Creating an attitude of agreement with someone whose point of view you disagree with does seem paradoxical, especially a child that is wrong! And before you disagree with this hint to agree...just wait a moment. What happens to you when you think that you have to defend your position? If you’re like most people, our mind closes down and we get ready to dig in, to defend or attack. When someone tells us we are wrong, it feels as though we are under attack. That we need to shut down the boundaries, and bring out the barriers and barricades. We are unlikely to be in a mind-set, or have an attitude where we will be able to find any commonality.
If you see agreement as a loss of personal power, then you are playing a power game of win or lose. The question from here would then be “At what cost are you willing to win? If agreeing with something that you disagree with is too much of a challenge, check your attitude. How are you picturing the situation? What are you seeing yourself in this image? What expression are you wearing on your face? Attitudes ooze out of our bodies, they leak from us. Attitudes are an expression of our feelings towards someone or something else.
Whilst you visualise yourself with an attitude of agreement of the person, notice how this attitude of agreement moves you away from an conflict of being right or wrong and into a frame of understanding, learning and growing. Understanding what’s going on for them, learning what they want and growing from the experience of finding other ways to achieve this or a bigger outcome.
Let’s think of this another way, if everyone else is disagreeing with you, how does that feel? Isolating, alone, attacked, unloved, abandoned and rejected? These may seem like pretty strong words, but for a child this is part of their reality. They know that you are responsible for their survival, they have to be attached to you or they die, they know this like you did as a child, without even knowing how you knew. Children need you to make you love them enough to keep them alive, they need this attachment. And most of the time this is ok, right! And there are those times…when…oh…yep those times.
Give yourself a couple of breaths to clear and open with a positive attitude to agreement, where you validate your child, “you’re right” and change their behaviour. This is easier with an attitude of agreement. When you think of someone agreeing with you, how do you feel? Do you feel validated? Do you feel your opinions are valued? Do you feel that your thoughts are appreciated? How does that feel in your self-worth and self-esteem? How does it feel being able to let your child to feel these feelings of validation, value, appreciation too?
If you are unable to agree with the content, are you willing to give the gift of gratitude, importance and validation to your little person? If a person is important to you (your child, your partner, your parent) then the attitude of agreement is a small present that means so much, a bit like giving diamonds really. You see we don’t all live in the same reality, we don’t respond to the world as it is, we respond to the world as we are!
There are some presuppositions, assumptions or slogans that provide greater choice and enable change easier. Even though there is not one definitive list of the NLP presuppositions, one of the agreed presuppositions is that we each create our own Map of the World. There is no such thing as reality, reality is a construct, we create our own reality. A rainy day to Mike is a horrible day, getting wet on the way to school but to Sally it’s put those wellies on puddles here we come, splashing all the way to school. I bet you can already imagine the different attitudes being communicated in this example.
Finding out others people’s model of the world, their map of the world, is fascinating. Learning how theirs is different from ours is captivating. Agreeing with them means that you have joined them in their map of the world, here you don’t have to take on their perspective but you are able to acknowledge they have a different point of view to you. Rather than trying to convince them that you are correct, adopt the attitude of finding ways where both of you are correct. Or accepting their reality; acknowledging, without having to own it as your own. Essentially agreeing that there are different perspective and lenses for the situation, that you both your own version of events. Simply having this attitude can transform the situation in itself. When you then offer, sincerely and genuinely “you’re right” notice what happens.
One way that you can begin to develop this skill is as you’re watching TV or listening to the radio, anything that you’re not directly involved in, and saying to “You’re right” to whatever the reporter is stating. When others have done this they notice that they find they are more open minded to new ideas or listening with the intent to hear than they were before.
So the next time that you find yourself entering into an argument, look for what you can agree about and then start your next line with “You’re right and…” let me know how it goes for you.
Have a look at the upcoming courses and events, there's a couple next months...come and join me