The Ultimate NLP Compendium For The Discerning
Enhance Your understanding of Authentic Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Regardless of Your Background
Have you ever wondered if there’s a secret recipe to unlock your potential and excel in your professional and personal life?
Well, you’re about to embark on a magical journey into the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a sophisticated tool that could be the key you’ve been looking for.
Let’s begin by setting the record straight about NLP. With its roots in the 1970s, there’s been an overwhelming amount of information on NLP out there – some accurate, some not so much. But worry not, as we dive into the authentic NLP experience, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to distinguish fact from fiction.
As an entrepreneur striving for success, you deserve nothing less than the best – Learning NLP, when approached with discernment and a clear purpose, can help you achieve those significant outcomes you’ve been dreaming of.
In a nutshell, NLP is an “accelerated learning strategy for the detection and utilisation of patterns.” From our communication styles to our work habits and emotions, everything we do revolves around patterns. NLP enables us to identify and optimise our own behaviour patterns and, when needed, influence others’ patterns as well.
John Grinder, co-creator of NLP, offers a more comprehensive definition, describing NLP as a “meta-discipline” that focuses on discovering and coding patterns that distinguish exceptional practitioners from average ones. These patterns are the essence of NLP, as explained in “The NLP Field Guide” by Jules and Chris Collingwood.
The beauty of NLP lies in its versatility – its modelling techniques can be applied across various domains, including psychotherapy, coaching, management, leadership, sports performance, and even parenting. With new applications emerging every year, NLP’s potential for personal and professional growth is virtually limitless.
Now, let’s travel back in time to the birth of NLP.
Its creators, Dr. John Grinder, Richard Bandler, and Frank Pucelik, were initially focused on modelling the language patterns used in Gestalt therapy. This project led to the development of the Meta Model, which paved the way for a series of models based on the expertise of renowned psychotherapists like Virginia Satir and Milton H. Erickson.
As the field of NLP expanded in the 1980s, several prominent figures emerged, including motivational speaker and personal development guru, Anthony Robbins. His bestselling book, “Unlimited Power,” published in 1986, introduced many of the core NLP models taught in practitioner certification courses at that time.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the enchanting world of NLP, imagine the limitless possibilities that await you as you harness its power to elevate your professional and personal life. Let the magic of NLP be the catalyst for your exceptional personal effectiveness.
Are you looking to improve your skills in collaborating, leading, and influencing people?
Have you heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) before, but are not aware of its power and usefulness in your current situation? Look no further than the New Code of NLP.
In the early days of NLP, its founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder developed a set of techniques and patterns for effective learning and deployment of NLP. However, Grinder later identified some key patterns that were not conscious during the original coding of NLP but were significant in achieving better outcomes. He began a project of recoding NLP to incorporate the importance of context, aesthetics, the balance between conscious and unconscious minds, and personal ecology.
The result was the New Code of NLP, which leads to better outcomes for students and provides trainers with key distinctions that support effective development and integration of NLP skills for course participants. In contrast, the classic code of NLP, taught in many practitioner training programs, is often scripted and lacking in first principles. This leads to ineffective generalisation of NLP patterning into multiple contexts and a substantial number of practitioners who rely on fitting clients into some scripted technique.
By teaching the new code of NLP with a focus on first principles and using NLP formats to train circuitry in the students’ minds, well-trained NLP coaches have the flexibility to design a set of interventions that are tailor-made for each individual. This approach leads to better results than subjecting clients to scripted techniques.
At Inspiritive, we specialise in teaching the core principles of NLP, including the new code of NLP. Our training and coaching services are designed for technology leaders who are seeking soft skills to excel in their careers, personal lives, or entrepreneurial endeavours. As catalysts of exceptional effectiveness, we empower our clients to become more effective in work and life.
Welcome to the foundational principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). At Inspiritive, we believe that understanding the structure of NLP is critical to mastering it. This section will give you a better understanding of how the field of NLP is organised and what the three main framework elements of NLP are.
According to John Grinder, one of the founders of NLP, the field can be organised into three logical types: NLP Modelling, NLP Applications, and NLP Training. Let’s take a closer look at each of these Framework elements.
NLP Modelling is the core function of NLP, and it involves creating replicable and transferable models of human expertise and expert performance. In other words, NLP Modelling allows us to understand and replicate the successful behaviours and thought patterns of individuals who excel in a particular area. This function is what allowed the founders of NLP, John Grinder, Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik to model the successful behaviours of successful therapists such as Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, and Milton Erickson.
