14 Criteria and Values Framing

With this magical mind-line shift we move to the meta-level of Criteria or Values—the standards and rules that govern our meanings, and the things to which we give significance. Here we do a meta-move via our conversation to access and appeal to values—our own or another's.

This reframing move enables us to organize and re-organize ourselves regarding the priorities that we deem important and ecological. Or, using the language of the Meta-States Model, by going to the meta-level of values, we bring various values to bear on the magic of our beliefs. In doing this, we accomplish several things. We thereby run a quality control on our beliefs. And even more importantly, we temper and qualify our beliefs with our values.

Because this process has the effect of meta-stating the belief state (which comprises our reality strategy) with our values, it qualifies the belief with the value. The value, as the higher frame, encompasses the belief. Or, this embeds the belief within the frame of the value.

Hence, the belief in speaking and relating assertively, when embedded within the value frame of kindness becomes kind assertiveness. When we bring the value of respect to bear upon the belief of assertiveness, we end up with respectful assertiveness. The qualifying and defining adjective tempers, at a meta-level, the belief.

By the way, while meta-stating refers to the process repeatedly mentioned throughout this work, it becomes especially relevant in this chapter on outframing. Meta-stating means bringing one state ofmindemotion to bear upon another state. When we do this, we thereby build a complex structure in ourselves. It enables us to /ayer thoughts-and-emotions upon thoughts-and-emotions.

We all do it anyway; and we all do it daily. We feel afraid of something, then we feel guilty for feeling afraid. Or, we feel afraid and then feel anger at our fear. We feel upset, then angry at our upsetness, then guilty about our anger, then afraid of our guilt!

"Oh yes, I know about meta-stating!" Well, here in this mind-lining we meta-state in much more positive and resourceful ways. We bring princely states (full of our values, criteria, etc.) to bear on most froggy of states.

Appealing to our hierarchy of values and bringing them to bear on our beliefs enables us to then gauge and temper our belief with our values. Doing this allows us to check out whether our beliefs accord with our values, criteria, and standards. When doing this conversationally with another person, we thereby inquire about his or her values and criteria. Then we can invite that person to bring such to bear, ecologically, upon the formula of neuro-linguistic magic (the belief) that runs his or her life.

(A) "Saying mean things makes you a bad person."

"Which matters to you more: how someone speaks or what they actually do?" "Do you think it more important to have honest feedback from others rather than mere patronizing or incongruent feedback?"

(B) "Cancer causes death."

"Which do you give more importance to— experiencing peace (like quietly giving in to fate) or fighting for options? Would you prefer to spend your energy hunting for options or to use this to get people to feel sorry for you?"

This pattern empowers us to more directly deal with the personal and professional values of those with whom we deal, and to gently hold them accountable to those values. (Did you notice that sentence? Check it out for the mind-line within it. Answer: to the recommendation of "holding someone accountable" we embedded it in a higher frame, namely that of gentleness. Hence, "gentle holding accountable.")

Now as with beliefs, we code our values using modalities and submodalities. And so with this outframing move, we thereby bring to bear not only the values upon the beliefs, but the higher level submodalities to bear upon the belief submodalities. And sometimes this will trigger change at the submodality level of the belief. And you can allow yourself to begin to notice that, can you not?

Further, another neat thing occurs with regard to using this particular mind-line pattern. Running a Values and Criteria Frame comes with a built-in ecology. How so? Because higher levels always, and inevitably, modulate lower levels. So when we chunk up to what a person deems most important (his or her values) and then have that person bring a value to bear on a belief or idea, that higher level value will thereafter drive, modulate, organize, and control the belief. Neat, don't you think?

To develop skill in, and train our intuitions for, this pattern we only need to do two things:

1) Access a higher level value or criterion.

"What do I (or this other person) hold as a higher value or criterion?"

2) Apply the higher criterion or value to the limiting belief.

"Does this belief allow you to act with love, kindness, assertiveness, respect, etc.?"

Check out how this works via our playground.

(C) "Your being late means you don't care about me."

"Actually, arriving late, while important, doesn't seem near as important as respecting you and our relationship and planning to spend quality time with you when we do get together." "I think you say that because of how really important you feel it to know whether or not I care. So caring holds a higher value than does timeliness."

(D) "Stress causes me to eat chocolate."

"So you must consider de-stressing as a pretty important value for yourself, and I wonder what would happen if you used your other value of taking good care of your physical health and staying fit and slim to handle stress rather than eating chocolate? How much more would you prefer to do that?"

(D) "I can't really make a difference because management doesn't walk their talk"

"Management walking their talk sounds pretty important to you. You must like people living with integrity and congruity And yet I sense that you have another value, namely that management should enable employees to become productive through innovative thinking. So which do you feel you should concentrate most on in order to live true to yourself?"

(E) "I can't buy your product because it costs too much." "I can see that your value of appropriate cost means a lot. So I have a question for you. Will this concern help make you money? You see, if you knew you could make a return on your investment with this particular product, if you knew that I would return you five dollars for every dollar that you invested, then you would buy this in a minute, would you not? And so shouldn'twe focus on increased value rather than risk of spending?"

To elicit this conversational reframing pattern, use elicitation questions about values and application of values:

"What higher criteria or values does this person hold?" "How can I invite this person to apply their higher criteria, principles, and values to this current situation?" "What high level value would prove useful in bringing to bear on the limiting belief?"

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