What is Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP.

NLP to me means more than just nice little phrases.
It’s been a new level of personality
A nuanced look at possibility
And it’s helped me to develop a “never lay passive” approach to life.

NLP to me is more than next level performance.
It’s new likable people
Despite never learning presuppositions
I now long personal relationships

You see, NLP to me is more than not looking pessimistic
It’s meant I do not like pisstaking (as much)
Although I now love psychology
But nonchalantly linger precisely

NLP is a natural life progression
Yet its news for lovers’ probably.
Neighborhoods languish poorly without the
Newfound love for people

NLP to me is negativity left prescribed to
The nonsense losers prohibited from
Not looking positively at what is
Now. look. Ponder.

NLP has given me a new lease of person
Against nervously listening perhaps or
Naively letting people control their
Narcississticaly loving point of view

NLP for me is about naked lust for personality
No longer predictable
A nadir of life produced
From a nascent limb pour l’amour

NLP is more than just nice little phases
It’s a whole new life of possibilities.

Indian telesales employee discriminated against after being forced to change name to Rob

Mike Ghandi

In Jain v Teachers 2 Parents Ltd ET Case No. 1900007, an employment tribunal held that an Indian employee who had been instructed to anglicise his name for business usage, suffered race discrimination.

Teachers 2 Parents Ltd is a technology business, supplying software products to schools. Mr Jain, who is Indian-born, was employed by the company as a telesales operator since September 2009. On his first day at work, he was inducted with around nine other new starters and during the induction, a manager informed them that they needed to pick anglicised names before they could start work on the phones. Mr Jain was unhappy about having to change his name and explained that he had operated successfully in sales using his own name, Rahul Jain, which was easily spelt.

However, he was still required to anglicise his name and Mr Jain reluctantly agreed to be called Rob. Other Asian employees at the company also adopted aliases; for example, Mehul became Max; Faizal became Fred and Sarbjit became Sally. When he was dismissed for redundancy, Mr Jain initiated tribunal proceedings, claiming that the requirement to change his name amounted to direct and indirect race discrimination.

Social Media for Lawyers

I was reading a thread on linkedin about Twitter and it once again astounds me how people, lawyers and law firms, get Twitter and other social media wrong. So I thought I’d write a Guide to Social Media for Lawyers and Law Firms (I might expand it and turn it into an eBook, who knows).

1. Twitter

Twitter is a site which allows you to post short, 140 character, updates. The power of Twitter as a network is not what you “tweet” but your engagement with other, through replies and retweets (abbreviated to RT).

You register a screename (mine is smather21, which is often shown as @smather21). You can the post updates, but no ones listening. You need followers.

Lawyers tend to follow lawyers. I follow lawyers because I’m interested in law and, as a mediator, looking for business connections. You, as a lawyer or law firm, should look at following clients you’d like. For example, being based in Leicestershire, I would look for and follow business owners in leicester.

However, it’s not enough just to follow a person. Once you’ve followed someone, you will get their updates in your timeline (ie on your twitter homepage). Engage with them. It’s likely that they’ll be talking about the weather or the news, or something totally random. Reply. Chat. Pretend, for a moment, like you care about what they are saying, that you are interested and would like to know more.

Do this for other people you follow and soon you’ll have people following you back.

A quick way of adding followers is to find someone who works in the same area as you and look at their followers/following lists. Equally, some people maintain lists of followers, categorized, eg I have “Solicitors” and “mediators”.

The absolute key to any social network is to engage. Not sell. Not use as an rss feed. Not to over promote your services. Just be you (or a nice, chatty version of you) and talk. Make connections.

Many people who “get” Twitter become hooked and obsessed with it. They will often turn to Twitter for advice (on anything!) and this is where your connections count. “Does anyone know a good …..? “.

You should also integrate Twitter with your website, to allow people to retweet interesting articles or share valuable content.

