Neuro-Logical Alignment (Internal & External)
- July 8, 2016
- Posted by: Reena Saxena
- Category: Behavior Management
Jackie is a conscientious and hard-working individual. He wakes up in the morning, dresses up to go to work, and breaks into hives exactly at 9 a.m. The doctors have not been able to diagnose a cause, or offer a cure for the problem. He tried various para-medical treatments. Then, a friend suggested that he should try neurological alignment with a NLP expert.
What is Neurological Alignment?
This is a Neuro Linguistic Programming pattern, based on the work of Robert Dilt. He opined that people operate at different levels at different times, and a misalignment between the levels causes confusion and discomfort. A complete alignment brings people closer to their goals in life, and success.
Awareness of these six levels, helps a person in identifying the disconnect between them, if any, and the consequent cause of discomfort.
- Environment (Time and Place)
- Behavior (Thoughts and actions)
- Capabilities (Resources and Skills)
- Values and Beliefs (Ingrained system within which a person functions)
- Identity (How a person sees himself or herself)
- Spirituality (A higher purpose in life)
The conversation between Jackie and his coach proceeded on the following lines.
“You said you believe in a honest and fair means of earning a livelihood. But, your professional act of concealing facts and fudging numbers reveals the opposite.”
“Yes. But, I need the job, and my boss expects me to do that. I have my share of domestic responsibilities, and all financial plans have been chalked out with the continuation of this income.”
“What stops you from finding another job?”
“The industry is going through a recession. Age-ism is also a barrier in getting a new job. I will lose all my vested ESOPs, if I quit at this stage.”
(There is a conflict between environment and perceived capabilities).
“Have you used your network to look for opportunities? Would you like to set up your own business?”
“No. My social circle sees me as a successful executive. Talking about this will dent my image. My family members are all well-placed professionals, civil service officials or high profile executive. But nobody has ventured into a business.”
(Conflict between identity, capability and values/beliefs)
“Are you happy doing whatever you do, to keep your boss happy?”
“No. But, I remain as tactful as possible, and stay out of trouble.”
(He has modified his behaviour to suit the environment, but the clash with values still remains)
“How would you like to be remembered, at the end of your life? Wealthy, successful, a good human being, a philanthropist?”
“A person who achieved success by ethical means, and helped others”
(This crystallizes the values/beliefs and spiritual aspects that are clashing with the environment. If the person just wants to be wealthy, s/he would be well-aligned).
“What if you tried? What can be the worst and best possible scenario?”
Now, Jackie starts realizing that he needs to align himself, if he wants to see effective and comprehensive change in his life. Either he alters his perspective, and accepts wealth creation as the principal goal in life, or looks for alternative means of earning a living. Maybe, he has to live with less, but it will be a more satisfying life.
Organizational Levels and Alignment
The same six levels can be made applicable to an organization.
Identity Vision and mission
Belief Culture and philosophy
Capability Knowledge and skills
Behavior Practice and customs
Environment Surroundings, equipment and location
Spirituality Applicable only to philanthropic or non-profit organizations
Change in an organization can be successful, only with complete alignment of the first five levels. Else, success is hollow, and a mere eyewash.
Alignment between the employee and organization
Attrition, lack of motivation, mental health and dysfunctional behaviour traits amongst employees, are all a consequence of non-alignment of the employee with the organization at each level. The Vision and Mission statements on the websites do not reflect the actual environment in the organization. Employees are well aware of the leaders’ motives, functioning styles and the dichotomies involved between the various levels.
What can be done?
Unhappy employees like Jackie should introspect, keeping each level of the pyramid in view. The actual cause of frustration will reveal itself.
It may not always be possible for an employee to leave, or to expect that the next organization/venture would be an ideal place to work in. In that case, s/he has to realign life goals and perspective, to ensure smooth functioning. ‘Counting your blessings’ is one method of realignment, where a person starts seeing the benefits of the arrangement (like social status, professional identity, a platform to exhibit competence etc.), and this reduces the internal friction that s/he has encountered before.
Organizations can help employees to realign, by facilitating coaching, NLP intervention or any other sessions/techniques that can help. This resolves internal dissonance, and helps the employee to deliver the best.