007 How far can we change?

Are there limits on our capacity to change?

If your reading this post, or listening to this edition of Live it – Lead IT!, it will come as no surprise to you that change is central to all manner of trainings (including this podcast), which are created with the objective of self-improvement. Change is essential to getting to where we want to be. In this edition I’ll be discussing how, drawing on the methodology of NLP practitioner Robert Dilts, and his six layered pyramid model, you can achieve your goal of becoming a better business leader.

What’s in a phobia?
How do you experience the world? It’s a basic premise that I work off of and you’ll hear me say it time and again – we all live in our own worlds. Our perceptions of the world are shaped by our own unique lenses – based on our individual make-up and experiences. Thus, how we see the same thing can drastically alter from one person to the next.

Take for example a phobia. The spider that someone suffering from arachnophobia see’s is not the same spider I see. I see a harmless small insect. The other person see’s something very different. Their mind plays a trick on them and the spider comes to represent a major threat – of course this phobia is nothing but a collection of thoughts.

This particular way of seeing the world that is unique to us is referred to in NLP as our ‘world map’. The thoughts that we hold in our minds make up this world view, so let us turn to the actual workings of how these thoughts arise.

Dilts’ six layer model
I find Dilts’ six layer model of NLP that gives structure to the different layers of thought in our brain particularly poignant. This consists of:

  1. Environment
  2. Thoughts concerning behaviours / how you act
  3. Capability layer
  4. Beliefs layer
  5. Identity
  6. Spirituality

Let’s take an example to bring the model to light. Consider someone who delivers an excellent speech on stage that really engaged their audience through their expertise and charisma. That person had to have had a belief system that they were able to do exactly that. An individual who on the other hand who considers themselves to be shy and does not hold the conviction that they are good at public speaking, would ultimate fail when put to the test. No amount of capability training could rectify the issue either, unless the ultimate conviction changed. Which brings us to Dilts’ most crucial insight when he created his model – which is that you cannot change the particular layer unless you change the underlying one first.

For new business leaders
This episode will be particularly for you if you’re a newly promoted leader. I’ll delve deeper into the model during this episode and talk about how the belief in your own identity will shape others’ perceptions of you, helping you become recognised for your authentic leadership skills. By fully comprehending the Dilts’ model you can affect as much change in your life as you so desire, giving you the key to achieving your goals.


Olaf Kapinski [icon name=”smile-o” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]