NLP In Action
Welcome to NLP In Action. NLP insights and practical tips to help you discover what NLP has for you.
This is Episode 005 of the NLP In Action podcast. This show is all about eye accessing cues. Typically people who begin to look into NLP at first, are very excited to learn that the way a person moves their eyes can tell you a lot about how they are experiencing the world and what they may be thinking.
In a nutshell, the eyes typically move in 7 directions while a person is talking:
Up and Left
Up and Right
Down to the Left
Down to the Right
Staring forward in a gaze
Have you noticed this? Perhaps now I’ve said it you’ll begin to see how much this happens. Great, please do as practice does make permanent.
A person tends to show a more prominent eye glances when they are asked to search for different types of information.
The great news is that the eye directions make quite a lot of sense to the type of information they are looking for. Visual parts are up. Just like the position of the eyes on your head. Accessing auditory is where the eyes go across to the ears, and then down when we are feeling or talking to ourselves.
Is This The Case For Everyone?
Above is the structure for a person who is “normally wired” this accounts for approximately 75% of the population, however, the 25% who don’t follow this pattern usually just reverse left and right.
The left and right I now refer to are as you look at that person so when I say up and left, it’s your left and their right. So from a watching and observing point of view use your own right and left.
If someone looks up, they are accessing visual information: Visual remembered images to the right, and visual constructed images to the left.
Can You Spot A Lie?
I like to remember this as Right Remember and Left Lie. It’s not necessarily an outright lie but possibly a construction or fabrication. Just something they don’t have a visual memory available to access. This seems to be a standard eye movement fo people who tend to exaggerate.
Auditory information is again accessed either on the left or right and again in the same way. Right remembered and Left Lie…… Construct fabricate etc. If they recall what their grandmother once said they may go right across and if they are trying to guess what a cow-pig might snort like then over to the left. Still with me?
Is a person talking to themselves? Well in most cases they will be looking down and right. This is what’s known as auditory digital or Ad
And people look down and left as you look at them, this is them usually accessing kinaesthetic or feelings.
In quite a lot of cases, for people answering straightforward questions, you may find that their eyes just look straight ahead even though they are accessing information. Things like what your favourite football team, what’s the colour of your car, this uses the information that is well-known and doesn’t necessarily need to be retrieved therefore you can simply get a focused or glazed look at the I still face forward for these type of questions.
Eye movement or Eye accessing cues aren’t entirely new but do draw a massive amount of attention within the NLP world, as people seem to be amazed that there is this seemingly distinct pattern when it’s pointed out that we all do yet know nothing about.
Within the NLP world there are many uses for eye accessing cues, most common, is to find out people strategies for decision-making or perhaps buying strategies. I’ll cover this in another podcast, as you know I only have 10 minutes!
How You Can Begin To Look For These?
Understanding of persons eye accessing cues can also give you an indication of the type of predicates they use. This is how they contextualise the world to themselves. Understanding persons sensory preferences makes it very easy to talk and communicate on their wavelength
Questions To Try To Elicit Eye Movements
Visual remember type questions to elicit eyes going up to the right
“What colour was your very first car?”
“How many windows does your house have?”
Visual construct type questions to elicit eyes going up to the left
” if an elephant and a donkey had kids what you think they look like?” “What would your house look like if it was painted green with orange spots?”
Auditory recall type questions to elicit eyes going across to the right
“What was the very last thing I said?”
“What does Bart Simpson sound like?”
Auditory construct questions to elicit eyes going across to the left
“if elephants could sing, what would it sound like?’
“what would car sound like if they could run on washing-up liquid?”
Auditory digital questions to elicit eyes going diagonally down to the right
“Can you recite your nine times tables in your head?”
“Run me through the first few minutes of your morning yesterday and what you are thinking?”
Kinaesthetic type questions that will elicit feelings will show the eyes go diagonally down to the left
“What does a cold shower feel like?”
“Think of something that you’ve won in the past, how did that make you feel?”
“Tell me about your wedding day”
Exact Science – Works Every Time?
This isn’t an exact science, however, noticing eye accessing cues is a tool to use and understand as it will give you insights into that person’s world, their processes and how they internalise. If a person is not normally wired so to speak and therefore they access information in the reverse of what I have spoken about, you will in most cases find that there is still a pattern that can be followed. This is where a skilled practitioner will calibrate asking questions that they definitely need to remember and also definitely need to construct this is a way that a practitioner can begin to find out how a person is wired, so to speak.
Also a point worth noting, people rarely just go directly to the eye movement which matches the question. For example “what would your first car have looked like if it were painted green and orange?” From what I said above, I would expect their rise to go up and left as they need to visually construct this, but you need to also understand that a person may need to internalise what you said rather than simply construct an answer. This may mean that they repeat what you’ve just said so, therefore, there is a chance that you’ll get an auditory remember, then they might feel a little bit embarrassed about that particular car, or colour. And there’s also then a chance at the begin to talk to himself, thinking “what is this quack playing at.” But eventually, they will go to visual construct to pull the information.
So the eyes really do have it, but there’s far more to understanding how to decipher what a person is thinking or feeling other than using eye accessing cues. So, my challenge to you is beginning to use and notice people’s eye accessing cues which way the rise going what are they doing where are they searching for information. I’ll cover eliciting strategies in a later podcast and naturally, I’ll need to go over-representation all systems and predicates in more detail.