Respect for the other person’s model of the world (their reality). It’s so easy to write those 9 words, very easy to say I agree with the sentiment totally, especially when I’m fully present, engaged, rested, well fed and feeling good in myself. Not quite so easy to put into effect when I’m stressed, tired, hungry and feeling under pressure.

When I did some reflection around this ‘NLP presupposition’, interestingly enough I realised it’s very easy for me to put this into action when I’m training, coaching and facilitating as it’s one of the core beliefs and attitudes linked to what I do and how I do it. It’s not always as easy outside of the training and coaching space e.g. when someone cuts me off in traffic, runs into my ankles with a shopping trolly without a word of apology, I receive woeful customer service.

I know my model of the world is being challenged when I hear myself saying to myself ‘How could they do that/believe that/behave in that way etc.?’ Or I have that ‘Hmm’ (or sometimes ‘Gurrrr’) judgemental feeling inside. These sound the internal bells for me, so that I step back and take a pause, evaluate, gain an understanding and then I choose how I want to be, how I want to respond in the moment. That internal pause reminds me to have a curiosity about how the other person is being, to ask myself what has to be true for them in order to do/say/be that way in that moment, to wonder what challenges they might be facing etc. That pause and willingness to understand, helps me to gain a different perspective, which mean that I then operate from a very different space within myself. Does this happen every single time for me, unfortunately not, I will forget to pause etc. I’m an ongoing work in progress.

Having respect for another person’s map/model/perception of the world doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with it. Nor does it mean that I may not challenge it (as appropriate). It does mean that I have the choice to operate through a variety of lenses and I know that having choice means I have greater flexibility in my responses.

I wonder how you are in relation to respecting another persons model of the world – Is it different in your professional and personal life? Is it different across the sections of your life? Does it depend on the person? What would be useful for you to do for yourself if you are challenged with respecting another’s model of the world, at some time in the future?