NLP Calibration and Calibrating with NLP - Chat Transcript

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IRC Chat Log, June 21, 1998

Jonathan Hi folks! Welcome to IRC, and to the chat on NLP Calibration... we have a great sized group here... and I want to point out that we have another NLP Trainer Wesley Anderson here with us... (with the nick Awaken)... thanks for joining in!
tranzpupy Hey, Jonathan, you mean there is a trainer closer to me than you? I took your 13-day certification intensive, so I know everything.
Jonathan Can I ask everyone -- who wishes to contribute -- to briefly state your NLP experience, knowledge, and/or training background? So we and our future readers can get a sense of how the chat will be aimed at this audience?
_Stile_ I have no training
Occum Well, I am a relative beginner. I have read several books, but have not had much chance to practice. And I havn't attended any trainings but would like to in the future.
Stefan Experience: about 1 year, read 10 books, no practitioner seminar. Need to practice more in real life, but I think I'm starting to get it now ;)
MichaelR Reading and tapes.
june What I know about NLP mainly comes from NLPTALK and major NLP websites
sunev I'm not certified, but they say I'm *certifiable*
_Stile_ Jonathan says I'm certifiable. I'm certified in hypnosis though!
Jonathan The reason I like to ask that at the beginning of some of these chats... is because... I like to Calibrate you. I like to calibrate at what levels I should focus my attentions. And I do mean plural attentionS!
tranzpupy I was certifiable, now I am certified...
june I'm starting to feel more comfortable since there are other beginners.
Stefan I haven't actually taken an NLP practitioner course, but listened to an NLP Practitioner tapeset. Not the real thing though.
Awaken I live in Atlanta, and as you've noted am certified by the Society of NLP as a trainer. I am a hypnotherapist by profession.
tranzpupy And take another, and another...
Jonathan OK, great! NLP Calibration. This is what's often behind things like Lie Detection, Jury Selection, Personality typing, and more -- where it seems getting good at these things must involve super-human levels of sensory acuity and heightened awareness. What does it mean? It means to measure... to take a measurement. But instead of answering "what is NLP Calibration".... let's ask a slightly different question... lets ask... and answer... "what is NLP calibratING?" Lets denominalize it... make the word/concept of calibration easier to access and understand... and we do that simply by turning it back into the transitive verb... "calibratING"
june Do we measure only body language, Jonathan
tranzpupy Can I answer?
Occum Ongoing process of taking measurements, and making adjustments to them?
Jonathan Sure... these are all good... June -- I'd say we do measure body language -- some more than others... but we measure a great deal more than that! OK folks... We have a WIDE variety of NLP backgrounds here. So as a result... I'd like to talk about and explore with you -- the subject of calibration at a variety of levels... at a conscious level... at an unconscious level... at beginner, intermediate, & advanced levels, etc etc etc!
tranzpupy Uh oh. Guess I better pay attention!
_Stile_ Are we discussing or calibrating unconsciously?
Jonathan So much of NLP is about becoming more aware of whats happening around you so that you can determine your role in the world around you... so that you can be more effective in relation to your outcomes... so that you can be more effective with other people in any situation. This requires that you open up your eyes... open up your ears... all the channels... and really pay more and closer attention to whats already out there... whats already going on around you! With NLP you'll be noticing SO much more detail and information but its not as though it weren't already there for the taking!
june That reminded me of observing classes
Jonathan A lot of folks consider this to be ramping up your sensory acuity. Relying more on sensory-verifiable data... and relying less on your internal dialog assumptions and conclusions. Now...
Awaken I heard that Erickson once determined that a patient had gone into trance by watching her carotid pulse slow from across the room. Now that's sensory acuity!
Jonathan Wesley - I love that sensory-acuity story! The stories which I don't believe are when you hear about attempts to pace and lead a heartbeat when the person you're watching can't see you ;)
Awaken Yeah, I'd like to see THAT on myself.
Jonathan LOL Wesley! OK. Now, NLP calibration -- is just a phrase. And when we calibrate things... or people... we refer to all kinds of different things. With people new to NLP calibrating and other aspects of learning how to be more effective with NLP and anything.... The first kinds of things people learn to calibrate are... general states. Overall gross (eww!) body posture & such.
