Interview Your Role Model

A role model may be defined as a person who has achieved what you want, or is living the kind of lifestyle you want.

The best way to model another person is to work with them, ideally in an apprenticeship situation. Some companies offer an arrangement called work experience, whereby you elect to work for the company for a specified period of time (at no pay) in order to learn a skill. You can contact a mentor directly and propose either of these arrangements, depending on what works best for both of you.

Another way to model a mentor is to read books they have written or books written about them. There's always a danger that the books have omitted or glossed over some key elements of their success, but they are worth reading in any case. The care and preparation involved with creating a book generally guarantees that the model's methods will be presented in a logical and digestible fashion.

But you can expand on the information you acquire through reading about them by arranging to interview your role model, using the principles of NLP.

The Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) approach to behavioral change is based on the concept of modeling. The premise is that if one human being can achieve a particular outcome, then any other human being can achieve that same outcome (or at least a version of it) if they discover and duplicate three key elements of the role model's behavior:
  1. the model's beliefs about what's possible
    (e.g., I know I can do this!)
  2. the model's mental strategies
    (their step-by step approach, both internal and external)
  3. the model's physiology
    (the ways they act and move, and the resulting frames of mind, as they go about necessary tasks)
A role model can be a real person (either living of dead), or a fictional character.
  • You can study role models by reading biographies (or other written sources) and making note of how they utilized the three key elements in their path to success.
  • You can attend workshops and seminars they present and learn their strategies directly.
  • You can volunteer as an unpaid seminar assistant to study a role model from a closer perspective.
  • And, if your role model is accessible, you can contact him or her and request a personal interview.

The Interview Process

Here's a simple approach that will help you get the most out of an interview with a role model.

  1. Select three people who exemplify the qualities or behaviors you wish to emulate.

  2. Gather some background material on each person before you make the first contact. Some people find it annoying to be asked questions they've already answered in a book. They may suggest you read it first and then call them back, so you might as well anticipate this and do your homework first. From their point of view, this preparation will help establish you as a motivated person and not a dreaded time-waster.

  3. Write out a list of questions you wish to ask them. Reading background material will help you ask more useful questions. You may find you've learned most of what you need from the background sources, unless there are particular points you need clarified.

  4. Contact all three candidates and set up an interview with each (either by phone, e-mail or in person).
    Offer them something in return - dinner, lunch, coffee, etc. Even if they're too busy to accept, they'll respond favorably to the fact that you didn't try to get something for nothing.
    Be prepared for the fact that not all of them may be open to your request for help.

    Gratefully accept whatever help they do offer.
    Ask for other referrals or suggestions.
    Always send a thank you note, card or e-mail afterwards.

  5. Compare the results from your three interviews. You may find that the strategies of one role model appeals to you far more that the other two. In that case, you can choose to adopt his or her approach.

    Or you may prefer one or more elements from each approach. Combine these elements to create your own blueprint.

    Pay particular attention to what these three models have in common. You'll most likely learn the most useful strategies in those areas.

It's important to keep in mind that you don't need to adopt every aspect of a person's behavior in order to duplicate their success. An industry leader may be brilliant in her approach to building a business yet have a condescending attitude towards her employees. A top wealth creation speaker may have an excellent approach to achieving success yet have a disastrous home life. Just model the aspects that work. Or, if the incongruities bother you, find another more well balanced model.

List Of Questions

When interviewing a role model, you will need to know:

  • their decision-making processes
  • their motivation strategies
  • their planning strategies
  • their methods for staying committed to their goals

Here's a strategy for getting this information:
  1. Ask them for a step-by-step outline of their strategy for success

  2. Clarify their activities at each step:

    • How do you go about completing Step 1?

    • Is there anything you need to do before you do Step 1?

    • What's important to do while you're doing Step 1?

    • What do you pay attention to while you're doing Step 1?

    • What are you evaluating while you're doing Step 1?

    • Is there anything else that's important regarding this step?

      Repeat these questions for each subsequent step.

  3. Get specific about definitions or terms the person uses:

    • What do you mean by that?

    • How do you know when you've achieved this particular outcome?

    • What's your evidence? (What do you see, hear, feel?)

For a more in-depth analysis of this technique, read Leslie Cameron-Bandler's book, The Emprint Method.

Your Next Step:

  1. Return to the Wealth Mindset page to choose your next strategy.

Disclaimer: This site is purely educational and we make no claims or guarantees with regard to the information presented. Please consult a certified NLP practitioner for individual coaching in the use of NLP techniques. We strongly advise consulting a financial industry professional before embarking on a wealth creation journey.

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