Finding your mission

Core Process Statement

It’ not NLP, and it’s not new, but it is a very powerful technique. I first came across it over 15 years ago when I was one of the team of trainers running personal development courses for a large international Company. This particular course was the flagship of the program, and it was designed for people who were middle-aged, middle-class, middle career, who had become de-motivated. The core process formed the high point of the course and, for many of the participants was a very emotional experience. I had no idea that such a simple technique could be so powerful. For a lot of the participants it gave them new focus for their life. It was often described as discovering your personal mission statement. [At the time, mission statements were all the rage in the business world]
Th process [described below]was carried out in groups of three. One person was the client, the second person asked the questions and the third person documented the responses. This process could easily take an hour or more per person. Of course, with an NLP background, all the fundamentals of rapport and sensory observation will prove to be very useful. So, here is the procedure.

1 The client divides their life into a maximum of 4 broad age ranges, for example 0 to 10, 10 to 20, 21 to 30, 30 to now. Divide a sheet of paper into 4 columns, headed with the ranges.

2. The client identifies 3 events in each period when they were doing something that was particularly significant, a very positive event when they felt they were doing something that was absolutely right for them, when they felt at one with the world, or experienced a sense of inner contentment or completeness.

3. The events are then explore using the following 3 level questioning technique.
The answers to th questions are documented by picking out the words that seem to be important to the client and writing them in the columns on the note sheet. These words are detected by the emphasis that the client puts on them either by physiological shifts or tonal changes or repetition. Keep away from detail – remember that it is only the important words that are recorded. It should only be necessary to spend two to three minutes on each event.
The 3 level questioning technique –
1. Start by asking the following type of questions
Tell m about….
What were you doing?
How were you involved?
Wha was going on? 2. Move on to the following questions.
What was the attraction of that event for you? How did you feel about it
Why was that so important for you? What was it that made it so special?
3. Finish the exploration with the following questions.
What did you get out of it?
What did it give you a chance to do or to be?
What did it mean for you?
What happens when you ……….?
Repeat this part of the process for each of the events identified by the client.

4. The goal of this step is to reduce the list of important words gathered during the interview down to about 6 or 8. This is down by asking the client to pick the words that are most important to them, or have some special meaning for them. It may be that some words can be put together into categories, or some words can be discarded because they mean the same (to the client!). The each word in the final selection is written on a Post-it note for use in the next phase.

5. This is the last step and may take a lot of thought. The client takes the words on the Post-it notes and, using all or some of those words, forms a sentence or phrase that really describes their life purpose or mission. This part may take quite some time, but sometimes the phrase will come in a flash and be a bit of a shock to the client if they have not done this sort of thing before.

Well now, the best way to find out about how good it is is to do it yourself. Get a couple of friends together, explain the process and have a good time. It really is very easy, exceedingly beneficial, and you may even discover something new about your self and your friends.

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