NLP Presupposition for Summer 2015


The NLP Presupposition is: “People respond according to their map of the world.”

NLP Practitioners are good map makers.  We don’t get to know for sure what is going in the reality of another person; what they actually feel and what they are experiencing, the terrain.   We can, however, learn to make better maps that approximate what is going over there in the other person’s terrain.  The better our map of that terrain, the more predicable behaviors become.  Our maps of the world are made up of what we believe about identity and beliefs and values that we operate or lives from, including attitudes, memories, and cultural background we have learned to respond from in order to navigate our own reality and interact with others effectively.

People naturally have different maps of the world.  Children for example often have simplistic views of the world.  There is a story of a Policeman in a K-9 unit automobile who notices a little boy peering in the window of his car.  The child looks up and asks, “Is that a dog in the back of your Police car?”  “Yes,” the Policeman said, “It is a dog back there.”  The little boy looking uncomfortable asked, “What’s he done to get himself arrested?”  Sometimes another person’s map of the world will no make sense to you until you get enough high quality information about how they are looking at the situation.

The corollary to this NLP Presupposition above is “The meaning of your communication is the response you get.?”  Said another way, as soon as I think that what I just said to you is what you heard, I am in trouble with regard to thinking I can count on you receiving the way I intended.  Intent of the communication is a poor measurement of how a message is received.  In fact, it just doesn’t matter what I intended.  Assuming instead of checking it out is a formula for mis-communication.  I have to take the necessary steps to make sure that the message lands in a way it can be received in your map of the world.  A good technique is simply to ask what was heard.  When you are the receiver, repeat back what was said to you.  It’s better to use their words and tonality so that meaning inside the terrain of your listener matches more completely.  Don’t make them work at it by paraphrasing or saying the way it would have meaning in your map of the world.