Written and Produced by Andy Bradbury
(author of "Develop Your NLP Skills", etc.)


PART 3
R
- Z
 
 


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If there's anything you don't agree with, or which you think should be added, there is a "mail to" facility at the very end of this page.  All constructive comments will be welcome.

The Definitions:

Words in bold font are themselves explained somewhere else in the glossary.

R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Rapport
Capturing and holding the attention of another person's unconscious mind so that you can communicate with it directly.
Creating a state of mutual trust and respect between yourself and the other person may also come as a result of successfully gaining rapport.  But it is not itself an automatic or necessary part of rapport.  Rapport is the primary basis for all successful communication.
 
Reality 1 (external)
Everything outside of your skin, which exists regardless of whether you or anyone else are there to observe it.
It is impossible to be consciously aware of more than a minute portion of external reality at any given moment in time, though we can rapidly shift our focus of attention to be aware of quite large chunks of external reality in quite short periods of time.
 
Reality 2 (internal)
Internal reality is our subjective views of external reality, based on our mental maps.  Our ability to interact effectively with the world around us is directly related to the extent to which our internal reality accurately reflects external i>reality.
 
Reframe
An alternative view of some portion of reality (internal or external), usually intended to make it easier to deal with.
The most famous example of a reframe is the half glass of liquid situation.:
  • If it's a fine wine, and you're sad that it's already half empty, be happy that you've still got a whole half glass left!
  • If it's horrible tasting medicine and you're sad that you still have half a glass to go, be happy that it's already half gone.  From here on it's downhill all the way!
     
Referential Ambiguity
This form of ambiguity is very common in both spoken and written English, yet I don't remember ever having seen it mentioned in connection with NLP.&nsp; Which is a major oversight, in my opinion.
In practice, referential ambiguity occurs when a pronoun is used instead of a label which would clearly indicate whether it refers to someone who is mentioned in the same sentence (so yes, this is closely related to, but more specific than, the lack of referential index structure found in the Meta Model).  For example, in the sentence:
 
"Colin doesn't know if he will come to the movies with us, tonight"
 
it isn't clear whether "he" refers to Colin or some other male.  If the sentence read:
 
"Colin doesn't know if she will come to the movies ..."
 
That is not a case of referential ambiguity because it is extremely unlikely that someone called "Colin" would be a she.
 
Uses for referential ambiguity include making statements which may or may not include the person being spoken to.  For instance:
 
"We can find better ways to acheive our goals ..."
 
Could refer to human beings in general, to the speaker and some unspecified other person/people or to a group which includes the person being spoken to.  Likewise:
 
"You just know when it's working well ..."
 
could refer to people in general (the "generic you") or specifically to the person being spoken to.

 
Representation System
The representational systems (or just rep' systems) are basically your five senses.  Thus there are three main rep' systems - Auditory (sound), Kinaesthetic (feelings - tactile and emotional) and Visual (pictures, images, etc.).  And two other systems which tend to be used less frequently, at least in Western societies: Olfactory (smell) and Gustatory (taste).  The complete list is often abbreviated to VAKOG.
We use our rep' systems for collecting and processing all sensory information.  Although we use all of our rep' systems all of the time, we tend to give just one or two of them more attention than the others, depending on the current context.  Thus if I was sitting at home, listening to the radio, I might be mainly focussing on what I could hear.  But if I suddenly smelled (or at leat thought I could smell) something burning, I might rapidly refocus my attention onto what I could see and smell, until I discovered where the smell of burning was coming from.
People may switch their focus of attention between rep' systems quite quickly through to quite slowly, depending on (how they perceive) their context.
 
Resource(s)
Anything which can be used to handle a situation effectively and attain the desired outcome.
Resources can be internal, such as appropriate knowledge, skills, positive self-esteem, etc., or external, such as people or possessions.
 
Resourceful State
Is generally taken to mean being in a psychological state where you can readily identify and access the resources appropriate to a given situation, especially ri>esources.

 
Satir Categories
Five 'communication patterns' identified by Virginia Satir.
See Blamer, Computer, Distracter, Leveller and Placater.
 
