Communication plays a very important role in building strong relationships. It may be in business or in personal life. But in reality there are very few people who are good at communication. Out of which few are naturally gifted and few have developed this skill by learning and practicing. Communication is an art. Lot of factors affect communication of a person like expression of emotions, tonality, pitch, voice modulation, pauses, speed, rapport and one among all of these is ‘Meta Model’.
Our nervous system deletes and distorts whole portion of reality in order to make the world manageable. Our maps determine our behavioural options by creating rules and programs for how we do things.
We delete information to avoid being overwhelmed. We don’t see all the choices we have available. We attend to our priorities and overlook other things that might be valuable.
We generalize information in order to summarize and synthesize. Dealing with categories is much less demanding than dealing with individual cases. For example, we talk about dogs as a category rather than all the individual dogs that we have met.
Lastly we distort information, for instance when we plan or visualize the future.
What is a Meta Model?
Meta Model helps in changing our maps of the world. It is the first model in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, inspired by the work of Gestalt Therapist, Fritz Pearls. It provides a number of problem solving strategies. The cause of many of our problems is by our unconscious rule governed behaviour.
We have problems not because the world isn’t rich enough, but because our maps aren’t.
Meta Model is broadly classified into 3 Models:
1. Deletion: Missing information consciously or unconsciously.
2. Generalization: General statement on few observations.
3. Distortion: Statements based on person’s own perception, illusions and beliefs.
It is a natural process. We all do deletion, distortion and generalization based on our own beliefs and values. We give priority to certain portions of communication and ignore the other portions. But these – Deletions, Generalization and Distortion can create many problems if not communicated well. Messages will be miscommunicated if we don’t resolve deletion, generalization and distortion from it.
We face major issues in our personal and professional life because of miscommunication. People don’t realize which information deleted, generalized or distorted in communication which leads to the problem.
To avoid such problems we use ‘Clean Language‘ questions in NLP.
What is Clean Language?
Psychotherapist David Grove developed the Clean Language technique in the 1980s. It aims to stop one person interfering in, or influencing another’s thoughts by using specific questions and by “mirroring” the speaker’s words and metaphors. When clean language questions were then directed to the metaphors and symbols, unexpected information became available to the client, often with profound results.
Clean language questions helps a person to find out deleted, generalized or distorted portion of information from another person’s mind. It also enables a person to discover and develop hidden symbols and metaphors without being influenced by the phrasing of a question.
Clean Language questions are designed to reduce to a minimum any influence from the person’s map of the world’s via his or her metaphors, interpretations or unwarranted assumptions. They are also designed to direct the person’s attention to some aspect of their experience (as expressed in their words or non-verbal expressions) that the person has noticed and chooses to highlight.
Clean Language questions are open ended questions like
In clean language, we don’t ask “WHY” questions. When you ask “WHY”, a person feels as if you are blaming him. Instead of “Why did you do that? Ask “What made you do that?”
Clean language questions helps a you to go from surface level thinking to the deep rooted awareness. You came to know your unconscious ruled behaviour while communicating. It normally explores symbolic or metaphorical language. And when the metaphor or symbol is changed (if it’s un-resourceful) then the whole meaning or perception changes for you.
Benefits of clean language:
1. It gives clarity of thoughts.
2. Removes anxiety, fear, stress, confusion etc.
3. Helps to make profound and still decision.
4. Makes person aware of his/her own deeper thought process.
5. Helps to remove any distortions, deletions or generalizations from communication.
6. Gives relaxation and mental peace.
7. Helps to give right direction to a person.