Awaken Good NLP calibration skills can lead to some darn good mind-reads, too. It can be really useful to detect a nonverbal "go away and leave me alone" message that a person is giving us simultaneously, with a "sure I'll cooperate" message
june Jonathan, how can we verify perceived behavior. Don't they have multiple meanings?
Jonathan They might, June. Let's take an example. My wife came home early from work recently... and she walked in smiling... and I had just stubbed my toe!!! So I had my brow furrowed! (And I think I was groaning too, in retrospect) She walked in bright & smiling... saw me, and thought I was annoyed or upset. I was, but only for a moment... and not at all with her! We got past that one quickly! ;) But the thing is.... And I do this too from time to time -- we ALWAYS are operating in the world with less information than there is in "reality". Because we naturally delete, distort, and generalize the information coming in.... we have to operate with "impoverished" models of reality. As long as we recognize we have and use these impoverished models, then we're more likely to stop and find out HOW they're impoverished. This is the key. Be aware that we don't have enough information a lot of the time... so if we can gather more accurate information ... we can operate more effectively.
StCrispin How do we use them?
june How can we do that?
Jonathan That's why we learn to calibrate better and start to pay closer attention to that MOMENT you stop paying attention externally... and start to make internal judgements based on that data. The moment (in my example) that my wife stopped gathering visual, auditory data about me... and assumed I was upset or annoyed with her... is the moment she reached early inaccurate closure on calibrating my state!
Awaken The question is what kind of information, and how do we intrepret it. That's where NLP calibration comes in. Match that furrowed brow with a stubbed toe, not a self-reference!
Jonathan Yes Wesley!
sunev Isn't that the point? If you stop calibrating and start interpreting, then you're not calibrating anymore?
Jonathan Yes again, Venus! So we want to maintain that sense of continuous calibrating, if we can... to the best of our ability! Install it within ourselves, ideally... so that if moments come along when we rely less on the information we're observing, at least we're more aware of how/when thats happening! Now. Measuring. I mentioned people new to NLP often started by learning how to calibrate states.
Awaken Asking questions can be a key, as well as observations of direct behavior.
sunev Like Florida?
Jonathan Certainly Wesley! If she'd have asked me, "why the furrowed brow?" That would have been a RAPID solution! OK. Physiological states... how to calibrate physiological states... and there are other things.
sunev Hey, but Jonathan, what about when people demonstrate one thing with their body, but their words say something else?
_Stile_ Incongruity
StCrispin Good question :)
Jonathan Ahhah! I'll get to that later if we can!
Awaken Continuous NLP calibration sounds like a lot of work to me. The reality of it is that the process becomes unconsciously automated. And, when that happens it's easy.
Jonathan Ahh Yes, Wesley I find thats true too, glad you mentioned it! That gets back to the process of taking something from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence!
june What if the person does not tell us the truth?
Jonathan I want to cover a variety of measurable channels and processes... then we'll TOUCH later on noticing DIFFERENCES between what you see/hear/feel/etc in two different channels of communication. ;) Is this an acceptable approach for the group (y/n)?
_Stile_ Feel... mmmmm
_Stile_, sunev, Occum, tranzpupy, StCrispin, june, Stefan y
Awaken Go for it.
Jonathan OK. Now as we talked about you can measure gross body posture. Any of the "new" students to NLP know what the best way of calibrating someone else's general physiological or emotional state is? Take a few guesses.
Awaken We're all good at it already. I just knew when I was in trouble when Mom used THAT tone of voice...
_Stile_ Posture?
Jonathan LOL!
StCrispin Jon, fill me in :)
Jonathan Posture is certainly one!
Occum Liver function?
Jonathan Breathing is another basic one. No, Occum, liver function is too easy. (grin) Not!
Occum ;-)
StCrispin Facial expression?
Jonathan Yes StCrispin! A great one! I'm not saying this is congruent information you're getting of course, that all depends.