2. Facebook

Set up a Facebook page for your business and one for you personally. A business page allows you the opportunity to interact with “fans”, usually younger people admittedly, but I’m talking under 40s. You have to give people a reason to like your page. A competition or discounts might do the trick. Once you’ve got someone as a fan, you can post “updates” which get shown directly on their homepage.

Facebook’s power is in its apps and extendability. The mobile phone Check In function is awesome when combined with Deals, yet no one has really spotted this power yet. People visit your offices, check in and get a discount. Yet their check in is shown in their status updates and so all their friends see they got a discount at your place.

You can and must also integrate Facebook with your website (assuming you’ve got that right and it’s engaging and has interesting content). Putting a like and share button on duplicates your content to all of that reader’s friends on Facebook. So, one click equals perhaps 300 views!

You can now “use Facebook as a page” too, which mean you can make comments without needing to follow people personally. Good for spreading the brand. Go comment in groups and other public pages.

3. Linkedin

Linked in is a whole lot more than a Rolodex! Don’t just add connections and never speak to them. Add people you know, but engage with them through the site. Add people you don’t know if there’s scope for mutual benefit, but explain this when requesting the connection. Use the groups to discuss and engage with your target audience. But don’t oversell. Just be helpful.

4. Google+

The new boy. So far, I can really see it’s potential. One site, work contacts, friends, family. Share different content with different people. Connect with everyone in one place.

If you want an invite please contact me.

The single most important thing with social networking is being social. It’s not just business. Enjoy yourself. Dedicate time to it. Meet new people, new opinions, new views. Learn. Self-develop. Become a better lawyer.

Your Hero State – NLP Week 8

If you could instantly become a hero, for a second a minute or a day, would you?

I’m not talking about a superhero, like spiderman or superman. I mean simply being the best you’ve ever been.

Instead of feeling defeated you beat the feat. Rather than be shy you brim with confidence. No longer a loser just a winner. Don’t look at the mountain and say I couldn’t, look down from the peak and say what a view!

In week 8 (I think) of my NLP Pracictioner Course, we looked at states, anchoring and the circle of excellence.

We all get in a state; I don’t think we can humanly help it. Something happens in the cortex that kicks off the automatic response: fight or flight. Happens every day, just to a lesser extent. Your wife says “I just tidied that and now you’ve made it a mess again. Tut”. You can say oop sorry I’ll tidy it up now, or you can say I’ll do it later or say its only a few crumbs, don’t worry. Here’s where the state generating process begins. Your wife will do one; she’s in a state, you can’t control that. You react; your in a state, which you can control.

Is your state good, amenable, helpful, resolving, or is your state negative, aggressive, argumentative.

It’s so automatic that sometimes we can’t help starting out on the short bus ride to badstateville. But we can ring the bell and ask to get off before we get to the destination.


We make a choice. We ask our amazing mind if it wouldnt so mind as to stop what it thinks is right and chill for a bit. Or not. But we certainly have a choice.

And one way of getting out of a state is to anchor good states, like a ship anchors in safe water, you anchor good states to get you back to where you want to be when the current is taking you elsewhere.

Anchors happen all the time. You remember the smell of popcorn and you’re reminded of a holiday as a child. A sound reminds you of a great day. A touch reminds you of your first embrace.

We can create our own anchors, too, so that when we are on the bad state journey, we can throw down the anchor, stop, get off and go to a good place.

The circle of excellence was a rousing, fun way to get to that point, the memory, that you’d like to replicate. There might be more than one anchors and states, for different situations, but you need to be absolutely clear in your mind (using all your senses) how it felt to be you at that time. And once you’re there: boom. Set your anchor. Do something that you and your body will know means change course, something that wouldn’t happen by accident. Ian suggested touching your ear lobe, I suggested a clap, my colleague preferred something more subtle. It matters little, what is important is that when launched, your anchor will take you out of the state you’re in (or heading to) and give you a much more useful state in its place.

