NLP for Conflict Resolution: Boat Pattern


For a while I have been thinking of developing more NLP techniques for conflict resolution. During the NLP Training in Los Angeles, there was a front part of a boat in the place where I was staying. I was inspired to create a pattern around this.

A video has also been made, which will go-live on Youtube in April 2016. Visit our youtube channel at:

1. Imagine a very large ocean. On it is a small boat. The boat almost seems insignificant in that large body of water.

2. Upon close inspection of the boat, I want you to associate into yourself and imagine you are the captain (1st perceptual position of NLP), and look through you own eyes at this large body of water. You feel your insignificance, especially compared to people elsewhere in the world that have to live in even more painful conflicts than you.

3. In the boat is another person, sitting behind you. Also this person is insignificant where it comes to the world and the universe as a whole. There is no argument at this moment in time. You are both just quietly bobbing around in the middle of the ocean, because you have gathered inside this boat to find solutions.

4. You then turn around and face this person. Look at this person. What is this person’s age? Experiences in life? Parents like? (Emotional) Intelligence? Religion? Limiting beliefs? Etc. Make this free of judgment but view the other person through the glasses of compassion, tolerance and acceptance. (You can even imagine in the visualization that you are literally putting these glasses on, and then look at the other person.)

5. What are this person’s needs? What is their positive intent? Something like safety and security? What are your needs? Your positive intent?

6. Float your awareness out of your body, and notice the both of you on this boat on this large ocean with probably many other boats somewhere. (3rd perceptual position.) And watch the both of you as if in a movie. And notice what your verbal and non-verbal behavior is like (during conflict or while on this boat?) What is that person’s verbal and non-verbal behavior like? Are either of you truly listening? Finding solutions? Behaving in a way that you can step into the other person’s map of the world and do proper conflict resolution?

7. Float into the other person’s shoes (2nd perceptual position), and look at yourself over there. What does it feel like to be in this position? How do you see yourself over there? What is it that you learn about yourself and the other?

8. Associate into yourself again (first perceptual position. Who specifically is in front of you? What specifically is the positive intent that each of you has?

9. How specifically are you going to handle this better next time? How are you going to resolve conflict next time?

That concludes the demonstration video as well as the instructions on how to do the Boat Pattern to use NLP for conflict resolution.