Chapter 14: Distinctions of Excellence: Metaprograms
“In the right key one can say anything. In the wrong key, nothing: the only delicate part is the establishment of the key.” ~George Bernard Shaw
This next chapter is all about Metaprograms. A metaprogram is the key to the way a person processes information. They’re our internal patterns that help determine how we form internal representations and direct our behavior. Through metaprograms, we allow our brain to pick and choose the information we “need” to pay attention to as individuals, thus creating different responses or behaviors of the same information from person to person.
There are 7 main metaprograms that help shape how we process information and what information we deem important to us. They are:
1. Moving toward something or moving away: This metaprogram presents two different ways we use information to motivate our behaviors. The first way is those who are motivated by the pull towards pleasure. For example, if you love books you read. Plain and simple. The next way is those who are motivated by moving away from a “painful” or displeasing situation, circumstance, etc. This would be the person that reads because he or she doesn’t want to seem unintelligent to his or her peers, not because this person particularly loves reading. Make sense?
2. External and internal frames of reference: This metaprogram is based primarily on approval that either comes within or from an external source. For example, lets say you just created an award-winning movie that got the best reviews! That award and great reviews on your movie means nothing to someone who has an internal frame of reference. What matters to them is how they feel inside about their movie. If they think they could’ve used better music or different scene transitions, then the award and reviews prove nothing to them. Someone with an external frame of reference lives for awards and good reviews or maybe a raise from your boss to confirm your job well done. They need that external source to prove the worth of things.
3. Sorting by self or sorting by others: This next one deals with how people look at every day human interactions. That is, what interactions are benefitting them personally versus what they can do for themselves and others. Let’s look at you family doctor as an example. If your doctor is more on the sorting by self side then it may be hard for you to connect with them and fully trust his/her advice about important things like perscriptions and changing your daily routine. You want your doctor to be more on the sorting by others side because this type of doctor is more genuine and cares more about your health and well-being. No matter which side you may be more on, it’s important to know when it comes to what type of job you’re doing or what type of people should be hired for certain jobs. If you have a job that requires you to connect with and communicate with others, then a sorting by others is the type of metaprogram you need to have!
4. Matchers and mismatchers: This metaprogram states how some people naturally recognize sameness in people, places, objects, situations, and so on. These are the matchers of the world. When it comes to creating a business plan, these are the people that see all the things that will work to make it perfect. Then you have the mismatchers. These are the people who instantly gravitate towards what’s different about everything. They would be the ones to question your whole business idea and pick out all the things that could wrong or don’t match up. (which might not always be a bad thing.)
5. What it takes to convince someone of something: There are two different parts to this metaprogram. The first is how you are best able to be convinced. That is, do you hsve to see something, hear about something or experience something to be convinced of its claim? This is all bout which sensory device appeals to you the most…visual, auditory or kinesthetic. And it could always be a combination of the three! Part two of this metaprogram is how long or the number of times it takes someone to convince of something before you believe it. This being a) immediately, b) two or more, c) over a period of time (week, month, year) or d) consistently (need convincing every single time). This metaprogram is good to know when it comes to selling products to people and building a loyal customer that comes back for more.
6. Possibility versus necessity: This next one is those who are motivated by what they want versus those who are motivated by what they know they need. A possibility thinker is someone who is driven by many options and the unknown. They are the people that always seek new experiences and paths in life. On the other hand, you have the necessity thinkers who are driven by what they have to do. This type of person may only go out and buy new clothes or a new car when it’s absolutely necessary. They keep the same job for as long as they possibly can and don’t seek out other possible options. Not unless they absolutely have to.
7. Working Style: This very last metaprogram gives you the 3 main working styles that different people take a preference to. They are: independent or someone that works best without supervision and can control the show, cooperative or someone that thrives in group work and sharing responsibility, and proximity or the in-between working style. This person may like working in a group but also wants to have sole responsibility for a certain task. The best employers are those who recognize how their employees work and bring them to their full potential!
Knowing or having an idea of how these metaprograms work can help you so much in the ways you communicate with others. Since people are one of your greatest resources for success, knowing specifically how they process information will give you a great advantage in your communication techniques toward them. If you use it effectively, this information about metaprograms can get you from where you are now in life to where you want to be!