It takes a while to master this, for sure. Why, just one day after the class, your esteemed genial and modest host failed miserably to avoid megabadstate, despite trying to launch the anchor ( LAUNCH DAMMIT LAUNCH!!).

But I’m sure I’ll get there, and you will too. Why? Because you want it. You want to be great, happy, content, confident, nice, wonderful, loved.

Personal Update

So I didn’t get the teaching job I wanted in Hong Kong. Back to the drawing board. I’m currently working on a few things, mostly it will be mediation ( For that, I am working on my marketing plan, which involves an eBook that I’m writing to give to lawyers and their clients. Once that book is completed I shall try to meet solicitors to discuss mediation and how I can help.

I’ve also partly planned a Employment Law advice business, but I’ve placed that on hold in order to focus on the other stuff first.

I am in the process of launching a site to compare Japanese import car insurance which will supplement my other site Cheap Renewal.

On the subject of sites, the main one right now remains Buy iPad Cases and I’m looking to expand that business from retail to trade shortly.

I still offer proofreading in Leicester although it’s not too heavily promoted to be honest.

I mentioned eBooks. I am working with my NLP teacher on a new project involving eBooks, that’s in a very early stage, but I think we’re both confident that we could do reasonably well from it.

Not moving to Hong Kong hit me hard, I was looking forward to it and wanted a “fresh start” but it looks like God has other plans. So I will let Him make the decisions in my life and I trust Him to give me the best.

NLP Weeks 5, 6 and 7 – an NLP mega post

Ok, so this blogging about NLP started off well and then I missed week 5 (so no blog) week 6 I was busy and we’ve just had week 7. This post aims to deal with all the areas covered in those 3 sessions.

For those of you who are not regular readers (I suspect 99%), I am currently taking an NLP Practitioner course in Leicester run by Passion Pumpkin.

Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at the senses, and how we can use them to our benefit to make better connections with people.

NLP has the acronym VAKOG which stands for:


I’d like to take each in turn, but the essence of NLP is that every one has usually one lead sense, or “representational system”. For me as a mediator in leicester, understanding what a persons rep system is the key to unlocking great rapport and effective communication. Further. and this is taken directly from NLP For Dummies, if there is a dispute between a visual person and a auditory person, adopting an independent kinesthetic approach can aid resolution. Amazing!

Visual people see things. Not like ghosts, although maybe they have a predisposition to seeing ghouls, I mean they are more able to visualise things. Their visual nature effects their language too, so they will see the bigger picture, look forward, say what they see. Their words will demonstrate their visual nature. But much more than that, quite often their eyes will reveal their visual nature. We touched upon eye accessing cues, and if you are visualizing your eyes tend to look up (to the left to remember and to the right to create).

Auditory people, like me, lead with their hearing. The might, as I do, say ideas “sound good” or that they just want to be heard. Audiotory eye cues are horizontal left or right depending on recall or creation.

Kinesthetic people like the way stuff feels, they go with their gut instinct and what “feels right” in the circumstances. Kinesthetic eye cues are downwards.

They are the main three and the challenge I set was to notice what rep system those around me were leading with and if possible try to replicate that system, in order to have better rapport. It’s hard though and I found my self almost not listening properly to the content but the giveaway words. So must try harder on that one.

We looked at other sensory factors, body language being a big one, and being able to tell the difference between lies and truth just in the body. I love body language and have always tried to be aware of it in me and others, but actually sitting down and learning it really opened my eyes (which were going left and right as I heard what I was typing!).

We’ve also looked at strategies, which is a NLP way of thinking how we do stuff. It’s a difficult concept, but effectively, in order to improve oneself, one must know what strategy is in place and how that can be adapted.

I was working with Cindy who is a Dog Listener (ironically she’s not an auditory person but a visual person) and we worked on analyzing a strategy for my sarcasm. I am a sarcastic person and I am trying to stop being sarcastic and be more genuine. I don’t do it to hurt people, but it does.