One of the most interesting aspects of our species is our ability to model behaviour, and we have specialised neurons in our brains called ‘mirror neurons’ that have the function of modelling behavioural patterns from others. By understanding and utilising NLP Modelling, you can develop your skills in any area that you desire, from leadership and negotiation to public speaking and creativity.
NLP Applications is the part of NLP that consists of the many and various applications of NLP to specific areas of human endeavour. This includes our models and patterns for coaching, leadership, negotiation and mediation, organisational cultural change, and many other areas. NLP Applications are the product of the field of NLP, and they allow us to use the insights gained through NLP Modelling in practical and useful ways.
NLP Training is the part of NLP that is devoted to the application of the set of patterns developed in NLP for teaching and training others. Skilled NLP trainers use NLP patterns and models to teach NLP, and they have the ability to design interventions that are tailor-made for each individual. At Inspiritive, we specialise in teaching the core principles of NLP, including NLP Modelling, NLP Applications, and NLP Training.
Our training and coaching services are designed for technology leaders who are seeking soft skills to excel in their careers, personal lives, or entrepreneurial endeavours. As catalysts of exceptional personal effectiveness, we empower our clients to become more effective in work and life.
In conclusion, NLP Modelling, NLP Applications, and NLP Training are the three framework elements of NLP that can help you improve your skills in collaborating, leading, and influencing people. By understanding the structure of NLP and the power of its framework elements, you can become a master at creating positive change in yourself and others.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) distinguishes between process and content, emphasising that NLP is a process-based model rather than focusing on specific content. While content models may include rituals or beliefs, NLP provides processes for change and questioning existing beliefs. Understanding this distinction is crucial in practising NLP effectively.
An example illustrates the difference between process and content. Cultural norms surrounding the act of breaking into a boiled egg exemplify content, as people hold diverse opinions on the “correct” way to do it. In contrast, process information describes the actions individuals take and the beliefs they hold about those actions. NLP strives to avoid influencing someone’s representations and allows them to create their own change within their own content.
Process provides instructions for handling ideas and matters, while content comprises the “what” of communication, such as opinions or interpretations. Artists use specific processes to apply colour to a canvas, with the content varying from portraits to abstract compositions. NLP focuses on the “how to” of achieving outcomes, ensuring clarity and avoiding unnecessary content.
NLP emphasises the importance of attention and harnessing natural abilities through experiential exercises. By prioritising process over finite examples of attention and avoiding profiling individuals, NLP promotes personal development and expands possibilities for change.
NLP is a field focused on developing, evaluating, and applying transferable models of expertise and expert performance. Its origins can be traced back to the Cognitive Sciences, including disciplines such as Linguistics, Anthropology, Cognitive Psychology, and Automata Theory.
Epistemology, which deals with how humans acquire knowledge, underpins the way NLP is employed.
NLP is based on the understanding that we, as individuals, create models or ‘maps’ of the world based on our experiences and interpretations of those experiences. The late Gregory Bateson, an Anthropologist, suggested that Epistemology, the study of how we as a species can know anything, can be described in two ways: Epistemology with a capital E and epistemology with a lowercase e, which refers to an individual’s unique ways of knowing.
According to NLP, our perception of the world is not the world itself but a map or model of the world that is unique to us. A belief or bias that we hold can influence our experience of the world. Alfred Korzybski, in his book ‘Science and Sanity,’ coined the phrase “A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” In other words, our perception of the world may not be an accurate reflection of reality, but it is useful for navigating through life.
NLP provides tools for changing and enriching our maps of the world. The map territory distinction is a fundamental idea in NLP, as it provides methods for changing and enriching our maps. NLP has some potent methods for contexts where we simply don’t have pre-existing models of the world, such as when learning something completely new. NLP also offers a methodology for modelling an expert and thus creating a rich set of maps for the targeted capability.
At Inspiritive, we specialise in teaching the core principles of NLP, including how to change and enrich your models of the world. Our training and coaching services are designed for technology leaders who are seeking soft skills to excel in their careers, personal lives, or entrepreneurial endeavours. We empower our clients to become more effective in work and life, using NLP tools to help them achieve their goals.
