Devonport Dockyard NLP Training
While there were extensive building works in the local dockyard, the largest naval base in Western Europe, I was called in by the main contractor to look at how management communicated about, and how workers thought about safety.
I noticed from the company’s literature that they used many common everyday speech patterns that have a sort of accidental hypnotic effect. For example “Don’t leave equipment in the yellow hatched areas.
Now, although this makes perfect sense in ordinary terms, it is also an unconscious instruction to leave equipment in the yellow hatched areas. Your brain cannot process not do the thing until it has processed the rest of the sentence. Normally, you would process the message correctly, but when rushed or inattentive, your brain may carry out the thing that it shouldn’t! This is called a Negative Command.
There are many such patterns in everyday use which can mislead us and inadvertently trap us. One famous hypnotist used these phrases exclusively to hypnotise people just by talking to them. When you know and recognise these patterns, they will start to stand out for you and you will be able to automatically defuze and overturn them.
In the programme I devised for them:
- I went through the company’s documentation and edited it for the better
- I educated management in these phrases and how they worked and how to use language patterns to get the right results
- I then gave very brief tea-break talks to the workers, exaggerating and making fun of examples of these phrases, so they would stand out and get these people to automatically recognise and correct them.
The building industry in the UK has been striving to have a good safety record and protect workers for some time. This was one of the more innovative initiatives to achieve this.