NLP Techniques: Anchoring Powerful States


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How does anchoring work?

Anchoring is a classic and powerful technique in NLP. Bandler and Grinder discovered it as they modeled therapists who were able to put their clients into whatever state they wanted. It looked like magic until Bandler and Grinder were able to figure it out and replicated the results.

In this video you will notice Natasha going into a resourceful state of balance and openness to opportunity, a positive state she has chosen.

I use sensory acuity to calibrate her going into the state. Once I can see that she is there I set the anchor.

I anchor her three times by touching her wrist and saying "That's right". I set both a kinesthetic anchor and an auditory anchor.

After three times I test the anchor by touching her wrist. Her eyes open wider and she smiles. Clearly the anchor worked and she went back into the state.

When I test the auditory anchor though she feels it but not a strong as the kinesthetic anchor.

I try out a visual anchor by pointing to her wrist and even though i haven't set a visual anchor she still goes into the state.

Anchors work by attaching an external sensation with an internal state. If you think of a boat anchored at sea it's a great metaphor for how this works. An anchor is a way to fire and hold a state amongst competing stimuli. 

This is great for putting a coaching client in a good state before coaching. It's also great for inner game and using on yourself when you want to create resourceful states and bring them into certain contexts at will such as giving a presentation or a sales appointment.

There's a lot more you can do with anchors which I will describe in future blogs and demonstrate in future videos.


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Damon Cart
Coach and Trainer
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