People are constantly changing. Our clothes, our hair, our state of mind. We may hold on to 90% of what we did yesterday, but over time we still change. This is what we do — we change. (Ask me for the Nature of Change presentation a la T.Falcon Napier if you want the whole spiel against the old saw of “people are resistant to change.”)
So what does that mean for our calibration?
That means what you calibrated against may be the best distinctions possible today and complete twaddle tomorrow. Or, the distinctions could hold for the next 20 years. It’s hard to say.
The safest bet is to recalibrate often.
If you need the information about which of the states a person is in for a situation, it is worth investing a few minutes of calibration during the conversation leading into the situations. And often, that’s really all it takes — a few minutes.
You may even find yourself automagically recalibrating during conversations. (There are a lot of NLP techniques I do without thinking about them. There are two factors to that: 1. Everyone uses the patterns that NLP models, we just don’t necessarily do them well, and 2. Lots and lots of conscious practice.)
Seriously, how hard is it to interject into a conversation with “oh, hey, what was the name of that guy you dumped for being such a jerk?” When they go into that state you observe and calibrate. You might follow up with “I thought that was the guy you absolutely adored in high school” and observe their new state. You could even test with “wait, which one had the dark hair?” and watch their state until they settle on one of the two — you should be able to answer your own question before they open their mouth!
Then you can always continue the conversation with something like “sorry for the random distraction, let’s get back to you sharing your plans for world domination!”
Yes, you’ll want to practice each of the skills involved. You might even want some coaching to improve your progress. That’s where NLP Monthly comes in. Check it out.