We realized the strategy I employ is as follows:

I hear a comment
In my mind, I hear a response (Auditory Constructed)
I then have auditory internal dialogue (does it sound funny?) (AID)
If it sounds funny, I say it.

In order to help, I need to insert a kinesthetic hurdle – so after does it sound funny I need to ask how will it make the other person feel.

I’ve been trying this approach and it’s working. It’s hard, because my sarcasm is almost automatic, but i’m getting there!

We played a little game where one person held a £20 note (or any note) and the other person had to see if they could work out when the note was going to be dropped. Both me and Cindy made very small very quick hardly noticeable eye movements microseconds before the note dropped. Others in the class had similar eye movements while others didn’t. Still, it was incredibly interesting to be so focused on the body’s tell tale signs that it constantly emits.

In week 7 we worked more on strategies as part of the modeling process (or a least that’s what I’m taking from it). I think everyone found this quick abstract and conceptual rather than something that could be put into practice easily. I did too at first, but then I realized that this is simply part of modeling and we all model others than do things better (or different) to us. We should constantly ask “how does he do that so successfully” and discovering a strategy is a great way of improving oneself.

We also looked at TOTE as a way of micromanaging outcomes – am I there yet, no, change this, am I there yet, no change this, am I there yet, yes. Cool let’s eat cake.

Finally, we looked at the somatic syntax – muscle memory effectively and how we might want to train the body to come of out unhelpful states. I hope my example helped the class. That day I know I was walking around with slumped shoulders, dragging my feet and speaking (or mumbling) quietly because I was fed up with various things. I noticed this and changed my body position so that at least my body was feeling better. Ian told us to let the change happen naturally without too much thought and although I found this difficult I can see the benefits of it.

I’m really enjoying my NLP Practitioner course and learning more about how the brain works. It’s essential that you put into practice what you learn and so this week I’m continuing to be more sensorially aware as well as thinking about my own strategies for the things I do day to day and to see where I can improve them.


Chimps are more intelligent than most under 16s

I was reading on BBC News about a Chimp in Germany I think that spat and peed into his drink pitcher in order to get a peanut:

In Aesop’s 2,000-year-old tale, a crow uses stones to raise the water level in a pitcher to reach the liquid so as to quench its thirst.

But when given a similar set up, chimps were able to attain an out-of-reach, floating peanut by spitting water taken from a dispenser into a vertical tube.

One hungry chimp went even further by urinating into the vessel to get hold of the prized snack.

Regrettably, I don’t think even 10% of under 16 year olds in the country would have the intelligence to work this one out. I’m not talking about weeing into their drinks to get something, but imagine you asked them to get the “snack” – they would have no idea how to do it.

Or do I just have a bad view of under 16s intelligence (not actually knowing many myself!!)….

Rapport: the key – NLP4

Welcome along to my summary of Week 4 of my NLP Practitioner training run by Passion Pumpkin NLP (NLP in leicester). this week’s subject was Rapport.

Rapport, it seems to me, is one of the most essential people skills to have. To be able to be rapportful with anyone is the key to success, in my opinion. And I mean anyone. One should not harbour prejudices or judgements on others, or else we’d find ourselves in a relationship bubble, only speaking with those whom we liked or knew.

Rapport is all about being able to communicate and get on with others. There are several tricks to rapport, all which clearly take a lot of time to master. I’ll look at these in a bit. However, one of the most important tasks is the introduction. We looked at Nicholas Boothmans’ approach in get people to like you in ninety seconds.

The initial greet is thus:

1. Be open (open your jacket, no folded arms etc) and “aim your heart a the person”
2. Eye contact. Make eye contact first, note the colours of peoples eyes.
3. Beam – smile, like you mean it!
4. Shake hands firmly and say “hello my name’s steven and you are?”. Repeat their name 3 times in the conversation.
5. Lean – lean in slightly toward the person.

