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Motivational Language Skills For The True Leader

29 April 2011


It is amazing how much information we receive from others by just listing to their language. 

We all create our own model of the world and have unconscious programmes running in our minds that affect how we motivate ourselves. In NLP terms these are called Meta Programmes and were first identified by the work of Bandler and Grinder along with Leslie Cameron Bandler. 

Motivation comes from within and the old saying ‘you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’ explains this beautifully. Many people wrongly assume that everyone is motivated in the same way as them. You can suggest all sorts of things to people and if these suggestions do not fit with the way that they specifically process information nothing will happen. 

The only way that we know what is going on inside someone’s mind is to listen to their language, as this is a reflection their internal state. So by listening carefully to what is being said you can identify and match, with your language, the patterns being used.

Being able to identify and match the Meta Programmes of others is a vital communication tool for anyone wanting to motivate others. Communicating in this way will help others to feel understood, valued and listened and you will be able to encourage them to become motivated in the way that is right for them. 

Below I have outlined a few motivational patterns at the two extremes of the scale however most people are somewhere between the two extremes. Meta Programmes are not things they are behavioural programmes and can change depending on experience, maturity and situations. According to Michael Hall and Bob Bodenhammer in their book Figuring Out People Meta Programmes are not what people are but how they function.

Some examples of the ways people are motivated are 
Towards or Away
Reactive or Proactive
Internal or External
Big Picture or Detail
People or Process
Same or Different

An example of how to match is when you notice someone speaking in very detailed language and giving you lots of information, if you respond in general terms they are going to be confused as they are not receiving the specific information they require to get things done. 

By giving them more details of what is required just watch what happens. 

Two great books on this subject are Words That Change Minds by Shelle Rose-Charvet and Figuring Out People by Michael Hall and Bob Bodenhammer.

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