If you want to learn more about epistemology and its relationship with NLP, we recommend reading our articles Knowing What We Know: The Relationship between Epistemology and NLP, and From Maps to Mastery: Using NLP to Create Rich Models of the World. With our guidance, you can change and enrich your models of the world, and become a more effective leader and collaborator.
As entrepreneurs, software engineers, consultants or coaches you are constantly striving for excellence in your personal and professional lives. You know that being a high-performing individual contributor is not enough to achieve your goals and dreams. To become an effective leader and collaborator, you need to develop your social, management, and psychology skills.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help you achieve this. And at the heart of NLP lies a powerful technique called “modelling.”
Modelling is the process of creating models of exceptional effectiveness. It aims to transfer the ability of an exemplar, someone who is an expert in a particular skill or ability, to someone who needs and wants that ability.
The fundamental presupposition of modelling is that experience has patterns of organisation or structure. NLP modelling is the process of representing the patterns of organisation of the specific skills and results of excellence of an expert performer.
The key components or isolates of an expert’s patterns of organisation can be broken down into mindset, frameworks, linguistic patterns, non-verbal behaviour, states/emotions, and managing state. By understanding these components, you can take an effective inventory and organise yourself to achieve results according to the context.
Expert performance can be broken down into its key components, and exceptionally effective people are aware of this. They consistently reorganise the structure of their experience to become and remain congruent with their intentions. By modelling the patterns of organisation of an exemplar, you can achieve similar results within the same context and time frame as that demonstrated by the exemplar.
At Inspiritive, we specialise in teaching the core principles of NLP, including modelling. Our training and coaching services can help you develop the skills you need to become a catalyst of exceptional effectiveness.
If you’re interested in learning more about NLP and modelling, please read the following article: The Science of NLP Modeling: Understanding Patterns of Excellence.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a field that offers a set of models to help understand the structure of experience, the communication process, and the patterns of behaviour. One of the most important distinctions of NLP is that it focuses on the form or patterns rather than the content of communication. This Section covers some of the most significant models of NLP, including the meta model and verbal package, and highlights how these models allow individuals to detect communication patterns and gain an edge in their personal and professional lives. By making the distinction between form and substance, individuals can learn to model any talent that interests them, enhance their communication, and influence others.
As social creatures, humans crave attention and connection with others. When two people are genuinely interested in one another, they often establish rapport, which is the foundation of building strong relationships. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), rapport is defined as the ability to engage and hold another person’s unconscious attention.
Rapport can be observed through similarities in posture, gesture, rhythm, and voice, and it can be intentionally cultivated through NLP techniques. Bandler and Grinder, the co-founders of NLP, developed the Rapport model by studying the components of rapport and identifying what makes some people more adept at holding others’ attention than others.
While establishing rapport may come naturally to some, it is a skill that can be learned and refined through training and coaching. By mastering the art of building rapport, individuals can enhance their ability to connect with others and build stronger, more meaningful relationships. We have an article, where we explore three effective ways to cultivate rapport using NLP.
The meta model is a foundational model in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. It consists of a set of targeted questions designed to challenge the form of a person’s language, rather than the content. By attending to the form of a person’s speech, the meta model can assist the person in becoming clearer about the ideas and experiences they are discussing, and ultimately gain higher grade information.
The meta model is used to challenge three types of language patterns: distortions, generalisations, and deletions. Distortions, such as the “cause-effect” pattern, indicate a person’s thinking that is represented in their language, which can limit their sense of agency. Generalisations reflect limits in a person’s options, while deletions indicate missing information in a sentence.
One significant advantage of the meta model is that it provides a way to gain higher grade information without needing to understand the topic area being questioned. This makes it a useful tool for leaders, teachers, therapists, coaches, and management consultants, among others. By understanding the power of language and the importance of attending to its form rather than just its content, practitioners of NLP can use the meta model to enhance their communication skills and assist others in gaining greater clarity and insight.
In addition we also have a helpful piece written by Steve Andreas about Modal Operators. Modal Operators are one of the language patterns found in the generalisations section of the meta model. This informative article explores how the modal operators used in a person’s language can either limit or expand their perception of choices or options. By understanding how these modal operators work, you can gain insight into the thinking patterns of others and potentially help them expand their options and improve their decision-making.