I love the idea of aiming your heart to the person and I’ve been trying to do that since. I also love making a mental note of people’s eye colours and even people whom I have know for a long time, I didn’t know their eye colour until this week. As soon as you make eye contact first, it’s almost as if the connection is made and the other steps are just niceties!

I have always practiced the other steps, whether intuitiously or through learning somewhere along the line. However, putting them all in a nutshell like that is great help. I’d recommend you read “how to make anyone like you in 90 seconds”, it’s very helpful on rapport.

Rapport is taught in mediation training too, although not to the extent it is in NLP. A observed a mediator who basically said hi to the parties, came out the room and told me that that was the rapport stage done. Its not!

Interestedly, Milton Erikson who a lot of NLP seems to be based on would build rapport with clients for years before leading them, but it can be done sooner.

Once you’ve done the greeting as above, you need to start “pacing” as NLP calls it. My mediation training called it “tuning in”. Either way, you need to “be with” the person. Listen to them, don’t talk over them. Ian’s notes have it spot on: believe they are a wise, interesting person, take an interest in them and hear their story. Some key tools in pacing are: Reflecting back, rephrasing, summarizing, matching. It obviously takes a hell of a lot of practice to be rapportful with everyone, but I think it’s worth it.

When you consider that “the meaning of communication is the response it gets” and that “there are no difficult people only inflexible communicators” we can immediately see why it’s essential to crack rapport.

We also learned about matching and its incredible power. We looked at the logical levels, that is the different areas in which the brain deals in, and how matching can help.

Environment – This is all about “fitting in” – the example is you don’t turn up to a meeting in pyjamas!

Behaviour – includes body language, eye contact, breathing, voice tone, voice speed, language.

I love the idea of matching language. Some people are visual (“The way I see it is…”) and some people are audio (“I hear you loud and clear”) and some people are doers/kinesthetic (“Lets do this!”). To build rapport quickly, you pick up on their preferred language and use it. Brilliant.

Capabilities – this is about being good at what you do and sharing those skills with other

Beliefs and Values – again this is really powerful. Its not agreeing with the person, merely respecting what is important to you. Something many people struggle with, me included, is asking “why” – why do you believe that – as it comes across as judgmental. Better, Ian suggests, to ask “how”.

Identity – this is the core level for everyone. Get this wrong and you’re doomed rapport wise. Get it right and you’re onto a winner. But it is obviously about being genuine and showing interest or otherwise it will be fake.


Over the last week I have been trying to implement the steps to building rapport, although working from home means I dont get to try it out on a huge number of people.

What has been useful is to try out phone rapport, by matching the other’s voice speed, tone and pause length. I think this is incredibly powerful and its certainly made a difference, I believe.

The other point that I picked up is simply imagining that everyone is interesting and wise – even if it turns out they’re not, you should let them prove the point not assume it. Being wildly interested in the other person does wonders for rapport and building the relationship.

Rapport is something that is incredibly important to everyone. As a mediator in leicester, rapport has to be one of the most important skills in helping people to resolve legal disputes. Without rapport, I’ll be seen as against a party and “pro” the other side! If that happens, my chances of helping them to resolve their dispute falls rapidly.

Moreover, rapport is incredibly useful in everyday life. Even if you dont use it to “influence people” like lots of NLP on the internet is about and instead use it to connect to new people, then its a wonderful thing!

At the end of the class, we touched upon the work of Brene Brown who advocates living “with a wholehearted vulnerability”, and discussed being true to oneself and not being worried what others think of you. I questioned this (perhaps a bit too hard and long really, we finished at 10.15pm!) but my thinking was this:

If NLP is about the excellence of oneself and the betterment of one’s relationships, then surely being empathetic and sympathetic and not hurting the feelings of others is a better world view, not as Brene Brown seemed to suggest in that if people dont like what you are then thats fine – you cant please everyone.

