So here we are at the end of our examination of the Milton Model.
I have a couple of suggestions about how to get really good at Milton Model patterns – one about your unconscious mind, and one about consciously directed deliberate practice.
Finally, a reminder of something that’s important in mastering any skill – paying attention to the feedback you’re getting.
Advice for your unconscious mind
If you were to study the Milton Model with the aim of becoming a skilled hypnotherapist, what you would want to do now is to practise putting these patterns together in different ways.
You would practise making them up as you go along – in fact, letting your unconscious mind generate them for you – so that you can improvise suggestions in a connected and coherent way for any client, with any problem, without a script.
How do you make sure that the suggestions that come out of your mouth are actually good for your clients, business contacts, friends, family members… in fact whoever you are talking to?
Remember that to hold a positive internal representation of that person. This means keeping in mind the NLP presuppositions that they have all the resources they need, and that they are doing the best they can. Also that you’re not the best judge of what is good for them – they have an inner wisdom that they can access.
If you do this, then because your presuppositions and internal representations shape the words that you say, whatever you say to that person will be a positive, empowering suggestion, without you having to think consciously about what words to use.
Advice for your conscious mind
If you want to use the Milton Model in a business context, to increase sales or lead your team better;
Or you’re a teacher, a manager or a coach who wants the most effective ways to communicate belief in people’s capabilities;
Or a sports psychologist who wants to get the athlete into the best possible frame of mind to compete;
Here’s what I suggest you do: get a notebook small enough to carry around with you, allocate a separate page to each pattern, and write down any real-life Milton Model examples that you hear that are relevant to what you want to do with them.
In fact, just write down any good examples at all that you hear, or think up, because it’s the structure of the pattern that’s important, not the content.
You can always substitute different words into the pattern to make it relevant to your purposes.
If you’re attending an NLP course or an NLP practice group about language patterns, bring your examples into the live course with you – doing this kind of practice is the most important quality that distinguishes the star performer from the average.
Pay attention to results, moment to moment
One final word about the Milton Model. When you are using it, you need to pay attention.
Milton Erickson had exquisite sensory acuity, not in the sense that he had eyes like a hawk or ears like a bat, but just that he knew to pay attention to what was going on with the people that he worked with, so he noticed state changes, speeding up or slowing down of breathing or even heartbeats, skin colour changes and so on.
These subtle changes told him when his clients were going into or coming out of trance, when a suggestion was particularly effective, and so on. That gave him a feedback loop that told him to do more of a particular kind of pattern, when to change tack, when to do a pattern interrupt, and so on.
Other people thought he had almost magical powers – he was just paying attention.
In the same way, when you use Milton Model patterns, make sure you’re not firing blind. Pay attention to the effect your words have, and remember that you’re in a conversation.
Your Milton Model patterns should make sense in the context of the conversation, and flow naturally from the other person’s responses.
That way, what you say will seem natural to the other person, won’t jar the conversation off track, and the patterns can get on with doing their jobs.
Lots more about NLP language patterns in this book – Practical NLP 2: Language – How to use presuppositions, chunking, the Meta Model and the Milton Model in practice!