Satir, Virginia
Best known for her work in Family Therapy (Grinder and Bandler co-authored a book with her, Changing with Families in 1976).  Her ideas on parts and the way in which posture reflects mental processes made an important contribution to the formulation of NLP.  She also used the term reframing in her work, but its meaning differed from the NLP term.
 
Scope Ambiguity
A sentence rendered ambiguous because it is not clear which part of the sentence belongs to which, as in: "Arthur went to Ascot with a woman in a beige hat".  Does this mean that Arthur had a beige hat, or the woman he went with had a beige hat.
This is an element of the Milton Model
 
Second/2nd Position
One of the three Perceptual Positions.
The 2nd position involves viewing your situation from the point of view of someone else involved in that situation, in order to gain a wider understanding of what is actually going on, particularly how your own behaviour and words appear to other people.  The best presenters and trainers habitually switch in and out of second position to get a better idea of how they are coming across to their audience.
 
Semantic Density
The semantic density of something is the measure of how much information it conveys in relation to it's size or duration.  The higher the semantic density, or the more semantically dense something is, the more information it packs into the given space or time.  By "something" I mean a phrase or sentence, a set of instructions, a whole book, a training course, or any other context where information is being transmitted.
For example, the definitions in this glossary are designed to pack all the necessary information needed to understand each term into as few words as possible without being so terse that the glossary reads like a textbook.
 
Semantic Prime
There is more than one definition of "semantic prime," so please understand that I am giving the NLP definition here.
A semantic prime, or semantic priming, is the process of setting up associations for a word or phrase so that when the listener/reader hears/sees the word or phrase again they automatically recall a version of what they heard/saw before - instead of going off on a transderivational search to find their own meaning.  This can be direct or indirect:

Direct: I tell you that I've just been watching the original film version of Inherit the Wind film on TV and I describe my reasons for believing that it has more to do with the McCarthy "witch hunt" than with the 1925 trial it appears to re-enact.  A day or two later you hear me say I think that Inherit the Wind is mainly about the McCarthy "witch hunt" and you recall my reasons for thinking that (as I described them to you) rather than trying to imagine reasons why I might think that.
(In business the creation of an association between a name or logo and certain positive attributes is known as "branding">)
Indirect: If I suddenly say, in the middle of a conversation: "I reckon that film is really about McCarthyism!" you have no idea what film I'm referring to.  But if I first say: "I was watching the film of Inherit the Wind last night," and then later on I say "Still, as pure drama I'd rate the film at 8 or 9 out of 10!" then if you've been paying attention you will very likely assume that I'm still talking about the film of Inherit the Wind.
(See Transderivational Search below.)
 
Sensory Acuity
Being aware of what is going on around you through your five Representational Systems so that you can notice what responses your own words and actions trigger.
 
Stacking Anchors
Stacking anchors is a way of building/recalling multiple positive resources (say, calmness+confidence+humour), first as individual anchors and then as a single, multi-part anchor.
To do this you simply create the original anchors quite close together and somewhere where you can fire all of them in very rapid succession with a single sweep of the hand - along the top of one thigh or down one forearm, for example.
 
If you're firing a stack against a single negative anchor (see Collapsing Anchors), make sure that you position both positive and negative anchors such that you can fire all of them together.  For example, you might have the negative anchor on your left knee, and three positive anchors down your left forearm.  With this arrangement you can sweep a finger (of your right hand) down your left forearm at the same time as you touch your left knee with your left forefinger.
 
State
Your 'state' is generally taken to refer to your emotional, mental and physical condition at a particular moment in time as in "Are you in the right state to deliver a powerful presentation?"
In that particular instance, being in the right 'state' might include having resources to hand such as confidence, assertiveness, knowledge of your subject, sensory acuity in regard to your audience's reactions, a feeling of being comfortable and alert, and so on.
 
Strategy
In the context of NLP - a sequence of thoughts and actions which are used to achieve a required result.  For example, when you go shopping for some item you will be applying a strategy - even if you aren't aware of it.
If you were shopping for a pair of hiking boots you will go to a sporting goods store, you (presumably) won't go to a fashion boutique.  You will look in the footwear section, you won't look at the rucksacks (leastways, not in order to find the hiking boots).  And so on.
Understanding why one person is successful at a given task whilst other people - who appear to be doing exactly the same thing - are not, usually comes down to identifying maybe only one or two elements of the successful person's overall strategy which don't occur, occur in a different order, or do occur but with some small but crucial differences in everyone else's strategy: "The difference that makes the difference."
 
