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MindBridge NLP Coach Certification Training

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  1. 1 - Introduction to NLP and Professional Life Coaching
    8 Topics
  2. 2 - Fundamentals of Influential Communication
    5 Topics
  3. 3 - Characteristics of Excellence in Communication
    2 Topics
  4. 4 - a. Identifying Thinking Styles
    1 Topic
    1 Quiz
  5. 4 - b. Rapport
  6. 5 - a. Values Clarification
  7. 5 - b. Submodalities
  8. 6 - a. Anchoring Techniques
    2 Topics
  9. Managers as Coaches
  10. 7 - Clarifying Communication
    5 Topics
  11. 7 - a. Power of Questions
  12. 7 - b. Intake- Initial Pre-Coach Session
  13. 8 - Criteria
    3 Topics
  14. 8 - a. Perceptual Flexibility - Perceptual Position Quiz
    3 Topics
  15. 8 - b Well Formed Outcomes
    3 Topics
  16. 9 - 3 NLP Techniques Demonstrations
  17. 10 - Identifying Mind Maps
  18. 10- a. Meta Program Psychometric Quizzes
  19. 10 - b. Key Meta Program Patterns Explained
    7 Topics
  20. 10 - c. NLP Coach Session Demonstration
  21. 10 - d. Evaluation Forms -Outcome Coach Session
  22. 10 - e. Evaluation Video of NLP Coaching Demonstration
  23. 11 - NLP Coaching Sessions
    2 Topics
  24. 11 - a. Evaluation of Demo - Categories of Experience
  25. 11 - b. Directionalizing the Session
  26. 12 - Insights and Just for the fun of it!
Lesson 8 of 26
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6 – a. Anchoring Techniques

Jerry December 27, 2020
Demonstration of Anchoring Process

In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) classical conditioning is usually referred to as anchoring. Consider the numerous conditioned responses in your life; alarm clocks, picture of your friends and loved ones; that look from your mother, etc. These are a few examples of anchors we all experience.

Anchoring is a neuro-linguistic programming term for the process by which the memory of internal states become associated with (anchored to) some stimulus, in such a way that perception of the stimulus (the anchor) leads by reflex to the response. 

Anchoring works when at the peak of an intense experience (positive or negative) a specific stimulus is applied. This forms a neurological link between the emotional state and the stimulus, and an anchor is created. Now, every time the stimulus is applied the emotional response will be triggered.

There are several criteria that determine the strength of an anchor.

The first one is the intensity of the state the person is experiencing. The more powerful the state, the more likely the anchor is to work later on. The more intense the memory you use for the anchor, the more powerful the anchor will be. All you have to do is choose a strong memory and play with the submodalities to make it even more intense.

Next is the timing of the anchor. You will want to release the anchor when the positive feelings of your memory are peaking. This guarantees you the strongest response. The best way to get your timing right is to run through the memory once before setting an anchor, and note where the emotions peak. Simple!

The stimulus applied should also be a unique one, which is easily identifiably and reproducible, meaning that you want a unique trigger that you’re not going to set off inappropriately.

The final points are the replication of the stimulus, this simply means that you should be able to replicate the anchor in the same way you created it.

The stimulus may be quite neutral or even out of conscious awareness, and the response may be either positive or negative.

Anchors are capable of being formed and reinforced by repeated stimuli, and thus are comparable to classical conditioning.

Basic NLP anchoring essentially involves the elicitation of a strong, congruent experience of a desired state, while using some identifiable stimulus (touch, word, sight) in time with the rising intensity of the state. In many cases, repetition of the stimulus will re-associate and restore the experience of the state. There are refinements and sophistications in setting anchors this way, and subtleties involved in order to both set them with precision, and to avoid accidentally neutralizing them in the process of establishing the anchor.

Here are a few of the different definitions of anchoring in use in the field of NLP:

Robert Dilts: Anchor: Stimuli that will consistently produce the same internal data in an individual. Anchors occur naturally. Bandler and Grinder discovered that you can deliberately set-up a stimulus with a gesture or a touch or a sound to hold a state stable. Where an external stimulus is paired with an internal state.

Leslie Cameron-Bandler: In the same way that certain external stimuli become associated with past experiences (thus recalling the past experience) you can deliberately associate a stimulus to a specific experience. Once this association has taken place, you can then trigger the experience at will. It works in the same way that language does.

Bandler & Grinder: Anchoring refers to the tendency for any one element of an experience to bring back the entire experience.

Sid Jacobson:…it is an NLP way of talking about classical (Pavlov’s) conditioning, but it made a lot more sense.

Steve Andreas: The way we naturally link things that happen at the same time. This knowledge gives us a way to take resources from one area of our lives and apply them in broader ways for our well-being.

Tony Robbins: Anchoring: The process by which any representation (internal or external) gets connected to and triggers a subsequent string of representations and responses. Anchors can be naturally occurring or set up deliberately. An example of an anchor for a particular set of responses is what happens when you think of the way a special, much-loved person says your name.

The notion of using anchoring was refined by Bandler and Grinder and uses the power of the unconscious to get the responses you desire. It is a natural process that usually occurs without our awareness and may have positive impact, or be maladaptive. For example, a voice tonality that resembles the characteristics of one’s perception of an “angry voice” may not actually be as a result of anger, but will usually trigger an emotional response in the person perceiving the tonality to have the traits of anger.

