You will remember from Part One of this article, I was witness to a heated exchange of words between Bob and John. Normally there is a loving and respectful relationship between father and son, but here and there they manage to step on each other’s toes.
Whereof One Cannot Think, Thereof One Cannot Speak
Whether you agree with John or not, is irrelevant for our purpose. Our focus here in not on the legitimacy of their conversation. The point of sharing this with you was simply to discuss one extremely important topic which we teach during our NLP Master Practitioner training. This is such an important piece of knowledge that if you learned it, it will enlighten you and the way you relate to the world around you. I would even venture to say that you cannot really understand the world without knowing this! And I mean it!
Bob thinks in a certain way. We’re not talking here about the content of his communication, the drama, the words themselves. As many of you know, in NLP we’re usually looking for the process, content and structure of thinking, not the content. So, here we will analyze briefly not what Bob and John think, but how they think.
In the world today, according to the late Dr. Clare Graves, are 7 distinct ways of thinking. Not different types of people, but ways of thinking. We call theseValues Levels (VL) of thinking because they relate directly to our unconscious values. (Yes, as much as you think otherwise, your values are mostly unconscious) Here is a little key word relation to each of these Values Levels.
A word of caution: do not tinker around with this information just because you read this extremely brief description of the Values Levels. It takes us three days together in the Master Practitioner to cover the material so you can understand it, recognize it and also utilize it in business or in your private relationships.
So here is an extremely brief description for the 7 different ways of thinking. They start from:
VL1 which is pure survival, basic functioning
VL2 has to do with being in tribes and clans
VL3 has to do with every one for himself; Me,Myself and I, all powerful Self
VL4 is righteous and sacrificial for the unique “truth”, one right way to everything
VL5 is connected with autonomy, independence, progress through “the best way
VL6 is connected to meaningful group relationships, the inner beings of self/others
VL7 has to do with functionality, competencies and integrating paradoxes
Bob’s thinking structure is indicative of VL4. He sacrifices himself doing the “right” thing for the benefit of the corporation he works for hoping that eventually, after years of good and dutiful work he will be recognized for his efforts. He is willing to work hard but only in the right way and he is completely resistant to change. He has a very limited degree of behavioral freedom and a very righteous way of thinking and living. He will never be a participant in an NLP Training.
What’s worse is that from his thinking structure, even if he could bypass the “I am the father, therefore I will not have any lessons from that kid” attitude (which is again indicative of VL4), Bob really cannot understand the structure of John’s thinking. From his perspective and the way his thinking is structured, he thinks down on John’s thinking and considers it inferior.
Are they just bad people?
Bob is also plagued by deep inferiority feelings which are also very much indicative of thinking pertaining to values level 4. Every time John was submitting an idea, Bob took it personally, and turned it around in his very personal way.
Now, John on the other side reflects in this conversation the indicators of VL5.
From his thinking structure (and the fact that he was already willing to go through a process of change due to his NLP Training), John displays a lot of indicators from VL5.
He is interested in what’s the newest, the most advanced, the latest technology that will bring the best benefits. He is more objective, inclined toward scientific methods to provide material gain. He shows a willingness to have a conversation which is dispassionate, objective and logical. He is more pragmatic than his father. He is trying to be analytical whereas Bob is getting more and more emotionally upset and takes everything personally.