Strategy Notation
This term usually applies specifically to sequences of eye accessing cues.  For example, if I want to model how a craftsman goes about designing a piece of furniture I can ask him how he does that, and then watch his eye movements, which (from my point of view) might go up right (remembering a picture of a previous piece of furniture), which triggers a memory of how it felt to the touch (tactile kinaesthetic), then up left (imagining a picture of the new item), down right (discussing with himself whether he has the material in stock to make the new item), up right (looking at the new item in more detail), and so on.
In order to record the sequence of eye movements I use a form of shorthand called "strategy notation":
 
  • Ad - Auditory digital (eyes down right, as seen by observer) - self-talk
  • Ac - Auditory construct (eyes level left) - imagining a sound of some kind
  • Ar - Auditory recall (eyes level right) - remembering a sound of some kind
    If the person is listening to an actual sound, as distinct from something that currently only exists inside their head, this is indicated by:
    • Ae - An external sound
  • K - (eyes down left) - It is generally agreed that all kinaesthetic activity will be in the form of remembered feelings, unless it is awareness of something happening in the here and now, which is indicated by:
    • Ke - An externally stimulated feeling
    Because the term kinaesthetic is applied to both emotional and physical feelings, you can also use a suffix to indicate which is being referred to:
    • Kt - A tactile or physical feeling, internal or external
    • Kv - A visceral or emotional feeling - anger, happiness, etc.
  • Vc - Visual construct (eyes up left or straight ahead and defocused) - imagining a 'picture' of some kind
  • Vr - Visual recall (eyes up right) - recalling a 'picture' of some kind
  • If the person is looking at something in the present, as distinct from something that currently only exists inside their head, this is indicated by:
    • Ve - An external sight
 
So in the case of the furniture design strategy, the notation might start:
 
Vr   ==>   Kt   ==>   Vc   ==>   Ad   ==>   Vr ...
 
Indicating:
  • Visual recall (remembering a visual image of a previous, similar, piece of furniture), followed by
  • Kinesthetic tactile (sensing how that piece of furniture felt), followed by
  • Visual construct (making an image of the new piece of furniture), followed by
  • Self-talk (commenting on the new design/comparing the designs or whatever), followed by
  • Visual recall (remembering some visual feature(s) that weren't used in the previous piece of furniture), followed by
  • etc.
When using this approach, everything should be noted (as far as is possible).  The Kt in this example, for instance, might seem unimportant, even irrelevant - yet it might play an important part in motivating the craftsman to pay more attention to what he is doing and may be one of his main criteria for deciding when he has done a job well.
 
Subconscious
See Unconscious.
 
Syntactic Ambiguity
A sentence rendered ambiguous because it is not clear which meaning of one or more words is intended.  For example, in: "they were cleaning brushes," both "they" and "cleaning" are ambiguous.
In one reading "they" refers to the brushes, and "cleaning" describes what the brushes are used for.
An alternative reading would be that "they" refers to two or more people, and "cleaning" describes what the people are doing to the brushes.
This is an element of the Milton Model.
 

 
Thinking 1 (two-valued)
A thinking pattern based on the (usually inaccurate) assumption that there are only two meaningful choices in a given situation.  Derived from General Semantics
 
.
Thinking 2 (multi-valued)
A thinking pattern based on the (usually accurate) assumption that in any situation there are as many choices as you can think of - and then some.  Derived from General Semantics.
 
Third/3rd Position
One of the three Perceptual Positions*.
The 3rd position is that of the proverbial 'fly on the wall', the neutral observer.  Adopting this position dissociated position (i.e. there is no emotional involvement in this position) is useful for getting an overall picture of a situation, and for dealing with (potentially) highly-charged situations such as heckling, delivering bad news, etc.
(* Some versions of the model include a fourth perceptual position, but this is not widely accepted as being valid.)
 
