NLP Modeling: Selection Of Models

There is a lot of question in terms of who is the best model to use. To be able to select a single model of excellence is great. Many top NLP developers are able to model people well. However, the question goes back to how NLP modeling processes are themselves “model-able”.

James, I think your cover's blown!
Creative Commons License photo credit: laverrue

The first thing to do is to ask if the selection of models is appropriate. In my experience, it is the selection and categorization of models that enriches the map of modeling. An world-class expert will show you certain things that the average expert will not be able to show you. Similarly, natural experts, trained experts and even those who are always doing what experts consider to be “mistakes” add to the modeling map.

Categories I modeled in the area of public speaking:

  • Championship public speakers
  • Humorous public speakers
  • Inspirational public speakers
  • Terrible public speakers

Sub-categories of public speaking

  • Intonation
  • humorous punchlines and failures
  • Structure of delivery
  • Body language

Modeling is a fascinating tool that has enabled expert NLP developers worldwide, and is the crux of my training program focusing utilizing NLP in the context of enhancing the skills of life coaches.

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NLP Techniques: Creating confidence

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Objective: to create a higher level of resourcefulness and confidence

Step 1: Stand Up. Close your eyes and think of a time when you experienced confidence.

Step 2: Scale up the intensity of your feeling from 1 (not very intense) to 10 (very intense). Increase the intensity of the colors, brightness and size of the mental image.

Step 3: Imagine yourself transferring the feeling into an empty spot in front of you, and notice this empty spot taking on the energy patterns of your confident state.

Step 4: Break state.

Step 5: Now, think of a problem that you have that you would like to have more confidence in, anchor this problem using a kinesthetic anchor.

Step 6: While holding the kinesthetic anchor, step into this Circle of Confidence and notice the difference. Allow the intensity of the feeling of confidence to flow back into you while you face your problematic situation.

Usually by this time, the feeling of confidence would be more powerful and allow you to be more empowered in the face of problems.

In testing this, of course, the effectiveness of NLP methods will vary from person to person. If the technique doesn’t work, it’s likely that it’s due to the fact that you are a unique individual who needs unique solutions. To find out how you can get customized coaching for confidence, click here.

Learn NLP: Underestimating NLP techniques

I was just doing a little bit of reflection on the use of NLP skills. Many people who complete an NLP Practitioner certification don’t use the skills beyond their current presentation. A number of them also stop using NLP. I thought about it and I think I know why.

James, I think your cover's blown!
Creative Commons License photo credit: laverrue

Many NLP practitioners only do what they are shown. They don’t have the capacity to go beyond that, because there’s little continuous training for them. For instance, submodalities is deemed as too technical to use. Also, the Meta Model is taught in, often, a very structured way that prevents learning by exploration. And a lot of people still think the Meta Model is just about asking questions, but seldom know what is the purpose behind it. That’s a little sad because I can say that a lot of my learning and achievement comes from knowing the Meta Model inside out.

The Meta Model is an approach that allows for greater clarity and precision in communication. Without the ability to be precise in our communication, there is a great tendency to assume that we know what someone else is thinking. Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls were powerful users of questions such that it created incisive insight for their clients. Likewise, the Meta Model can help you to become more precise and allow you to fully understand another person’s model of the world. This basically means that I can learn what’s going on in a person’s head by asking those questions to such detail that I can replicate that experience myself.

That’s “modelling”!

Purpose of Meta Model

The Meta Model comprises several challenges, which come in the form of questions. Refer to the chart below for all the possible questions.
There are two approaches to Meta Modelling. You could either use the Meta Model to examine and explore a problem state, or to use it to explore a resource state.
Steps in Problem Meta Modelling
  1. Information gathering
  2. Identifying limits of the client’s world
  3. Exploring and expanding the quality of meanings in life
In problem Meta Modelling, we expand the awareness of the problem state to reduce fixation on the problem. Usually, we want to move a person from the Problem State to the Desired State.

The Meta Model comprises several challenge questions, which come in the form of a set of questions that you will find in a typical NLP practitioner certification training.

Generally, Meta Modelling is highly misunderstood. Remember that the Meta Model is not meant to persuade. Rather, it is meant to explore. Many practitioners, upon learning the Meta Model, unintentionally, end up interrogating their clients.

Problem Meta Modeling – you want clarity of the problem to make a decision or to come up with an intervention.