Now, I wasnt trying to say that I fall in either of those, but for me, I think if we’re talking about making human connection and being more empathetic, then we should at least think of others before acting. We touched upon “ecology checks” in NLP last week, where we considered our nearest and dearest before setting outcomes. So why not do that in being true to ourselves.

I realised toward the end of that discussion that actually Brene Brown had a valid viewpoint, that should be respected, but I didnt need to agree with it. So perhaps I started to build rapport with a quote. Who knows!

Outcomes: What do you want? – NLP3

Learning Outcomes in NLP

NLP Practictioner Course Week 3 – Outcomes

This blog entry is the fourth in a series of blogs detailing my learning and progress on an NLP Practictioner course in Leicester run by Passion Pumpkin NLP. This week, we experienced meditation and learned about outcomes.

We were introduced to meditation by a chap called Stefan. My previous attempts at meditation were unsuccessful. My mind is too busy. I am constantly trying to fend off thoughts and *trying* too hard to be free from thoughts. Last week’s meditation attempt was much better and there was about a minute or two where I felt like I had achieved a meditated state. And then the thoughts came back!

I’ve tried to do it since, but the conditions have not been right (child, wife, iPad, phone etc) and so I keep getting distracted. Even by my wife’s breathing when in the same room, so I need to take 10 minutes out on my own in order to try again. It’s on the todo list!

Following the mediation we reviewed last week’s subject, the Meta Mirror, with colleagues that weren’t present. This was helpful to solidify understanding but went on too long.

We were then introduced to Outcomes and, through the handout, the problem frame/outcome frame. In other words, have positively stated outcomes not negatively stated problems.

Problems cannot be resolved unless you have an outcome. Simply saying “I don’t have any money” is a problem that won’t fix itself.

We talked about questions one’s stated outcomes, which was useful and interesting from my mediators point of view. For example, challenging an outcome might look like this:

Statement: I want a red Ferrari
Q: what will happen when you get that
A: I’ll drive really fast
Q: what else? What else in your life will change?
A: I will pull loads of hot women and have a great time
Q: how will that make you feel
A: like the king of the world
Q: what next? What would you want then?
A: I wouldn’t want for anything else

Actually, the handout talks about questions like “what resources do you have which can help you achieve these outcomes”, “have you done something similar before?” and “what is the next step”.

Having well formed, realistic, outcomes is incredibly important in the steps to being successful. Whatever succeesful means to you!

In groups we looked at outcomes, with the question “what do you want?’ and my initial answer was that I dont want for anything. Tina analyzed me very well and said that while I might not want for material things, it was clear that my wants were things like “financial security” “happy family” and “bringing up my daughter well”.

Others in my group considered things like jobs, health, being free from pain, happiness, love, relationships, connection with others etc. I’m still thinking about what it is I really want and indeed sharing this with my wife too.

NLP For Dummies suggests a seven step approach:

1. Is the outcome stated in the positive.

It’s not “I want more money” it’s “I want to earn £250,000 per year”. It’s not “I want to loose weight” it’s “I want to be 15 stone (in my case)”

2. Is the goal self-initiated and in my control?

In short, if your partner wants you to lose weight, then you won’t do it as well as if you want to lose weight because YOU want to.

3. Does the goal describe the evidence procedure?

Or, as Ian put it, how will you know you’ve got what you want? Its simple for material things, i’ll know because i’ll be driving fast in my red ferrari.

For something like happiness, the evidence might be much harder to fix on a scale, but if you don’t know how you’ll feel when you’ve reached your target, how will you know when you are there?

4. Is the context of the goal clearly defined?

Where, when, how and with whom do I want to reach my goal?

5. Does the goal identify the necessary resources?

If you say “I want to become a pilot by next year” but a you’re scared of heights and b you’ve never flew a paper plane never mind a jet engined one, then clearly there are some resources which you need before setting out on the road to outcome success.

