The term meta is a Greek meaning “over” “between” or “above”. In English it is also often used to mean “about”. A “meta model” for example, is a model about other models. “Metacognition” is the awareness of one's own cognitive processes, i.e., cognition about cognition. “Meta messages” are messages about other messages, which provide frames or context markers that influence the meaning of those messages. “Meta leadership” involves leading other leaders.

 Used in this way, the term implies a new perspective that includes but transcends and is more comprehensive than the previous one. According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, for instance, meta is often “used with the name of a discipline to designate a new but related discipline designed to deal critically with the original one” (e.g., metaphysics, metamathematics, metapsychology, etc., transcend or‘go beyond’ the original discipline). The implication is that the new discipline is a“later or more highly organized or specialized form of” the earlier one.
 In NLP, “meta position” is a perspective above or about one's typical perspective, in which one is able to reflect on the deeper structures causing or motivating one's own behavior or the behavior of others. The ability to go “meta” is a key capability in NLP. It is one of the basic ways in which we are able to get a “double description” of a particular event or interaction. In conflict situations, for example, achieving a “meta position” is essential for a successful resolution. A meta position would be a position 'above and between' the two in conflict, which includes and acknowledges both conflicting perspectives, but creates something new. The new perspective either synthesizes the conflicting positions or allows them to co-exist in harmony. The function of a conflict mediator, for instance, is to be in an offical “meta position” to the parties in conflict.

 The ability to take a meta position is also essential in order to effectively model ourselves or others, and to refect on our own actions or relationships in difficult situations. Form a “meta” position it is easier to look past the content of a particular action or situation and see its formal characteristics or deeper structure. The ability to go “meta” to one's own model of the world is a fundamental feature of introspection, self-reflection and wisdom.

・Meta Position
・Meta Messages
・Meta Map

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