Bandler and Grinder’s Representational System model in NLP highlights how humans organise their experience of the world through their senses, which is then re-presented in their thoughts. Representational systems correspond to our senses on the outside and in NLP, thinking processes using pictures, sounds and feelings are referred to as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic Representations. These representations of experiences are coded with a particular arrangement of submodalities, which are the constituent elements that make up our sensory experiences.
Submodalities can be deconstructed into component parts such as sights, sounds, sensations, smells and tastes. They differ from one type of an experience to another and by manipulating the configuration of submodalities, we can change the qualities of the experience they represent. For example, by changing the submodalities of a memory associated with a limiting belief, we can recode it as a doubt and replace it with a belief that has a generative impact. Similarly, habits can be transformed using a set of submodality techniques called the swish pattern, which was first developed by NLP trainer Christina Hall.
To effectively use the swish pattern, there are specific prerequisites that must be met and there are different variants of the swish that can be matched to individual differences. Submodalities are integral to our understanding of the world and can be used to enhance a state, change a belief, or change a behaviour or habit. The model of Representational Systems and Submodalities in NLP can help us to better understand how our experiences are represented and provide us with tools to transform them for a more positive outcome.
Context is everything. We operate within it, and it shapes our behaviour and attitudes. But what if we could shape our context? This is where the framing model of NLP comes in. Developed by Bandler and Grinder, the framing model is a powerful tool for creating and setting the boundaries of a context.
Framing is the art of defining the parameters and limits of a context. It can apply to a single moment or the general conduct of all participants at an event. It is the act of setting the boundaries for a communication or interaction. Skilled framing can make the difference between a successful politician and an average one, define skilled leadership in business, and determine the success of parenting.
NLP offers specific frames to help us shape our context and communication. The Outcome frame is one of the most important. It helps us present an outcome to another person, elicit their desired goal, or clarify the result we want. Other NLP frames include the Present State frame, the Ecology frame, the Intention frame, the ‘As If’ frame, the Relevancy challenge, and the Consequence frame. These frames are useful in most contexts of communication with others and particularly effective in coaching and consulting.
Through the framing model of NLP, we can set limits and options for what we can do and create in the world. We can define how we do what we do and how we live our lives. By shaping our context through framing, we can achieve greater success in our personal and professional lives.
The New Code of NLP represents a significant shift in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, introducing a comprehensive redesign of existing and new NLP material. This redesign has been created to fit a set of specific criteria for change that is generative, lasting, and ecological. The focus of the New Code of NLP is on creating change based on the minimum number of patterns necessary and sufficient to achieve a specified outcome.
The principles of the New Code of NLP are grounded in the understanding of the limits of conscious attention and the nature of cognitive unconscious processing. This understanding draws on research in the cognitive sciences such as linguistics, cognitive psychology, anthropology, and automata theory. The new code also sets specific roles and methodology for working with conscious attention and the cognitive unconscious mind.
Change is created with reference to the intentions and consequences of the presenting situation, whether it is a problem or a request for improvement. The New Code of NLP proposes frames and contexts for change using conscious attention, and resources, information, and changes are made using the cognitive unconscious with reference to the conscious proposal. This approach ensures that all change is compatible with the values and system of the beneficiary.
In the New Code of NLP, the congruence of the agent of change is essential in applying the principles effectively. The agent of change must have an appreciation of the difference between form and content and between examples of patterns and fixed formats. The New Code of NLP emphasises that patterns must be expressed to be detectable by our senses, and there is a risk of these expressions becoming fixed and used habitually as formulae to be learned and recited.
The New Code of NLP is focused on creating change in the present, for present and future benefits, without reference to the content or “story” of the beneficiary. Change is made to the states and intentions of the beneficiary, not directly to behaviour. The development and application of ‘content-free’ high performance states are central to the New Code of NLP, and these states are brought into the context where we want to be more resourceful and applied in that context.
The New Code of NLP also adheres to the form/substance or process/content distinction, focusing on the process and pattern rather than the content. This approach allows for greater flexibility and creativity in the application of the principles, making it more adaptable to a wide range of contexts and situations.
In conclusion, the New Code of NLP is a comprehensive redesign of NLP material that is focused on creating generative, lasting, and ecological change. The principles of the New Code of NLP are grounded in the understanding of the limits of conscious attention and the nature of cognitive unconscious processing. The New Code of NLP proposes specific frames and contexts for change using conscious attention, and resources, information, and changes are made using the cognitive unconscious with reference to the conscious proposal. The New Code of NLP is an innovative approach to creating change, emphasising the importance of the congruence of the agent of change and the development and application of ‘content-free’ high performance states.