6. Is the goal ecological?

This is talking about the other connections we have in life. What will happen on my journey to my outcome and when I reach it. How will my life be effected and will it affect those around me. You might want to become a clown in a fair, but that will mean you leaving your wife and child and family and touring around eastern Europe for 9 months. The ecological effect is one which you need to consider.

7. What is the first step?

Pretty straightforward, but in defining your goal, you should include the first step.

“I want to be 15 stone by Christmas and I’m going for a walk now, cutting out biscuits and cakes, and will walk every day (unless it’s raining!)”


Having well formed, realistic, outcomes instead of problems is very important. If you have a negative, problematic approach to live, you won’t get what you want. If you are positive and outcome based, then you will get what you want.

Over the last week, I’ve been trying to think outcomes, in a big, life decisions, way and also in the everyday thinking of more mundane topics. I’m really pleased with the difference in can make in being positive.

I’d love to hear your comments on the above, whether you are in my class or not.

The Meta Mirror – NLP Practictioner week 2

Buon Giorno!

This week we built on our learning in Week 1 where we learned about the three minds we all have.

This week we looked at The Meta Mirror, which is an NLP phrase for looking at things from a different point of view, sometimes quite literally. It is a way in which one can look about a relationship which you feel is difficult and work out how you might change to make the relationship better. Of course, we can ask the other person to change, because no doubt they don’t apportion the blame in the same way as you do. Interestingly, the mirror suggests that the issues you face are faced by the other person. So that if you feel angry then they might do. The mirror allows you to explore your perceptions of you from different angles.

1st position – you. How do you feel about this situation
2nd position – the other party. How you, as them, feel about the situation
1st position – how do you feel now? Consider the logical levels to see what might need to change
3rd position – you but as an observer. How do you feel seeing the two people in front of you? How do you think you as 1st party might change?
4th position – the fly on the wall. What do you think detached from it all.

I was a guide and I really enjoyed it, and hopefully I actually helped my colleague with the technique. As before, the NLP is helping me build on my mediator training which takes a psychotherapeutic approach.

Some things that were not in the hand out that I picked up on, that Ian our trainer is good at. Reflecting back, paraphrasing, acknowledging, being empathic – these are all really important skills to use when guiding someone through the meta mirror process.

Reflecting back is a key tool in mediation, as it let’s the party know you’ve heard what they’ve said. So they say “I feel angry” and you say “angry?” and they will often open up.

Paraphrasing is when the client says “i feel upset, angry, disappointed” you say “it sounds like you’re ‘resentful?’ “. This one can be tricky because you don’t want to put words in their mouth, but you want to help them to understand their position.

So The Meta Mirror involves trying to understand how you feel and how you might change. The mirror suggests that your feelings are usually reflected by your opposite number.

The key to it was the spatial shifting; physically moving from one position to another, which I think really helps you get in the other person’s shoes.

After practicing the Meta Mirror for some time, we went on to discuss learning. I was already aware that we have four states of understanding:

1. I don’t know I can’t do it
2. I know I can’t do it
3. I know I can do it, but not well
4. I don’t even need to think about doing in.

There is actually 5. I’m the man, the master, and I can do it blindfolded (I fall into this category for two things: eating cake and sitting blindfolded).

In groups of three, we discussed learning and what it meant. For me, its typically an academic thing but I do get learning from other people. Take Nikki on our course, she seems to have a great approach to teaching and is using NLP in her classes and relationships with her kids. She seems more interested in the positive development of the childrens’ emotional wellbeing rather than getting a pass, which is hugely admirable and inspirational. So I’ll learn from Nikki in that respect.

Action plans. At the end of the class we talked about putting our learning into action. I’m obviously recording my progress here, but my overall aim is to help me to use NLP in Mediation (because I think it’s techniques could be very powerful as a mediator). Ultimately, I am going to write a book on NLP for Mediators.