Posts

Outcomes and Competencies for Practitioners of NLP

Recommended Syllabus for Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming courses

At Inspiritive, we create high-quality NLP certification training. Anyone certified by us as a Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming is more than capable of undertaking advanced training at the level of Part 2 of the Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming or Practitioner of Ericksonian Hypnosis.

Our recommendations for obtaining a Practitioners Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Certificate Course participants are required to show competency as below.

If you have already attended a practitioner of NLP training, have you had presentations, live demonstrations, and supervised exercises in the following?

Outcomes and Competencies at the NLP Practitioner level

Rapport

Prerequisites: none

Learning outcomes:

  •  to be able to establish and maintain rapport with one or more other people,
  • to be able to attract and hold someone’s attention,
  • to be able to elicit willing co-operation,
  • to make a distinction between the above (rapport) and liking

Competency:

  • matching, mirroring, cross-pacing, pacing and leading, using verbal and non-verbal behaviour,
  • eliciting and keeping another person’s attention

Perceptual Positions

Prerequisites: rapport

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to demonstrate and use first, third and second positions in varied contexts,
  • to be able to meta comment about any experience from a meta position,
  • to be able to guide another person through the process,
  • to understand the benefit of using third position between first and second positions at all times,
  • to be able to demonstrate and use additional meta positions with first, third and second position to establish a cleanly detached third position and a clean first position,
  • to be aware of changes in others’ demeanour

Competency:

  • enter and leave first, third and second positions and describe the differences between them,
  • describe and demonstrate the function of multiple perceptual positions,
  • describe the purpose of the order ‘first to third to second to third to first’,
  • demonstrate guiding another person through the process of establishing and using cleanly differentiated perceptual positions,
  • adopt a meta position cleanly and comment from it on the experience or interaction just left

NLP Representational Systems

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware that all internal processing (thinking, remembering, imagining, emoting) uses sequences of representations of our senses, that is internal pictures, sounds, feelings (sensation, proprioception), tastes and smells,
  • to be aware that representations in different systems may be used sequentially, simultaneously and in synaesthesia,
  • to be aware that a prefered representational system is not an identifying category and has a useful life of 30 seconds,
  • to be aware that different sequences of representations suit different classes of material,
  • to know the difference between a single representational system, two or more in simultaneous use and two or more in synaesthesia
  • to be aware that all systems are in use constantly but conscious awareness is limited to the ones being represented identifiably in the moment,
  • to be aware that a lead system is not an identifying category and is information about the way someone is starting to think on this occasion or about the particular topic,
  • to be aware that different people use different sequences of representational systems to think about any given topic,
  • to begin to appreciate that everyone has their own model of the world and makes their own meaning of events and ideas
  • to be aware that representations of the world are not the world; they are mental pictures, sounds and feelings
  • to be aware of perceptual filters (those beliefs, expectations, and presuppositions we hold that influence the way we represent our experience) about the world and ourselves
  • to be aware of changes in others’ demeanour

Competency:

  • ask others how they are representing their internal processes,
  • demonstrate understanding of the transient nature of lead and preferred representational systems,
  • demonstrate understanding that representational systems are not identifying categories or fixed characteristics of people,
  • demonstrate understanding that all internal processes are sequences of representations,
  • demonstrate understanding that a sequence can include single representations, simultaneous representations and synaesthesia,
  • demonstrate understanding that all systems are in use constantly but those which are identifiable in the moment are available consciously,
  • demonstrate understanding that our internal experience is subject to perceptual filters as well as sensory representations

Sensory specific language – verbal predicates

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to hear, recognise and use sensory based predicates,
  • to be able to respond in the same order and sequence as another person,
  • to be able to map across from one sense to another using predicates,
  • to be able to include all main senses in conversation,
  • to be able to leave all sensory predicates out in favour of non-sensory based terms,
  • to be able to recognise when someone else is not responding due to use of predicates outside their current thinking

Competency:

  • demonstrate recognition and use of sensory based predicates in all senses,
  • demonstrate matching sequences of predicates,
  • demonstrate mapping across senses verbally,
  • demonstrate use of non-sensory specific words

Eye-accessing cues

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to elicit and read another person’s eye-accessing cues,
  • to link eye-accessing cues back to representation systems and predicates,
  • to be able to use others’ eye-accessing cues to prompt further information gathering,
  • to be aware that the majority of people have a similar eye-accessing pattern, some have the pattern reversed and others have one or two representational systems reversed,
  • to be aware that some people with split patterns could benefit from consistency within their own direction if they want it,
  • to observe and listen to the subject for feedback and ensure their well being
  • to be able to observe changes in others’ demeanour

Competency:

  • demonstrate eliciting others’ eye-accessing cues using sensory specific questions,
  • demonstrate eliciting others’ eye-accessing cues in conversation,
  • respond to another’s spontaneous eye-accessing cues using appropriately sequenced sensory based predicates,
  • guiding subjects’ eyes to access specific representational systems through gestures and / or words,
  • recognising the need for ecology in leading eye-accessing

Circle of excellence

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, rep systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to elicit and maintain a change in own psycho-physiological state,
  • to be able to recognise and choose appropriate components for a resource state,
  • to be able to construct a context specific resource state to fit a particular function using resources from personal history, memory and imagination,
  • to take another person through the above processes, eliciting that person’s choice of resources,
  • to have live experience of intentional changes in state, emotion and resourcefulness,
  • to discover that states and emotional responses can be changed at will,
  • to have live exposure to evidence that people have different models of the world and different sequences of representation,
  • to recognise the importance of ecology and clients’ choice,
  • to be able to future pace resources into appropriate future contexts,
  • to be able to observe changes in others’ demeanour

Competency:

  • the ability to change own state,
  • the ability to construct resource states to fit general and specific situations,
  • the ability to lead another through these processes,
  • the ability to discuss the learning outcomes,
  • the ability to check ecology,
  • future pacing the work done

Sensory acuity and calibration

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to observe and remember others’ present behaviour without attributing meaning to it,
  • to be able to listen to others’ present behaviour without attributing meaning to it,
  • to compare others’ present behaviour with their own past examples and identify similarities and differences,
  • to be aware of the distinctions between observation, calibration and interpretation,
  • to be able to calibrate an individual’s state by comparison between their present behaviour (verbal and non-verbal) and similar behaviour previously observed in the same individual for which their meaning has already been established,
  • to be aware that meaning attributed to someone else’s behaviour remains speculation until verified by that person,
  • to be able to calibrate state changes in others by touch,
  • to be able to calibrate state changes in others by hearing (changes in voice quality),
  • to be able to offer sensory based descriptions of observations in all senses

Competency:

  • observe small changes in state,
  • hear small changes in state,
  • feel small changes in state,
  • compare present state with previous examples in same person,
  • describe observation, calibration and interpretation,
  • use sensory based description without interpretation

Anchoring

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, sensory acuity

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to elicit one or more states in others,
  • to be able to anchor each desired state visually, auditorily or by touch,
  • to be able to re-elicit each desired state by firing its anchor,
  • to be able to calibrate the changing intensity of an elicited state,
  • to be aware of the need to set the anchor as the state increases in intensity,
  • to be aware of the need to cease the anchor before the state peaks,
  • to be able to collapse anchors, chain anchors, stack anchors, slide anchors,
  • to be aware that anchoring is an example of first order change,
  • to be aware that anchoring can prompt second order change to occur,
  • to be aware of the subjectÐs ecology and choice,
  • to be aware that anchoring occurs naturally in daily life

Competencies:

  • elicit subject’s outcome for the exercise,
  • elicit particular states, one at a time,
  • anchor each state,
  • use visual, auditory and kinaesthetic anchors,
  • set anchors,
  • fire anchors,
  • collapse anchors,
  • chain anchors,
  • stack anchors,
  • observe state changes,
  • describe state changes in sensory based terms,
  • use sliding anchors

Well-formed outcome

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, sensory acuity, anchoring

Learning outcomes:

  • to know and be able to apply the well-formedness conditions for outcomes to participants’ own outcomes,
  • to be able to elicit and describe an outcome with reference to well-formedness conditions for outcomes,
  • to be able to create nested well-formed outcomes,
  • to be able to elicit a well-formed outcome from another person,
  • to be able to use the Grinder Outcome, Intention and Consequence model on well-formed outcomes and ill-formed outcomes,
  • to have an experience of using different logical levels to increase understanding and integration

Competency:

  • elicit an outcome in positive terms,
  • take the outcome through well-formedness conditions,
  • elicit the intent of the outcome,
  • take the intent through well-formedness conditions,
  • elicit a sub-outcome,
  • take a sub-outcome through well formedness conditions,
  • take a well formed outcome through the Grinder Outcome, Intention and Consequences model,
  • take an ill formed outcome through the Grinder Outcome, Intention and Consequences model to find an alternative outcome

The meta model of language – overview

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues

Learning outcomes:

  • understanding the distinctions between primary experience, deep structure representation and surface structure representation from transformational grammar,
  • to be aware that people’s language patterns contain information about their thinking processes, beliefs and ideas,
  • to be aware of the distinctions between semantic ill formedness (distortion), limits to the speaker’s model (generalisations) and information gathering (deletions),
  • to be aware of the most useful order in which to challenge meta model violations (distortions first, generalisations next and deletions last),
  • to be aware that distortions include only presuppositions, mind reading, cause effects and complex equivalents,
  • to be aware that generalisations include only modal operators of possibility and necessity, universal quantifiers, and lost performativesto be aware that deletions include only nominalisations, unspecified verbs, lack of referential indices, comparative and simple deletions,
  • to be aware that additional categories are included in some circles but these are not additional language patterns and do not belong in the meta model,
  • to be able to recognise and challenge distortions in one’s own and others’ language,
  • to be able to recognise and challenge generalisations in one’s own and others’ language,
  • to be able to recognise and challenge deletions in one’s own and others’ language,
  • to be aware of the extra need for rapport in maintaining the relationship with others when using the meta model,
  • to understand that the meta model can be used sparingly, based on a need to know for optimal benefit,
  • to understand that the meta model can be used to elicit high quality, accurate information, to teach people to think more effectively and to assist people become aware of unconscious parts of their models of the world to provide another demonstration of the uniqueness of individuals’ models of the world,
  • to be aware that it is more useful to be able to respond to meta model violations than to be able to name them,
  • to be aware of the potentially confrontational quality of the meta model and treat it with care

Competency:

  • to be extra careful to maintain rapport when using the meta model,
  • to hear or read and challenge distortions in others’ language,
  • to hear or read and challenge generalisations in others’ language,
  • to hear or read and challenge deletions in others’ language,
  • to hear or read and challenge the above in own language,
  • to demonstrate awareness of the need to know principle,
  • to know when not to challenge meta model violations,
  • to demonstrate the effective order of challenge for most circumstances

Six step reframe

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, 

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to distinguish between behaviour and intention,
  • to have an experience of working with different logical levels,
  • to have an experience of working with conscious and unconscious processes,
  • to have an experience of working with the metaphor of individual, communicating parts of a person,
  • to have an introduction to second order change,
  • to be aware of the story of John Grinder’s developing this process,
  • to be aware that this process is not used in some circles as they consider it has been superseded and that their reasoning is faulty,
  • to be able to elicit and use three specific and separate states in the subject,
  • to be able to change behaviour while holding the intention constant,
  • to be able to disseminate resources within the system of a person,
  • to be able to discuss and incorporate objections to any part of the process,
  • to be able to use the process on oneself and future pace it,
  • to be able to guide another person through the process and future pace it

Competency:

  • demonstrate the spatial six step reframe with self,
  • demonstrate the spatial six step reframe with another person,
  • demonstrate the six step reframe process in your own words with another person,
  • describe the difference between behaviour and intention,
  • describe the importance of the ecology check and future pace,
  • describe the use and incorporation of objections by any part of the subject

Negotiation between two parts in conflict

Prerequisites: session 1, well-formed outcome, meta model

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to elicit responses from each of two parts of the subject using the metaphor of parts with distinct ideas and responses,
  • to be able to elicit outcomes, intents and purposes from each part,
  • to be able to elicit a dovetailed outcome for the parts,
  • to be able to elicit experience of each other’s beliefs and values for each part,
  • to be able to negotiate agreement and voluntary integration between parts,
  • to be able to check for ecology and elicit voluntary integration with the subject,
  • to be able to gather information and incorporate any objections

Competency:

  • demonstrate the process of negotiating between two parts in conflict with another person,
  • describe the benefits of taking each part’s outcome to a high enough logical level for the intentions to become compatible,
  • demonstrate or describe gathering information from any objecting part and incorporating that information and or part into the process,
  • future pace

Negotiation between more than two parts in conflict

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model,

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to communicate with more than two parts of a person,
  • to be able to negotiate permission to work with two parts at a time as above,
  • to be able to establish an order and sequence which suits all parts and the subject,
  • to be able to establish a dovetailed outcome working with two parts at a time,
  • to be able to negotiate appropriate integration between consenting parts with a dovetailed outcome

Competency:

  • demonstrate the process of negotiating between more than two parts in conflict with another person,
  • describe the benefits of working with two consenting parts at a time,
  • demonstrate or describe gathering information from any objecting part and incorporating that information and or part into the process,
  • future pace

Content reframing

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware of the distinction between context and meaning reframing,
  • to be aware that any behaviour would work in an appropriate context,
  • to be aware that people do the best they can with the resources they have available to them in that situation,
  • to be aware that any meaning attributed to a comment or action can be reframed to offer a more or less useful one,
  • to be aware that reframing can be used therapeutically or destructively, to provide credibility,
  • to be aware that reframing is attributing a different meaning to someone’s words or actions, or placing someone’s words or actions in a different context so that they become either more or less appropriate,
  • to be aware that reframing was first described by Bandler and Grinder but has now been adopted as a term in psychology and related areas

Competency:

  • deliver a series of meaning reframes when presented with a complex equivalent until one or more reframes fit the subject’s situation,
  • deliver a series of context reframes in response to a comparative deletion until one or more reframes fit the subject’s situation

Stalking to Excellence

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing

Learning outcomes:

  • to put skills together for an outcome,
  • to elicit and anchor states,
  • to use different locations for different states,
  • to gather information,
  • to experience emergent learning,
  • to use second order change,
  • to increase calibration and sensory acuity,
  • learn and use the process,
  • to extend resources to additional states and contexts,
  • to discover that a positive intent underlies any state or behaviour,
  • to experience people doing the best they can with the resources they have at the time and in the context

Competency:

  • to guide another person through the process,
  • to use the process oneself,
  • to demonstrate keeping another person resourceful,
  • to demonstrate staying resourceful oneself,
  • to effect a piece of lasting change with another person,
  • to effect a piece of lasting change with oneself,
  • to demonstrate gathering information,
  • to demonstrate using prerequisite competencies in response to the situation,
  • to demonstrate recognition of resource and non-resource states,
  • to elicit and anchor resource states

Submodalities

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing

Learning outcomes:

  • to discover that subcategories exist within each representational system,
  • to discover that experience is coded in submodalities,
  • to discover that the meaning, intensity, desirability, credibility and memorability of an experience can be altered by changing submodality distinctions,
  • to be aware that different people use different submodality distinctions to make a given change in the quality of their experience,
  • to discover that some people believe they have limited or no access to one or more representational systems,
  • to discover that training can enhance people’s access to their internal representations,
  • to experience changing beliefs with submodalities,
  • to experience the need for ecology and consequence thinking when changing beliefs or doing other deep change work,
  • to experience tracking another’s experiences and gathering detailed process information,
  • to discover that pattern (in this case submodalities) has a lasting impact on subjective experience,
  • to discover that some submodalities drive others to alter with them and some submodalities only shift alone,
  • to discover that experiences can be rendered more resourceful through comparing and contrasting submodalities,
  • to discover additional combinations to add to one’s own repertoire through exposure to others’ descriptions of their submodality distinctions,
  • to reinforce the idea of different models of the world by exposure to others’ descriptions of their subjective experience

