Get this book. Go order it; this review will wait.
Now, what did you just spend money on....
Oh, either sign up for one of Charvet's classes (I haven'tGet this book. Go order it; this review will wait.
Now, what did you just spend money on....
Oh, either sign up for one of Charvet's classes (I haven't taken any, but I hear very good things) or get her tapes (the book is better than the tapes, but she has a very, very great voice :-)
This book is the best published material on metaprograms and it's organized around Roger Bailey's research that formed the LAB Profile. So, what are metaprograms, what is the LAB Profile, and why do you care? We finally have enough terms out there to review the book :-)
Bailey's LAB Profile (LAB = Language And Behavior) is a series of questions and observations to elicit 13 specific metaprograms from someone. These 13 are chosen to be easy to elicit conversationally (you don't need a white coat and a clipboard, you just ask natural questions) and to have useful application in the business world. By no coincidence whatsoever, they are also invaluable in personal life.
"Metaprogram" is the name NLP uses for common "filters" we all apply in everyday life. The LAB Profile looks specifically for metaprograms that indicate a person's motivation style and working style.
The LAB motivation style questions are easy to ask in an interview or in casual conversation with people and are the sorts of questions you already ask and care about; the LAB training gives you a way to understand and organize the results.
In the LAB profile, you almost always want to pay attention to the structure of their answer instead of the content.
For example, if you know a programmer finds "performance" very important in their code, the question "Why is performance important?" is entirely natural. The LAB profile gives you a way to organize their answer: are they motivating towards something ("Because that means the user can get work done faster") or away from something ("Because otherwise the system slows down and becomes unusable"). This is an example of the kind of "filter" the LAB profile elicits.
Knowing (some subset of) the 6 motivation traits for someone help you speak to them in a way that motivates them. It also lets you understand them when they talk about why they do, did, or want to do something. These are especially useful if someone motivates in a way that is very different from you.
The working traits give you an idea of how someone filters their experience while working. This can help you give someone a task that they will do well (or hire someone who will fit well with a position), it can help you instruct someone to do something in way that appeals to them, and it can help you understand the results someone gets.
An example of a working trait elicitation would be to ask both "What is a good way for you to increase your success at work?" and "What is a good way for someone else to increase their success at work?" The structure of the two answers tells you whose rules they expect someone to follow: - if they have rules for themselves and rules for other people - if they have rules for themselves but don't care about where other people get their rules - if they don't have their own rules for themselves (for example, they follow rules they got from an expert or the company) but they have rules they expect others to follow - if they have rules for themselves and expect other people to have their own rules.
Knowing this helps you understand how that person works in a team, what kind of instruction they need to receive, and what they expect from their coworkers. Knowing the rule structure of two people helps mediate between them and facilitate their working together.
Most of the traits are on a scale. You can motivate a little bit "towards" while motivating mostly "away," in fact, very few people are all the way in one direction on any trait. Also, LAB profile traits are contextual; someone may have a very different motivation style at home with their spouse and kids than they do at the office. Knowing this is especially useful when you work with a personal friend (or become friends with a coworker).
The motivation traits in the book are: - Level (how proactive or reactive they are when they motivate) - Criteria (what qualities are most important to them in the context) - Direction (towards success or away from failure) - Source (are they motivated by internal pressure or by the response they get from other people) - Reason (do they prefer to have a process to follow or do they prefer to have many choices) - Decision Factors (do they tend to see the similarities in things or the differences)
The working traits are: - Scope (do they focus on details and sequence or do they see the big picture and take things in a random order) - Attention Direction (is their attention focused on their inner experience while working or on other people) - Stress Response (when things get very bad, do they instinctively respond with feelings, with thoughts, or do they have vacillate between them) - Style (do they prefer to work alone, on a team of equals, or with others around who are either not directly involved or are under their command) - Organization (in a complex situation, do they focus on the people, the locations, the information or ideas, the activities involved, or the physical and metaphorical things) - Rule Structure (whose rules do they expect to follow and whose rules, if any, do they expect other people to follow) - Convincer (what kind of experience do they need to be convinced of something and how does that experience have to repeat or last to finally convince)
There are other items sometimes added to the LAB profile (for example, temporal traits, about how the person handles time) but the basic (and most important) 13 are covered in the book.
If you do anything with people--lead a team, interview, have a family, or even just walk out your door now and then--this is a good, readable book that you'll get something out of. You don't need to master the whole profile for it to be useful. Just one concept that interests you can make a huge difference in your effectiveness and quality of life....more
It doesn't matter that the scholarship is suspect at best; Angeles Arrien's take on shamanic paths is a great filter to add to your collection. I useIt doesn't matter that the scholarship is suspect at best; Angeles Arrien's take on shamanic paths is a great filter to add to your collection. I use it all the time in my work.
Arrien is best-known for her work on tarot and astrology. Her interpretations in those areas are a) always geared toward generative change rather than remediation and b) always well-structured in an overarching system. Her take on Native American shamanism is as well. Unlike her tarot system, however, her shamanic paths form a system easily and usefully applied in relationships, business, and almost any other part of life.
The book reduces shamans to four broad roles: Leader/warrior, Visionary, Healer, and Teacher. Obviously, these roles are general enough to apply cross-culturally and cross-contextually. For each role, Arrien derives a core task, core questions, and "shadow sides" that describe what happens when one role is taken to extremes.
As a consultant, I've used this model to identify which role is most-lacking in an organization or which is strongest in a candidate. It also defines the ultimate consultant task: to be unattached to outcome, allowing the client to do what is best for them and to fail in their own way if necessary. It's made a huge impact on my work.
Other reviews have summarized the paths, but I'll do so as well. Here are the four tasks/challenges of the paths:
The Leader chooses to be present. The Visionary speaks the truth, regardless of consequences. The Healer sorts for what has value. The Teacher is unattached to outcome.
If this book can help you do those four things, read it. Ignore any woovy-grooviness you don't like (and enjoy any you do like!), don't look for any kind of scholarship, and tolerate the prescriptive symbolism and ritualism that these books seem to require. The content is there....more