that experience and, from your adult self, with all your resources, thank the old parents and explain that now your new magical parents will take over. Then have the magical parents welcome the child into the world and give the child loving messages. Mi\ke sure the child feels protected and cared for as you tell the child of the difference he or she will make in the world.

5. Time-line up through childhood. Begin to let the magical parents fulfil] all the required emotional needs as you move with that child up through time.

6. Time-line resourcefully through old negative experiences. As you move through time, let the magical parents become especially available to the child during the negative incidents in your memory. As you do so, let these situations replay from the new and resourceful perspective of the capable and resourceful child who now has caring and wise parents. Notice the different outcome as you ask your subconscious mind to move to additional times when the child needed supportive parents. Replay these situations with the added resources from the child and parents.

7. Zoom up the Time-line to the present. As you Time-line resourcefully through these experiences, fire the anchor for feeling unconditional love from your parents and let your unconscious mind know that "this can generalize as you move more and more rapidly and quicker up through time to the present moment."

8. Stop, integrate, future pace. Holding the ¿inchor, allow your unconscious to fully integrate these learnings and feelings and keep these learnings and feeling as you move into a bright future.

#74 The Transforming Mistakes Into Learnings Pattern

(Second "Mistake" Pattern—see #40 for the first)

Concept. When we make mistakes, we frequently respond to them in such a way that we put ourselves into a negative emotional state. The shame and guilt associated with our experience often obscure the lessons that we could learn. Wfith this pattern, we have a strategy for looking past the negative emotions to embrace the learnings available. We can then develop the ability to use mistakes as learning tools. (We presented one format for this in the chapter on neuro-linguistic states; here we offer a second one. Enjoy.)

The Pattern

1. Identify a mistake. Identity' a mistake which you do not want to make again or a mistake which you have associated with a negative emotion such as guilt or shame.

2. Clarify your understanding about the "mistake." Decide how you know it as a "mistake." What criteria do you use? Whose standards? What beliefs and values do you apply?

3. Amplify the negative feelings. Begin to increase the intensity of your "negative responses" to the mistake until you become unwilling to experience it again.

4. Retrieve learnings from the mistake. Look thoroughly at the cause-effect structure(s) that underlies the mistake. What led to it? What factors contributed? Identify any and all positive intentions. What did the part of you that generated the mistake seek to do that was of positive value? Identify the benefits or learnings coming from the experience. What secondary benefits resulted from the mistake (someone rescued you, paid you attention, etc.)?

5. Sejmrate emotions from lessons. Imagine a box with a very heavy lid. As you separate the negative emotions from the lessons that you have learned from the mistake, allow all of those emotions which no longer serve you to go into that box. Float above your Time-line, back to the place(s) where the mistakes occurred. Put those lessons there in such a way that you can easily recall them.

6. Test. Recall the experience. Do any of the negative emotions reoccur or do you find that the emotions have become neutralized? If any of the negative emotions remain, run a movie quickly from the beginning to the end of the situation until only the lessons remain (the V-K Dissociation pattern).

#75 The Thinking/Evaluating Wisely And Thoroughly Pattern (SCORE Model)

Concept. What strategy do you have for thinking through a situation, problem, experience, or for gathering complete information? Thinking in a multi-faceted way (a term derived from Systems Theory which means being able to think in multiple ways simultaneously) about causes, contributing factors, systemic processes, etc., describes "wisdom"—the opposite of jumping to conclusions, reacting without thinking, having tunnel-vision, etc.

In NLP, the SCORE model provides a way to consider many of the basic components that make up effective problem-solving and the mental-emotional organizing of data. The letters of this term "SCORK" stand for the words: Symptoms, Causes, Outcomes, Resources, and Effects. Dilts, who uses the SCORE model extensively, as well as Tim Hallbom and Suzi Smith, suggest that we ought to consider these elements as comprising the minimum amount of information that we need to make good decisions and create effective changes.

While properly SCORE describes a model, and not a technique, a great many techniques come out of this format. In a sense, SCORE describes the overall NLP meta-pattem of thinking about present state, desired state, and bridging from one to the other with resources.