Competency:

  • to demonstrate eliciting submodalities from others,
  • to demonstrating eliciting driver submodalities from others,
  • to demonstrate using submodalities to effect change with ecology,
  • to demonstrate changing a belief with ecology using submodalities,
  • to demonstrate comparing and contrasting submodalities of a present state, a desired state and an interim state

Attention training

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities

Learning outcomes:

  • ability to track one’s attention,
  • ability to shift one’s attention by choice,
  • ability to split one’s attention between two or more tasks,
  • ability to mark one’s place and return to it after interruptions,
  • ability to set and use life lines,
  • ability to elicit and use strong resource states with life lines,
  • ability to model another person implicitly by shadowing them,
  • ability to model oneself,
  • ability to detect patterns of organisation in others and oneself,
  • ability to use the unconscious mind as a source of information / inspiration,
  • experience of the conscious / unconscious interface,
  • direct experience of unconscious processing,
  • ability to incorporate personal ecology into all these activities

Competency:

  • demonstrate shifting attention between internal / external, different rep systems, different elements of one’s context, conscious / unconscious processing,
  • demonstrate marking one’s place in an activity and returning to it after a diversion,
  • demonstrate modelling another person implicitly with second position,
  • demonstrate setting and using lifelines oneself,
  • demonstrate guiding another person in setting and using life lines,
  • demonstrate familiarity with three options in life lines (time, task and context),
  • demonstrate finding a source of information via unconscious processing

Fast Phobia Process

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training

Learning outcomes:

  • to understand the properties of double dissociation and split attention,
  • to understand the organisation of a simple phobia,
  • to understand when to use and when not to use this process,
  • to be aware of the patterns and sequence of the fast phobia process,
  • to be able to use the process with another person,
  • to have an experience of the process,
  • to be aware that the patterns are essential and to use them in one’s own words,
  • to be aware of the importance of anchoring a strong resource state for the subject at the start of the process,
  • to be aware of the importance of keeping the subject dissociated until the end of the process

Competency:

  • demonstrate the fast phobia process on a simple phobia with another person,
  • describe suitable situations and states for using the process,
  • distinguish between suitable and unsuitable material for using the process,
  • describe what makes complex and systemic phobias require additional work

Personal Editing

Learning outcomes:

  • to understand that changing state allows access to different resources,
  • to understand that changing state can be elicited through changing physiology,
  • to understand that a strong and steady resource state can change our responses to people, events and contexts,
  • to acquire multiple means of eliciting resource states to facilitate change in oneself and others,
  • to gain an appreciation of state dependent learning,
  • to gain an appreciation of targeted generalisation of resources across states,
  • to be aware that personal editing occurs naturally in daily life

Competency:

  • demonstrate personal editing with a strong, anchored resource state and repeated short exposure to representations of the choice point,
  • demonstrate personal editing by noting a choice point and then shifting one’s attention to movement,
  • describe instances of naturally occurring personal editing

The Milton Model

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware that the milton model makes deliberate use of meta model violations,
  • to be aware that the milton model makes deliberate use of multiple time frames,
  • to become aware of and recognise embedded questions, commands and suggestions,
  • to be aware that the intent is to keep one’s words sufficiently general to allow the subject (individual or group) to make their own representations of the matter under discussion,
  • to be aware of when milton model language is used deliberately and when to use meta model challenges,
  • to be aware that milton model language is useful for making indirect comments and suggestions
  • to acquire facility in using milton model language knowingly,
  • to become aware that trance can be elicited in anyone provided it is tailored to their own thinking processes

Competency:

  • demonstrate use of the milton model to elicit a given class of experience while allowing the subject to represent their own content,
  • demonstrate the use of embedded questions, embedded commands and embedded suggestions

Transderivational search and Change Personal History

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye accessing cues, well formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model

Learning outcomes:

  • to become aware of internal sensations as signals to indicate a state,
  • to be able to use internal signals to track back to earlier examples of a state,
  • to be able to elicit the imprint experience giving rise to the sensation,
  • to be able to change state and access resources for the subject of the imprint experience,
  • to be able to bring resources to the subject in the imprint experience,
  • to be aware of possible consequences and ecology in bringing resources to the subject of the imprint experience,
  • to have an experience of regression and time distortion,
  • to experience guiding someone else in this process

Competency:

  • demonstrate a transderivational search using a kinaesthetic signal and anchors,
  • use a transderivational search to find an imprint experience,
  • observe the imprint experience from 3rd position,
  • access suitable resources for the younger subject in the imprint experience,
  • demonstrate bringing resources to the subject in the imprint experience,
  • describe the difference in the experience of the imprint situation with resources,
  • demonstrate awareness of consequences and ecology when doing second order change work,
  • demonstrate bringing the changes to the present in first position,
  • demonstrate the above process with another person

Reimprinting

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to become aware of internal sensations as signals to indicate a state,
  • to be able to use internal signals to track back to earlier examples of a state,
  • to be able to elicit the imprint experience giving rise to the sensation,
  • to be able to change state and access resources for each significant party to the imprint experience,
  • to be able to bring resources to each significant party in the imprint experience,
  • to be aware of possible consequences and ecology in bringing resources to the parties to the imprint experience,
  • to have an experience of regression and time distortion,
  • to experience guiding someone else in this process,
  • to distinguish between simple and systemic interventions,
  • to be aware of the purpose in bringing resources to the least significant party first and progressing through increasing influence to end with the subject of the reimprint,
  • to understand the purpose of leaving all new resources turned off after editing until all parties have new resources,
  • to understand that resources are free and care and generosity with resources adds to the quality of the work,
  • to appreciate that any resource when functioning changes the system, hence the need to turn them off until everyone is resourced,
  • to appreciate that providing each party with resources creates a systemic change and facilitates deeper learning for the subject,
  • to appreciate the convincing nature of the experience for the subject when all parties resources are activated together

Competency:

  • use a transderivational search to find an imprint experience,
  • observe the imprint experience from 3rd position,
  • take second position with each of the parties to the experience commencing with the least significant and progressing in ascending order of influence,
  • return to third position between each visit to second position with a party and note the resources that would assist the party,
  • access plentiful resources for each of the parties in the imprint experience one at a time, starting with the least significant and progressing through to the subject,
  • demonstrate bringing resources to each party in the imprint experience, one at a time,
  • demonstrate switching off each party’s new resources after editing them, before moving on to the next party,
  • describe the difference in each party’s experience of the imprint situation when that party has resources functioning,
  • demonstrate consideration of consequences for the subject and ecology for the system,
  • demonstrate turning on all resources for all parties and reexperiencing the imprint situation,
  • demonstrate awareness of consequences and ecology when doing second order change work,
  • demonstrate bringing the changes to the present in first position,
  • demonstrate the above process with another person

Timeline elicitation and use

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware that Steve and Connirae Andreas discovered and developed timelines,
  • to be aware that Robert Dilts and John Grinder developed the spatial use of timelines,
  • to be aware that it is ecological for someone’s timeline direction to conform to their eye-accessing cue direction (if the future is right with eye-accessing cues then the future time line should move to the right or ahead),
  • to be aware that timeline comprehension and use is an integral part of NLP,
  • to be aware that different people use different timelines from each other,
  • to be aware that many people use different timelines in different contexts,
  • to be aware that we can try on different timelines,
  • to be aware of different cultural timelines and concomitant time use,
  • to be aware that we can place resources in our past for present familiarity,
  • to be aware that we can place resources in our present and future to assist us,
  • to be aware that we can use timelines spatially or internally,
  • to be aware that we can reimprint on timelines,
  • to be aware that we can track the history of any state using timelines,
  • to be aware that we can change responses in the present by adding resources to the past

Competency:

  • demonstrate reimprinting on a spatial timeline with another person,
  • demonstrate time line elicitation with another person,
  • demonstrate planning a future event and placing it on timeline,
  • model several different timelines from others and try them on,
  • demonstrate incorporating perceptual positions into reimprint,
  • demonstrate incorporating structure of emotions into reimprint

New Behaviour Generator with Timeline

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware of the structure of affirmations and visualisations,
  • to be able to use association and dissociation for editing internal movies,
  • to be able to make internal pictures to order,
  • to be able to use perceptual positions in gathering information and designing future actions,
  • to be able to develop and use internal representations to construct new capabilities,
  • to be able to construct and use submodality distinctions to enhance new capabilities,
  • to be familiar with the process and the structure of the process of creating and installing new capabilities,
  • to be able to place the finished product at a suitable time on the timeline and future pace it,
  • to be aware of the rest of the system in which the subject lives and to incorporate it,
  • to ensure that foreseeable consequences are acceptable and ecological

Competency:

  • demonstrate association and dissociation,
  • demonstrate the use of perceptual positions in the process,
  • demonstrate eliciting and associating into resource states,
  • demonstrate eliciting and associating into the chosen new capability,
  • demonstrate editing the new capability,
  • demonstrate awareness of the need for ecology and consideration of the system in different time frames,
  • demonstrate placing the finished product in the subject’s history on their time line,
  • demonstrate future pacing

Swish Patterns – Standard and Distance

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to make internal pictures to order,
  • to be able to change internal pictures to order,
  • to be aware if there is a preference for distance or standard swish,
  • to be able to distinguish between associated and dissociated representations,
  • to be aware of the need for an unique and always present element in the first picture,
  • to be able to swish a pair of pictures at speed,
  • to be aware of the function of a swish,
  • to have an experience of the changing response in a swish pattern,
  • to be aware that some schools find the swish comparable and better than a six step reframe,
  • to be aware of the difference in pattern and application between a swish and a six step reframe,
  • to be aware of similarities between the pattern of a swish, a personal edit and a fast phobia process

Competency:

  • demonstrate establishing a preference for a distance or standard swish,
  • demonstrate a swish pattern with another person,
  • describe the function of a swish and suitable material for using it

Swish Patterns – Designer

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history, standard and distance swish

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware that a swish can operate in any representational system or combination,
  • to be able to elicit a preference in representational systems from another person,
  • to be aware of own preferences of representational systems,
  • to be able to use the designer swish pattern with any representational systems

Competency:

  • demonstrate designer swishes with different combinations of representational systems

Swish Patterns – Visual Kinaesthetic

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history, standard and distance swish, designer swish

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to use the swish pattern spatially,
  • to be able to experience the swish pattern in real time,
  • to be able to elicit and send resources in metaphoric visual form,
  • to be able to receive and respond to metaphoric visual resources from self,
  • to be able to elicit suitable states for using this process in others

Competency:

  • demonstrate guiding others through this process,
  • demonstrate experiencing this process,
  • describe the function of this process

Logical Levels and Chunking

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome

Learning outcomes:

  • to understand the distinction between logical levels and logical types,
  • to be aware that logical levels is a classification system (started by the ancient Greeks),
  • to be aware that chunking up moves to greater abstraction,
  • to be aware that chunking down moves to greater specificity,
  • to be aware that chunking sideways produces comparable members of the same class,
  • to be aware that chunking sideways is also known as lateral thinking,
  • to be aware that a simple way to chunk sideways is to chunk up one level and then find a list of examples of its members,
  • to be aware that change work done at a higher logical level than that of the problem is more effective than using the same logical level

Competency:

  • demonstrate chunking up, down and sideways,
  • describe some uses of seeking the intention of peopleÐs outcomes,
  • describe some uses of seeking specificity,
  • describe some uses of lateral thinking,
  • demonstrate the use of chunking in establishing and maintaining rapport

Grinder and DeLozier’s Genius State

Prerequisites: circles of excellence, attention training, life lines, logical levels

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware that changing state changes one’s perception of the world,
  • to be able to track and change peripheral vision,
  • to be able to silence internal dialogue,
  • to be able to apply well-formedness conditions to outcomes,
  • to be conversant with logical levels and chunking,
  • to have an experience of a genius state with life lines

Competency:

  • demonstrate eliciting a genius state using circles of excellence,
  • demonstrate wearing a genius state during an active dreaming walk,
  • demonstrate acting as guardian or guide to someone in a genius state,
  • demonstrate using life lines for those times where there is no guardian

Strategies

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware of the existence of strategies for thinking,
  • to be aware of the well-formedness conditions for strategies,
  • to be aware that all representational systems are in use continuously,
  • to be aware that those representation sequences which show in eye-accessing cues are the strongest,
  • to be aware that strategies use the strongest representations,
  • to be aware of the seven basic strategies (learning, decision, reality, convincer, memory, creativity, motivation),
  • to be able to elicit strategies,
  • to be able to design effective and well-formed strategies,
  • to be able to check for effectiveness and well-formedness conditions,
  • to be able to streamline strategies,
  • to be able to install strategies by metaphor, rehearsal, demonstration and anchoring,
  • to experience conscious awareness of own strategies,
  • to observe the difference in people’s subjective experience of different strategies for doing a given function,
  • to have an experience of how others do their strategies by modelling them,
  • to have an experience of how we code reality and how others do it

Competency:

  • describe the well-formedness conditions for strategies,
  • list the seven generic strategies,
  • elicit a strategy,
  • check an elicited strategy for well-formedness and effectiveness,
  • streamline or redesign a strategy,
  • install the changes to a strategy,
  • try on others’ strategies

Metaphor

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history, strategies

Learning outcomes:

  • to use Milton model language while telling a story or series of stories,
  • to be able to use metaphor,
  • to be aware that in NLP metaphor includes simile and allegory,
  • to be able to use universals from the culture, sub-culture or organisation of the audience,
  • to be able to construct and deliver an isomorphic metaphor,
  • to be able to tell a string of short metaphors for a purpose,
  • to be able to use metaphor as a vehicle for change,
  • to be able to tell metaphor to transfer a useful pattern hidden in interesting content,
  • to be aware of the distinction between deep and shallow metaphor,
  • to be able to describe a multiple embedded metaphor,
  • to be aware that people, organisations and cultures have deep metaphors they live by,
  • to be aware that deep metaphor is unconscious unless deliberately elicited,
  • to be aware that deep metaphor comes out in people’s language and expressions

Competency:

  • demonstrate eliciting a particular state through metaphor,
  • demonstrate offering a useful pattern through metaphor,
  • demonstrate a series of metaphors to make a change,
  • demonstrate an isomorphic metaphor,
  • describe a deep metaphor (eg business as war / sport)

Dilts’ Disney Creativity Strategy

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to be able to enter task specific resource states cleanly,
  • to be able to construct specific resource states for specific functions,
  • to be able to associate and dissociate cleanly at will,
  • to be able to shift between perceptual positions cleanly at will,
  • to be able to plan, develop and create a project from first principles,
  • to discover which of Disney’s dreamer, realist and critic states are more familiar,
  • to enhance, practice and redesign components of those less familiar,
  • to be aware that spatial sorting is a pattern while the Disney categories are content,
  • to be able to use multiple elements of NLP as appropriate,
  • to have an experience of Walt Disney’s method for creating

Competency:

  • demonstrate the Disney Creativity Strategy,
  • describe the point of keeping each state clean and separated,
  • describe the point of going in one direction and doing a complete round each time,
  • describe the point of planning the dream and criticising the plan,
  • describe the point of associating fully into each state

Separating Unwanted Synaesthesias

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to be aware of the importance of establishing the individual subject’s eye-accessing cues,
  • to be aware of the quadrant of each representation,
  • to be aware that the process can start at any point on the circle,
  • to be aware that replacing each representation in its place removes the intensity of the experience,
  • to be aware that some synaesthesias are viewed with defocused eyes in front,
  • to be aware that this process can be used regularly for daily experiences,
  • to have the experience of dismantling an unwanted synaesthesia,
  • to be aware of the relationship between this process and the fast phobia process,
  • to be aware that synaesthesias can be constructed by reversing this process

