NLP Life Training - 10 Years

Meatballs and Metaphors! - by Bridget Clapham

Bridget Clapham reveals the insights into the nature of NLP, when John La Valle talks about a skill of his that very few people knew he had!
Bridget Clapham
NLP Master Practitioner and
Trainer of NLP

Whilst assisting on the Mastering Advanced Techniques seminar with Richard Bandler and John La Valle earlier this year, we had a rare and unexpected treat.
“A flash of genius from Richard or yet more inspired linguistic sleight of mouth from John?” I hear you ask...

Those were indeed key ingredients throughout the three days, yet as a privileged member of the assisting team I am a frequent witness to such magic, and would hardly classify those particular treats as rare!

No. What I’m, talking about is something else entirely.  Something that those of you who follow John or team members on a popular networking site will know.

Over lunch one day, the team was captivated by La Valle talking about his love of cooking.  As a boy he learned to cook from other family members - from his Grandma, mother and father - and is now (we have yet to taste the evidence) an accomplished cook, chef and preparer of delicious food!

So, he modelled the excellence of senior La Valles... John was clearly an NLP student before he even knew it!!

John talks with passion about cooking just as he talks with passion about NLP. The similarity between teaching NLP and cooking really well, is that it’s all in the detail!

For that reason, it occurred to me as he was talking that within John’s explanations and stories about cooking was the most wonderful metaphor.
I invite you to join me in exploring it now, in relation to working with personal or corporate clients and using and applying the knowledge and skills of NLP.

Here goes:
You firstly decide what you are making… what you want (the meatballs sounded sublime!). You consider and imagine what they will look like, taste like, smell like and how it will be to enjoy them. You imagine the difference that this dish will make to the whole meal and the expressions on the faces of friends and family as they enjoy the dish.  Even the thought of that finds you with the same expression on your face and you enjoy experiencing that wonderful and delicious feeling, even before you start working with the ingredients!

Then you look at what ingredients you have gathered to work with, knowing the phenomenal potential of each and every one and how they can work in combination to create just the right result. Then you decide on how to work with them, step by step to transform them into the finished product that will be oh, so good - and perhaps even unrecognisable from the raw ingredients that are in front of you as you begin.

There is no particular set recipe to follow when you cook the La Valle way and much essential learning is done through creative experimentation.

If what you are cooking doesn’t turn out, make a change in what you are doing... add something, take something out and... next time, do it in which ever way gets the best result.  Each time you cook, you apply what you learned last time and before you know where you are you have some excellence going on in the kitchen.

You also get to learn that ingredients don’t always behave in the same way... onions can be strong or less so, tomatoes ripe or just a little bitter. So, you become even more creative and flexible. You begin to trust that what you know already.  This, combined with your intuitive ability,  will guide you to know just what is needed to get great results - whilst at the same time being aware that each dish is unique!!

When I thought about how John had spoken about the art of preparing food,  it occurred to me that when cooking, at every stage, it matters so much that you pay attention to the detail of what you are seeing, hearing and sensing in other ways.   

You need to notice exactly how, at every stage in the process, the raw ingredients that you started with are changing as a result of what you are doing. Know just what to chop and change and get to recognise the precise moment when you will get maximum effect from adding a little extra something into the pot!

Also, notice that, although you may be tempted to add a little more of something or to stir up a little, there are times when you need to step back and leave well alone.

Simple is good.   Less is often more.

All great chefs love to taste and check and this is not necessarily a sign of just greed!  When cooking, it is important to pay attention and to test your work at all stages.

Notice what you notice, use all of your senses and pay attention to the detail so that you can judge just exactly when the dish is perfectly cooked!

Now I wonder just how much of the above is relevant to those of us who work with clients? There are many obvious aspects that are missing (yes I know human beings are different to onions – be more creative!)  yet I invite you to enjoy playing with the metaphor.

I have - and I keep finding more ways to develop it!
(c) copyright Bridget Clapham, 2010, in all media.

To enjoy more of John La Valle's wisdom and metaphors, sign up to train with him today, here.

(c) Bridget Clapham, 2010, in all media.
Keeping your success in mind
Find and follow me to keep in touch on Twitter @bridgetclapham and also @examconfidence

Bridget is a personal and business performance coach, Master Practitioner and Licensed Trainer of NLP and regularly assists Richard and John on their London Trainings

She works with individual private and corporate clients to help them to enjoy the process of positive change and of become more successful at whatever matters to them!

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