The Pattern

1. Gather information using the SCORE model.

Symptoms typically come to our attention and so represent the most noticeable and conscious aspects of a situation or problem. What surface and presenting symptoms do I notice? What other symptoms may 1 not have attended to? What about long-term symptoms? How do I represent these symptoms? WTiat meanings do I attribute to them?

Causes refer to those effects and factors that bring a situation or problem into existence. What causes this situation? We usually experience these as less obvious and more hidden. What underlying cause could possibly explain this? Sometimes factors that only contribute to a situation, but do not actually cause it, play an important role. What about other contributing factors that 1 may not have paid much attention to?

Outcome(s) refers to "the end" or goal we have in mind, and, inasmuch as in the system of human consciousness outcomes feed-forward information, they also play a contributing role. What direction have I put myself in? What orientational focus affects the current situation? If I continue on this path, where will it take me? What other outcomes may arise from those outcomes? What final outcome state do I want to move toward?

Resources refer to those factors and components of thought, emotion, memory, imagination, etc., by which we create our representations, meanings, beliefs, behaviors, etc. Personal resources arise from our RS (VAK) and languaging. What resources do 1 need to move from this present state to my desired state?

Effects refer to the results or consequences of applying our resources to the situation. What happens when I think this way? heel this way? Speak or act in this or that fashion? Does the response 1 get fit with the outcome I want? If not, then we might stop doing what doesn't work and try something else (the resource of flexibility). Frequently we can mistake the desired effect of achieving an outcome for the outcome itself. Thus we get a positive effect from wanting our goal without actually doing anything!

2. Use your learnings from the SCORE format to guide your decisions and actions. Do you have clarity about your outcome? Do you have access to sufficient resources? What other information do you need to gather? Where do you stand in the overall picture of the current situation with your resources as they move you to your desired outcome?

The Dancing Score. More recently (1996), Robert Dilts has developed a model of "Systemic NI.P" by having a person spatially anchor each of the SCORE components along a line from "past" to

"present" to "future." Then he asks the person to establish a meta-line—one that runs parallel to the SCORE line—and has the person step into each "meta" position to a person from their history or imagination who has resources, wisdom, or different perspectives. Doing this process exclusively via the kinesthetic modality— meaning not talking about it, but "just knowing it as you step into each position," enables a person to access his or her "somatic syntax" (as Robert describes it).

Once a person has "walked through" each of the spatial places of the SCORE on both the primary line and then the meta-line, he or she can then move through it more and more quickly—dancing his or her way through the kinesthetic spaces, letting all of the intuitive and non-conscious awarenesses emerge.

#76 A Creativity Strategy (The Walt Disney Pattern)

Concept. What kind of strategy do you have for accessing a creativity state wherein you can invent new responses for yourself and others? Robert Dilts modeled Walt Disney's process and concluded, "...there were actually three different Walts: the dreamer, the realist, ¿md the spoiler (also called the "critic"). You never knew which one was coming to your meeting." Source: Robert Dilts.

This strategy moves through these three states as the three processes that enable us to both feel creative and to actually create.

The Pattern

2. Access each of the three states. With yourself, or with someone else, take the time to access, fully describe, ¿md completely experience in an associated way each of the three states. You may want to use some spatial kinesthetic anchoring so that you have a space to which you physically move. Access and anchor each one.

Dreamer. Think of a time when you creatively dreamed up or fantasized about some new ideas without any hesitation or inhibitions. Fully remember it or imagine it and then step into that experience and relive it from first person position.

Realist. Recall a time when you demonstrated a high level thinking realistically and devised some specific plan that then allowed you to put an idea into action. Step into the Realist space and fully experience it. What does this "ready to implement" state feel like?

Evaluator/Critic. When did you engage in good, solid "critical thinking?" Recall a time when you constructively criticized and evaluated a plan so that you sharpened it, honed it, and made it better. Step in and relive it associatedly.

2. Mow to a meta-position. Step aside from all of these states (physically or in your imagination) and, as you step back, notice each of them from the meta-level. Now experience your thoughts and feelings about each state. As you do, appreciate each as having a valid role and place.

3. Identify a desired outcome and "run it through the pattern." Now move first to your dreamer state and visualize more fully this outcome. See it as a movie playing on the screen of your mind... or as a storyboard—i.e., as a sequence of images about your goal. As you let the dream continue, constantly edit and re-edit your movie.