StCrispin Movement (like, twitching hands)
Stefan And movements, the rate and rhytm. And changes of body posture.
Jonathan You're all giving me types of body areas & such. But HOW do you KNOW... that they're in a certain state? Just by watching? Your BEST bet... your most accurate means of measuring their state...
StCrispin I don't know :)
tranzpupy If you match them,
StCrispin Couldn't be just by watching...
Jonathan Is if you reproduce what they're doing.
june In a tactile way
tranzpupy You can get a good idea....
StCrispin Mirroring?
Jonathan If you make believe, so to speak... that you and the other person are part of an interconnected system in a way... such that your body, your state, becomes a sort of feedback loop for their body, their state. Mirroring or cross-mirroring is the simplest way....
Occum Step into them, see what they see, hear what they hear, and feel what they feel.
Jonathan Posture, face, breathing rate, body rhythms, yes even heartbeat sometimes...
Awaken You'll get rapport, too as a consequence of that kind of matching
Jonathan Thats a different way of describing the same thing. Stepping into their world as it were. That way of thinking of it is certainly a good one. I like to think of myself and the other person as a system... a single unit... where if something happens in the person I'm calibrating... then something happens in my system as well.. for everything there is a corresponding reaction....
Awaken I think I'll stick to crossover mirroring, when it comes to heartbeat.
tranzpupy WE ARE ALL ONE IN MIND (now there's a scary thought)
june This is beautiful. But can we achieve this with every person?
StCrispin Nonsense tranz - unified field theory :)
Jonathan Well, that depends on the amount of distractions, June... how strong your NLP calibrating skills are, the quantity of time you have to build and maintain a high level of calibrating, etc....
Awaken We can achieve this with any person, but be careful with the dead ones. ;-)
Jonathan Interesting ideas...
tranzpupy LOL!
june :D
_Stile_ LOL, Awaken
Awaken It also depends on how much one's willing to tolerate some unpleasant or weird states.
Jonathan So as I mentioned... the best way to make "judgements" about our NLP calibration efforts to them -- and there are often points where we have to make judgements or evaluations...
Awaken I wouldn't want to match someoe in a psychotic episode for example
Jonathan The best way to make "judgements" about our NLP calibrating efforts -- is to get into that depth of rapport... is to calibrate deeply across multiple channels -- and instead of asking "what state are they in" ask what state am I in??? And Absolutely, Wesley is ON the money -- choose wisely if you decide to get into the state they're in, and how deeply you want to be measuring them!!! Now these are all pretty high level and so far there's very little "language" involved. Its about doing more than just recognizing "what state do they LOOK & SOUND like they're in...!
StCrispin Can that determination of how deep you want to mirror be dependent upon what you're charging per hour? Just kidding!
Jonathan LOL, Only on Thursday's Crispy...
Awaken Interesting. I use a kinesthetic to get into that kind of rapport, I have never used a question as a lead in.
StCrispin Kewl... :)
Jonathan Me too, actually, Wesley! ;) If we're going into this here, I'll say that most of the time when I describe that in that way, the people I train to do that -- don't get it as quickly. So to groups, I tell them that I ask the question. They usually answer it internally with a kinesthetic response. Its not right or wrong, I just usually get faster results from students with that. If you can show me a better faster way to explain the kinesthetic to a group of new NLP students... many of whom are men who tell me they have very little conscious access to feelings ;) Also I'll cycle through a number of possible ways to calibrate rapport, and cover all the channels (there's more time in a training than there here in the chat room during one chat!)
Awaken I usually just "tune in" to the other person's feelings and start feeling that way myself... I seldom consciously shift posture, though I may match tonality more consciously
Jonathan I'll be ALL ears!!! (auditory ;) I get a strange tingling along my spine when I reach a certain state of deep rapport. And their body motions, however minute, are matched by, or cause automatic responses in mine.
Occum And theres very little conscious thought that goes into it for you Jon?
Jonathan Not anymore. As I was learning... a GREAT deal of conscious thought went into it!
Occum How do I get to that point?
jazz Practice practice practice :)
Jonathan I would cycle through a lot of different body parts.. etc... ;) and while one was mirrored well.. early on, other parts would get out of rapport
sunev Train with Jonathan!
