As part of my NLP Master Practitioner exam I had to detail a new technique.
This technique is one that I developed to help people who find themselves exhibiting quite different behaviours in their home environment compared to their work environment. Whilst they are initially often unaware of any disparity, the situation invariably leads to a general unease or unhappiness about their life.
The initial assessment is based on the degree to which the six 'Team Me' Archetypes are active in their lives. (Listen to the dramatic audio descriptions of the 6 archetypes here) This is done separately for their personal and professional lives.
Whilst it should be recognised that a degree of difference in archetypal influence can potentially be very necessary/helpful in these two arenas, where it’s clear the individual is not happy about the differences, then some sort of intervention may well be in order.
If it seems congruently desirable to continue, this is what we do...
I name and explain 6 key archetypes. These being: the Sovereign, the Warrior, the Lover, the Mystic, the Sage and the Jester – helping my client to find times and situations when each have been in evidence.
I explain that each archetype:
I draw the following chart with them and ask that they grade the relative strength of each of their archetypes, on a scale of 0 to 10, in their personal/home life.
A live session example response was as follows:
After using a completely unrelated question to break their state and ‘clear the screen’, I then ask that they do the same exercise for their work situation – showing the degree to which each of these archetypes manifest their characteristic influence in their professional lives.
The below is from the same real life session.
This rapidly provides me with a highly revealing picture of the areas of greatest incongruence – those that need the most work.
I highlight the archetype/s that have the greatest numeric discrepancy and, having enquired a little further into the situation, I ask if the client would like the power of their [named strong archetype] in their professional world – for example - to share their influence with the [same archetype] in their personal world.
In the live example above, whilst there are clearly big differences in several areas (including Warrior and Lover), the biggest discrepancy is found with the Sage – where it is evidently very strong in his professional life but weak in his life at home. Whilst this may have much to do with environmental conditioning, it was clear that he saw that addressing this was a matter of growth and maturity for him.
Assuming the client does want to redress the imbalance that has been identified, an appropriate technique is employed.
What I have found to be most effective at this point is a Parts Integration. Parts Integration causes the apparent ‘internal partitions’ of the archetype’s influence to dissolve, enabling the archetype to freely perform its role in either sphere without the original (and unhelpful) limiting constraints.
A supporting technique may also be employed such as an anchoring of the archetype ‘in full-swing’ – so that the client can trigger the state desired at any time. (In this example, this would be most useful in the Personal sphere, when the client had previously found themselves disempowered in this role of Sage.)
Finally, as a test, we break their current state and future-pace, to test that the client genuinely feels the change has occurred.
In subsequent sessions we would discuss how the client’s behaviours have changed at home and/or at work in the light of the intervention.
Let me know if you've tried this yourself, or with your own clients.
One of the best ways to demonstrating the different viewpoints each of these six archetypes takes, is to choose a big, broad subject and imagine what each of them would say about it.
Subjects like Life, Time, Knowledge, Money, Culture, Science, the Media, are all broad enough to solicit a valid response. Freud, Jung and countless other psycho-analysts have used 'word association' techniques to help uncover unconscious thinking patterns in their clients. This approach works in a similar way.
If you've studied NLP (especially at Master Practitioner level) you'll be familiar with a series of questions designed to understand an individual's METAPROGRAMS. In a very similar fashion, you can very simply use a handful of open questions to understand which archetypes dominate the individual's character.
"Tell me about TIME." you could ask, or...
"Complete this sentence: MONEY is..."
Maybe ask, "What's LIFE all about?"
Or, if you were to ask "How is KNOWLEDGE useful?" you might get answers similar to those below...
Can you see how each Archetype reveals their nature quite naturally in their response to such open questions? Of course you need to learn to pick up on their specific language and be familiar with the typical responses each Archetype is likely to give but in time you begin to hear it in every day conversation.
Do you know your own dominant Archetype/s? Try answering the questions above and then check which character you fit the most.
If you want more detailed descriptions of each Archetype, see the: Video Introduction to Archetypes .)
Let me know how you get on!
Pad is a trusted adviser to business leaders across the globe. He is Director at Come Alive Success Coaching ltd. and the Author of TEAM ME - How to Play Your Best Game in Life, and TEAM GUY - Forging Men of Soul & Steel.