Have you noticed that there are certain recurring “themes” in your life, and in the lives of your clients? How do you get to the bottom of these themes, so you can address them directly?
Enter NLP’s “Prime Concerns.” This is a brilliant, simple and powerful system of questions designed to get right to the heart of what is really going on with someone.
To understand Prime Concerns, the following are associated:
Starting things is associated with being.
Changing things is associated with doing.
Stopping things is associated with having.
I know there does not seem to be any relation on the surface. That’s part of why it seems so “magical” when you work with it!
This is how you work with Prime Concerns:
Ask the client, what they are best at, starting things, changing things, or stopping things. Then ask them what they are worst at, starting things, changing things or stopping things.
The third question you would ask, “Who/what is it that you are not (being or doing, or having) that you want to (be, do or have).”
For example, say your client says they are best at changing things. That is associated with doing. Your client says they are worst at stopping things, this is associated with having. You would ask that client what is it that you do not have that you want to have?
This points to something that is of high importance to the client, thus the term “Prime Concern.” Be aware that you will want to take note of the exact words they use. By utilizing their own specific language, you will be more effective in reaching them to help them create the change they are looking for in life.
If they have problems starting things, they most likely will have issues with not being who they want to be. This could relate to relationships, career, or a certain role in life.
If they are challenged with changing things, they will most likely have something in their life that they want to be doing, and they are not. Perhaps they are a lawyer and they want to be a stand-up comedian. You get the idea. If they struggle with stopping things, they may find themselves not having something that is very important to them.
Try this out on yourself, then use it with your clients. Notice how their responses relate to what you already know about them. I am always surprised at the results.