mindtools personal development neuro linguistic programming nlp meta model nlp deletion nlp lack of referential index
Any unspecified noun, where it is impossible to identify the representative entity from the immediate context of its usage is called in NLP Lack of Referential Index. I.e., it is unclear as to whom or what the noun makes reference to. Unspecified nouns are nouns (the person/being or thing part) where you don’t know who or what they are specifically talking about. NLP calls this a lack of referential index. Don’t you love these terms? Not knowing who or what the person is talking about can result in misunderstanding. You (or they) tend to fill in the gaps with your (or their) own ideas and will walk into a mind read. In other words we have to guess and then act on that guess.

We often talk about this mythical group of people called “they” or other groups. “They won’t like me”, “They are better than me”, “Employers don’t like too many jobs on a resume”, and “Men don’t like smart women”. This kind of thinking can limit us when we respond to “them” rather than real specific people. NLP Lack of Referential Index.

Some examples

We can also stereotype people when we don’t recognize that we are really talking about 2 actual people we know. “Those Dutch are greedy”, “Those kind of people are no good” and so on. Examples to scan for and questions you can ask to explore this pattern in more depth:

  • I agree with that – You agree with what do you agree, specifically?
  • Four of those are good – Which four are you referring to and from which group?
  • Ewww, throw that one out! – Throw which one out? NLP Lack of Referential Index.
  • I believe this goes with that – Which goes with which other one?
  • So they say! – Says whom, specifically? NLP Lack of Referential Index.

Exercise for you today is twofold: One, master your scanning mechanism for Lack of Referential Index. Two, reread the past two days and start to listen to conversations on the street, in the supermarket, on the radio, in stores, wherever you are, you start to listen to the learnings of the past few days. Remember that the world is your playground and look for what is not there! NLP Lack of Referential Index.

More information

In NLP Lack of Referential Index is part of the higher chunk called Deletion which is part of the Meta Model.

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