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NLP and Reality Testing

NLP and Reality Testing

How can NLP be used in reality testing?



Full Transcript

Let me be clear. We should always reality test, in my opinion, in a private session. Because you do that in a joint session, it’s too threatening and people lose face. Not good. For example, simple ways to reality test are just four questions that come out of the meta-model.

‘What would happen if you said “yes” to this agreement?’ Or, ‘What would happen if you said “no” to this agreement?’ You’re literally forcing them to think about the consequences. You can ask it any other way you like, but essentially if you understand that the creature you’re hunting is the consequence. ‘What would happen if’ is the question.


The funkier way of asking that is actually ‘What wouldn’t happen if?’ Did you see how that messes around with your mind for a moment? For example, if I said to you, ‘What would happen if you gave this person a contract?’ Okay? It’s easy for people to process and they usually tell you these are the pros and these are the cons. The next question, ‘What wouldn’t happen if you gave this person a contract?’ It forces you to actually think about the reverse image, almost like the negative image of that.


Interesting enough, sometimes that actually smokes out some interests that you may not get with that first question. It can get a lot more complicated because, ‘What would happen if?’

‘What wouldn’t happen if?’

‘What would happen if you didn’t?’

‘What wouldn’t happen if you did.’

So you could actually play around with that. I strongly recommend not doing that when you’re driving. It’s kind of bad. Smoke comes out their ears and stuff like that.


And you don’t have to use all four questions, but essentially, it’s a great way to get people to think about the consequences and thinking around the problem.

About the mediator

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Joel Lee is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, the National University of Singapore and runs the faculty’s Negotiation and Mediation Workshops. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Joel is a consultant with CMPartners (USA) and a principal mediator with and a trainer of the Singapore Mediation Centre. Joel has extensive experience as a consultant and trainer for corporate clients such as Standard Chartered Bank, Freshfields, the Singapo... View Mediator