Understanding the State-the Mercedes Model
Working with the NLP Mercedes Model
Most issues have at their core the simple idea of programming. All our lives we have been collecting files and information about what is right, what is wrong, what is possible and what isn’t.
All these files go into making us who we are, and sometimes, through no fault of our own these files get outdated, they are no longer useful and we need to replace or update them.
One of the models NLP uses to define our present state is called the Mercedes Model. This model elegantly defines the relationship between our
Thinking: This is defined as the quality of our internal dialogue and the type of pictures and movies we run in our mind. Our beliefs and values are also defined here as we use language to express them.
Feeling: The quality of our emotions, for example, anxiety or confidence, and how do we tell the difference between a feeling of anxiety and a feeling of confidence.
Behaviours: The quality of what we do and what we say. This includes our physiology, for example, how we stand, how we walk, our gestures and the kind of facial expressions we use.
The quality of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours all depend on each other. With a detailed analysis of your current thoughts, feelings and behaviours you can then work out the best ways of making your future happen
Walk the Grace and Power
Walking with Grace and Power is a kinaesthetic pattern (gets the body involved), does not require the participation of the conscious mind and makes use of the connection between your internal representations and your physiology. That is, maintaining a positive and resourceful physiology while thinking of a less than resourceful experience helps your client to ‘rewire’ the neurology and overwrite the less than resourceful response. As this exercise involves using the body, it is a great exercise to use with children, as well as adults.
As with many NLP processes, it is not necessary for the coach to know the issue that the client is working on.
Walking is just one way to use this pattern. If the client is capable of other kinaesthetic activities that require a fair degree of concentration to maintain excellence, then these could be used as an alternative. For example: dancing, drumming, juggling, Tai-Chi, martial arts patterns. The coach must understand the activity well enough to spot slips from excellence and be able to issue corrections.
The excellent state must be maintained for several minutes (up to 15 minutes) before the non-resourceful situation (choice point) is re-introduced in order to get the full physiological biochemistry activated.
If the physiology deteriorates, the choice point is set aside until excellence is restored in the walking state.
The basic steps are as follows:
1. Once the client and coach are in rapport, the client identifies a situation (from either a pattern of behaviour or a future specific situation) where the client wants to either have more of an existing resource or to add a new resource or quality in that situation, in order to get a better outcome in the future. The client then sets that situation aside for the moment.
2. The client walks in a pattern that is a minimum of 10-12 feet (e.g. circle, oval or back and forth). As the client walks, the coach suggests changes to the client’s physiology (e.g. by altering the position of the head, neck, shoulders, breathing pattern, posture, length of stride, position of feet etc.) in order to achieve excellence (grace, power, confidence and elegance). This can be done verbally or by touch adjustments.
3. The client continues to walk while making a mental inventory of the new style. The coach monitors the client to ensure that the new style is being maintained.
4. While maintaining the quality of the walk the client thinks their way through the situation identified in 1. The coach encourages the client and monitors the quality of the walk. If the quality falters, the coach has the client return to the resourceful state in step 2.
5. Once the situation in step 1 has been completely thought through end-to-end while maintaining the quality of the walk, the client stops walking.
6. Test and future pace