David Seah has a hilarious post over at his blog, ‘Thinking Negative’ that’s giving me some ideas on how to write my future posts:

“No no no, that’s not how it works.” the ghost said impatiently. “If you’d had any real talent, it would have manifested itself—at the latest—by your 21st birthday. Too bad you didn’t do more work in high school and college…that might have made up for your dearth of talent, and you could have gone to a really good grad school. Then you might have had a shot. But no…I want to find my passion…” The ghost minced around in a circle, hands waving in mock panic. “I need to know my purpose in life! I’m a maverick! I’m a lone wolf!”

Funny! And there’s a reason David starts to feel better after being ribbed by his Ghost of Talentlessness. Intentionally or not, he used a technique often employed in coaching. You take a limiting statement by the client and take it to its extreme logical limit;

Client: Aw shucks, I’ll never meet anyone I like.

Coach: Wow, you’re going to hate every single person you meet until you die?

instead of meeting the belief at its limiting level, you stretch it logically until it becomes so ridiculous its logic fails (for the NLPers, ‘threshold blowout’), and the belief gets weakened or even thrashed, with good humour too!

Before you go ‘Whee! Another useful tip to play with’, what do you need first to use this with your friends, family, clients, or tall, beautiful strangers? That’s right, rapport.

Only someone who trusts that you’re being ludicrous to help them feel better and not to belittle or insult them will let you get away with this. Remember, it’s only a joke when someone else also finds it funny!

What is this animal called rapport exactly? That’s another topic in itself, and there are some common misunderstandings about it that I’ll write about in my next post.

P.S. Interested to find out more about the unconscious structure of creating effective threshold blowouts using humour and rapport? Short of being coached by us, the book Provocative Therapy is where I first learnt what it was I was doing without knowing about it, and how to do it even more elegantly