  1. Information gathering
  2. Identifying limits of the client’s world
  3. Exploring and expanding the quality of meanings and choices in life

Resource Meta Modeling – you want to assume people already have the resources to achieve what they need to achieve, so that they can find evidence of resourcefulness and move forward on any problem they encounter.

  1. Information gathering
  2. Identifying limits of the client’s world
  3. Matching the external meaning/map (what you need) to the inner meaning/map (what you have)

Meta Modeling Resourceful States

Find someone who has a resourceful state and model that state by asking questions within these broader categories:-

  1. How does this (emotion/state)process work?
  2. What internal structure governs the way this experience works?
  3. What does a person represent first, then second, then third, etc? What is the sequence of thinking?
  4. What other qualities and factors play a crucial role in the formula of this piece of human excellence?
So you can see that there’s a very deep divide between an expert knowledge of Meta Modeling versus an amateur one. I’ll post a little more about this in subsequent posts. Just know that asking questions is an art form, and some people know how to do it better than others! Let’s learn how to ask these questions with elegance and move clients to the desired result they need.

Learn NLP: NLP misconceptions and myths

Here’s an extract from my Facebook Wall:

My friend Peter said:

@Stuart, man that NLP is some wicked stuff, In the right hands its magic and very beneficial to the end user, but in the wrong hands… Thanks for being cool with it my brotha

My reply was:

Hey Peter, geez man your comment is really wicked! And I don’t know if you meant that “wicked” from the UK colloquial slang meaning “awesome” or “wicked” as in Freddy Krueger. This is an instance of language use gone wild, and to me therefore, wicked.

From my 14 years using and practicing NLP, it’s a great way for any individual to learn and to grow. Firstly, NLP is a modeling science. You can read it in my article about it here

NLP focuses on modeling what already works in life.

Secondly, I know some people have used influence skills to manipulate people, but that’s not inherently NLP itself. NLP is a modeling science. It is what people do with these models that makes a difference.

cheerio Pete!

Just an aside for others – please get this straight:
NLP is not motivation. NLP can model motivation strategies.
NLP is not influence. NLP can model influence strategies.
NLP is not change. NLP can identify the habitual patterns you can change.
NLP is not leadership. NLP can identify what context you can lead and the current strategy you use – if it is useful for you.
NLP is not hypnosis. NLP is a form of linguistic study that analyzes what works. For some people, they get confused between hypnosis with NLP because they have a limited understanding of the two.
People who are hurt often choose to reinforce their limited models of the world. NLP will eventually not work for these people.

People who work toward excellence choose to expand their models of the world. It is through such expansion that makes people grow, mature, develop into useful human beings.

Food for thought!

NLP Training: Anchoring

Okay! Let’s get started on a simple lesson on anchoring.

Anchoring basically refers to the process by which we get conditioned to certain behaviors, and there are several kinds of anchors. Any external stimulus could be an anchor, and the key characteristic about an anchor is that when you re-present the anchor, it triggers of the emotional state that was associated with it.

espejoCreative Commons License photo credit: A6U571N

The key to anchoring is emotional intensity. Well, think of a moment when you were very excited. Using this emotion, it’s likely you can think of a situation that had that state of excitement. In your mind, you’ve successfully made a link between the state and the event. Now the question is, does it work the other way around? Think of that situation, and realize that it reconnects you with emotions of excitement.

These are basically conditioned responses. However, you can enhance its effects quite easily. All you need to do is to choose something that you’d like to use (something you can see, hear or touch) that you wish to link to the emotional state you desire.  If it is something you see, it’s known as a visual anchor and could be a photograph or even an object. If it’s something you hear, it could be a sound, a phrase you say to yourself in your head or even a piece of music. If it’s something you touch or can feel, then it could be  a unique feeling of touch that you apply to your arm, or grasping an object.  So…

Step 1: Recall with deep intensity your emotional state.

Step 2: Apply the anchor.

Step 3: Clear your mind.

Step 4: Test the anchor.

You’ve successfully created an anchor!

How did this happen in the first place? Well, simply because you were looking, hearing or feeling your anchor at the peak of  an intense emotional state. It’s a simple triggered response and all you need to do is to re-introduce the trigger to get back the emotion.


If you need to be charged up, there are certain processes that will allow you to access states of motivation and drive. You could apply this is almost any area in your life.

Generally, I’d advise that anchors are created in order to be more resourceful generally. It’s impossible to create a positive anchor when there is an adverse problem. Instead, preempt this problem and develop resources within yourself so that when such a problem does occur, that you have the inner emotional resources to pull you through