One of the distinguishing features of the New Code of NLP is the Perceptual Positions model. This model provides a powerful tool for exploring and changing human behaviour by shifting one’s perception from their own world view to another person’s position or taking an observer position to perceive a whole context. The ability to perceive from different positions is called perceptual positions, and it offers three different descriptions of the same event.
By shifting perceptual positions, one can acquire valuable information that can inspire them to change a behaviour, develop a more resourceful state of mind, or gain useful insight into another person’s behaviour or motivation. For example, by imagining oneself in another’s shoes, one can gain a deep understanding of their perspective and develop empathy. Similarly, by replaying a memory as if inside it, one can gain insights into their own behaviour and motivation.
The ability to adopt multiple perceptual positions is an essential skill for operating successfully in the world. It allows individuals to explore and understand different perspectives, develop greater empathy and insight, and create more options for behaviour and decision-making. The Perceptual Positions model is a powerful tool for personal growth and development, and a fundamental aspect of the New Code of NLP.
The New Code of NLP presents a fundamental model known as the Chain of Excellence. This model relates the quality of our performance in any endeavour to our psychological state, the use of our physiology, and our breathing. The Chain of Excellence proposes that high performance is a function of our state, which is a function of our physiology, which in turn is a function of our respiration.
To change our state, the model suggests that we focus on changing the organisation of our physiology, not just through posture and attention with our senses, but also through acture – the way we dynamically and functionally operate our posture and movement. The leverage point for changing our physiology is through shifting our pattern of breathing.
This model is consistent with concepts found in yoga, meditation, and human movement practices like the Feldenkrais method and Alexander technique. However, this crucial model is missing from the classic code of NLP.
By understanding and applying the Chain of Excellence model, we can change our state with ease and adopt high performance states at will. High performance does not necessarily mean high intensity or public presentation, but any state that is most fitting and useful for the task at hand, including free time as well as purposeful activity. This model offers a powerful framework for improving performance in any area of life.
In the New Code of NLP, achieving our desired outcomes is not just about what we want, but also why we want it, and what the consequences of that outcome would be. The Outcome, Intention, and Consequences model provides a comprehensive framework for exploring our desired outcomes and ensuring that they align with our intentions and values.
First, we must consider our desired outcome – what we want to achieve. This is the starting point for any goal or aspiration. However, it is not enough to simply have a desired outcome in mind. We must also consider why we want it. This is where the concept of intention comes into play. By asking ourselves “What do you want that for?”, we can uncover the underlying intentions behind our desired outcome. These intentions may include things like personal growth, happiness, fulfilment, or making a positive impact on the world.
Once we have identified our outcome and intentions, we must also consider the consequences of achieving that outcome. This includes both positive and negative consequences, and it is important to explore them thoroughly. By doing so, we can determine whether the consequences align with our intentions and whether they are truly beneficial and desirable.
The final pillar of the model is ecology. This refers to the idea that our actions should be beneficial and sustainable, not just for ourselves but also for our loved ones, our community, and the world around us. By considering the ecological impact of our desired outcomes, we can ensure that our actions are aligned with our values and contribute to a better future.
By using the Outcome, Intention, and Consequences model, we can make more informed decisions about our goals and aspirations. We can ensure that our actions are aligned with our intentions and values, and that they have a positive and sustainable impact on the world. In this way, we can create a better future for ourselves and for those around us. Applying this model is a great way of preparing for important conversations with others.
In the New Code of NLP, simplicity and elegance are key principles for effective communication. One model that exemplifies this principle is the Verbal Package Model, developed by Grinder as a replacement for the meta model.
The Verbal Package Model consists of two specifier questions and the purposeful use of frames. It provides a simplified approach to gathering high-quality information in a short amount of time, without the need to learn the full thirteen questions of the meta model. This makes it particularly useful for busy professionals, such as managers, who need to communicate with precision and efficiency.
While the meta model remains a valuable tool for making fine distinctions in patterns of speech and writing, the Verbal Package Model offers a streamlined alternative that prioritises elegance and the minimum necessary steps to achieve the desired outcome. We teach the verbal package as part of our leadership training, the Engage program.