Jonathan Definitely practice ;)
Awaken Listen up children! Let me tell you a story of a man who learned to navigate the Mississippi River in the dark without the benefit of electric lights. He was MOTIVATED. A mistake could cost him his career, and he'd have to go swimming at a most ungodly hour. Practice meant paying attention, paying attention and paying attention in converstations and with my clients. The metaphors helped, too.
sunev Everybody can afford to pay attention!
Awaken The great gift of NLP trainings for me has been the multiple instalations of new learnings. Metaphor, explanation, practice, practice and uh. practice.
Jonathan Agreed! Lets take this beyond body mirroring. Lets talk about auditory information. Language. Tonality. Rate of speech... Volume... All the qualities of sound that you hear from other people... But not just from their mouths... lets say they like to tap their foot against a chair leg.... I'm going to pick up that rhythm somewhere...
june Let me make a point here. Each time I read a message sent to me I get a different tone
Jonathan Yes, june -- you're reading those messages with YOUR internal voice tone. If you know the author's voice, you may use their voice internally... accessed, as it were from your past memories --
sunev Sometimes i like to put cartoon voices to what i'm reading
june In emailing to the list this is not possible
Awaken Sounds bathe us and we literaly resonate to each others words. We can feel someone elses' words. Kinesthetics can be a big part of auditory NLP calibration.
Jonathan LOL! Wesley, when you said "Metaphor, explanation, practice" you just gave a description of how my trainings are structured -- its a combination of 3 things - Experiential learning, Conscious Description & Metaphors... Any lack of any of those 3 pieces... And I find the skills not well founded.
Awaken Modeled after the best...
Jonathan Yes, exactly... I didn't originate that at all... I found thats what worked for me!
june Can you explain Metaphoric Installation
Jonathan Sure. As we tell stories... the stories have meanings (or can have meanings at multiple levels. They can have surface meaning (the story line)... they can match our other life experiences somehow... as we tell a metaphor you may relate it to several of your own memories. Also. Within the story line, we might quote some character or person... and their message can be directed right at you... but because its within the story line... you don't accept it as a direct comment (consciously). We're getting a little off track though. Please lets regroup!
Awaken Your unconscious mind responds to the structure of a story as well as the literal meanings. One story can evoke multiple responses and learnings simultaneously
june I see. Thank you
Jonathan Let's talk for a bit about measuring or calibrating language.... (qualities of language -- what I would call beginner/intermediate skills.) Who's here & ready to cover another topic? (y/n)
StCrispin, Awaken, sunev, _Stile_, jazz, Stefan, Occum, june, tranzpupy, MichaelR y
Jonathan Alright! Ever seen someone in a TV show get misinformed about someone being hard of hearing? And they speak really loudly to the person they assumed was near-deaf?
tranzpupy What?
jazz Eh?
sunev Or to someone who speaks a different language...
Jonathan The other person has to cover their ears! But they then assume the 1st person must be hard of hearing because they're speaking so loud! So they yell back at the 1st person! It's a mish-mosh of both effective and in-effective NLP calibration!!! How was it effective? And how was it not effective?
sunev They're BOTH in 1st position! So, in a way, that's good?
Jonathan Well.. actually the 2nd person had to take 2nd position in order to decide to speak up. Lets not get lost in positions & jargon at the moment.
sunev But when they yelled back? OK.
Jonathan I think (tell me if you think there's more or less to it!) I think it was effective calibration because the 1st person thought they had sufficient evidence to proceed and spoke loudly. It was ineffective NLP calibration -- IF... the 2nd person cringed before the 1st sentence was finished... and the 1st person didn't lower their voice (we don't know from the example).
sunev Well, at least it got them started...
Jonathan The 2nd person calibrated the volume directly and returned it. But they didn't stop and find out why the volume was so high!
sunev Yeah, but do you always have time? I mean what about calibrating the response?
