Communicating well with those around us is not a talent, but is a skill that we can build. A crucial element of self-development in this area (if not every aspect of our behaviour) is becoming self-aware. Just like you weren’t actively thinking about breathing in and out until you read this sentence, after reading our whitepaper your perception of yourself in social situations will change ever so slightly, but enough to create a momentous change.
Increase Self-Awareness with the Perceptual Positions Exercise.
This NLP exercise will help you to:improve your performance, deal with conflict, and encourage empathy.
How the exercise works:
Perceptual Positions centres around replaying a difficult interaction that you have had with another person, to try and gain new perspectives on why it didn’t go as well as you would have liked. To start, choose a specific conversation involving one other person that was emotionally charged, and where a difference of opinion caused a disagreement, or where you may even have said something you regretted – and then follow these four steps.
Start by replaying the interaction in first person, as yourself. What did you see, hear and feel? In this position you recreate the environment you were in when the interaction happened and become fully aware of what you thought and felt in that moment. Replay the conversation from your perspective and if possible adopt the same body language (including whether you were stood up or seated).
Position yourself as the other person in the interaction, putting yourself in that person’s shoes. Assume that person’s posture, movements, gestures and tonality and try to imagine what that person saw, heard and felt as you replay the interaction again for a second time, now from their perspective. In this situation you are looking back at yourself and experiencing what it would have been like to be in that conversation with you! At this point in time it’s also important to think about what the person’s intent was during the interaction, what do you think they were hoping to achieve?
Dissociate yourself by standing outside the interaction, looking at yourself and the other person as if you were a fly on the wall. It’s important at this stage to recreate a strong picture of the environment as you watch the conversation play out between yourself and the other person. The more detail you can recreate the better the exercise works. Watch, listen and feel as the conversation plays out.
Finally put yourself back into the first position, taking your original place in the interaction for a second time. Here you replay the conversation and notice how it feels different. To finish, ask yourself these
key questions: How do you now view your behaviour? What was the other person’s intent? Did you have shared intent? What would you do differently if you could have the conversation again?
Source: Self-Awareness is a Superpower | lab.co.uk
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