Milton and Meta Models

A way to communicate and work effectively

Some years ago I attended courses on Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) and qualified as a practitioner. Since then I’ve used the skills in both my teaching and writing. While on those courses I learned about Milton and Meta models as a means to communicate and work effectively.

Powerful outcomes

These ideas were explored by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, during the early stages of NLP development.  The Milton model was based on the work of hypnotherapist Milton Erickson who helped his patients through the use of vague language which bypassed the conscious mind, bringing about desired behavioural changes at an unconscious level. The Meta model, on the other hand, was based on the work of family therapist Virginia Satir, through specific language patterns designed to clarify ambiguity. These models are therefore polar opposites of one another, and when borrowed and used in other contexts, can bring about powerful outcomes.

Chunking up…chunking down

The use of the Meta model is known as ‘chunking up’. This is particularly helpful in writing, especially when considering such questions as ‘What purpose does this story have?’ or ‘What type of story is this?’  Questions like these can really help to direct the panser-like writer that I am, in achieving an overview. However the meta model is equally as useful for getting at specifics, such as ‘How best can I tell this story?’ then considering more detailed matters, one step at a time, until whole works become acts and acts become scenes. Questions about structural and storytelling points are particularity relevant here. This is ‘chunking down’.

Indie authors are in…business

While these strategies will often occur anyway, during the writing process, I do believe a conscious asking of such questions helps to strengthen and clarify matters. I highly recommend the study of NLP, which has so many applications in life, especially in business. And indie authors are in the business of writing and selling books.

3 thoughts on “Milton and Meta Models

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