Effective teaching with anchors then is an ability that requires users to be able to associate the knowledge they want to impart with strong, positive internal states of their students (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000). In the two ways of creating anchors — one through repetition of linking responses with stimuli and the other linking responses to strong internal states, the latter produces more immediate results. Nevertheless, both methods can be used as this will enrich one’s teaching abilities even more.

The strong internal state anchoring, though the more lasting approach, has its limitations as well. In some cases, the repetitive method becomes more appropriate.

An Example of Using Anchors

As an example, let’s say a couple is preparing for childbirth. The husband is usually in the role of the coach to the expectant mother. One of the challenges of being a coach during birth is that the experience is so intense that it’s hard to transfer everything you know because the real situation is so different than the one in which you practice. You practice breathing and various other techniques at home in a comfortable state, but when the reality occurs, it’s a completely different situation that makes it difficult to remember all the techniques that you have practiced.

One helpful strategy is to make an anchor. When the expectant mother is in the state that she wants to be able to maintain throughout the birth process, she can make an internal anchor, such as a symbol. You could ask her, “What would symbolize this state?” Let’s say she imagines a nautilus shell — a snail shell that has a big opening on the bottom. The couple could then actually buy one of these shells. Then during all their practice sessions, the expectant mother could focus her eyes on the shell. The shell may then be brought into the hospital during the actual childbirth process, and be an ongoing trigger to help generalize the desired state to the actual birthing process. (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000, pp. 31-32)

Some Thoughts to Ponder Over

What are examples by which you can apply the repetitive method for anchoring? What strong internal states can you link to things you need to learn and remember, as well as use as anchors? Are there times wherein you have placed an anchor and failed? Which strategy did you use?