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.
Sometimes it is useful and sometimes it prevents them from expressing themselves well or changing their views of behavior freely in response to new information or in new contexts. This is another area in which the line is thin between information gathering and intervention, because getting more detailed information is sometimes enough to allow changes that would not have taken place beforehand. NLP Unspecified Verb.
- As you were learning to speak…
- We are having a lot of fun!
- People err all the time.
- It is wonderful to grow isn’t it? NLP Unspecified Verb.
Are you able to picture the events in the statements? If you can’t, or the process is fuzzy, there is probably an unspecified verb (or noun) lurking. Try it “He sat on my foot” – I can make a movie of this. “He hurt my foot” – I am trying on different things in my movie. NLP Unspecified Verb.
Closely related to unexplained verbs are nominalizations, which are unclear verbs we twist into nouns. First the process is “Delete” then “Distort” is touched. My frustration with the boss makes me exhausted. (“My boss frustrates me” becomes a solid thing) NLP Unspecified Verb.
To some extent, every verb is unspecified. We would be overwhelmed if we specified everything. What will you gain by having more information on a particular verb? NLP Unspecified Verb.
How to Challenge
A good question to recover and gain more information is to ask: “How specifically…” And still as you want to explore this pattern in more depth, you can ask questions like:
- What specifically were you doing in order to learn to speak?
- Ho do people have fun? What makes this fun for you? NLP Unspecified Verb.
- How do people err, specifically?
- Grow in what way? NLP Unspecified Verb.
As an exercise today, write out 20 verbs, for which you would have unanswered questions to: How? When? Where? NLP Unspecified Verb.
About Mind Tools
Mind Tools provides NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner Trainings and Certifications. We educate you according to the renowned, latest and highest standards set by the Society of NLP. We will train you thoroughly in all the corners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and some extras we learned from Richard Bandler directly.
Articles you might be interested in
In NLP Comparative Deletion is any statement wherein a comparison is implied or given. But where one side of the comparison is omitted. When you accept a statement without understanding what’s behind it, you get stuck. Many “self esteem” issues come from deciding someone is better or more worthy at a general level rather than questioning the standard. “Better at what specifically?” If you don’t know what the standard is, how can you improve or disregard it?
Any statement with missing of deficient information is a simple deletion. In NLP Simple deletions are where part of the meaning are left out or lost. You can notice them in sentences with it and that. Also when referring to missing descriptions (adjectives) – as in “Please give me the report.”, can be challenged with the question “Which report do you want, specifically”. Assuming that you know which category or thing the person means can get you into trouble. You think you know which report the boss wants when she says “Get me a report on it straight away”. Filling in her request blindly and delivering the report will result in a mind read, cause you have to fill in the information for “it”. Mind reading fills in the deletion gaps.
29/1 Baanmai Langmor Soi 7
Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand
+66 (0)53 810 587