[Articles on Communication][Freeing the Mind - Articles on Personal Development]


Why the Being Specific Model is so powerful

I don't know to what degree you have been using the parts of the Being Specific Model, but if you have learned the techniques used so far, and used them automatically, then you may have noticed something interesting. You see, although we think of the value of a question is to get answers. And think answers are all important. You may have noticed when you use the Being Specific Model on your thoughts a change occurs just by asking the questions, before you even think of any answers.

We all have thoughts that pop into our mind we react to them. We do not examine the thought, but we have feelings and other thoughts or even go and do something because of that thought but we never 'look' at the thought itself and challenge it. We take it as true without trying to find out whether it really is true or not. For instance, you might think:

They will never agree to this.

And start thinking about ideas 'they' might agree with, or going into a panic because your idea won't be accepted. But when you use the Being Specific Model and recognise you are Mind Reading - you immediately ask:

How do I know this?

How do I know this idea won't be accepted?

You may have noticed that when you do ask the question, and before you think of any answers, that the thought loses its power almost immediately. It's as if it suddenly stops in its tracks, amazed that you got round to challenge it. And it sometimes seems that your thinking gets clearer, as if scales had fallen from your eyes and you begin to understand much better. And this happens just by asking the question!

You can sometimes see the same thing happening when you ask another person a question from the Being Specific Model. For example, someone says:

It's all hopeless.

And you say gently and slowly:

What, specifically, is hopeless?

And you look with interest as they compose an answer. You may notice that their eyes move as if they are searching for something. Their facial expression changes and they look momentarily puzzled. If you look very carefully, you might notice other changes. Their breathing changes. They may change their posture. Then they might laugh.

Can it be that when you ask the question they start thinking about the thought, perhaps for the first time ever? In past, the thought came into their heads and they say it and feel the appropriate miserable feelings which they associate with this thought. But they've never examined the thought before.

And when you ask your question, they begin to think, and probably realise that they were just REACTING to the thought in a way they've always done. They just hadn't THOUGHT about it before!!! But when they start to think and face up to this thought, it seems to move aside and things become clearer. At that moment, this thought that has controlled their thinking and feeling just seems like nonsense! And it will never have that old power over them again.

Keep an eye on this, and be aware how questions can have this power.


Let's look at another part of the Being Specific Model.

Certain words express obligation. The king of these is 'must.' For example:

You must work hard?


What will happen if I do?

What will happen if I don't?

You ought to be a bit more polite.

What will happen if I am?

What will happen if I am not?

The questions can be used to clarify obligations. It may be that we do have this obligation, but when we question it as above, we clarify it so we can choose to do things, rather than to be impelled to do them, when, perhaps we don't have to do them at all. Asking the questions makes it clear.

You mustn't answer back.

What will happen if I do?

What will happen if I don't?

You shouldn't ask too many questions.

What will happen if I do?

What will happen if I don't?

Remember that these words expressing obligation sometimes express likelihood.

Ah, that must be Tom, now.

They ought to be arriving soon.

Mary should be at work by now.

You should pass that exam easily.

You would, if you wanted to challenge these, ask:

How do you know that? rather than:

What would happen if I do/don't?

Just as a reminder. Interpersonal communication skill is about getting agreement and understanding. We do not challenge everything. We are gentle with others, especially because the Being Specific Model can be very strong medicine. Use it wisely. Use it on your own thoughts, to start understanding instead of just reacting. And use it wisely to help others.

Don't forget to give feedback.

Speak soon.

Ken Ward

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Most Recent Revision: 20-Mar-99.
Copyright 1998, 1999 Ken Ward,
All Rights Reserved.