Take your positions!

November 13, 2013


In NLP, this is known as perceptual positions or observations. This technique enables you to mentally review or preview a situation or an interaction with another person from a number of different perspectives.

It enables you to think in a more flexible and creative way, improves understanding of other people and gives an opportunity to step back and consider in an objective way.

It is brilliant for reframing your thinking.

Round 1

1st Perspective

 See the situation through your own eyes. Be aware of your own thoughts and feelings to what has happened/may happen.

2nd Perspective

See the situation through the other person’s eyes. Put yourself in their place. Be aware of yourself seeing, hearing and feeling as the other person.

3rd Perspective

Take an observer position. See the situation with a detached viewpoint. Imagine you are looking at yourself and the other person “over there.” (Some people find it useful to imagine they are looking down from the ceiling! Use whatever works for you!)

Notice the two of them speaking, gesturing, notice body language, tone of voice etc.

Then consider as the observer what advice you wish to give “Yourself” about the situation.

Round 2 

Repeat the process, using the learning/advice from the first round. Run through it with the new behaviours, first as yourself, then the other person, and finally the observer.

Think about any situation or interaction you have had or that you may have where this could be valuable.


What I have found beneficial when doing this exercise is to arrange three chairs around a table. I sit in one of the chairs for being “self,” the second chair for being the “other person” and the third chair for being the “observer.”

This is a very simple, effective technique and is great for resolving conflict, increasing understanding of another’s viewpoint and building relationships. Give it a go!


Janet Wilks – 2013    www.nlpeze.co.uk


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