Anchoring is a quick way to induce a state of calm and tranquility in people suffering from stress.
What is Anchoring in NLP?
Anchoring describes a useful group of NLP techniques primarily used to stimulate a response in other people to something you do or say.
The practice of anchoring grew out of a therapeutic environment. Once the “anchor” is established, the therapist would be able to evoke a positive emotional response in their patient whenever they observed them becoming anxious or upset.
Since the beginnings of Neuro Linguistic Programming in the 1970s, anchoring has broken free of the therapy couch and now is recognised as having far wider applications. Many NLP practitioners find it especially effective in a home environment, and in generating a positive atmosphere at work or in social settings.
Below is a step-by-step guide to how you can enjoy the benefits of anchoring:
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO ANCHORING
- Firstly, define the emotional state you wish to invoke in the other person. For instance, this could be courage for someone experiencing insecurity, happiness if someone is depressed, and calmness if someone is angry or anxious.
- The next step is to get the person in question to experience the desired emotional state. There is no set way to do this. An effective means of evoking the emotional state is through the parable method; whereby a story is recounted that leads the person into the emotional condition. This is the most important part of the whole process, as you will need to powerfully induce the target emotion in the person. For instance, if you are looking to inspire mirth as your anchor response, your story will need to inspire a full belly laugh and not just a polite chuckle. Whatever means you choose to use, be practical and pragmatic, but plan your approach carefully before you attempt to create an anchor.
- When you observe that the person has entered into the desired emotional state, touch them and hold contact for a few seconds. The touch need only be subtle; no bear hugs or funny symbols are required. Common and non intrusive touch points are the shoulder and the back of the upper arm. It is important to remember exactly where the touch point is, as you will need to revisit the exact spot whenever you fire the anchor.
- Next, remove your hand from the anchor spot and distract the person from their emotional state by talking about something completely unrelated. Keep the person distracted for several minutes; then touch them again on the anchor point. If the anchoring has been successful, your touch should evoke the desired emotional state.
Anchoring is an extremely powerful way of strengthening your relationships with people you know. It builds upon your chances of establishing long term rapport with a person, and enhances delicate inter-person skills such as conflict resolution.