This is a multi-Part series of articles on How You Do What You Do. In NLP jargon, this is called “Strategy Elicitation”, and this is # 1 of 3 parts. If there is something you don’t understand, then go back and re-read this article and part #2. Or you could look at the Glossary of NLP. If you’re still not sure, then call the office nearest you and talk to a coach. We are here to help and make NLP more useable.
How You Do What You Do
I had a phone call the other day, and a student who graduated from another school of NLP said to me, “How do you elicit a strategy? Because I need to do it in my business. We are having a problem with motivating several people and so I want to find out their motivation strategies so I can use them to get everyone motivated. I know we talked about it in the NLP Practitioner Training, but I cannot for the life of me remember how to do it.” (Now, I know it had been covered, because all our NLP coaching trainings have standards and the student had been certified as an NLP Practitioner.)
Did you know that everything you do (or you don’t do) has a reason behind it? The way you wake up in the morning, whether you use an alarm clock or not, whether you hit the snooze button or not, whether you jump out of bed immediately or turn over for 10 more minutesâ€¦
All of that and everything else you do, every bit of your behavior, is based on what we call in NLP – Strategies; and Strategies are the force behind our Motivation, Decision Making processes, being convinced and being reassured that we made a good decision. Strategies pretty much run behind all our behavior and control the outcome of that behavior.
Most managers try to motivate the employee with the manager’s strategy. But it doesn’t work that way. You can’t motivate someone with your strategy, because what is important to you is probably not what is important to them. So the first thing we need to do is to find out what the other person’s strategy is. In order to motivate someone, we first need to find out what is his/her motivation strategy (what the person does inside his/her head to get motivated).
Here is another example of trying to motivate someone else with your strategy, and it not working:
When my mom was 82, she went to buy a new car. She took me with her, so I was there too. We walked onto the lot of the car dealership. A salesman walked up to us and said, “Do you see (reference to our visual sense and the word see refers to that) anything you like?” My mom took a look around the lot and pointing to a car said, “I like that one, it’s a smart looking (visual) car. I’d like to buy it.”
The salesman, turning to go to the office, said, “Let me go and get you the literature (Auditory Digital — Information) on the car, I’ll be back in a moment.” My mom as if trying to stop him mumbled, “Um wait.” But he did not hear her. So, he went inside.
Ten minutes later he came out with the literature. He said, “Took me a while to find it.” He handed it to my mom, who promptly handed it to me. She wasn’t interested at all to read the information about the car. In NLP we call that, “not her strategy”.
The salesman said, “So, do you see (visual) anything you like?” My mom took another look around the lot and pointing to the same car said, “I like that one, it’s a smart looking (visual) car. I’d like to buy it.”
I almost fell over when he said, “OK. I’ll go inside and get the keys. We’ll take a test drive.” (reference to our kinesthetic sense and the word drive refers to that) This time my mom was alert and prepared, because she said, “That’s OK, no need.”
He said, “You have to test drive the car, everybody does,” and he went inside. Ten minutes later he came out with the keys, and mumbled something about having trouble finding them.
So we took a test drive. But when it was her turn to drive, she said, “Tad, you drive.” Again it was not her strategy. But it was his. Or the generally accepted sales flowchart.
Now, we are back on the car lot, and he says, “So, do you like the way this car looks?”
She said, “It’s a smart looking car. I’d like to buy it.” And he said proudly, “OK I’ll write you up”. He just sold a car using his strategy which was:
Visual: “So, do you see anything you like?”
Auditory Digital – Information: “Let me go and get you the literature on the car.”
Kinesthetic: “You have to test drive the car, everybody does.”
My mom bought the car using her strategy which was:
Visual: “I like that one; it’s a smart looking car. I’d like to buy it.”
So our talented salesperson sold a car, in spite of his strategy which my mom did not participate in anyway.
(Advanced NLP Information: If you spotted that Mom’s comments were actually a synesthesia, good for you. We are not going to cover that here because in this article we’re keeping it simple.)
We have used Strategies in selling for 29 years now, and it works. Clients are happier and more motivated and the results are better. Strategy elicitation, which is very important in selling, in management and in communicating your ideas, is taught regularly at the NLP Coaching Practitioner Training. Our NLP Practitioners learn and master using Strategies. If you have questions about any of these articles, call the office nearest to you and one of our coaches will be happy to help.
We’ll continue in our next article.