Now move into the realist position and notice what you need to do, if anything, that would achieve your outcome. What actions do you need to take? How would you implement this vision? What would comprise the first step, the second, the third? Create an action plan for implementing this dream.

Now step into your critic/evaluator space and critically evaluate it—looking for missing pieces, for what might not work, for what you still need, etc. Keep a list of improvements that you can make.

4. Re-dream your dream. Return to your dreamer state and creatively use all of the realistic and critical information you received to make the idea an even better one. Keep re-cycling through this process until every fabric in your being goes,

#77 The Spinning Icons Pattern (Integration Pattern)

Concept: This pattern of the Spinning Icons creates an iconic metaphor out of any two contrasting experiences for the purpose of generating a higher level generalization [or meta-state].

The process involves eliciting a fairly concrete, sensory representation of two experiences. The next step involves changing the concrete representations into abstract icons. This moves the process of problem-solving, creativity, etc. into a different and higher realm. You then follow this by making a change in the VAX structure at the submodality level of location. By rotating the icons, exchanging locations, and spinning more and more rapidly, a new "metaphor" arises by blending the icons into a single iconic representation. I his results in a new connection. The new icon exists as a symbolic guide to help a person move from present state to desired state. In the final step, the person tells a story about the new icon. In doing this one moves down the ladder of abstraction and frequently gains insights into about how to achieve the goal. The following represents the visual version of the pattern. This operates ¿is an integration pattern useful for virtually any NLP change work. Nelson Zink and Joe Munshaw developed this pattern, originally named "Synthesizing Generalizations."

The Pattern

1. Identify two states. Think of a discrepancy between your present state and your desired stale or goal. Notice any incongruity between the current state or experience and the state or experience that you want to have, or between your present resources and your desired resources.

2. Get two visual representations. As you think of your present state (problem state, stuck state), what visual image or representation do you get? What picture occurs in your mind's eye? Notice particularly where you locate the picture and its distance from you. Describe the picture briefly.

As you think of your desired state (outcome, goal, resources), what visual representation do you get? Notice this picture's location and distance. Describe briefly.

3. Abstract from the representations to a symbol or icon. Now, allow your mind to turn the first picture into some kind of abstract symbol or iconic visual representation. Just let the icon appear. Keep the icon in the location of the first picture.

(Note: when you use this with someone, pay special attention to pacing the recipient's vocabulary and experience. Also you may find that the phrases, "stick figure drawing," "cartoon," or "caricature" may work better for some people than the phrase, "iconic visual representation." Some people develop very elaborate and detailed icons while others create pictures with very simple visual representations, sometimes as simple as merely coding a color. The key here lies in guiding the client from a concrete, specific picture to an abstract visual symbolic representation.]

4. Repeat this same process with the second picture. Turn it into an iconic image that you find in the same location as the second picture.

5. Rotate the ico?is until they spin out wildly. See the two iconic-images at the same time, now, each image in its proper location. [Pause]

Now, s-l-o-w-l-y begin to rotate them, allow them to exchange locations, then move back to their original locations, then exchange locations again, etc. Begin to rotate or spin them a bit more rapidly now. Let them go round and round and, as they do, spin more and more rapidly. Now let them move very rapidly! Have the person continue to do this for about ten seconds.

[Note: the basic idea here involves getting the icons to move around each other. For some people the word "rotate" will work best; others will respond better to the word "spin." The key lies in the moving relationship between the two icons in relationship to each other.]

6. Blend the spinning icons. As you rotate the icons very very rapidly, now let them blend together into a single image and allow this new image to move right out in front of you, where you can view it easily. What new icon do you see before you? Describe it briefly.

[As you do, get a quick and brief description. Pace the client's emotions and ideas about the new icon. Move as quickly as possible to step seven.]

7. Language a story. When you have the new icon in place, immediately begin telling whatever "story" or incident comes to your mind. This could arise from a past memory or incident in your life, a fairy tale or story you have heard, a made-up or constructed story from your life...w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r you have— simply begin telling a story, now.

[Note: At the end of the story begin exploring with the client how the insights gained from it apply to getting the outcome or desired state the client seeks. "How is the story relevant to your difficulty?" The story /metaphor exists as a fairly abstract piece, but less abstract them the icons. The metaphor offers insights into specific elements of how the problem or quest for the goal might now be considered differently.

