Meta Programs

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  1. #1. Chunk Size/Reasoning Style:
    General and Global/Specifics and Details
    Deductive, Inductive, Abductive

    Concept: With regard to the size of the "chunk" of information. Deductive thinkers start globally and move downward, inductive thinkers start specifically with the details and move upward, and abductive thinkers use metaphors and analogies to think "on the side,"
    • 1. Global sorting/Deductive, Those who sort in a general way easily recall times they felt bored and frustrated by someone who seemed compelled to feed them detail upon detail they really didn't want or need.
    • 2. Detail sorting/Inductive, Those who sort via specifics can recall the frustration of dealing with someone who seemed to talk "up in the air.' vaguely, and did not supply them important details of reality.
    • 3. Lateral sorting/Abductive. Not only do we reason through induction (the scientific mindset) and deduction (the philosophical mindset), but we also reason via analogy, metaphor, story, narrative, etc. (the poetic mindset)
  2. #2, Relationship Sort:
    Sameness or Difference/Opposite

    Concept: We generally have one of two basic ways of mentally operating how we work with and compare data when we first confront new information. We can either look for what matches what we already know—what we find as the same as our existing knowledge, or we can look for what differs or mis-matches our knowledge.
    • 1. Sorting for sameness. People who match, focus their attention on how things match up in a similar way to previous experience. They tend to value security and want their world to stay the same.
    • 2. Sorting for differences. Those who mismatch will first notice the things that differ. They value change, variety, and newness. They will not like situations that remain static, but find them boring.
    • 3. "Matching with Exception" describe those who first notice similarities,then send their consciousness to differences. They like things to remain relatively the same, but allow change that comes about gradually.
    • 4. "Mismatching with Exception" describes those who first notice differences, and then send their mind to similarities. Such individuals tend to enjoy change and variety, but not revolutionary change.
    • 5. Sorting for sameness and differences equally. This describes a fairly equal sorting for both of these distinctions.
  3. #3. Representational System Sort:

    Concept: Brains "think" or create "thoughts" via the process of representing sensory data (information), the "mind/' which we process via our external senses. Thus we "see" images and pictures, we "hear" sounds, noise,music, words, we "feel" sensations, movements, etc,
    1. Visual representers: People who process and organize their world visually usually sit up erect move eves upward when visualizing, breathe high in chest, use high tones, move quick, and use visual predicates (see, imagine, clear, picture, etc.). Visuals look at people and want others to look at them when they talk.

    2. Auditory representers: People who process and organize their world with sounds move their eyes from side to side when accessing information.

    3. Kinesthetic representers: People who process and organize things with their body sensations will move their eyes downward when assessing and use  kinesthetic predicates (touch, feel, grab, warm, moves me, impact, etc.).

    4. Auditory-digital representers: Laborde (1984) describes them as "the cerebrals" because they can "live in their heads" and can develop "a thick filter of language between their sensory perceptions and their experiences."
  4. #4. Information Gathering Style:

    Concept: in processing data, a person can notice and focus on the internal world of his or her own subjectivity, which we designate as in "Downtime,"or can notice and focus primarily on the external world, which we designate as in "Uptime"
    Elicitation: "When you listen to a Speech or conversation, do you tend to hear the specific sensory-based data (VAK) or do you go inside (Downtime) and listen for what the speaker means?" "Do you want to hear proof and evidence from the outside or do you take more interest in your internal thoughts about it?"

    • Uptime refers to having full sensory awareness of things in the environment and paying attention to what we receive from the outside. When listening, we process by attending descriptively to the other person's responses 
    • (posture, eye contact, gestures, etc) rather than by our assumptions of those cues.

    Downtime, by contrast refers to going "inside" of ourselves, so to speak,and taking cognizance primarily of our own thoughts and emotions. To do this  makes us "blind and deaf" to the external world.
  5. #5. Epistemology Sort:

    Concept: There exists two key ways for gathering information from things: by either using one's senses or by intuiting (This Meta-Program simply expresses a further development of #4).
    Those who use their senses primarily gather information about the world through empirical means—the sensory modalities. They use their capacities for seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting to deal with concrete and factual experiences. Using the Uptime access state, they tend to function primarily as empiricists and pragmatists (even positivists).

