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Neuro-Linguistic Programming
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by Jeff Napier, copyright 2011-2013

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Metaphorically Speaking

Beginning Technique - No Experience Required

Sometimes, you may feel a need to actively create change, but know the person who you want to change may be resistant. So how do you go about helping the resistant person change?

You can talk about a person in a similar situation, real or imagined, and what that person did. Here's an example:

Let's say you're speaking with a neighbor about his brown lawn. It may be bothering you like crazy, since everyone else on the block has nice green lawns.

You could tell him: "Hey, I don't like looking at your brown lawn! Please water it." 

I think you can imagine the effect that would have.

Or, after spending a few minutes with steps 1 through 4 in the Creative Listening section, you could tell him a brief story about a fellow who collected plaster lawn gnomes, enjoyed his riding mower, and felt great satisfaction in having a green lawn. And say nothing more. Wait a week and see what happens.

Another example: Let's say you're talking with your teenage son about being too loud in public places. You might say, "Have you ever noticed how everyone cringes when my friend Fred shows up? I guess that's just because he's so loud." 

Metaphors don't work every time, but neither does direct statement. You can try a few different metaphors in a few different conversations, and eventually you're more likely to be effective than with direct statement, especially with repeated direct statements. 

This very brief introduction to metaphor is a very tiny tip of the NLP-metaphor iceberg. More coming soon!

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