Through Time (or Past Time)
This label is rather misleading since a 'through time' person actually has their time line running past them (rather than through them!).  This allows them to get a more comprehensive view of their timeline than an in time person (whose time line does pass through them!) is likely to achieve.  The wider perspective may also make it harder for them to ignore past memories and future expectations in order to concentrate on the present.
 
Time Line
A time line is a metaphor, developed by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall, representing a person's life history - past present in future.  A time line may run in almost any direction - back to front, front to back (unusual but not unknown), left to right, right to left, up left to down right, and so on and so on.  It can often be useful, especially in therapeutic situations, to get people to re-arrange their timeline, temporarily or permanently, or to travel backwards or forwards along their time line (in their imagination) in order to resolve past problems or to plan future strategy.  (See also: In Time and Through Time.)
 
Transderivational Search (Inner Search)
Reviewing your own knowledge and experience to find the meaning of someone else's words.
For Example, I say "I ate a nice apple" - but what do you think I mean by "nice"?  I might think that apples with dry, firm flesh and a slightly sharp taste are "nice".  You, on the other hand, may think that apples with juicy, crumbly flesh and a sweet taste are "nice".
Some people think we do transderivational searches all the time when we're hearing or reading someone else's words.  Some people think we only do it when we're not sure what the other person meant (which has some fascinating implications in it's own right!).
Understanding the mechanism of the transderivational search is a vital part of understanding human communication and miscommunication.
 
Transexperiental Search
The process of reviewing your stored memories to find the "root experience" from which a current behaviour or response was derived.
 
Transformational Grammar
Much of early NLP was based on a simplified version of Noam Chomsky's description of 'transformational grammar' - the view that language has at least two elements: Deep Structure (essentially, what the speaker really means) and Surface Structure (what the speaker says and what the speaker's words appear to mean from the listener's perspective)
 
.

 
Unconscious
All the thoughts, ideas, etc. going on in your mind which you are not consciously aware of at an given moment.  The unconscious mind is apparently capable of multi-tasking and can handle huge amounts of incoming information.
 
Up Time
Derived from computer jargon.  Denotes that part of the time when the focus of your attention is outside of yourself.  The opposite of Down Time
 

 
Vague Language
An Ericksonian technique.  Sometimes called "Artfully vague language".  It applies to the use of language in a way that allows the listener to find their own meaning for what is being said, in the belief that the meaning they find will be more appropriate to their situation than if the speaker gets really specific.
For example: "Some people..." (who are "some people"? They could include the listener) "...may find..." (not "you will find,.." - which might create resistance), etc.
(See Milton Model, Phonological Ambiguity, Punctuation Ambiguity. Scope Ambiguity and Syntactic Ambiguity.)
 
VAKOG
An abbreviation of the 5 Representational Systems - Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory.
 
Values
Filters we use to evaluate the content of incoming information about ourselves and the world in general, sorting our perceptions into good and bad, worthwhile and worthless, and so on.
Our values are usually closely related to our beliefs.
 
Virginia Satir
See Satir, Virginia.
 
Visual (V) Mode
Taking in and/or processing information as pictures, sights, etc.  It is misleading to refer to someone as "A visual" as this obscures the fact that this is a form of behaviour, and not something we are.
Someone operating in visual mode might use expressions like:
"That looks interesting"
"I see what you mean"
"Show me more"
and so on.
 
 
Well-fomedness
In the context of NLP, the terms "well-formed" and "well-formedness" usually refer to an outcome.
To be well-formed an outcome must be:
  • Open to evaluation by means of the main Rep Systems - "What will you see, hear and feel when you have achieved your outcome?"
  • Achievable by the person setting the outcome (i.e. minimally dependent on the co-operation of others)
  • Stated in the positive
  • Ecologically sound (i.e. if achieved, the outcome should be compatible with other positive aspects of the goal setter's life).
  • Specific rather than vague: "I want to have 100,000 in my personal bank account by the end of the current financial year" rather than "I'd like to make a lot of money before too long"

 
X
There are no entries in the glossary for "X" at this time.
 
Y
There are no entries in the glossary for "Y" at this time.
 
Z
There are no entries in the glossary for "Z" at this time.
 
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Andy Bradbury can be contacted at: bradburyac@hotmail.com