Competency:

  • demonstrate dismantling a synaesthesia with another person,
  • demonstrate dismantling a synaesthesia of one’s own,
  • describe suitable experiences for use with this process,
  • describe how the process could be reversed to create a synaesthesia with defocused vision straight ahead

The NLP Negotiation Model

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • to achieve congruence within each member of negotiation team,
  • to achieve congruence between members of negotiation team,
  • to establish and maintain rapport within and between negotiation teams,
  • to establish well-formed outcome within negotiation team,
  • to chunk up high enough to provide multiple options for negotiation team,
  • to be aware of own negotiation teamÐs bottom line and best alternative to negotiated agreement,
  • to be aware that other interested parties’ higher logical level outcomes can be elicited,
  • to be aware that dovetailed outcomes lead to agreement,
  • to be aware that shared outcomes enhance rapport between negotiation teams,
  • to be aware that rapport between teams promotes an atmosphere of shared solution finding,
  • to be aware that negotiating with own side is never done in front of other interests,
  • to be aware of outframing, back tracking, relevancy, framing questions

Competency:

  • demonstrate parts negotiation with any internal conflict in each member of the team,
  • demonstrate establishing a well formed outcome,
  • use the outcome, intention and consequence model to chunk up,
  • establish a bottom line and alternative to negotiated agreement,
  • demonstrate eliciting outcomes and complex equivalents from other parties to the negotiation,
  • demonstrate dovetailing outcomes between parties to the negotiation, establishing and maintaining rapport,
  • demonstrate finding an acceptable excuse to talk to own team in private,
  • demonstrate out framing, back tracking and preparing other side for questions

Business Meeting Procedure

Prerequisites: rapport, perceptual positions, representational systems, predicates, eye-accessing cues, well-formed outcome, meta model, reframing, submodalities, attention training, milton model, transderivational search and change personal history

Learning outcomes:

  • be able to set agenda with quick items first,
  • be able to set and circulate time frame, date, time, location and agenda to all participants in advance,
  • be able to welcome participants and start on time,
  • establish procedure for questioning relevance (agenda on whiteboard),
  • establish ground rules, courtesy and local cultural requirements,
  • establish intent to finish on time regardless and to set another date if necessary,
  • proceed from quickest items to slowest,
  • if meeting runs effectively, it can finish inside the time frame allowing a period for social interaction at the end,
  • use principles of Disney Creativity Strategy (not criticising people, discussing problems and outcomes and plans),
  • allocate action to specific people and get their agreement to function, performance and time frames

Competency:

  • demonstrate setting up a meeting,
  • demonstrate chairing a meeting,
  • demonstrate keeping parties relevant,
  • demonstrate using the meta model to keep matters specific

Ecology

  • awareness of the presuppositions of NLP,
  • understanding the ‘as if’ frame with reference to the presuppositions of NLP,
  • recognising that the subject has choice at all times,
  • recognising that the subject’s values are the yardstick,
  • recognising that violating your own values is not useful,
  • recognising that process, not content will serve you and the subject effectively,
  • recognising that ‘why’ questions only lead to justification,
  • recognising that ‘what for’ questions provide high quality information on intent,
  • recognising that the subject’s model of the world is your starting point,
  • recognising that some interventions will not work and this is OK,
  • recognising that the present state has elements that may be worth keeping,
  • considering the costs and consequences of making and having every intervention,
  • considering the intervention from a systemic viewpoint,
  • establishing strong resource anchor for the subject before intervening,
  • establishing and maintaining rapport first, last and all the way through,
  • recognising the wisdom of using; multiple perceptual positions, multiple logical levels, multiple time frames,
  • recognising the accuracy of a clear congruency signal,
  • recognising that an incongruent response denotes a lack of information in the system

Assessment

Prerequisites: participation in all training sessions

Learning outcomes:

  • to discover one knows more than one thought,
  • to integrate the program into participants’ own thinking,
  • to revise any areas where participants are uncertain,
  • to change participants’ experience of assessment,
  • to introduce code congruency in assessment (same participants, same place, same media, same material, same time frames, same access to trainers, coaches, manual, notes etc),
  • to experience a complete piece of change work using any NLP processes that fit,
  • to experience working with different people as subject and guide,
  • to deepen the awareness of the presuppositions of NLP,
  • to gain additional practical exposure to NLP,
  • to gain greater appreciation of the conscious / unconscious interface,
  • to begin to use own expression of the NLP patterns,
  • to become familiar with the process of gathering information in depth as the basis for change work,
  • to become familiar with the routine concept of ecological checks and future pacing

Competency:

  • demonstrate rapport in interactions as a prerequisite for all other activity,
  • demonstrate any NLP concepts, processes, training exercises and language patterns from this program,
  • discuss the structure of any NLP processes from this program and reasoning for choices,
  • demonstrate mixing and matching NLP processes to fit the client and situation,
  • discuss the presuppositions of NLP and one’s understanding of them,
  • give a five to ten minute presentation on a topic from this program with minimal preparation

Learn more

Check our 10970NAT Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming program.

(Note: If you would like to learn more about the New Code of NLP you can get a copy of  our latest Kindle book ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

Learn more about NLP, read our Ultimate NLP Compendium of NLP

If you found this article useful, please share it!

 

Developing Choices about the Emotions we Experience with NLP

What is an emotion?

Most people, if asked, would identify a noticeable set of sensations (feeling) that they experience in response to a sight, sound and or touch from the world, or in response to something they were thinking about (internal representations). They would not necessarily take ownership of their response, nor would they necessarily recognize it as part of their own thinking process, which in fact, it is.

In NLP, we propose that thinking and emoting are accomplished using sequences of sensory representations to carry and frame the content of our thoughts and emotions. These representations include images, sounds and sensations carrying content gleaned from memory as well as our new creations. This assumes that all our life experience is stored in long term memory, otherwise known as the cognitive unconscious, and that links and relationships between units of knowledge or other material already exist along with the represented knowledge itself.

As we progress through the world, we respond to information, other people, our environment, our work and anything else we find. We also have the choice of attending to our internal world to think about whatever we choose, including but not limited to developing ideas, reviewing past events, creating new work and planning future moves. We attend to our internal world to experience emotions, too. These normally constitute thoughts in response to other thoughts or external experiences, but they still require us to access internal representations of units of content and the relationships between these units.

The difference, subjectively, is that emotions include a kinaesthetic component that is strong enough to be detected by us unequivocally. It is clearly present and far more conscious than the pictures, sounds and sensations that gave rise to it, whether they came from the world or from our own internal representations. Hence the common name of ‘feelings’ for emotions. Feelings are the obvious parts of emotional responses.

If we disregard the pictures, sounds and other sensations that contribute to an emotion, and attend exclusively to the strong feeling, it makes perfect sense to identify the strong feeling, name it and attribute its presence to anything that attracts our attention.

So if we have been generating our own emotional responses unconsciously and then noticing just the feeling component, now we can learn to generate emotions to order, changing the representations we find limiting and creating more of the states that serve and please us. This might raise a few eyebrows in mainstream culture, where the belief is that emotions happen to people and anyone who claims to have choice about their states is viewed with suspicion. However, there is no need to make a public spectacle of our choices. Simply enjoy the liberation of discovering that emotional choice is much more comfortable than living on an arbitrary emotional big dipper.

The Meta Model

The Meta Model of language is a set of questions used in NLP to clarify and specify distorted and over generalised thinking and restore missing information. Part of it provides a linguistic frame for identifying our beliefs about who is responsible for our emotions. Remember a common cultural belief that we can be held responsible for other people’s states; ‘Don’t say that, you will upset your aunt’, or ‘You are making your father angry’, ‘You frightened me’.

This presupposes that it is possible for one person to force an emotional state on another and that we live emotionally at the mercy of other people’s conduct. What is really going on is one person says or does something. Another person responds from their own internal resources and model of the world. The response may be habitual or novel, but it is generated by the respondent, not the other person.

