NLP Modeling: Building Good Master Practitioners

I’ve recently started a new Master practitioner certification batch. As we know, the Master Practitioner training opens up new ways to look at human behavior at multiple levels, including the way to change meanings through interaction rather than just a static NLP (Milton Model) approach alone.

This has brought me to integrate some elements of core linguistics in order to help Master Practitioners learn about language and the strategies they represent in order to create models effectively.

After all, the principle ability of a Master Practitioner is in his or her ability to view the same thing with deeper and more powerful distinctions. Recently, I worked with this group to watch a well-known speaker who had an online video. Before learning NLP Master Practitioner distinctions and watching the video, patterns were less obvious. After the distinctions were made, it became more apparent that there was a much broader spectrum of elements that could make up the represented model.

As such, we talk about unconscious uptake and conscious design. Master Practitioners of NLP should be able to also create their own approaches to deal with problems at hand, without the worry of breaking rules or that the approach to modeling is “not the right thing”.

Three things I recommend for Master Practitioners. First, to understand that knowledge is not as important as meta knowledge. To achieve success as a masterful practitioner of NLP is to know how you know, to read things from different perspectives, and to engage and disengage with common interpretations flexibly. In so doing, we create new knowledge or at least new representations that imply new things about what we already know.

Second, curiosity. This is something that practitioners know to do, and master practitioners should have even more of. The fact is, many NLP practitioners these days become skeptical. Well, the more important thing to do is to consider what are things that can be learnt from knowledge we already have. What can we experiment with in order to test our ideas?

Third, unconscious delivery. I find that when we second guess ourselves too much we tend to forget things and oftentimes mistake our conscious mind as the only provider of knowledge. In reality, we need to trust our unconscious so much so that you leave behind what does not work and adopt what does work through an unconscious assimilation of capabilities through the modeling process.

NLP Reframing Examples

Pattern: Difficult makes Client feel lack of confidence.

A: This project is really difficult.

B: What’s the difficulty?

A: I don’t feel confident in it.

B: Well, I guess the more difficult it is, it can be hard to digest. And doesn’t that mean you will be more careful and meticulous?


Pattern: An unreasonable boss never takes action on feedback provided.

A: My boss is so unreasonable.

B: How so?

A: He never takes action on things that we provide feedback on.

B: “Never” is a strong word.

A: We have never heard back from him.

B: Perhaps then he’s not unreasonable, but either overwhelmed or untrained?


NLP Techniques: Reframing

A reframe is a way to see things differently. It is about allowing the possibility of a new perspective. Sometimes, some people can view something that is generally positive in a negative way. This tends to be disempowering. Instead, we want to view something generally unpleasant or negative in a positive way. This does not remove the problem, but allows us to feel resourceful.

  • I admit I am lazy, that’s why I keep failing.
    • You’re not lazy, you’re just trying to protect yourself from embarrassment.
    • You may think you are failing – you are actually learning.
    • You’re honest to the point of willing to expose your weknesses
    • You are only saying this because you are frustrated.
    • I know many people who failed to, who eventually became very successful.


  • I scored only 80%, it means I’m not good enough.
    • You’re not bad. You simply have high expectations that you will reach with the right strategy.
    • You like to achieve perfection.
    • I know people who are at 100% who are still not good enough.
    • Damaging your sense of self-worth isn’t worth the extra 20%.
    • It’s not your result that isn’t good enough – it’s your self-esteem that isn’t good enough.


  • The subject I study is boring.
    • E.g. Of course it is boring, because you haven’t seen anything challenging about it yet.
    • It’s the mindset you carry with it that makes it boring.
    • It’s not about the boredom, it’s about the reason why you are studying in the first place.
    • You’re only saying that because you feel you can’t do well in this subject.
    • Well, at least it’s predictable.


  • I hate my teachers – they always force me to do things I don’t like.
    • E.g. Aren’t you surprised they believe in you enough to make you do these things?
    • I hated my teachers – they let me do anything I wanted and look where I am now.
    • It’s good to know you desire freedom, and true freedom does come with a price.
    • If you cared about your own children, would you freely let them do things that would endanger them?


  • Life is not worth living because I have a disability.
    • You don’t have  disability, you have a disabling thinking pattern.
    • If you think this way all the time, no wonder life isn’t worth living.
    • Many people who have disabilities love life more than those who don’t.
    • A worthwhile life is created from a vision, not from a lack of disability

NLP Practitioner Singapore: Personal Development

While many people choose to learn NLP due to its awesome persuasion skills, often people miss the point in being a certified NLP practitioner.

The idea behind NLP is the ability to get you to become a massive modeling machine. You learn, adapt and enhance your skill and knowledge further. Most people simply deem the NLP practitioner certificate as a qualification alone. In fact many people are touting NLP as the way to success.

While I don’t dispute it can help people with success, it has gotten sickening to see that there are people who use it like a magic silver bullet. Most of these people don’t even know what the entire system of NLP is in the first place. Hence, their methodology is skewed to one direction, causing students to be unable to use NLP beyond a narrow set of skills.

Becoming an NLP practitioner is about hunting down useful skill to improve one’s abilities and become more powerful in achieving results. But that’s half the story. You can also maximize the use of such tools to make a difference in the world.

I’ve seen highly inflexible and intolerant so-called NLP practitioners. Even at a crossroads of choices, some choose the safe path while being critical, nasty or even rude. I think the job of an NLP practitioner is to elevate the standard of flexibility in working with self first. If you can’t get yourself under control and check your own ability to open up, consider new possibilities and achieve new goals, then what’s the point of learning NLP?

Key point is this: keep within a learning group that is diverse and celebrates changes and improvements. Often, without this kind of culture, learning ceases while people think more of themselves than they really are. There is social myopia.

Expose yourself to more opportunities to manage yourself and your experiences. If this means getting yourself to do something uncomfortable, then do it. It will merely be a matter of time before it becomes the new norm and you can look back realizing you have learned and grown.

If all that NLP does is to do this, I think you would have added a lot of value to the world, starting from the people closest to you.

NLP Definitions: TOTE

A TOTE is the smallest behavioral unit, as defined by Miller, Galanter and Pribram (1960) in their book, Plans and The Structure Of Behavior.

It is a way of identifying the sensory sequence of a modeled behavior. T (Trigger), O (Operation), T (Test) and E (Exit) are required in this feedback cycle (a test requires cycling back to the operation in order for stability of behavior to take place).