Brexit debates – a great resource for MindSonar practice

At the moment in the UK it is virtually impossible to escape debates about Brexit. Whether on television, radio , online or even when out with friends, it is a topic that is generating a lot of debate and argument. Many people are thoroughly fed up with the topic, especially with the exchanges between politicians on both side of the debate, whose behaviour is less than exemplary.

At the same time, people are interested and want to stay up-to-date with what’s being debated and decided. So, how might we do that but not get completely stressed by the tempers, arguments and emotions that are on display? As MindSonar professionals and NLPers we might just have the advantage – we can play “Spot the metaprogramme”! Listening to and watching the Brexit debates and the political interviews, it is evident which metaprogrammes are being used. So here is my take on just some the more obvious Brexit debate metaprogrammes…

Many people (even some who voted to remain) are saying that they are now impatient for it to be over and wish we could just leave now, deal or no deal (Proactive) whereas others are calling for more time for debate (Reactive). Some put forward their arguments for why we should leave the constraints of Europe or why we must remain to avoid uncertainty (Away From), while others talk of looking forward to new future arrangements and trade deals (Towards).

Many MPs argue that their personal views are irrelevant because they should only represent what the majority of the public voted for (Externally Referenced) whereas others argue that their own current knowledge means that they must vote for what they believe is best (Internally Referenced).

Meanwhile the Speaker of the House of Commons (the chairman so to speak) is focussed on protocol being observed (Procedure) – often arguing with those who say the situation is so new, no protocol is relevant and new approaches are needed (Options).

On both sides there are those focussing on what they see as the advantages to their side of the argument (Matching) whilst other stress the threats of the other side (Mismatching).

Amongst the public there are those who are now disengaged and feel powerless (External Locus of Control) while many are still actively campaigning for another vote, believing they can change the politicians’ minds (Internal Locus of Control).

Arguments from all side include opinions about the effect on the economic figures (Information) the impact upon particular groups within our society (People) and how the necessary new systems will be implemented (Activity).

What I find really interesting is how the fiercest debates are often between those who not only differ in their belief about whether we should remain or leave, but between those who are running different metaprogrammes. In that case they really aren’t hearing one another. An argument between someone focussing on information and another on people results in each feeling that the other is simply not listening to them. Likewise when an externally referenced MP is debating with an Internally referenced one. It really is an excellent MindSonar practice exercise – and it’s made the debates more bearable for me.