To cloud the issue, there is cultural habituation and a level of influence from the previous conversation or relationship. We may believe there will be adverse consequences to ourselves resulting from someone else’s behaviour. The interaction could be construed as a larger system that includes both people. However, these are possible sources of influence only, not requirements or forcing. They are simply circumstances that could mitigate our developing emotional independence if we allow them to stop us. The bottom line remains, we can each learn to have choice in our own emotions if we want to and we can free ourselves from taking responsibility for other people’s emotional responses.

Describing our emotional responses 

Describing our emotional responses in sensory-based terms gives us ready access to changing them. When we become conscious of the images, sounds and sensations we are using, we can identify specific subcomponents. Useful subcomponents include size, brightness, shape, location, clarity of focus, rate and direction of movement, volume, bandwidth, amplitude, texture, temperature, rhythm and intensity. If we use these instead of attributing a name like ‘happiness’, ‘anger’, ‘mortification’, ‘pleasure’, we have something we can change. If we change one of the sensory aspects, we will find which ones lead any others to change simultaneously. When we identify our own specific sensory aspects that change more than just themselves, we have a way into shifting our emotional states quickly and effectively.

The Chain of Excellence

John Grinder proposes a four-step process for changing state, called the ‘Chain of Excellence’. Briefly, if we alter the way we are breathing, our physiology (posture and movement) changes, if we alter our physiology, our state, including emotions, changes and if we alter our state, our performance changes. This does not require any verbal description of a state and can be used in the moment. Most people have experiences of stopping a difficult activity and going for a walk. When they come back, in a different state, the difficulty has resolved itself. This is using physiology to change state.

While physiology can be used to change state, state also influences physiology, but not necessarily in the same way in all of us. Subject to the activity at hand, a resourceful physiology usually shows symmetry between left and right sides, even distribution of weight, an even rhythm in the body, an upright, balanced and symmetrical carriage and the minimal muscle tension required for the task. Alterations in attention, emotion and thought show to an observer as minimal changes in the physiology, but we do not know what the person is thinking, only how they are thinking and that changes are occurring.

Non-verbal communication and ‘body language’

This is non-verbal communication and is differentiated from the so-called study of ‘body language’. The exponents of body language try to put meaning to certain gestures and movements, regardless of differences between every person’s models of the world. One of the most crass is the notion that someone whose foot is pointing at another person is sexually attracted to that person. Another, equally inaccurate, is that sitting or standing with crossed arms means that person is ‘closed’. What happened to ‘cold’, ‘comfortable’, ‘habituated’, ‘resting’, ‘waiting’, and any other purpose that may be served by such a gesture?

Non-verbal communication provides us with ‘news of difference’ or information. Our attention is drawn to changes in posture, movement, rhythm, breathing, skin tone, and other minimal cues during interactions, and if we need to know what the other person is experiencing, we can ask them. It is a great way of discovering that other people really do have different models of the world from us and from each other.

Learn more

Check our 10970NAT Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming program.

(Note: If you would like to learn more about the New Code of NLP you can get a copy of  our latest Kindle book ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

Learn more about NLP, read our Ultimate NLP Compendium of NLP

If you found this article useful, please share it!

 

NLP Modal Operators

In the January, 2000 issue, I pointed out that the meta-model was the foundation and origin of NLP. All the many specific methods and techniques that have been developed over the last 25 years have evolved out of asking questions based on it, and it still remains a foundational understanding for the entire field. I also discussed the value of returning to old distinctions to reexamine them to see what more can be learned from them, and gave two examples, submodalities and aligning perceptual positions.

Finally, I posed a set of questions about modal operators, one of the distinctions in the meta-model, and invited readers to respond to them. I think it is curious (but perhaps not too surprising) that despite so many people teaching modeling, and claiming to be modelers, I got only two responses. And it is much easier to answer questions than it is to figure out what questions to ask!

Here again are the questions (in italics), and my answers (not the answers). Ultimately the answer is in your own experience. The words that follow are my best attempt to point to your experience, and offer ways to think about it, organize it, and expand it. This is what I can provide now, and I hope that you find it useful. I’m sure that that this can, and will be, improved on, and I welcome suggestions for additions, reformulations, etc.

Modal Operators (MO)s

1. What are they anyway? What do they do, and how do they work?

A MO is “mode of operating,” a way of being in the world and relating to part of it, or all of it. A MO is a verb that modifies another verb, so it is always followed by another verb. “I have to work.” “I can become successful.”

Since a verb always describes an activity or process, a MO is a verb that modifies how an activity is done. A MO functions in the same way that an adverb does, and perhaps they should be called adverbs. Adverbs sometimes precede, and sometimes follow, the verb that is modified, while MOs always precede it, and this is part of the power of a MO. It sets a general orientation or global direction that is usually largely independent of content and context that follows, and it does this before we know what the activity is. A MO modulates our experience of much (or all) of what we do in very important ways. Think of any small activity, and describe it in a brief phrase, such as “looking out the window.” Next say the following sentences to yourself, and become aware of your experience of each of them, noticing how your experience changes with each sentence, particularly where your attention is goes, and how you feel:

“I want to look out the window.”

“I have to look out the window.”

“I can look out the window.”

“I choose to look out the window.”

The “mode of operating” in the first is to be pulled toward the activity, with a sense of pleasure and anticipation. The “mode of operating” in the second is to be pushed toward it, usually from behind, and usually also with some sense of not wanting to do it. (Thanks to John McWhirter for pointing out this push / pull parameter of motivation.)

The last two are somewhat different; “Can” simply directs your attention to alternate avenues of possibility. In addition to “looking out the window,” other directions get my attention. “Choose” presupposes these alternatives, focusing more on the internal experience of selecting between those avenues of possibility.

2. How many kinds, or categories of MO are there, and what would you name each kind?

I would list the four categories below: (with examples).

Motivation:

The first two have to do with being motivated.

a. Necessity: “should,” “must,” “have to.”

b. Desire: “wish,” “want,” “need”

Options:

The second two have to do with options that can be chosen in order to satisfy the motivation.

c. Possibility: “can,” “able to,” “capable.”

d. Choice: “choose,” “select,” “decide.”

Desire and / or necessity motivates us to change, and possibility and / or choice makes it possible. MOs of necessity and (im)possibility are the ones given most emphasis in many NLP trainings, because very frequently they are the basis for significant limitations. People often feel stuck and trapped by “have tos,” and limited by “cant’s,” and these are the most obvious kinds of limiting beliefs that people have.

MOs of desire and choice are often de-emphasized, or even ignored, but they are equally important, and they are a mirror-image to necessity and impossibility. For instance. when someone experiences a “have to,” usually it is unpleasant, and s/he wants to have other choices. Put another way, “have to” and “not possible” are equivalent to “not possible to choose other more desired alternatives.”

Importance:

Since choosing between alternative possibilities, in alignment with our needs and desires, is fundamental to our survival and happiness, any limitation or reduction in these abilities will significantly limit our ability to have a good life. Every belief in our capabilities will have a MO in it, and many limitations will have either a MO of necessity or a negation of another MO.

This is the kind of difference that MOs not only describe, but also create as we talk to ourselves internally. It can be the crucial difference between someone who lives a life feeling as if they are an incapable, helpless victim of events, and one who experiences a world full of anticipation and opportunities for satisfaction of needs and desires. Working at the level of MOs, and the beliefs that they are embedded in, is usually at a considerably larger chunk size than working at the content level of a particular limitation, and because of this, the changes that are made will generalize much more widely.

