6.5.2. 1., 2. og 3. position 

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) uses the term “positions” to describe different perspectives or mental states that a person can take in a given situation. These positions are not physical locations, but rather different ways of thinking, feeling and acting. Here are three of the most common positions in NLP:

  • First position: First position represents your own perspective, where you see the world through your own eyes. It is a position where you are fully aware of your own thoughts, feelings and experiences. By taking the first position, you focus on your own needs, wants and goals and are able to express yourself clearly and honestly.
  • Second position: Second position is about seeing the world from someone else’s perspective. It involves putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their thoughts, feelings and experiences. By adopting second position, you can empathise, understand and connect with other people. This allows for better communication and collaboration.

It’s about seeing the world from the other person’s point of view. Simply standing in the other person’s shoes, and from there seeing, hearing and feeling all the impressions that come to that person. That is empathy.

Empathy is in position 2 and essentially, you are empathetic when you speak and understand in position 2. For example, the values of recognition, freedom, responsibility and equality are all 2nd position values. This means that the manager wants to recognise the employee, give the employee freedom, responsibility and equality when the manager is leading.

  • Third position: Third position is about being an objective observer who sees the situation from the outside. It involves stepping back from your own and others’ perspectives to get a broader view. By adopting third position, you can achieve objectivity, gain new perspectives and look at the situation more objectively.

The fly on the wall is the classic example of the 3rd position. The fly sits on the wall and observes the situation with you and the other person. This means that the fly sees, hears and feels everything you say, do and feel. The fly is not you and the fly is not the other person. Therefore, the fly cannot feel your emotional or physical pain. The fly can observe your pain, but it is not part of the situation that is happening between you and the other person.

Because of this, the fly on the wall can be an interesting position to take in certain situations. Imagine a situation where an employee walks into your office. The employee is upset because they’ve just been in a situation with a patient that was painful. In that situation, some people might be empathetic in position 2, others might be selfish in position 1. Some people would choose position 3 and simply sit on the wall and observe the situation between themselves and the employee. This way, they wouldn’t feel the employee’s pain and they would be able to gather much more data that they could then use to solve the task and situation.

NLP positions are used to develop flexibility in thinking and behaviour and to improve communication and understanding. By being able to shift between different positions, you can gain a greater awareness of yourself, other people and the situation you are in. This allows for more effective and balanced reactions and actions.

Leadership can be divided into personal leadership and people management. Personal leadership is what happens when the leader is in position 1 and people management is what happens when the leader is in position 2.

Leaders can also train themselves and their teams to switch between different positions as needed. This helps develop flexibility, understanding and effective communication. By switching between positions, leaders can gain a deeper understanding of different perspectives and create better dialogue and collaboration.

By using NLP positions, leaders can gain an increased awareness of themselves and others, improve their communication skills and build stronger relationships with their team. This can help create an environment of trust, understanding and co-operation, which is essential for effective leadership.