Practical NLP 24: What Is ‘Genius’?

Einstein-formal_portrait-35What do we mean when we call someone a ‘genius’? And if that person is a role model for us and we want to be more like them, is the concept of ‘genius’ getting in the way? Find out how, and what to do instead, in this brief podcast.

I have something a bit different for you this week – it’s an extract from an NLP Master Practitioner course that I ran in Manchester in about 2009. It starts to introduce the concept of ‘modelling’ (or ‘modeling’ in American English) in NLP – a way of rapidly learning some ability from a person who is good at it and stripping that reproduction down to a ‘model’ that contains the essentials, in a way that allows the skill to be transferred to others.

It also looks at how calling someone ‘a genius’ is not very helpful in replicating their skills, and why you will get on much better if you look at what they are actually doing.

Also featuring:

  • The ‘dormitive quality’ of a sleeping draft in Voltaire’s ‘Candide’
  • What ‘genius’ originally meant
  • Why teenagers learn martial arts quicker than grown men and women

Apologies for the sound quality (though everything is audible and I’ve cleaned the sound up as much as I can) – it was recorded on a fairly primitive camcorder.

If you’re new to NLP, here’s a couple of words and names that are mentioned which you might not catch if you’re not familiar with them:

Nominalisations – these are words which refer to actions and processes as if they were things, and so they take a lot of the life out of language if they are used a lot. You can usually recognise them because most nominalisations are dry, abstract, long words, derived from Greek or Latin. There are some great examples of nominalisations from a government web site here.

Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson – these are the three ‘genius therapists’ whose skills Richard Bandler and John Grinder modelled in the course of creating NLP.

Duration: 8m43s

Note: Only the most recent 10 episodes of the Practical NLP Podcast are available on Apple Podcasts. You can still listen to an unedited version of this episode (with not-very-exciting video) on my Youtube channel.

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