Intensity:

Each of these categories includes words that express various degrees of intensity – even though people often limit themselves by reducing this wide spectrum to a crude either/or digital distinction. In addition to the words used in each category, the nonverbal intonation can also indicate the degree of intensity, and is often much more significant than the words.

a. Necessity has a relatively narrow range of intensity, but there is a definite difference between “absolutely must” and “should,” or “ought to.” Since many people think they should do things that they seldom or never actually do, there are “necessities” that are less than absolute.

b. Desire has perhaps the widest range of intensity, ranging from a faint inclination to smoking lust!

c. Possibility is not a digital distinction (possible / impossible) as it is often taught, but can also vary through a wide range, from very likely (nearly certain) to very unlikely, (improbable, but still possible).

d. Choice, too, can be artificially reduced to a simple limiting either / or (and there are a few circumstances in which this is perhaps an accurate description of the situation). But usually there is a wide range of choices, a multiplicity of options, not only of what to do, but of how to do it, where to do it, when to do it, with whom to do it, and why to do it.

3. How are they linked to, or related to, each other?

(I have found two major ways, one inherent, and one that is optional.)

Inherent linkage:

Choice and necessity both presuppose possibility, but desire does not. It is ridiculous to say that a person can choose or must do something that is impossible. This inherent linkage can be quite useful. For instance, sometimes a person is tortured by thinking that they should do or choose something which is actually not possible for them – at least at the moment – but they don’t realize the logical contradiction.

To work with this situation, first you can pace the “should,” or the “choose” and even strengthen it. “So you really believe that you should do X.” Then establish in their experience that it is impossible for them to do X (at least at this time, in their present state of development, finances, etc.).

After doing this preparation, you can put the two together by asking, “How is it that you think that you should do X, when you know that it is impossible?” If the preparation was done thoroughly, this is one of those times when you can almost see smoke coming out of the client’s ears, as the two beliefs collide, the contradiction becomes apparent, and the “should” (and the problem) vanishes.

However, desire does not presuppose possibility; quite often we desire something that is not possible. This fact is the source of much human misery, since we can ardently desire something that is not possible. But this is also the source of human progress, as we are motivated to seek and discover ways to do what was previously not possible.

Optional linkage:

Some kinds of linkages are not inherent, but learned.

1. In the first of these, people simply combine MOs sequentially. “I have to choose,” is quite different from “I can choose,” (a bit redundant, since choosing presupposes possibility, but it does support the person’s sense of their capability.). People often say, “I want to be able to,” or “I need to choose,” or “I might have to,” but there are many other such combinations that very few people use, such as “I can choose to have to,” “I choose to not want,” and some of these are very empowering. Of course it is one thing to recoginize this kind of possibility, and quite another to access or create an experience of it, but recognition of the possibility is a very useful first step.

With four categories of MOs, and including their negations, there are 64 possibilities for these linkages (including the somewhat repetitive “choose to choose,” and “choose to not choose,” etc.) and it is useful to systematically write them all down, and experience what they are like. Some will seem familiar and “sensible,” but the ones that seem strange, or bizarre will be the ones you can learn the most from, because they stretch your map of what is possible – even if some of them are not particularly useful. This is a great way to sensitize yourself to the impact of how you and your clients are now linking MOs, and to experience the impact of the linkages that you seldom use, or never even consider using.

2. A second (and very similar) kind of linkage is to link two MOs sequentially, in an “if-then” cause-effect chain, such as “If I want to, I can.” or “If I have to, I won’t.” Knowing how a person typically links MOs gives you very valuable information about how their experience is limited, and what kind of situations will likely be troublesome. These linkages, like most generalizations, are often uncontextualized, and easily become rather global beliefs that are applied across a lot of different content and contexts.

Again, most people do not use certain linkages very often, and many of them can be very empowering. “If I choose to, I will,” “If I have to, I desire to.” “If I want to, I don’t have to.” Because these generalizations typically apply so widely in a person’s life, this kind of change can have a powerful and widespread impact on attitude and behavior.

Of course some of these linkages are much more useful than others, but if someone uses only a few choices out of 64, that is a pretty severe limitation in what is possible for them, and exploring additional possibilities can be very empowering.

Self / Other:

In the discussion above, we presupposed that the person applied the MOs to him / herself. If we add another person in relationship, we can get another 64 combinations, such as, “If you want me to, I have to,” or “If I demand, you should.” The applications for couple therapy (whether or not the other member of the couple is present) should be obvious.

Although linkages of two modal operators are most frequent, a linkage of three is not uncommon, and even more are possible. “If I have to, I can choose to want to.” Here there is an even greater variety of possibilities (256) and most of us only use a few of them. With more than one other person, as in families, it even becomes even more complicated – and interesting. “If he says I have to X, but she wants Y, I can’t do Z.” (another 256 possibilities here!). You don’t have to memorize all these possibilities; with recognition that these can be very important, and a little practice to sensitize your perceptions, you can simply recognize them, and try them on to realize how a particular sequence works.

4. What kind of motivation is indicated by each MO?

Necessity and desire are the clearest. Desire always pulls us toward the object of desire. Necessity apparently pushes us toward something, but more often it actually pushes us away from what will happen if we don’t do it. Of course, much motivation includes both these aspects, but it is useful to separate them in order to think about them. The MOs that a client uses can alert us to what they are noticing, and what they are deleting in their experience.

Possibility and choice do not indicate any particular motivation. One can choose possible activities out of either desire or necessity, or both. On the other hand, if we had no needs or desires, possibility and choice would be totally irrelevant, so there is always some motivation presupposed or implied when we think about possibility and choice.

5. How can each kind of MO be understood as indicating a specific kind of incongruence?

All the MOs express what might be called a counterfactual state of affairs. They all indicate a situation that does not (at the moment) exist, but that could exist in the future (or could not actually exist, but can nevertheless be imagined as happening in the future) so this is one form of sequential incongruence.

If you have to, it means that you haven’t yet. (If you had already done it. you wouldn’t have to.) Even in the past tense, “I had to” expresses the situation at the moment of having to, not the subsequent action. In a repetitive action that one has to do, like breathing, what one has to do is to take the next breath, not the previous one.

Likewise if you desire something, you don’t have it yet. (If you had it already, you could enjoy it, but not desire it.)

If something is possible, that means that it is potential, but not actual. Some of us used to joke about the “human potential movement,” that it was all potential, and very little movement (and some of it wasn’t very human, either!). “I can do it” is quite different from “I have done it.” Of course, having done something is a powerful basis for assuming that I can do it in the future – and this is why it can be so useful to install a change in the past, so that it is experienced as having already happened.

At the moment of choosing, the activity that is chosen has not yet happened. (Even choosing between things, rather than activities, implies some kind of activity in relation to them.) In choice there is always an additional incongruity in that we are drawn (or pushed) toward two or more alternatives. In choosing one, the one that is not chosen is lost, and whatever needs or desires this alternative might have satisfied have to go unsatisfied, at least temporarily.

6. What kind of incongruence is indicated by a person when they use one kind of MO verbally and express a different one nonverbally?

These indicate a simultaneous incongruence between the conscious (verbal) words and the unconscious (nonverbal). If a person says, “I can do that,” in a whining voice and slumped shoulders, it is pretty likely that they don’t actually believe it, and will not actually do it. As with all NLP work, the nonverbal is often a much better indicator of the unconscious aspects of behavior, and what is actually going on. As John Grinder used to say, “All words are to be taken as unsubstantiated rumor unless confirmed by nonverbal behavior.” The verbal MO may or may not be a reliable indicator of the actual MO being experienced. Being sensitive to the nonverbal indicators of the MO gives much more reliable information about the client’s experience.

There is a useful exercise we have used for years that sensitizes trainees to both verbal and nonverbal MOs. In groups of 3, one person says a sentence using one kind of MO (or its negation) verbally, while expressing a different kind of MO (or its negaition) nonverbally. One of the others in the trio identifies the verbal MO, and the other the nonverbal MO – and later each of the others identifies both.

7. How it can be useful to change a person’s experience by suggesting replacing one modal operator with another, and why is it useful?

A MO, like accessing cues, is both a result of internal processing, and also a way to elicit it. Asking a person to say, “I won’t” rather than “I can’t,” was one of Fritz Perls, favorite ways to get people to take more responsibility for the implicit choices that they made, and feel more empowered by recognizing their ability to choose.

