How NOT to go Bananas


Sometimes, misunderstanding arises when we do not understand other people’s map of the world, or in other words, when we cannot put ourselves in their shoes.

Each person reacts to the other, the situation escalates, emotions intensify, and the chance of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement disappears in a puff of smoke.

Whether you’re preparing for a meeting, dealing with family members, selling, negotiating, coaching, or giving a presentation, the ability to put yourselves in other people’s shoes massively increases the likelihood of success.

When you are able to adopt a different point of view easily, you gain in your ability to detach from the immediate situation, and to keep your cool in challenging circumstances.

In a word.. you don’t go bananas!

Sounds good to me!

But not only that…

Your ability to look at things from a number of different perspective makes you more flexible, more adaptable, more able to see everything from a higher point of view, and therefore more likely to keep on the right track rather than get swallowed up in non-essential issues.

In a word, you make better choices and decisions.

Sounds really good to me!

The Background for the exercise

The idea is to adopt 3 different perspectives
1. Your own perspective (seeing through your own eyes, in NLP terms, it is called “Association”)
2. Another person’s perspective on the same situation (seeing through THEIR eyes)
3. The Fly on the Wall perspective (a totally detached, 3rd party perspective).

Now it’s important you actually DO IT! Understanding intellectually and experiencing and 2 VERY DIFFERENT THINGS! When you experience, you fix things at the unconscious level, and it is easy to get back into state.

The exercise

OK, so here’s how you do it. I’ll detail the process step by step below, read through it, and then go ahead!

So the first thing I’d like you to do is to recall an argument that you had with someone recently. Not necessarily a major argument, but chose something important enough that you can feel something when you recall the event.

Got that? Good!

OK, ready to go? Sit comfortably and close your eyes now.

1. See what happened through your own eyes, see the other person’s face, his/her facial expressions, what he/she looks like, how he/she moves, the gestures.

Hear the other person’s voice, the tone, the pitch, is it loud, is it soft?

And feel what you were feeling at that time.

Now, I’d like you to float up outside your body, and float down into the other person’s body. And when you do that

2. You see everything that person saw: he/she can see your face in front of him/her, so see your face right now, the facial expressions, the gestures, the body language.

And hear your voice as you are speaking to that person, the tone, the pitch, the volume.

Feel what that person is feeling at that time.

And now, float outside that person’s body, and go and adopt the 3rd party perspective, be the fly on the wall.

3. And see these 2 people there, see their gestures, their body language, their faces, the facial expressions.

Hear the voices, how they speak to each other, the volume of the voices, the different tones, the pitch.

Notice any feeling, or are they not there?

And now come back into your body and open your eyes.


How was it, did you notice anything different as you were adopting different perceptual positions? How about your feelings?

What have you learned? What are your conclusions on that matter?

Categories : Coaching, How To, NLP, Reframe

Leave a Reply