Jonathan Do you always have time.... hmmmm... Do you always have the time to correct some misunderstandings? Of course... the word "always" is a key there... "Always" is one of those words... that's never true ;)
sunev Yes, but you have to get started, don't you? Always!
Jonathan LOL! There are a lot of things we can be calibrating more effectively. If you match your voice qualities to the other person's... then you're more effectively measuring their voice qualities so you're more likely to be able to tell when things change/shift in that person.... At a slightly more advanced level... I went to a bunch of trainings. And I did not calibrate everything I saw in all those trainings. ;)
Awaken Ahh! if I listen to myself I have more information...
Jonathan Yes! ;)
tranzpupy You *didn't* calibrate everything?
Jonathan But I did do so more effectively each time, (LOL Kay!) Each time... I was able to pay closer attention and become more aware of what was happening and what IS happening.
tranzpupy You didn't calibrate more effectively each time, or you *did* calibrate more effectively?
Jonathan I did, Kay! So my measuring of what happened and happens can improve... as will yours! I've been to 3 Bandler trainings in the last year.
tranzpupy So one of the values of maybe attending a second prac course, is practice in calibrating... where a trainer can validate that you are calibrating right...
Jonathan I *know* that there are things he consistently did in each of them... and I noticed some of those things ONLY in the most recent training. Which means, I was paying attention to other things earlier on... at the most recent event... I calibrated some of those other things I was seeing & hearing... and then I began to notice new things. After talking with people who had been at some of those other events, I learned that the things I was only beginning to notice... had been happening all along.... even if there were new things he was doing... that I wasn't noticing!
sunev Haha!
DocSpiff Yet.
Jonathan But the kinds of things that you calibrate at more experienced levels... Wesley please confirm/deny/accuse/laugh whatever you like..... ;) I find in addition to all the other stuff we've already described.... are things like... Sequencing of Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic information... The kinds of language patterns people use.... And more interestingly...
tranzpupy Strategies?
Jonathan Strategies -- yes, Kay -- and.... Presuppositions!!!
sunev Cool!
tranzpupy I suspect you become aware of presups first... I think I'm gettting lots better at that...
Jonathan I find if you can really effectively calibrate presuppositions or metaprograms... and this is a tricky process... you can acheive really powerful results with NLP.
Stefan Sequencing? You mean people start with one modality and go through the same sequence?
Jonathan Same or varying sequences, yes Stefan!
Occum Does calibrating those things necesarily mean mirroring them?
Awaken No doubt we begin to see, hear, feel things that were never noticed before. It's like being able to predict when someone's going to change lanes on the expressway. The first 5 years I drove I was too busy with noticing other things to pick up on it.
Jonathan Not necessarily! You might want to shift their presuppositions.
Stefan And the first modality used is the lead representation system?
Jonathan You might choose to reject their limiting presuppositions if they have any ;) (You're never required to mirror or pace, Occum, that's up to you) It's usually more effective to work around or shift the presuppositions.
Occum But calibrating is neccesary if you are going to effectivly do that.
tranzpupy I have a question about calibrating...
Jonathan Yes, Occum! Calibrating does not require mirroring. Physically, effective NLP calibration relies on mirroring to some degree....
Awaken I'd say accept the presuppositons first & then use the rapport gained to leverage change
Jonathan But calibrating presuppositions often is just a matter of silently running meta-model questions against the language you hear from the person in front of you! Wesley hit on one very good way to shift presuppositions. Sometimes you only need to come up with one or two counter-examples.... or turn their criteria back on itself....
Awaken Bandler likes to talk about changing schizophrenics by getting inside their realities and ruining them (the realities) for them. It's a cool way to blow out crazy beliefs of any nature.
Jonathan LOL! Yep -- a great story is the one where... a fellow was brough to him -- his family said... he thinks he's Jesus! Bandler, instead of trying to get the guy to "see reality" which was what everyone else was doing... took out a red pen and drew X's on the guy's Palms. Everyone got nervous. They asked him what he was doing... he said, "well, It's Good Friday." I'm simplifying it by ending it here... but essentially the guy decided very quickly that being Jesus wasn't such a good thing after all.
Occum Yeah, I heard this one, it's cool.
