In Part 1 of this article, I discussed how many NLP processes seem to be designed primarily for people who have a strong bias for representing their maps of the world in the visual and kinesthetic modalities. Of course, there are processes which include auditory representations and submodalities, for example the deliberate adding of music or other sound effects to the phobia relief process. However, the more carefully we listen to NLP discussions and trainings, the more we fail to hear the beautiful sounds of processes that would reach the ears of those with a strong auditory PRS and help them to change in harmonious ways 🙂
In Part 1, I discussed the visual focus of the Godiva Chocolate Pattern and Yukari Horiguchi’s question: how can we use it to help auditory folk? Being a musician myself, I like to think of myself as having an auditory PRS (although the more I use NLP the easier I find it to move smoothly between all rep systems), so I decided to try out a few things myself.
The Godiva Chocolate Pattern is often used to help people to overcome procrastination and to help them enjoy doing something that they would have to do anyway. For me, I thought about how I procrastinate about chunking down to the smaller details when I’m getting ready for a presentation. I love to ad-lib and to respond to what happens in a training, so while I have the large details and exercises all in place, I often put off the smaller details for as long as possible, and this procrastination can result in some stress – often a few days before the deadline when I rush to get more details into place! I know that I am good at responding to circumstances, and can always produce good results on the spot as long as the big chunks are in place, but I also know that thinking about the smaller details in advance can be very helpful (even if the smaller details don’t actually work out that way in the actual event).
So how do I run the strategy of procrastination in this case? First, there is a trigger in the form of seeing a date on a calendar or a manual or an email (all V triggers). Then I think about creating the details of the training saying to myself things like “I’ve got to fix the translation for this section” or “I have to decide the time limits for each activity on Day 3.” These modal operators of necessity are expressed as words (Ad), and they result in tightening in my chest, shallower breathing, and constricted shoulders. All of these are a Kinesthetic (K) response. When I notice more carefully, I also perceive a strong sigh (exhale of breath) and a slight grinding of my teeth. While both of these have an Auditory (A) element, they can still be considered as primarily K.
I associated into the state even stronger and began to notice that there was a strong A element that seemed to go along with the grinding of teeth. In my mind, I heard the slamming of a prison door shut – a sound of metal slamming against a wall. It would be nice if this auditory element could take me to a successful completion of the strategy but instead it seems to loop back to the Ad/K synesthesia.
So perhaps my strategy that I was running could be written as something like:
… which hopefully shows that there is no nice exit from the strategy but rather a returning to the unpleasant Ad/K synesthesia with occasional reinforcements when I get the visual external stimulus from a calendar or elsewhere – and of course these stimuli get more frequent as the deadline approaches with the result that the Ad/K gets more and more unpleasant before I actually am forced to exit by either giving up the procrastination or hitting the deadline!
In a rather roundabout way, I have finally come back to the focus of this article, making NLP processes more useful for auditory folk. When I started listening to that prison door slamming shut, I realized that the sound itself wasn’t so unpleasant. In fact, it could be the first note of a tune. Years ago, I remember hearing a hammered dulcimer for the first time and thinking that it was one of the most beautiful instruments that I had ever heard (yes, go ahead and check it out on Google, but do come back to finish this article!). And the hammered dulcimer makes these beautiful sounds by striking metal with a metal or wooden hammer. The first tune that I heard played on a hammered dulcimer was an Irish tune called The Kesh Jig, and I realized that the sound that I used to perceive as a prison door could be more usefully perceived as the first note of the Kesh Jig, which of course, naturally led to the second note and to the rest of the tune, resulting in a very good feeling. This new strategy can perhaps be written as follows.
This is certainly a better place to be because I now feel good about what was previously making me feel bad. It has not however really solved the procrastination problem! I would like that nice tune to lead me directly into action and I haven’t quite figured out that chain yet. I hope to get there in Part 3 of this article. In the meantime. all comments and ideas are welcome in helping me to streamline this strategy, and more generally to utilize the auditory representational system more effectively.