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Topic: Re:Unconscious installation in training
Posted by: John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St. Clair
Date/Time: 14/03/2003 21:31:30

Hello Lewis

The issues you raise would require another book or better, an extended interactive series of communications.

However, let's find out how well we can do in this more limited environment:

1. We have noted that the notorious unconscious installation is often associated with the trainer's inability either to demonstrate the pattern involved congruently or his or her inability to offer an explicit model or to connect plausibly a congruent demonstration with an explicit representation. If, indeed, as we argue in Whispering, NLP modeling is the art and science of making tacit knowledge explicit (and therefore transferable in an effective and efficient manner), then the process of exclusive unconscious unconscious installation represents accomplishing aproximately half of the task.

Now, there may be a valid argument that in the context of training that there is some value in an unconscious installation (fundamentally, experiencing the pattern repetitively albeit in multiple forms such as metaphor, demonstration... - until it takes). However we will leave it to some advocate of this approach to work out the argument. We would propose (as you articulated it,

"When I have had an experience first followed by conscious explication then it works better and more quickly that way than the opposite way round)"

- that the sequence in training that is most effective is always experience then explicit mapping. The taxomony behind this sequence is clear enough:

someone who preforms brilliantly with consistancy is a model

someone who preforms brilliantly with consistancy and can describe in (relatively) sensory grounded terms what they are doing (the Presentation of Patterning format offered in Whispering on pages 53 and 351) is a teacher/trainer

somone who can talk about it but not preform is a fool

So, clearly the emphasis in training for us to get people to preform. We, like you, prefer the sequence experience, experience, experience, demonstration of unconscious competency and then an explication (mapping onto an explicit representation).

One additional warning - would be NLP trainers refusing to offer explicit representation at all are quite suspicious characters in our experience. As you say,

"My own experience is that unless I get conscious-unconscious integration of the material then who the hell knows what was ever "installed"."

Now we arrive at an additional differentiator: all the work we do in NLP application respects the ethical requirement that each step should move the participant to an enhanced conscious/unconscious rapport state - an alliance between consciousness and unconsciousness. Erickson recognized this as an operating principle although his style (in part because the context was explicitly therapeutic rather than training) was strongly biased to unconscious intervenations with the committment to arrange for a subsequent re-integration of the work at both the conscious and unconscious process levels. Thus, either the interventions (including design of training) must meet the criterion of enhancing conscious/unconscious rapport at each major junction in the unfolding experience or specific steps must be taken to ensure a subsequent integration of the material treated exclusively unconsiously.

To refuse to offer an explicit representation of a pattern in training at any point is to refuse participation by the conscious mind and to behave in a way that further alienates conscious and unconscious processes. To refuse to offer an explicit representation of a pattern in training at certain points (for example, prior to the participant having experience of the pattern to be presented) may be entirely justified.

2. Perhaps the most important issue is the verification of your statement,

"Essentially, over time, the trainee exhibits (supposedly) the installed skills in an accelerated learning fashion"

If this occurs with some efficiency and it is effective, the participant does, in fact, demonstrate the patterning behaviorally, it constitutes a legitimate training strategy, subject to the ethical point about increasing the alliance betweeen conscious and unconscious processes. No one to our knowledge has ever verified this strategy with an actual study of participants emerging from such a training regime. 

3. It seems to us quite accurate, your statement,

"In a sense I suppose all trainers install their model in the trainee whether they know it or not."

Yes, if, indeed, the trainer is congruent or better, for those events in which the trainer is congruent, such deep trance identification between participant and trainer occurs in any case. This (congruency) explains in part the difference in effectiveness in training among trainers - insofar as the trainer is congruent, the probability that the participant will identify is increased. We have a lot of confidence in the unconscious mind's ability to detect and respond to the presence or absence of congruity.

4. Unfortunately, we simply couldn't decode your statement,

"If a trainer is using metaphor to install a particular learning, with embedded language etc, i.e. two completely different storylines within the same metaphor, then my assumption would be that he is if not simultaneously, he is at least sequentialy incongruent. If sequentially incongruent then that is probably beter because at least he is then congruent within each storyline - at least that is my assumption!"

Please offer an amplification.

5. Our distinct impression is that the proliferation of,

"...trainers offering shorter and shorter versions of "practitioner" trainings and claiming to use unconscious installation patterns so that NLP..."

is simply hype and a low grade form of marketing.

Whatever else you may decide about such claims it is clear that such trainings do NOT offer NLP since none of the requirement of modeling are met. Then, again, the question remains, are there any training programs that actually present NLP modeling?

Look, let's agree that the ideal training would be one-on-one, a mentoring relationship (somethings Bandler and I did a lot of in the beginning days of NLP) that carefully takes into account the idiosyncracies of the participant (as well as the trainer). The difficulty, of course, is the economics of the arrangement.

Finally, in the discussion this far, we have not included a strategy that is, to our way of thinking, critical to the issues under discussion. Here we are referring to our favorite teaching (and learning) style - the discovery strategy: as we said in Whispering.

"A pattern presented belong to the presenter. A pattern discovered belongs to the discoverer."

Alignement with and skill in deploying this strategy removes much of the tension in the above discussion.

All the best,

Carmen and John

Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Unconscious installation in training14/03/2003 19:57:48Lewis Walker
     Re:Unconscious installation in training14/03/2003 21:31:30John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St. Clair
          Re:Re:Unconscious installation in training14/03/2003 22:11:59Lewis Walker
               Re:Re:Re:Unconscious installation in training15/03/2003 17:13:47John Grinder
          Re:Re:Unconscious installation in training15/03/2003 00:13:23Robert

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