The story or narrative, discussed in step seven, does not necessarily play an essential role to the change work created in the first six steps. The story simply takes the change which has happened largely at an unconscious level and makes it more conscious and coherent to the client.

For experienced practitioners who work regularly with people, you can add the Spinning Icons Technique to your elegant "bag of tricks." Compare ¿ind contrast Spinning Icons with what you do, and discover what happens. Zink and Munshaw (1998) have also developed auditory and kinesthetic versions of the Spinning Icon technique. Contiict Joe Munshaw at Gateway NLP Institute for a free copy of those instructions: [email protected]


NLP arose from modeling, and continues to model strategies of excellence. By identifying the language components of subjectivity, as well as the structural components that make up its syntax, we can accurately describe the "strategy" of subjectivity. We can also discover the strategy of experiences that do not attain their desired outcome, and either redesign it, or simply install a new one.

For other patterns that involve strategies, see the Establishing Value Hierarchy Pattern, the As If Frame Pattern, and the Agreement Frame Pattern.

And The Magic Of Enhancing Patterns Continues .

We have put into this volume the most extensive list to date of NLP patterns for "running your own brain," taking charge of your life, becoming more resourceful, and generatively transforming yourself. And yet this list by no means exhausts the field. Mirny, many other patterns have already been created as well as a multitude of hybrid patterns that mix and mingle writh these to thereby create new mixtures applicable to various fields: health, therapy, sports, business, personal life, hobbies, religion, law, education, etc.

Having recently authored, with Dr. Bobby Bodenhamer, a work on Time-Lines (1997), I (MH) here list a whole set of patterns that we have not included in this book.

1. Entering into the Place of Pure Potentiality

2. Fast Time & Slow Time—Time Distortion Pattern

3. Spiraling Resource Experiences in Time—Collapsing into the Now

4. Accessing the Flow State of the Eternal Now

5. Developing More Time for Patience—Now

6. Chrono-phobia Cure Pattern

7. Transforming "Time" by New Sentence Generator

8. Linguistic Ke-Narrating Life

9. Linguistically De-Storying and Re-Storying Life

10. Developing a New Rhythm for "lime"

11. Developing a Neurological Rhythm for "Time" & " l imes"

12. "Time" Alignment Pattern

13. Finishing a Past Gestalt

14. Taking Interest to Reframe "Boredom"

Since developing and promoting the NLP Meta-States Model, I (MH) also have created and designed numerous patterns that involve taking a meta-level position, as well as reformulating many of the NLP patterns in terms of that model. We have included a few in this text. Others include:

1. The Einstein Pattern of Creativity and Problem-Solving

2. Triangles of Excellence (developed from Nicholas's, 1996, MDI pattern)

3. Synthesizing Generalizations (developed from Zink & Munshaw's pattern, 1996)

4. The Mystery Theater 3000 Pattern (Anchor Point, December 1995) '

5. Gestalting States Patterns For Resolving Conflicts (Developed from Assagioli's Transpersonal psychology work and book on Psychosynthesis)

6. Interpersonal Meta-Stating (Anchor Point, June 1996 and February 1997)

7. Self-Management of Negative Emotions Pattern

8. The Miracle Adjustment Shift (Anchor Point, January 1997, developed from Brief Psychotherapy's Miracle Question)

9. The NLP Happiness Pattern (Anchor Point, June 1996, and January 1997)

10. The De-Pleasuring Pattern (for deframing addictions)

Of course, these additional patterns only touch the hem of the garment in terms of the scores and scores of other patterns that have arisen and continue to arise in the field of NLP. Monthly in Anchor Point (Utah, USA) and quarterly in NLP World (Switzerland), and in Rapport (London) as well ¿is in other publications, you will see the creativity of this field manifested.

Come, join the revolution of human evolution for excellence!

Hypnotism and Self Hypnosis v2

Hypnotism and Self Hypnosis v2

HYPNOTISM is by no means a new art. True, it has been developed into a science in comparatively recent years. But the principles of thought control have been used for thousands of years in India, ancient Egypt, among the Persians, Chinese and in many other ancient lands. Learn more within this guide.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment