Why I Think Differently to YouMay 3, 2021
As far as I know, everyone has a different ‘model of the world’.
I have teenage twin boys – so as far as nature or nurture argument, they have been treated pretty much the same over the past 16 years. Yet they think so differently, have different values and different beliefs. Which means that they have their own unique model of the world.
In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms ‘model of the world’ means an individual’s beliefs and values, filters, desires and expectations, experiences and learning’s about the world. Each person has a unique combination of the above. As human beings, our behaviour is governed by how we perceive, believe, and think about ourselves and think about the world. It is our internal map of reality, and the processes we use to organize our internal map that shape our actions. These internal ‘maps’ and the relationships within our minds are referred to as our ‘model of the world’. (Reference: The NLP Field Guide – Chris & Jules Collingwood)
An event occurs. Ask the people who observed the event to describe it. Each person will provide a different description.
How does this happen?
Each observer has imposed their model of the world on the event. Based on the definition above, each person has used their individual beliefs and values, filters, desires and expectations, experiences and learning’s about the world to observe the event and hence, with this unique perspective, their description will vary to someone else’s.
We assume that what we understand, observe or how we experience an event is the way it is. However your understanding of an event is only one of many alternatives. When you have only one understanding of something it is less likely that you can perceive it from another angle – you are fully associated with it and believe that this is the way it is. By creating flexibility in how you think and taking on the belief that this is one of many possibilities or ways of something happening then you have an opportunity free yourself up and create a separation from the event.
Imagine you have stepped into a dark room with a torch. The room is amazing and full of interesting and curious things. The torch shines a circle of light on one thing or part of the room and then another. This is your model of the world – what you are experiencing in that circle of light.
Someone else enters the room through another doorway (or even the same doorway). Their torch shines on different things. They are seeing something different from you and yet you are both in the same room. When you compare your experiences they are likely to be different.
What is the purpose for being aware of the fact that each person thinks differently to the next person and that their model of the world varies from everyone else’s? So that you or anyone else can understand that this is the underlying basis of communication or, mis-communication.
When you are talking with someone, the meaning of the message you send is determined by the response you receive. So if you are sending a message about your model of the world that does not match with someone else’s model, you may be frequently misunderstood. You may need to review and revise how you are communicating and create some flexibility your thinking. By considering what you have said may be one of many possibilities and take on (even if it’s just for a very short time) another person’s map of the world the opportunity for understanding increases.
It is a fundamental if you are coaching, influencing, mentoring, or negotiating; to be aware of your model of the world (how you are being) and have the flexibility to identify and step into the other person’s model of the world (how they are being).
This also enables you to work with someone else who is stuck and open up other possibilities in their model of the world. You can shift them from certainty of assuming something is the way it is and at least getting them to consider other alternatives. By helping them to consider that their current understanding is only one of many alternatives it is much easier to examine other possibilities and, if appropriate, choosing a more useful way.
If someone has a belief that limits what they want to do or achieve (for example they don’t have time to get fit) then their model of the world will support this (for example: they are so busy, they have young children, or they work long hours).
Expanding their model of the world to consider other alternatives may free them up to do those things that they aren’t currently doing. For example creating opportunities to fit exercise in. If they are so busy, maybe they could start earlier, or stop doing something else. If they have young children, maybe they can find a gym with a crèche, or a friend who will mind them on a regular basis. If they work long hours, what options do they have to restructure what they do and when.
As a coach, one of my roles is to expand my client’s model of the world, consider other alternatives and encourage them through questioning to develop greater flexibility in being who they are.
No more excuses!
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Maree Burgess is the owner of Internal Influence, and creator of the Influence Your Mindset Program, a program specifically created for individuals and groups to effect the changes required internally to achieve the desired results and outcomes identified. Visit http://www.internalinfluence.com.au to learn how to influence your mindset for change and subscribe to the Internal Influence newsletter.