The New Code of NLP places a high value on the ability to apply NLP patterns to oneself, as this is essential for personal development. The classic code and its derivatives often fail to address this important aspect, leading to difficulty in learning NLP effectively. The New Code addresses this issue by teaching students to apply patterns to themselves and promoting pattern mastery through self-application.
The New Code also corrects and refines the NLP model, providing specific criteria for testing new material and ensuring that the technology is readily applicable, ecological, and transferable. This makes NLP accessible to anyone who wishes to benefit from its profound principles. Through the New Code framework, NLP is expressed in a way that respects and elucidates the principles of the New Code, introducing appropriate material and recoding classic code formats for content-free use.
Overall, the self-application of NLP patterns is a critical component of personal growth and development, and the New Code provides a refined and corrected model that is accessible to all who seek to benefit from it.
NLP has found wide application in coaching and therapy due to its origin as a model of personal change and therapy. The original NLP models, developed by Bandler, Grinder, and other early developers, were designed to be applied in contexts of personal change and therapy. With the rise of the coaching industry, these models were adapted to the coaching context, providing a collection of NLP models that can be usefully applied to coaching. These include the meta model, framing model, Milton model, anchoring model, and many NLP change processes and techniques. In NLP, a process approach is taken to coaching and therapy, and the models or patterns are applied depending on their usefulness to the client. The art of coaching and therapy lies in how the consultant frames change work with clients. However, the proliferation of very short NLP practitioner training programs has raised concerns about the effectiveness of practitioners and consultants in doing therapy. A comprehensive NLP training, especially for those who want to do psychotherapy, is recommended, and this has motivated the development of our postgraduate qualification in NLP. The NLP community needs to address the issue of very short training programs.
NLP offers a valuable addition to the skills of psychologists, especially clinical psychologists. By using NLP in the context of brief, solution-focused therapy, psychologists can achieve more effective and longer-lasting results. NLP enables students to read and utilise clients’ non-verbal communication and subtle cues, as well as respond using multiple intervention methods. Additionally, NLP brings to clinical applications the use of generative and aesthetic frames, encouraging generative change and ensuring that the positive benefits created within a person’s life are acceptable to their environment and social networks. Applying NLP to clinical psychology requires both technical skill and artistry.
For social, economic, and organisational psychologists, NLP skills are specifically applicable to organisational and cultural change processes, coaching managers and staff, and training others to do what models of excellence can do. Inspiritive teaches the underlying patterning and principles of NLP so that students can creatively apply NLP with the skill, artistry, and behavioural flexibility required in today’s complex workplace. NLP training offers cognitive and academic psychologists the opportunity to see in action the impact and influence of effects that they have known about for years, through the experience of getting to grips with them personally. Inspiritive is committed to enhancing the relationship between psychology and NLP, exemplified by its research efforts. The 10970NAT Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming offers the possibility of tying together the theoretical and practical issues of psychology and communication while exploring the intellectual antecedents of NLP and the cognitive sciences.
Personality encompasses the unique set of traits, behaviours, and patterns of thinking that define an individual’s distinctive character. It is the lens through which we perceive and interact with the world, shaping our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Personality traits can range from extraversion and agreeableness to openness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. Understanding personality provides valuable insights into how individuals navigate life’s challenges, form relationships, and pursue personal and professional goals.
Throughout history, researchers have sought to unravel the mysteries of personality through extensive studies and observations. Early theories, such as those proposed by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, focused on the influence of unconscious desires and archetypes on personality development. However, modern research has embraced a more empirical approach, employing rigorous methodologies and statistical analyses to explore the complex nature of personality.
The Five-Factor Model (FFM), also known as the Big Five, has emerged as a prominent framework in personality research. This model categorises personality traits into five dimensions: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability (neuroticism), and openness to experience. Extensive research has confirmed the stability of these traits across cultures and throughout the lifespan, suggesting a universal foundation for human personality.
Studies have also investigated the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to personality formation. Twin and adoption studies have demonstrated the heritability of certain personality traits, highlighting the role of genetic predispositions. However, environmental factors, such as upbringing, culture, and life experiences, also shape personality development.