Stefan There were long nails and sturdy planks involved I believe. And by the time he brought the hammer into it...
DNA Interesting story
Awaken Erickson got together several Jesuses and let them argue about who was the real one. Erickson had one Jesus help build the new wing to the hospital...after all he was a carpenter.
Jonathan I like all the ones where Erickson would give people tasks to work in his Garden. And to think about their problem as they did.. or to think about the Tomato Plant feels, etc..... Thats hysterical.
tranzpupy Question...
Jonathan Yes Kay?
DocSpiff The tomato plant, can Joe, feel really good
Awaken Erickson was not above a little humor... most all the time.
tranzpupy Suppose you calibrate someone, and you're 110% sure you're right... and the other person says, that's *not* where they are at
Awaken Check for unconscious responses as well as accepting the vcerbalization
Jonathan Well, now we're getting into the areas where... we're not always right... and where there may be incongruity in their behavior.
tranzpupy Suppose we are right... and they don't want us to *know* it.
Awaken We're getting off it, not discussing congruency
Jonathan I love it when people say "yes" and shake their heads left & right! We've talked about all these things we can measure...
sunev My favorite is when they're completely congruent now, then later, they're completely congruent a different way
Jonathan They're representative of the kinds of things we can pay attention to through our input channels
Awaken That does relate to NLP Calibrating, it's important to notice those things
Jonathan I agree!!! Well... our input channels may offer conflicting information, just as conflicting information may come in to the same channel from different sources of information.... Wesley -- if you can talk for a moment about Incongruity -- if you would -- I can run a 2-minute heavy-lifting errand for my very pregnant wife... (LOL)!
Awaken Sure
tranzpupy Wesley... can I go further with this question?
Awaken NLP Calibration of someone's states will likely lead us to notice multiple simultaneous communications at times. They say "yes" and shake their head "no."
ioel Conflicting information in the same channel is = ?
Awaken Ask away Kay
Stefan I was reading "Structure of magic 2", Bandler writes that oftentimes the right side of the body agrees with what they are saying, whereas the left doesn't. Haven't experimented with it myself yet though.
tranzpupy Suppose I was your client, and you calibrate that I am, say, upset about X. You ask me if I'm upset about X, and I say no.
Awaken Erickson got facinate with a particular play as an undergraduate, because on of the characters said the word "no" 20 different ways with 20 different meanings
tranzpupy And my being upset about X is congruent enough that you think I'm scared or something of letting you know I am upset with X
Awaken Same word different meanings in the samne channel ie auditory
tangram Couldn't both responses be valid?
Awaken Both responses are valid. The unconscious can hold paradoxical positions comfortably.
tranzpupy OK. What does the practitioner/trainer do?
Awaken I would accept both communications and respond to each of them. Come on back, Jonathan. I've had my say!
Jonathan Sure! Thanks, Wesley.
Awaken You're welcome
Jonathan One might talk about a similar kind of incongruity without referencing them at all.... and a client might end up resolving it without asking anything. If they were in fact comfortable with the paradox, then, they probably wouldn't shift their understanding. Thats a pretty big generalization... but... I hope you get the gist of my last message :)
tranzpupy Gist gotten.
Awaken You might anchor each of the incongruities visually or auditorily, and reference them as you spun your story, too
Jonathan Giving away all the tricks, aren't you ;) LOL
Awaken You bet! That's what I get paid for.
Jonathan OK folks... its getting about that time. You do primarily private practice hypnotherapy and NLP, as a doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy, if I'm not mistaken? People can contact you for changework, yes?
Awaken Yes, if anyone comes through Atlanta give me a call and we'll chat.
DocSpiff Don't calibrate breathing that way ;-)
Jonathan Anyway, I've heard good things about you and I watched/listened to a little of your work -- I was impressed. My pleasure, again, glad you could join in.
Awaken Thanks!
Jonathan OK! In case anyone here is curious about the upcoming trainings... I've got the upcoming fall series of 3 1-day traiings ;) In DC, New York City, Toronto, Los Angeles and Atlanta! Have a great night folks! Calibrate well!


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