Ecology checks are often overlooked by new NLP Practitioners and those who are primarily attracted to quick & sexy patterns without much thought or information gathering. In this article I will provide you with some NLP questioning tips for ecology. This is particularly useful for the coaches out there, or people who are setting important goals for themselves or others.
What is an ecology check?
This is thinking in terms of what happens after you make a desired change. How does it affect a person’s home, their family, their finances, health, time, etc.? Is it in line with their value system? Is this what they really want?
Training in NLP internationally, also to a lot of people who do not have English as a second language, I often notice that people literally don’t know what the word “ecology” means. The best way to explain it is by the Greek word “Ecos” which means home or earth.
You would be surprised to know how many of our clients (or perhaps yourself) seek goals or change without considering what it is like to have already done it: how it impacts their life indirectly.
Some NLP questioning tips for ecology
1. Meta model the client as to what specifically will be the result of making the change or reaching the goal.
2. Future pace the client in already having reached the goal, and discuss.
3. Consider this future from 3rd perceptual position, or 2nd perceptual position of the main players in their life.
4. Future pace the client beyond having reached the goal.
5. Timeline the client (if you have taken training in this.)
6. How does this affect the different areas of their life:
a. Fun and leisure time
b. Romance and significant other
c. Friends and family
e. Health & well being
f. Personal development
7. Great questions may aid you such as:
a. What is it that you really get out of this?
b. What areas of your life may get hurt?
c. What are the specific and immediate results? How about long term?
d. Who else will be affected?
e. What else? What else? What else?
8. Add Cartesian logic to the questions:
a. If I do X, what will happen?
b. If I do X, what won’t happen?
c. If I don’t do X, what will happen?
d. If I don’t do X, what won’t happen?
9. Some people state they want one thing, but really want another. This is where we get to the subject of alternative meta-outcomes. There are plenty of people for instance that want to be an NLP trainer, but what they really are after is respect, adoration, and sex! There may be easier ways to achieve all of these things, and … who says that will be the logical outcome?
10. Talk and brain storm with others in evaluation of the goal. Help them identify possible blind spots.
11. Is this congruent with my values?
You can also hang the NLP questioning on the life while or the NLP Well-Formed Outcomes technique