    Those who use their intuitions gather information through non-sensory means—by their in-knowing of things. They look for possibilities, make assumptions about the meanings of things; look for relationships, and appraise larger significances of things. And because they approach things abstractly and holistically, they tend to function as rationalists and visionaries (even as phenomenologists and constructivists). They will tend to do more Downtime accessing.
  6. #6. Perceptual Categories Sort:
    Black-and-white vs Continuum

    Concept: Some minds operate more skillfully, and/or have received more training, in discerning broad categories while others operate with more sophisticated discernment within the gray areas in between the polar ends of a continuum.
    Identification: Black-and-white thinking enables a person to make clear and definite distinctions. It motivates one to make quick decisions and to adopt a more "judgment" perspective. Continuum thinking, by contrast,enables one to discriminate at much finer levels, motivates one to make fewer judgments, and to adopt a more indecisive style.

    • Languaging: Continuum thinkers will talk about the gray areas, use lots of qualifiers in their language, [Here are the most common qualifiers in English (though some of these words have other functions as well): very, quite, rather, somewhat, more, most, less, least, too, so, just, enough, indeed, still, almost, fairly, really, pretty, even, a bit, a little, a (whole) lot, a good deal, a great deal, kind of, sort of.] and typically continually correct themselves about other possibilities. When over-done, they will "yes, but" themselves and end up continually in a state of indecision. Black-and-wihite thinkers will speak in a far more definite and definitive way, express far less tolerance, will feel tempted to speak dogmatically, and will typically talk inperfectionistic terms.
    • Emoting: Everybody tends to go to the black-and-white style of thinking when they experience a strong stress state.
  7. #7 Attribution Style:
    Best-Case vs. Worst-Case Scenario Thinking

    Concept; Whether a person first looks at the problems, dangers, threats, difficulties, challenges of a situation or the opportunities, possibilities, wonders, excitements, and thrill determines whether their mind goes first to worst- or best-case scenarios.
    Sorting for the best-case scenario orients one in an optimistic, hopeful, goal-oriented, and empowered way. Sorting for the worst-case scenario orients one in a pessimistic, negative, and problem-infused way. When overdone, pessimistic thinking generates feelings of hopelessness.

    Language and Pacing: Those who think pessimistically first will speak about problems, dangers, threats, difficulties, etc. Meet them at that model of their world- Those who think optimistically will first talk about dreams, visions, solutions, ideas, suggestions, etc. Pace where they begin, then lead to the other side of the continuum. This develops flexibility of consciousness.
  8. #8. Perceptual Durability Sort:

    Concept: This Meta-Program addresses the quality of our mental constructs in terms of their permeable or impermeability. What kind of mental constructs do you create or build?
    Some people process ideas, thoughts, beliefs, values, etc. in ways that generate strong, solid, firm, and impermeable constructs (both as ideology and representation) while others process such with much more permeability. This means that other influences (ideas, emotions, experiences) can permeate to affect the person's thinking.

    Languaging: Listen for terms and words of hesitation, doubt, questions, shiftingness, etc, to detect permeable constructs. Listen for terms and words of sureness, definitiveness, "no question" "undeniable" "absolutely" etc to detect impermeable constructs. Look also for the modaloperators (#23) of necessity ("must") and impossibility ("can't) connected with impermeability and those of possibility ("can" "will') connected with permeability.
  9. #9. Focus Sort:
    Concept: The term "stimulus screening" refers to how much of the environment a person characteristically screens out, thereby reduce the environmental load of input stimuli.
    1. Non-screeners. People who characterisetally do little stimulus screening, non-screeners. They typically see, hear, smell, and Otherwise sense a great deal of what goes on around them. They fail to shut out unimportant or irrelevant stimuli. As a result, they often experience distraction.

    • 2. Screeners, People who, 
    • operate in a selective way as to what they notice. They automatically and unconsciously rank facets of a complex situation so as to reduce the need to attend to everything in a dilfuse way. They screen out the less relevant elements. 

    Passives will tend to screen less than aggressives inasmuch as they sort for danger signals in the environment (see #13). Look for signs of distractibility in those who do not screen and un-disturbability in those who do.

    Listen for the non-screener to value and talk more about"quiet, peace, comfort,and complain about noise preventing them from thinking, smells overwhelming them. The screener will  value and talk about "excitement adventure, novel experiences and places.
  10. #10. Philosophical Direction:
    Concept: How "minds" think in terms of philosophical direction alternate between "why" did this or that happen and "what" does this or that mean in terms of origins and source.
    1. "Why" people tend to sort for the philosophical past and so value (or over-value) understanding its origin and source. "If I can understand where something came from, I gain mastery over it."