Sometimes changing a MO brings about a congruent change in attitude immediately. More often a client will experience incongruence. But even then it can be a very useful experiment that offers at least a glimpse of an alternate way of living in the world. The client can try it out, and find out what it would be like if it were true for him / her. The objections that arise will provide valuable information about what other aspects of the person’s beliefs need some attention in order to make the change appropriate and lasting.

8. What MO is operating in an experience of complete and total congruence?

This is my favorite, and it is a trick question. Think of a situation in your life when you experienced total congruence about doing something. When you are totally congruent, it is POSSIBLE to, you WANT to, you CHOOSE to, and paradoxically, you also HAVE to, so the answer is all of them (or perhaps none of them). Or to put it another way, which has a rather mystic flavour, it is not a mode of operating, (which always indicates at least some bias and incongruence), it is just operating, pure and simple, unmodulated by a mode.

9. What else can you predict about a person’s experience when they use a MO?

I asked this open-ended question in the hope of learning something new. But with only two responses, I don’t have much to report. When education isn’t a two-way street, it’s likely to become a dead-end street. One of my favorite quotations recently is that: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Given the presentation above, what else can you predict now?

First Published in Anchor Point, January 2001, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp.19-26

© 2000 Steve Andreas

Related articles

Learn more about NLP, read our Ultimate NLP Compendium of NLP

If you found this article useful hit the share button!, 

 

Gathering Superior Information with NLP Models

NLP and Gathering Information from Others

NLP, as you may know, stands for neuro (brain/thinking) linguistic (pertaining to language and its use) programming (creating algorithms to run specific processes in response to identified cues). In case it is not obvious, this description refers to processes and process instructions for responding to patterns detected in the world. The content of the detected material does not contribute to the choice of algorithm. The form remains constant through different content expressions on different occasions.

Imagine a sunbeam shining in through a window. If the window is clean and the air is clear, you can see a window-shaped patch of sunlight on the floor. If the room is smoky, you can detect the whole length of the sunbeam from window to floor and see exactly where it starts and ends. To follow the content, we would fixate on the need for smoke to reveal the path of the sunbeam. When we follow form, or pattern, we need something off which the light can reflect, to show where the sunbeam is. We could stick our arms into the light and wave them around, or throw flour into the sunbeam, or drop glitter or dead leaves through the air, or may be stir up dust or talcum powder. Any of these would render the sunbeam visible, which was our outcome in this experiment.

Questions that respond to the form of a person’s language

Now imagine having a set of questions that respond to the form of a person’s use of language. The outcome is to gather high quality information about any content under discussion and to be able to do so without deep subject knowledge. This makes content free coaching possible and effective. We can use linguistic form to assist anyone; even experts refine their thinking on their own subject or to get user friendly and accurate directions to someone’s office. We could map the form into another language and still follow the same cues.

Grinder and Bandler (mostly Grinder) developed neuro-linguistic programs for gathering high quality information in any context and they follow linguistic form. The most comprehensive set of language patterns for information gathering is the Meta Model of Language and it is the first time a comprehensive, form based linguistic model has been developed for this purpose. The meta model applies specific questions, known as ‘challenges’ to 13 linguistic forms or ‘violations’, each of which belongs to the class of linguistic distortions or generalizations or deletions.

The intent of challenging meta model violations is to bring accuracy to distorted comments, specificity to over generalised comments and restoration of information to deleted comments, regardless of the subject matter. This is designed to give the challenger the information they need, and/or to train the speaker or writer to think more clearly about the content under discussion. The meta model is applicable to anything that humans talk or write about.

Meta model challenges can be blunt. There are many stories of students learning the meta model and annoying the hell out of unsuspecting friends and relations when they first use the patterns outside class. Rapport maintaining activity, softeners surrounding the questions, gentle voice tones can all help to keep the subject interested and comfortable while finding the additional information called for by a challenge. Framing (explaining one’s intentions and what one is doing) is a great rapport enhancer, as the subject is then included in the process instead of being at the sharp end of it.

The cues for challenging meta model violations include:

  • Identifying (hearing or reading and recognising) one or more verbally expressed distortions, generalizations and/or deletions in someone’s language

And

  • Identifying a need to know more accurately, specifically or exactly and/or to teach clear thinking and articulate description

And

  • Identifying and implementing the level of rapport maintenance necessary to achieve the above.
  • When all of the above are activated, challenge detected meta model violations in the following order: first challenge distortions, then, if necessary challenge generalizations, finally, if necessary, challenge deletions. Also, please note, there is a most effective order within each class.

This is a lot of material to teach in one go, but is essential for anyone doing a comprehensive generic NLP training.

The Precision Model

There is a shorter version, the ‘Precision Model’, described in a book of that name by Grinder and MacMaster. The precision model is a cut down version of the meta model that covers challenges to generalization and deletion patterns. Like the newer specifier question model below, the precision model applies the questions, what, specifically and how, specifically to unclear nouns and verbs, describing these challenges as ‘noun blockbusters’ and ‘verb blockbusters’, respectively. The precision model also includes meta model challenges to statements of belief, known as modal operators of possibility (can, may, could and their opposites) and necessity (have to, must, should and their opposites) and to universal quantifiers (all, every, never, no-one). The precision model was designed to give people in business a shorter skill set than the meta model, one that would enable them to communicate more effectively and give and receive better quality instruction, but with less training and practice time.

For the many other people who could use a hand with giving and receiving information, Grinder and Bostic have now pared down the meta model to just two questions. You can use this model straight away, again, with rapport, after reading this page. The instructions are very simple.

The Verbal Package

‘What (noun) specifically?’, is asked in response to nouns, both abstract and concrete that could be clearer. ‘(Verb), how specifically’ is asked in response to unspecified and unclear verbs. Grinder recommends starting with the nouns. As with the meta model, a single question may not be adequate, but with repeated questioning with rapport, the desired specificity is obtainable provided the subject knows the answers.

Altering the form weakens the effect of these questions. While you can ask ‘Which (noun) specifically?’, instead of ‘What (noun) specifically?’ if you ask ‘What kind of (noun) specifically?’ you are eliciting a different class of response and it is not going to produce results. Ask ‘Which car, specifically?’ or ‘What outcome, specifically?’. With verbs ask, ‘Walk, how, specifically?” or ‘Put it down, how, specifically?’.

From the meta model, notice that the nouns and verbs being questioned, contain linguistic deletions and remember, the most effective order to challenge meta model violations is distortions first, then generalizations and deletions last. With this specifier model, Grinder proposes using specifier questions on nouns and verbs wherever there is a need to know. This includes nouns and verbs present in distorted and generalized sentences, too.

It is possible and functional to use specifier questions as Grinder proposes, because layered meta model violations occur in a single sentence, so specifying nouns and verbs contributes to clarifying distortions and specifying generalizations as well as restoring deleted material. Not only does every sentence derive from unspoken assumptions, every sentence also includes nouns and verbs that could be more specific, regardless of any overarching distortion or generalization in the larger text.

The cues for challenging non-specific nouns and verbs include:

  • Identifying (hearing or reading and recognising) one or more vague or under specified noun and/or verb in someone’s language

And

  • Identifying a need to know more accurately, specifically or exactly and/or to teach clear thinking and articulate description

And

  • Identifying and implementing the level of rapport maintenance necessary to achieve the above.
    When all the above conditions are met, ask ‘What (noun) specifically?’ and ‘(Verb) how, specifically?’. Keep cycling until you reach a satisfactory conclusion. (‘Satisfactory how, specifically?’ That is up to you).

To find more on the specifier question model, follow up Grinder’s ‘Verbal Package’ in the New Code of NLP. The verbal package includes:

  • Framing (defining the context, conditions, intentions and limits for a conversation or activity),
  • The specifier questions we have discussed,
  • Paraphrase.

The Verbal package is taught as part of our one-day course ‘The Rules of Engagement‘.

© 2008 Jules Collingwood.

Related articles

Learn more about NLP, read our Ultimate NLP Compendium of NLP

If you found this article useful hit the share button!