Perceptual positions

3 perceptual positions NLP - toolshero

This article provides a practical explanation of the perceptual positions. After reading, you'll understand the basics of this powerful effectiveness tool.
What are the perceptual positions?
We all have at least one of those negative experiences, situations, or events that stays forever engraved in our memory. Even if it's a long time ago, it can still cause a certain annoyance when talking about it.

In that case, it's impossible to look at the situation from a different angle because the emotion evoked by that memory is negative.

Perceptual positions can be very useful here. This is an exercise from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It is a reframing exercise; by ensuring that someone can look at a situation from three different perceptual positions, they can gain insight by means of three different perspectives.

From these triple positions, a person can distance themselves from emotionally-charged situations or events. It can also be used to foster empathy for the other person and to gain valuable insights into how someone else perceives a situation.

It provides the ability for one to see things from another person's point of view. This is a skill in understanding people and is important for communication processes in relationships and negotiation.

Perceptual positions represent a profound contribution to the study and practical applications of the human mind. Another person can only be understood when the situation has been looked at from their perspective and it becomes clear what their experience was.
Perceptual positions
Perceptual positions include the 1st position (I), the 2nd position (the other), and the 3rd position (the observer), also called the Meta Position. The usefulness of these perceptual positions is that someone receives insight into how someone else looks at a situation and realises that their own experience may be biased.

In this way, someone gains more information about themselves and others. By looking at a situation from the three different positions, listening and experiencing, one learns to discover things which one wasn't aware of before.

The three possible perspectives perfectly demonstrate the interaction between oneself and others.

NLP includes visual representation, but also kinaesthetic, auditory and, to a lesser extent, olfactory and taste systems. It is therefore the intention that one fully associates with one of the perceptual positions at all times during the exercise and to use...

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