However, consciously creating an anchor means a resource state can be recalled at will. For example, touching the wrist of the left hand as the anchor has been established so that this action produces the resourceful state.

Types of anchors

Anchors (the ‘trigger’ or stimulus) can come in an infinitude of possible forms: verbal phrases, physical touches or sensations, certain sights and sounds, or internally, such as words one says to oneself, memories and emotional states. An extreme view is that almost everything one perceives acts as an anchor, in the sense that perceiving it tends to trigger reflexively some thought or feeling or response.

There are certain speculations as to what criteria must be met before an Anchor can be properly formed. Most agree that the trigger must be

  • Specific – otherwise the subject will not begin to sensitize to it
  • Intermittent – if it were constant then desensitization would eventually occur
  • Anchored to a unique, specific and prompt reaction – otherwise the anchor will fail to elicit and reinforced any one single response due to many different reactions being associated to the trigger.

It is also important  to note that in creating the anchor the neurological ‘lesson’ is quite capable of working either way.  This is an example of where precision and structure may create a difference between success and failure.

The anchor develops when both of the two of the events happen together on a regular basis for a certain number of times; for example if every time you eat while watching television, you may find yourself getting hungry while watching TV. The more sensitive a person is to a particular class of experience the more likely to develop an anchor.

If, when young, you participated in family activities that gave you great pleasure, the pleasure was associated with the activity itself, so when you think of the activity or are reminded of it you tend to re-experience some pleasurable feeling.

Flicking through an old family photo album stirs pleasant memories and some of the feelings associated with them. A child’s comforter in an unfamiliar situation. An old love song re-awakens a romantic mood. The smell of freshly baked apple pies might bring back memories of a happy carefree childhood. Phobias in this sense can be studied as one example of very powerful anchors – see spider, feel terrified and nauseous. 

An unusual use of anchoring was studied by Ellen Langer in her study of two groups of 75-80 year old men at Harvard University. For 5 days, both groups were isolated at a retreat. One group was engaged in a series of tasks encouraging them to think about the past in general (to write an autobiography, to discuss the past etc), and the other group engaged in a series of tasks which anchored them back into a specific past time – they wrote an autobiography up to 1959, describing that time as ‘now’, watched 1959 movies, had 1959 music playing on the radios, and lived with only 1959 artifacts. Before and after the 5 days, both groups were studied on a number of criteria associated with aging. While the first group stayed constant or actually deteriorated on these criteria, the second group dramatically improved on physical health measures such as joint flexibility, vision, and muscle breadth, as well as on IQ tests. They were anchored back, physically, to being 50 years old by the sights and sounds of 1959. (Langer, ‘Mindfulness’, Addison Wesley 1989)

NLP Anchoring is used to facilitate state management.

In this sense an anchor is set up to be triggered by a consciously chosen stimulus, deliberately linked by practice to a known useful state to provide reflexive access to that resourceful state at will. 

Anchoring is also used by skillful film makers to evoke suspense in the audience. Think of your own psychological changes that occurred when you heard the soundtracks– amplified, pounding heartbeat rhythm in the moments leading up to each of the appearances of the huge killer shark in the movie Jaws. What anchor was established in you by the crescendo of the sound of the music meeting the shark? Did your heartbeat increase? Did your palms begin to sweat? Did you have to see the shark or was the thumping music enough to start your slide to the edge of your seat? Likewise the finale of classical symphonies, or ‘mood music’ such as romantic, climactic, or apprehensive in films.

Choosing naturally occurring states

The best states to anchor are naturally occurring states. These days I use a different type of way in to the states. I now ask “What do you love to do in your life?” then, when accessed “What’s that like?”; Next best are past, vivid, highly-associated states

States for stacking anchors

To stack anchors elicit several instances of states and anchor them in the same place. The state chosen for a particular stacked anchor can be the same or different. (In collapse anchors, the states stacked should be different; and in chaining anchors the states used for each stacked anchor should be the same).

  • A time when you felt totally powerful.
  • A time when you felt totally loved.
  • A time when you really felt you could have whatever you wanted, a time
    when you felt you couldn’t fail, when you could have it all.
  • A time when you felt really energetic, when you had a ton of energy.
  • A time when you fell down laughing.
  • A time when you felt totally confident.

When done please take the time to reflect on the lesson and post a comment or question below. What insights did you gain? What questions arose for you?

Also, consider responding to the comments of others to start a dialogue.

After you have posted your comment hit the Mark Complete Button and move on to the next topic.

Lesson Content
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  1. Realizing that we are experiencing anchoring throughout any given day – unconsciously. Chunking down the details for Anchoring beginning with the Intensity of the client’s state, the timing of the Anchor, released at Peak and the Uniqueness of the Stimulus applied. You should be able to replicate the Anchor the same way it was created.
    There are many forma of Anchor – triggers & stimulus such as verbal phrases, physical touches, certain sounds or even particular words.
    Anchoring can be used for State Management, Naturally occurring states and states for stack anchoring in addition there are Collapse Anchors and States that are different anchors and chain anchors.