Another significant finding is the predictive power of personality traits in various life outcomes. Personality traits have been linked to academic and occupational success, relationship satisfaction, health outcomes, and even longevity. For instance, individuals high in conscientiousness tend to exhibit greater discipline, organisation, and goal-directed behaviours, leading to higher levels of achievement in various domains.
While psychology focuses on using psychometric instruments to identify personality traits, in NLP we place greater emphasis on the patterns of behaviour that underlie expertise and expert performance. We recognize that personality is not fixed and that individuals can exhibit different traits and patterns of behaviour depending on the context they are in. We make a clear distinction between a person’s identity, how they perceive themselves, and their patterns of behaviour.
Understanding this difference between identity and behaviour is crucial. When individuals frame their behaviour as part of their identity, it becomes more challenging for them to change that behaviour. For example, if someone identifies themselves as a “smoker,” it can be more difficult for them to quit smoking. However, if they realise that smoking is simply a pattern of behaviour they engage in, it becomes something they do that can be changed, rather than an inherent part of their identity.
This highlights a potential drawback of strongly identifying with the results of a psychometric test that categorises individuals based on certain traits. Traits like extraversion or agreeableness are expressed through sets of behaviours that individuals perceive as examples of those traits. However, behaviours can vary depending on the context, and accepting a specific trait can bias individuals toward exhibiting more of those behaviours while suppressing behaviours that counteract the identified trait. It’s important to approach such tests with caution and not take them personally.
In NLP, Steve Andreas has developed a model for helping individuals acquire and integrate new desired qualities into their self-concept or identity. For more about this read the article; Reinventing Oneself: The Role of Self-Concept in Entrepreneurial Success. By systematically building these qualities into their self-concept, individuals can express more behaviours that align with those qualities. For instance, in the Five-Factor Model, if someone scores high in neuroticism, we can assist them in developing greater emotional stability through NLP patterns that promote emotional flexibility and state management.
By recognizing the malleability of personality and focusing on behaviour patterns rather than fixed traits, NLP provides valuable tools for personal development and creating positive change in individuals’ lives.
The significance of trading psychology has gained attention in recent years, yet practical applications have been lacking. There are some key principles of trading psychology and how they can be effectively applied to enhance trading performance. In Western cultures, individuals receive limited training in managing their psychology, including emotions. Novice traders often mistakenly believe that detaching from emotions improves trading performance, when in fact, emotions can be harnessed to gain an edge in the market. Understanding emotions as sophisticated cognitive processes with adaptive benefits for our species is crucial.
Rather than focusing narrowly on emotions, in NLP we use the concept of “states” which encompass a person’s thoughts, posture, breathing pattern, attention, and neuro-organisation in any given moment. Successful traders, alongside a well-tested trading system, effectively manage their states to optimise their trading performance. Drawing from expertise and expert performance research in psychology and the insights from NLP modelling, we apply the relationship between mental processes, neurology, habit formation, and the development of expertise, specifically tailored to the realm of market trading.
Another factor in trading success is the importance of practice in forming habits and automating behaviour patterns, highlighting that “perfect practice” is crucial for expertise development. Cognitive load theory, which examines the limits and engagement of conscious attention, is relevant to the complexities of trading. It suggests that traders should streamline the patterns they need to automate by practising key trading expertise patterns one or two at a time until they become internalised in long-term memory.
We also apply the structure of emotions, or states, highlighting their patterns and the role they play in trading psychology. Traders are encouraged to recognise their trading states by conducting regular audits of their successful and unsuccessful trades. By understanding and reorganising their states, traders can align them with each stage of a successful trade, allowing emotions to support, rather than hinder, trading success.
As part of our trading psychology model we assist traders in the development and activation of high-performance states, analogous to being in “the zone” or experiencing “flow.” Such states occur in challenging contexts where attention is fully engaged in the present, devoid of self-consciousness and self-talk. Specific exercises are suggested to facilitate the creation and activation of high-performance states, enabling traders to execute their trading plans with precision and timing.
Another important factor is the impact of beliefs and intentions on trading behaviour. Expert traders hold beliefs that support good trading behaviour, while limiting beliefs can impede state management and lead to poor performance. Traders are encouraged to examine their beliefs about themselves, their relationship to money, and market trading. By challenging and changing limiting beliefs, traders can foster useful beliefs that support expertise in trading behaviour, including trading psychology.
In conclusion, regardless of the trading system used, the application of trading psychology utilising NLP can significantly enhance trading success.
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