I was assisting on an NLP practitioner course, when I noticed some interesting things. One participant was having some difficulty visualising ‘understanding’ in an exercise, so on an intuition I asked them just to picture what colour it would be. This proved to be much easier and produced a powerful response, so I played with this a bit, using colours for different states.

I’ve also found it useful to ask the questions that others rarely do and for a long time I was curious about what was on the back of people’s pictures. So when I was helping out on another seminar, these pieces went together in an extremely useful way.

I remembered an optical illusion that I saw when I was much younger. On one side of a paper disk is a picture of a bird. On the other side is a cage. When the disk is spun fast on its axis, the bird appears to be in the cage.

With this in mind, I came up with the following application, which I have used successfully with clients.

1 - Pick a situation where you would like to be more resourceful

2 - Picture that situation as it currently is.

3 - Put that picture aside for now and ask yourself - What resource needs to be added to balance / improve the situation in an ecological manner?

4 - If this resource state / feeling were a colour, what would that be?

5 - Check the resource is sufficiently strong by looking at the world through a filter of that colour. If it is too weak, either turn colour/brightness up or go for a ‘better’ colour.

6 - Take away the coloured filter and get back the picture of the problem situation.

7 - Paint the back of the picture in the resourceful colour.

8 - Spin the picture, so that you see back, front, back, front, etc.

9 - Stop, break state, then picture the situation again, noticing how different you feel about it now.

10 - Future pace.

While the above technique is visual, I have also found it to be effective in auditory (e.g. spin sounds around the person) and kinesthetic (e.g. spin one feeling into another) modalities.

Author's Bio: 

Philip Callaghan is a trainer and coach based in York, England. His company, Resourceful Change specialises in applied NLP and accelerated learning techniques in Business Training, Coaching and 1 on 1 changework.