The Circle of Excellence is a great way to manage your own state when you are teaching. It is based on the NLP idea of anchoring. You have probably heard of the story of Pavlov’s dogs. When he rang a bell, he would feed the dogs, and the dogs would salivate. When he had trained the dogs, just ringing the bell would cause the dogs to salivate. In NLP terms, he had created an anchor (the bell) which produced the response (salivation).
Now, I’m not suggesting that you start to salivate every time the bell for class goes. Instead, what you want to do is anchor resourceful states in your circle of excellence. When you have practiced this lots of times, then just by imagining stepping into your circle, you can easily enter those resourceful states.
For example, supposing you decide that you want to feel confident in the classroom. Then you can add the state of confidence to your circle. Other useful states for teaching could be openness, energetic, calmness, whatever you believe will help you to be in the best state.
Before you do the Circle of Excellence process, choose three states that you would like to always have in your classroom.
1. _________ 2. _________ 3. _________
The Circle of Excellence Process
- Imagine a circle in front of you about one meter in diameter.
- Remember a time when you felt completely [State].
- What did you see, hear, and feel at that time?
- When you are sure that you are completely in that state, step into the circle.
- Break state.
- Repeat with other states that you want to add to the circle.
- Test your circle. Make it stronger!
- Pick up your circle and put it into your pocket! Use it and keep it well recharged!
Remember that this is not magic – it is simply anchoring resources to an imaginary circle. I promise you that it will work, just in the same way as it worked for Pavlov’s dogs, but you need to practice. If you practice your circle of excellence for a few minutes each day for a week or so, you will soon be able to use it to be in the perfect state for every class! The more you use your circle, the better it will become.
As always, enjoy using NLP, enjoy your teaching, and let us know how you get on.
©Copyright 2012 by Dr. Brian Cullen