Indirect State Elicitation & NLP Anchoring in Business Meetings - Article

I get a lot of requests for examples & ideas as to how people can make practical use of NLP in business, and in particular one context comes up over & over again. The business meeting!

Ah yes, the meetings we love to hate...

I always like to ask:

"Do you mean meetings where people get things done?
Or do you mean meetings people schedule,
in order to schedule other meetings?"

Whew. Sometimes when you talk to people "about" meetings, the "business meeting" is the most dreaded of all time-fillers at the workplace. Sometimes they'll convey it to you as the LEAST productive time they spend at the office. And yet, companies still keep scheduling them. Because sometimes, it can LEAD to the most productive time spent at the office.

So if companies "gotta do it..." how can we more creatively augment the pool of knowledge & skills, NLP related & otherwise, so as to OPTIMIZE the time & energy spent in business meetings?

The checklists are already out there. You know the memos that are written to plan meetings in advance, etc. Write up an agenda, distribute it in advance, keep in on target, etc. Bla Bla Bla. What I'm talking about is examples, ideas, being acted out once you're in the meeting!

In various NLP Forums, they've discussed the differences between conscious & unconscious learning. People have had discussions covering the difference between conscious & unconscious communication.

Sometimes doing things "covertly" is WAY too effort-intensive and time-consuming, when simply asking people for what you want, right up front, gets the result you're after! Richard says this time & again. Sometimes overt communication is far better than inducing a big group into greater responsiveness and then planting 5-10 suggestions! Think "Occum's Razor" and "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

Only, not so stupid! The plain fact is, business meetings often bring together different "factions" or groups with opposing or conflicting intentions/outcomes. Yes, people often arrive at a meeting with filters WAY UP! Their defenses are sometimes set very high. So sometimes the best approach is the indirect approach.

Those of you who have lots of meetings at work know that sometimes the most progress is made at lunch or happy hour, outside of the context of the meeting room. Defenses are lower, people are in a social mood, and creativity is often more free to roam. Failing the option of getting people OUT of the meeting room into another context...

What kinds of behaviors or skills would be developed if we combined the best of both types of communication? I'm thinking along the lines of direct communication but by setting up less direct patterns between other people. This could help minimize pitfalls and maximize results!

For example. At my Skills-Builders event last weekend, I showed an example of this possibility. I elicited a response from one person and anchored it, Kin-esthetically,, with a sliding NLP anchor. Only -- the sliding anchor was placed on ANOTHER person. And I did it purely with a direct suggestion. So it was simply a visual & auditory sliding NLP anchor for the person whose response I elicited. This was experienced as indirect even though everyone in the room knew what I was doing/training.

I.e., whenever I touch person B's arm, from elbow to shoulder... (Zzzzzzip!) person A is going to experience the increase in state. And all it took was to SAY that to person A.

Here's part of the dynamic:

It's something that is being conveyed to person A,
something that is being elicited within person A...
...but "done with" or "done to" or "done on" person B.

Therefore, there's less need for filters or resistance that sometimes occurs at or in business meetings. And people allow those kinds of things to happen all the time anyway.

I consider this to be a "behavioral" version of a particular Milton Model language pattern -- the "Indirect Elicitation Phrase."

As in, "What kind of response would a person have, if I were to do this?" Naturally that allows people to respond more freely, since it's not as if I'm actually "doing this."

How might you use this knowledge in a business meeting, to create possibilities that didn't exist before, if you knew how to do it more effectively?

[ Back to Top ] [ Back to Articles Index ]