How Useful is Confusion? NLP Article by Jonathan Altfeld
How NLP Views the Value of
Emotions and State Management
In NLP we don't call any particular emotions bad or good. We aim to reserve judgement about their positive or negative value in general. Instead, we look to see if an emotion is more or less useful, when it's being felt, and when it's causing or enabling or leading to certain behaviors.
So we would say there are no good and bad emotions, just contextually more or less useful emotions.
We also aim to train people to have more emotional state control or better emotional state management. If you can manage your emotions well, you're more at cause for your own destiny and purpose. Being out of control, emotionally, is what leads to ongoing depression, anger issues, ongoing sadness, and more; again none of these are bad intrinsically, but if you cannot manage them, and redirect them into more positive emotions, then you're not "driving your own bus", so to speak.
Understanding the Value of Confusion!
When most people get confused, they tend to get anxious while they try and resolve their confusion, and if they can't do so quickly, they usually exit the situation. Most people don't like confusion (to cause it, or to experience it).
But confusion can be AMAZING, both on the side of the confused, and of the confuser! It's true, confusion can sometimes be incredibly useful. This article will hopefully help you to clearly learn both how, and why.
Deep Confusion isn't helpful.
Mild Confusion is PURE GOLD!
It's important to draw this critical distinction. Deep confusion isn't what we're talking about as valuable for most things. Because deep confusion usually leads to people shutting down and needing an exit strategy, and that's not empowering.
What we're talking about as valuable, here, is mild confusion. Mild confusion can be powerfully useful in a variety of ways.
Mild Confusion is a signal...
that you've just learned something new!
The Learning Process involves four stages -- UI -> CI -> CC -> UC. These are better known as Unconscious Incompetence, to Conscious Incompetence, to Conscious Competence, to Unconscious Competence.
Brief periods of confusion usually accompany every time you move up a stage. That signal should be felt as a GIFT, a testament to your ability to progress in anything.
And in general, as you're learning anything, you go through phases of adding additional information and skill and knowledge, with phases of perceived confusion and clunki-ness. That mild confusion and clunki-ness CANNOT happen until... you've successfully learned new things, new skills, new material. Which is to say, that the mild confusion you may feel, is usually what happens when your brain begins integrating all that new information with your existing knowledge and skill-set. That too, is an absolute GIFT.
I find that confusion is almost always what precedes Eureka moments. So confusion, for me, is a golden gift that I've learned to recognize as a wonderful milestone on the way to improving myself!
Thus, when I feel mildly confused... that often now leads right into an amazing sense of anticipation... for what's probably just at the tip of my tongue, just out of reach, just around the corner!
Mild Confusion is also useful
as an NLP Technique for Influence.
Whether in sales, or in coaching, or in social situations... sometimes other people make decisions they'd later regret. And sometimes we can see those bad decisions for what they are, as they're being made. Even if they can't.
Wouldn't you like to help prevent those regrets? In such circumstances, I'd certainly like to help people avoid making costly mistakes!
NLP for Confusion is an excellent tool and emotional influence technique for helping someone to doubt a firm decision they think they've made.
The way it works is, you do something or say something to confuse the person... and when their mind is mildly confused, in that moment, they deeply desire to return to clarity. So while they're confused, you drop your important (and congruent) suggestion for them to reconsider their choice, and then... switch your communication style to fully simple and clear, easy to understand. As their mind grabs onto whatever clarity it can find (in what you say), their grasp of your simpler ideas will be more highly valued than what you caused them to feel confusion about.
This is just the tip of
the Iceberg of Emotional Influence!
If the idea of this fascinates you... consider looking at our "Creating the Automatic Yes" CD-set! And register here at our site for your welcome packet with more information! You'll be immensely glad you did!