The Power of Perception

Last week I attended the NLP Conference in London and spent time with some amazing people. The buzz was wonderful and there were many interesting speakers.

I asked a number of people which PSiNLP Pre-supposition they would like me to write about next. Karen Moxam, from the Association of NLP selected the following for this week.

“Our perception of others will affect who they can be with us.”

There are so many ways we can explore perception and for many people recognising how elastic perception is can be very profound. Today I will explore how our perception of others makes a difference to how they can express themselves in our company.

When we perceive others in a positive way they will often live up to our expectations. Negative perceptions sadly can work in the same way. However perception is more complicated than that.

For example, how often have you heard people state that others cannot change? A leopard can’t change it’s spots or can it?

When I run assertiveness training courses I have noticed how challenging it can be for my students to return to their normal environment. Sometimes even when they change their behaviour their colleagues, family and friends treat them as if they have not changed at all.

I coach my students to persevere and eventually the perceptions of others do begin to alter making it easier for the changes to stick. However the more others hold onto old perceptions the more of a challenge it can be.

For those of you who are parents consider how you perceive your children. In NLP we talk about internal representations which are the images and other ways we store information about people, things and the world in general. Think about the internal representation you have of your own children. Are they the correct age in your internal representation?

Many parents retain an infantile image of their children long after they have grown up. When there is a family gathering we are then surprised when adults start replaying old familiar patterns from childhood. Parents often speak to adult children as if they are still eight years old. We then respond as if we really are eight if we are not careful!

It is worth noting here that the adult children probably hold child images of their siblings and their parents at an earlier age too! As our parents get older we need to update our images of them too. Maybe it is time we all updated our internal images.

As practitioners and therapists we also need to be aware of the power of the images we hold about others. When a client shares their “victim” story we need to avoid seeing them as a victim. If we hold a perception of the other person as being capable of achieving their goals and making the changes they desire we increase the likelihood of success for that client.

So returning to the PSiNLP pre-supposition:

“Our perception of others will affect who they can be with us.”

If we apply this approach to all the people in our life we can provide an environment for others that is nurturing and empowering. We provide opportunities for others to be their best version of themselves.

At the conference, Joe Cheal gave everyone an opportunity to get a new perception of him. When presenting his session “The language patterns of Captain Jack Sparrow” he was in full costume and character.

If you would like to see what I’m talking about click on the link below, there are 3 clips to see:

Let us know what you think.

See you next week everyone!

About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
This entry was posted in Life in General, NLP, NLP Practitioner, Perception, Personal Development, Reality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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