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What is your model of the world like?

As far as I know, everyone has a different ‘model of the world’.

I have adult twin boys – so as far as nature or nurture argument, they have been treated pretty much the same as they grew up. Yet they think so differently, have different values and different beliefs. Which means that they have their own unique model of the world.

In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms ‘model of the world’ means an individual’s beliefs and values, filters, desires and expectations, experiences and learning’s about the world. It’s like each of us has our own individual bar code, our own internal map of what is real or not. Our behaviour is governed by how we perceive the world. These internal ‘maps’ and the relationships within our minds are referred to as our ‘model of the world’.

An event occurs. Ask the people who observed the event to describe it. Each person will provide a different description.

How does this happen?

Each person has used their individual beliefs and values, filters, desires and expectations, experiences and learning’s about the world to observe the event and hence, with this unique perspective, their description will vary to someone else’s.

We assume that what we understand, observe or how we experience an event is the way it is. However your understanding of an event is only one of many alternatives. When you have only one understanding of something it is less likely that you can perceive it from another angle – you are fully associated with it and believe that this is the way it is.

By creating flexibility in how you think and taking on the belief that this is one of many possibilities or ways of something happening then you have an opportunity free yourself up and create a separation from the event.

Imagine you have stepped into a dark room with a torch. The room is amazing and full of interesting and curious things. The torch shines a circle of light on one thing or part of the room and then another. This is your model of the world – what you are experiencing in that circle of light.

Someone else enters the room through another doorway (or even the same doorway). Their torch shines on different things. They are seeing something different from you and yet you are both in the same room. When you compare your experiences they are likely to be different.

Why is it useful to know this? So that you or anyone else can understand that this is the underlying basis of communication or, mis-communication.

When you are talking with someone, the meaning of the message you send is determined by the response you receive. So if you are sending a message about your model of the world that does not match with someone else’s model, you may be frequently misunderstood.

Consider reviewing and revising how you are communicating. By considering what another person’s map of the world is and tailoring your communication, the opportunity for understanding increases.

It is a fundamental to be aware of your model of the world (how you are being) and have the flexibility to identify and step into the other person’s model of the world (how they are being) and open up the level of understanding between you and them.

No more excuses for being misunderstood!


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