By: Dr John P. DeMann
JHP: Special Series
Well Formed Outcomes
We will be looking at Patterns of NLP in the next series of articles from the Journal of Human Performance, JHP. I do believe in making personal development easy to use and make it so you do not have to think about what you need to do to succeed at any task. To do this I will provide you two formulas per pattern, one that is suggested by NLP and one that I create to make them more usable. I will also provide you the reader the ability to provide the readers with your ideas that can improve any pattern for success. This is crucial to the development of any field or profession and is something I like to try and promote in the personal and professional development arena.
Please understand I am note saying that I have a better way, however in the 23 years of coaching I have recognized that people and organizations will not use what they learn if it is complicated or just long. I have worked literally with thousand in one on one sessions and I have found that people use what is easy to use. What I have done is created a basic understanding of how to apply the patterns for ease and workability. I have also created these from the information gathered from clients so I have to give credit to all the people I have worked with who, not only came in for help, but in that process gave me the opportunity to learn from them. In fact, much of my knowledge comes from real life experience that either I have attained through my own actions or by the actions of others.
Below we begin the series with the foundation patterns, specifically the pattern of a well formed outcome:
The Well Formed Outcome Pattern: This pattern is really used in all circumstances that require any outcome. It should be used consistently in all activities for 3 weeks where you will find yourself using it unconsciously. The first pattern will be the typical NLP pattern for a well formed outcome and the second will be for those who like to have things simplified and want to internalize the pattern for daily use.
1. State the outcome in the positive: What do you want? Do not state what you do not want!
2. State what you can do and maintain in the creation of the outcome: In this we want to describe the skills needed and the resources needed to complete the outcome successfully.
3. Contextualize, when, where, with whom… This requires you to state when you will attain the outcome, where you will attain it and who you will attain it with or who you will need to attain it with.
4. State the outcome in Sensory based words: Anytime you have an outcome/goal set it is very important to attach as much emotion to it as possible. This means placing great pain to not attaining the goal and pleasure to attaining the goal. Pain and pleasure are built in motivation resources.
5. Sequence the goal into bite sized stages: It is easy to give up if the outcome is too easy to attain or if it is too difficult. For this reason we need to evaluate our ability and what makes us stay motivated. Know your limitations so you do not get overwhelmed, but just as important so you do not under stimulate your needs.
6. Load up your goal description and plan with plenty of resources: Here you want to be ready to attain the outcome. Many times we end up starting to take the appropriate action but get sidelined because we run out of resources. Always have available abundant resources.
7. Specify your evidence for fulfillment: Here we are setting the stage for success. We need to know what it is we are after in terms of results and we need to know exactly when the result is achieved.
8. Make it compelling: This is the example where I need to show you why this can be reduced. Compelling is really an emotion and we are doing that in step 4 where we use sensory based words to gain greater pain and pleasure. But for the formulas sake we need to be going after something that is desired greatly. Many times goals are not compelling and we all have experienced going after an outcome then drifting away from the outcome because it was not compelling enough.
9. Check for ecology: This simply means, is the outcome good for you, others and the environment?
Now let’s go back over the formula, but this time let’s make it simple so you can look at this and follow through in a few simple steps. I also want to make certain that you try and create your own patterns. This can be done once you see how these are made simple and then applying the same idea to your own ideas.
The simplified formula for a well formed outcome:
1. Know the outcome you desire: Simply know what you are after and describe it in detail. This means place emotion into the description so you can continually motivate yourself towards the well formed outcome.
2. Define the purpose for attaining the goal: This will motivate you to attain the outcome. This is important because most people, 97%, fall short of attaining the outcomes that they set because they fail to define the purpose for attaining the goal. In fact, when people use this simplified version compared to the extended version above they receive a 98% success rate in attaining the outcomes they desire compared to a 3% return on the formula above.
3. The next step is to define the action steps needed to complete the goal: It is best to make the action steps small and manageable, but difficult enough to maintain interest. The truth is that when action is taken regularly it keeps us motivated and allows us to feel the emotion, that we defined in step one, to be experienced daily and not only when the outcome is received.
4. Finally determine if what you are doing is working and if it is not, change your action, then approach it from another angle. Anyone who has reached even minor success will tell you that attaining outcomes requires you to constantly evaluate if what you are doing is working or if it is not. This step requires that you look daily at what you are doing which will allow you to see if what you are doing is working or not. When we are aware that something is not working, we usually change the approach automatically. Even if you do not move closer to the goal immediately you succeed as long as you learn and change the approach. Remember failure is only feedback and if you apply what you learn it will be inevitable that eventually you will reach success.
If you look at the above formula you will notice that it is much simpler then the well formed outcome of the NLP pattern. This does not mean you should follow the easy formula to the “t” it only means that you can probably think of an easier way to accomplish goals you set. However, do not fall into the trap of making it too easy so it takes away interest or causes you to miss important actions that are required to reach your goal. Motivation is best supported when the work is interesting and meets your desire for challenge. If the actions you are taking are boring and if they are not challenging you will eventually give up.
I hope this has helped and I know if you apply this strategy you will find great success. In fact, try now to make this simpler and email me the revised version and I will show it to all my readers. In any field the communication between the professionals and those who use the products is extremely important for the growth and success of the profession. I believe this is where NLP has had a problem; the content has not been reorganized since it was introduced and this has created a lack of improvement to the NLP process. Think about the progress that can be made and what can be done if we can communicate the most efficient way and the best way to do something. How many people can we reach?
Go to play and have fun, start to use this everyday and let me know how it went. Also, if you love to develop personally or you love to help others develop personally and or professionally communication is important to success. No matter what field of work you are in communicating ideas is what makes that field grow. Let’s all start to communicate our ideas and really get powerful techniques out there.
Thanks A Million,
Dr. John P. DeMann