NLP Anchoring – you decide when to be happyNLP Anchors

Sometimes you hear people talking about how others know how to push their buttons, tug their chain, how to influence them.  Maybe someone will say or something and this will provoke automatic response in you. In NLP that is called Anchoring. The key is to change those automatic responses to ones that we want, ones that will make us happy and improve our relationships.

Can I hear applause? So, what is applause then? It is a universal way of recognising success. An anchor is when, at the peak of an experience a stimulus is applied, a neurological link is set up.  Applause is one of those. Anchors are part of our daily life, anchors are ever present an almost unconscious in our culture these days.

They are also very long lasting.  Many people can remember advertising slogans and jingles that they heard on the radio or TV from many years ago, if not their childhood. These jingles and especially the musical ones are auditory tonal anchors that will hopefully structure your experience such that every time you hear that anchor, you go off and purchase whatever it is that is being advertised.

These anchors are useful for the advertisers but are they useful for us as well?  What is for us to figure out is what are our useful anchors and what are our less that useful anchors. Which anchors put us in a good state and which anchors put us in a negative state? Because when we know which does what then we know which ones to change! Obviously it is not a good thing to be surrounded by anchors that put you in a negative state. We certainly have a choice about how we respond to the anchors out there.

Anchors are part of our daily experience.  Traffic lights are anchors. Alarm clocks are anchors, at least for some of us anyway! You can probably think of other anchors that we have in our daily lives as well. Music, can you think of songs that take you back to your childhood, or music that reminds you of your last holiday?

Thinking about the process that is involved here from an NLP perspective.  The trigger is one of the 2 million bits of information going in there and it creates a memory, our internal representation then completes with us making pictures and feelings and it puts us in a state, which in turn lead to some behaviours.

So, if it is a traffic light, we see the red light and we immediately life our foot off the accelerator or put our foot on the brake, or do whatever is necessary to stop in time for the junction. You do not need to think about doing any of that, it is a programme that runs by itself. Similarly other anchors which we are perhaps less aware of run in the same way. And if it is a negative anchor, then it is already running, we are already in a state and running the behaviour that relates to that.

If someone looks at you in a certain way and uses their voice in a certain way, how does that make you feel?   Not a good state, eh?

So we use the NLP technique of anchoring to have a more useful experience.  In what sort of context do you think that you might learn to use anchoring techniques?  Well, how useful do you think it could be for those of you in sales? What do people associate in relation to your business or product? Is it something that you want them to associate with you or something that you would rather  they didn’t associate your business with?  If you can associate positive images with your label then you have got it made I would say.

Image consultancy is all about how to create a new and strong positive image for yourself or your company, or product in the eyes of the public. Name, image, what is on offer, what is associated with your product is all about anchoring and how you can shift and change that anchored response depending on what is happening in the world at that time.  What is the economy like? What cultural issues are going on currently? Actively engaging forward thinking in how you advertise.

How does anchoring fit in with management.  Think about the word change.   How has that been anchored into peoples neurology? Resistance, negativity perhaps. Would it be useful as a manager to be able to change that anchored response?  I would say that definitely it would.

How does Monday morning feel like to you?  How good would it be to get that Friday feeling when you wake up on a Monday?  How about Sunday evening. I’ll bet that if you do not enjoy your job then that is an unpleasant time for you for sure. Bad tempered at best. Thats an anchored response.

Think about any anchors that you might have set up in your homes in terms of symbols. Are they symbolic of who you are or who you are becoming or do they belong to an old you?  What do we hang on to that is an anchored response from the past? Is it who we are now and do we want to keep it?

Anchoring is something that drives our behaviours, creates states at an unconscious level that we can now understand that we have some choice over. Anchors can be visual, they can be auditory in music, jingles, the way people say our name.  There are also kinesthetic anchors. Your bed for instance, what response does thinking about that get in you? The warmth of the sun on your face? The feel of warm rain?

These are all words and simply by the use of the word I can create representations in you that I can pretty accurately predict.

There are also Olfactory anchors, for example, baking bread, popcorn, crisps, potato chips.  Perfume is a good one as well. Restaurant owners in the sun spots in Spain fry onions on the BBQs in order to entice in their customers. If someone is wearing the same perfume as an ex-partner of yours, how might that work?  It may well trigger a response that means that you do not respond particularly positively to that person even though they have done nothing to encourage that response.

Gustatory anchors. Hows about your favourite drink?  Make you feel comfortable? Feel good?

Even gestures create anchored responses. I can think of one or two now but I will not demonstrate them!

They are absolutely everywhere. It is about using and crafting our own anchors to let go of non-useful responses and set up responses that we would prefer. In all environments in relationships in sport particularly, in business, education and in therapy.

We discuss Anchoring and how to do it extensively in our NLP Training series. Either join us in the UK on one of our NLP Training Courses or train in NLP Online at our NLP online training centre.