I was talking to a friend of mine today about an idea I had for renovating the NLP well-formed outcome frame, in order, to include some distinctions that I’ve noticed from time to time while working with people.
A well-formed outcome frame is pretty simple only 4 questions. First is, of course, “What do you want?” It seems simple enough but most people are much more well-versed in what they don’t want rather than what they DO WANT.
Second, is “When do you want this goal or intention”? This would give some clue about the timing of the goal and when it would be most appropriate to have and in what context.
Third, is “How will you know when you have this goal or intention, completed”? This is a reasonable question. If you don’t know when the goal is achieved how will you know when to do something else? I think that this question is often the most overlooked when people set goals and intentions and the almost never do a complete pattern. A complete pattern would include what the goal is going to look like, sound like, feel like, smell like and taste like when it’s finished. It is this lack of clarity and distinction that I believe slows or stops people even before they’ve begun.
Lastly or fourth, is “What’s stopping you from having this right now”? This question reveals the person’s beliefs about their own capabilities and values surrounding whether or not they believe not only if the goal is possible but possible for THEM. Possible for them is a very important distinction because this devolves into the realm of identity, if who they are conflicts with the goal that they have set then identity will usually win unless they are willing to change who they are to achieve the goal or intention.
This brings inmy ideasof perceptual positions. Most people aren’t even aware that they shift perceptual positions when they think, speak and plan goals or if they are aware of the different positions they may not know how that changes even the possibilities of success. If your goals are disassociated (like looking at a picture or a movie) then how will you know how the goal will FEEL? If you have no ability to put yourself into the driver seat of your goal how will you be able to keep going when others are asking you to spend more time with them? The answer is that you won’t be able to unless you have really get a sense of what this goal will be like when it’s complete. What the benefit is for you and the others in your life? Have you ever heard the term “walking a mile in his shoes”? This is direct request to go 2nd position and 2nd position almost always includes the thoughts and feelings of others.
3rd position is an interesting way to do ecology check of your goals impact on your life and the lives of others because 3rd position is a perceptual view of the whole. If more people and corporations to a 3rd position before they began a new project I’m wondering what the benefit might be?
If you would like to know more about perceptual positions or how to create well-formed outcome, to talk about it or anything else you might want to discuss,
Michael Harris, PhD