"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ARISTOTLE


 
 

"We travel to wonder at the height of the mountains and the depths of the seas... and all the time we pass ourselves by without wondering"

What is Modelling?

  • Discovering patterns in experience and behaviour
  • Describing those patterns in a way that we can understand how they relate to the outcomes they are connected to
  • Discovering ways of using those patterns
  • Creating formats for making those patterns available to other people

The roots of NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming - lie in modelling excellence, and discovering the difference that makes a difference. And one of the key NLP presuppositions is - "We all have the same neurology, so if one person can do something, it is possible to model it and teach it to others"

Modelling involves identifying people - or teams and organisations - that are excellent, and eliciting what precisely they do (ie their behaviours) and, probably even more importantly ‘how they do it’ when they are ‘being excellent’. We know that excellent behaviour comes from a level of unconscious competence, what are often referred to as ‘habits’ - ie when we are ‘being excellent’ we are not thinking about what we are doing, we simply do it!

NLP provides us with the analytical tools to ascertain (the WHAT, WHY, and HOW) :

  • behaviour and physiology (What)
  • internal thinking strategies (How)
  • beliefs and values (Why)

ie the foundations for the behaviours and capabilities that the individuals have developed, and which we see in all their glory. Furthermore, if we can identify several excellent people, there might be some common features that would represent the difference that really makes a difference.

Modelling excellent behaviour is in itself fascinating, but :

  • What if we could transfer the behaviours to others?

  • What if we can make the skills of modelling an integral part of an organisation? It would then have a generic approach to development embedded within it.

How do you Model Excellence?

"What is the difference that will make the difference and enable one to unlock the secret to acquire the skill ?"

To model the skills of our model subject we need to see them in action and observe what they do and discover how they do it and why they do it. So what questions would be useful to ask to discover the what, why and how?

Robert Dilt’s Neuro-logical Levels provides a useful framework for eliciting the model and asking the questions - Where and When? What? How? Why? Who? Who else?. The following questions can provide the basis to the conversations with the model subjects as they carry out their activities.

Environment: Where and When?

  • Where and when do they engage in the activity?
  • How do they organise and manage their environment throughout the activity?
  • What was the typical environment in which they worked and how was that a reflection of who they are as people?

Behaviour: What?

  • What do they do and say when they are doing the activity?
  • What are they saying to themselves? What internal pictures do they see? What do they hear? What do they feel as they do the activity?
  • What do they do and what do they say that was characteristic of the kind of person they are?
  • What effect do their behaviour have on the people with whom they came into contact and with whom they worked?

Capabilities: How?

  • How do they do what they do, ie. with what skills and qualities?
  • What were their strategies for getting results they got, whatever they were?
  • What were the qualities that they demonstrated not only in the context of the teaching/training they gave but also in any other context?

Beliefs & Values: Why?

  • Why do they use those particular capabilities and skills to accomplish those activities?
  • What values are important to them when they are involved in those activites?
  • What beliefs guide them when they are doing them?
  • What was important to them in life and in work?
  • What was important to them in the interactions they had with the students they were training?

Identity: Who?

  • Who are they (what kind of person are they) when they are engaged in those beliefs, capabilities and behaviours?
  • What labels did they give themselves?
  • What representation did they have of themselves?

Purpose: Who else?

  • Who else are they serving with this activity?
  • What was the purpose of what they did?
  • What is the vision thay are pursuing or representing?
  • What bigger systems did they consider themselves to be connected to?
  • What added value did they seek to bring to these bigger systems?
  • What legacy did they want to leave with what they did?

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