    2. "How" people tend to sort for the use and purpose of things, They care more about the "so what?" The how philosophical direction moves them into a more solution focus rather than problem focus. "What can I do about it?" "How can I use or respond to this?"
  11. #11. Reality Structure Sort:

    Concept: How "minds" think about "reality"—interms of something static, permanent,  solid, or changing, processes, movement.
    • 1. Aristotelian-People who think of reality as static . They live in a world tilled up with Things, Objects, People, etc. and so talk primarily in terms of Nouns and nominilizations.
    • 2. Non-Aristotelian- People who think of reality in terms of process. Language of verbs and processes leads to more continuum thinking.
  12. #12. Communication Channel Preference:

    Information comes to us along two primary channels—the verbal and the non-verbal channel. The verbal channel contains the symbolic system that we have developed to communicate: language, music, math/art, computer languages. The non-verbal channel contains all of the sign cues that arise from our physiological and neurological state: breathing posture, muscle lone and tension, gestures, eye scanning.
    • 1. Verbal People who sort primarily for what another says, their language,terms, phrases.
    • 2. Non-Verbal People who sort primarily for how others talk will sort for tone, tempo, volume, pitch, breathing.

    • Verbals say things like, "Just tell me what you think or feel" "Just take me at my word." They may over-talk and trust talk and "talk" devices: debate, logic, discussion.
    • Those who favor the non-verbal channel will say things like, "Those are just words, I want to see actions." "Your words say one thing, but your tone another".
  13. #13. Emotional Coping Style or Stress Response Pattern

    This sorting style specifically relates to "stress" whether in the form of threat and danger or of overload. Does the person move toward it in order to confront and "take it on," or does a person move away from it in order to avoid it?
    • 1. Those who respond aggressively go at their stressors. They like challenges, stress, pressure, and adventure. Look for the automatic and immediate response of wanting to take on the challenge or stress. When over-done or when given way to with little thought, aggres-sive responders can turn into violent, dangerous, and out-of-control persons. At high levels, people find them intimidating, threatening, and manipulative.
    • 2. Passive responders, forever attempt to get away from stresses, confrontations, threats, and dangers. They want to make peace, to create harmony, and to make things pleasant and nice for everybody. When overdone, they transform into people-pleasers and door-matts and reinforce the "go at" responses of others (what we generaly describe as "co-dependency").
    • 3. In the middle we have the tempering quality of assertiveness. Here a person has learned to stop fighting or fleeing and has learned how to cope with the internal sense of stess by thinking and talking the stress out rather than acting it out. We will still experience  the emotion of feeling an urge to either fight or flee, but we will control (or manage) that urge, and not act on it. Consequently, we can maintain enough presence of mind in order to think and talk out our stresses—a description of an emotionally healthy person.
  14. #14. Frame of Reference or Authority Sort:
    Internal/External Self-Referent/Other-Referent.
    We have two fundamental ways in evaluating a person, situation,experience, or idea. We can do so from within our own frame-of-reference (internal) or from without our reference (external).
    • 1. Self-Referencing. Operate internally evaluate things on the basis of what they think as appropriate. They motivate themselves and make their own decisions. Choose and validate their own actions and results. May gather information from others, but they always decide their own.
    • 2. Other-Referencing. Those who evaluate on the basis of what others think (Externally) They look to others for guidance, information, motivation, and decisions. They have a greater need for feedback about their actions and results, and they can feel lost without guidance or feedback from others. They live "from without" and often opt for a style of "people pleasing." Some feel so dependent on others they live their life totally in reference to the values and beliefs of some other.

    One linguistic cue to listen for involves the use of the word "you" by other-referent persons when they talk about themselves, Self-refer-enting people tend to more directly use the personal pronoun, "I'

    • Self-referencing people will say, "I just know. I feel it. It feels right" Other referencing people will say things like, "My boss tells me. I look at the figures....."
    • People who use an internal frame with an external check or an external frame with internal check provide a more challenging pattern to discern.
  15. #15. Emotional State Sort Associated/Dissociated Feeling/Thinking

    With dissociation we think and process the data with a degree of "psychological distance" from the emotional impact of the material. We will see our younger self in the picture rather than seeing things out of our own eyes.  With associated we think and process the data by experiencing the full emotional impact of our emotions.  As if we stepped into the movie and its happening to us.
    eye access cues- If person accesses the kinesthetic mode and stays there, you can assume that they have entered into an associative mode. If he or she accesses kinesthetic awareness but does not stay, assume dissociation.

    • 1. Dissociation- He or she will talk about an experience rather than of it. The person will operate more from reason and logic than emotion.
    • 2. Association. In associated representations we will feel (or re-feel) from a full body state as if re-experiencing the: sights, sounds, and sensations.
    • 3. A Chosen Balance. While we all tend to have our favorite way of experiencing data (associatedly or dissociatedly), a person can get stuck in one or the other and lose or not develop the flexibility of consciousness to choose whether to associate or not.
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Meta Programs
Meta programs
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