NLP: Quick Start Basics
Welcome to NLP Quick Start Steps. NLP is a powerful body of knowledge that can improve your life in many ways. I’m especially interested in showing you how you can use it to improve your communication skills.
By reading people, creating rapport and adjusting the way you (and others) see things the possibilities for positive influence are endless. Only Caveat: NLP can be overwhelming and difficult to grasp. My goal in everything I teach is to make it as “digestible” as possible for you.
That’s the purpose of this blog. It’s to give you some basic knowledge on NLP and how you can start using the techniques right away without getting lost in the jargon. That being said, should you decide that you want to take your knowledge to the mastery level, then you should check out my complete training - Paramount NLP.
What is NLP
An acronym for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, NLP is an approach in which one’s pattern of mental and emotional behavior is changed by self-awareness and effective communication. NLP was founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who felt that it would be a useful technique in allowing people to have more fulfilled and better lives.
The name comes from the idea that both neurological processes, or “neuro” processes, and language, or “linguistic” and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience (referred to as “programming”) could be organized to achieve specific goals. Originally, it was developed for therapeutic purposes, but now many people and businesses are using it to their advantage.
It’s not hard to understand why. If you can understand how a person uses their mind you can then leverage that knowledge to influence them. You can also use it to help improve their life as well as yours.
NLP is a now considered a complete science. It began as a study of the human mind. The main purpose was to help people to use their mind in a way that would serve them positively.
Let me explain the basis of how this works. There are some set experiences in people’s mind such as sounds and colors. Original research focused how changing one or all the components or experiences of people would impact their emotional mindset. So, they attempted to develop a strategy that would allow someone to get rid of intense emotional behavior which could have been caused by unpleasant experiences in life.
NLP is also helpful for increasing self-confidence, developing public speaking skills, improving communication skills and a wide array of other things.
The term ‘Neuro’ is associated with the individual neurological system that is filtering millions of bytes of data using the nervous system receptors, or the senses. These systems filter the data that we receive to form what we call internal representations. They include images, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells which all constitute our conscious experience of the world. In the filtering process, delations occur as these internal sensory representations form an internal sensory “map” of the world as it is perceived by that person, which differs from the world as it actually is. Beliefs and values act as further psychological filters of the internal representations to form a further perceptual map.
‘Linguistic’ refers to the process by which the filtered internal representations are re-represented and given conscious meaning through the use of language.
‘Programming’ describes the automatic patterns of personal behavior that are triggered by internal representations and language. NLP practitioners use the analogy of the brain as a computer that is programmed, and can be re-programmed, to run selected behavioral patterns.
Basic NLP concepts can be divided into:
• Rapport building
• NLP Submodalities
• Eye accessing cues
• Perceptual Positions
• Representational Systems
• Meta Model
Anchoring is one of NLP's central concepts. An anchor is the situation in which two separate events get tied together in a person's mind so that when one of the events occurs the second event is remembered or recalled automatically by their subconscious mind.
This happens all the time when we listen to music or eat certain foods. You hear a song or taste a food that instantly causes you remember a certain time in your past when you listened to the song or ate the food.
Have you ever been to a foreign country where everyone is speaking a different language and then you suddenly find someone speaking your native language?
Rapport building is and NLP technique that can make other people have the same feelings towards you much like the feelings you had towards that person you met abroad.
Establishing rapport is based on making the other person feel that there is something common between you and them. This causes that person to feel comfortable engaging with you.
Reframing is the process of changing the perception of a situation in such a way that you see it positively rather than seeing it negatively.
It’s called reframing because just as the frame of a picture helps you see the picture, the frame you put around a situation allows you to see the situation in a different way. The following are examples of reframing which will make the concept more clear.
If you asked a group of people to imagine a picture of a dog in their minds, what kind of image are they going to see? Will it be colored or black and white? Will the mental image be close or far? Will the dog be still or will it be moving? Will the dog be looking friendly or will it be wild?
If you did that you will find that no two people will give the same answer. Each one of us stores the attributes of an object differently depending on what the object represents for us. For example, if someone fears dogs then they will rarely imagine a calm sleeping dog but instead they might imagine a dog that is ready to attack.
Eye Accessing Cues
Have you ever noticed that people's eyes move in different directions when being asked a question? Research has shown that there is a connection between the thought process of a person and the direction of their eyes. The six possible directions that the eye can go to are upper right ,upper left, and middle right , middle left , lower right and lower left .
Each direction represents a different function that takes place inside the mind.
The following concepts can be very useful in knowing whether someone is telling the truth or whether they are lying to you. Asking someone about the color of their car should cause their eyes to move to the upper right (visual remembering ). If the eye went to the direction of visual construction instead then they may be constructing images instead of remembering them. the truth may be that they don’t even have a car.
CAUTION: Note that using this method for detecting whether someone is lying or not is very risky. There are some things you should be aware of before you use such a method for detecting deception. Below is a list of guidelines you should stick to if you are going to use this method for "liar detection" so that you don't find that everyone around you is a liar:
Since every person has their own perception of the same events sometimes it’s useful to take a look at those events from a perspective that is different than yours. NLP defines those perspectives as Perceptual Positions and divided them into the following three categories:
First Position: This is the normal perspective that you regularly use. It is seeing the situation from your own perspective .
Second Position: The second position is the perspective of the other person involved with you in the same situation. In order to get more insight about how they the situation you must step into their shoes and think as if you were them. Forget about all of your needs and think about their needs. Forget about yourself and think as if you were them
Third Position: The third position is the position of a third person who is not involved in the same situation. For example if you had a fight with someone else then the third person might be a bystander who was watching you.
Each one of us has our own internal representation system that we use when we think of something. Some of us use visual images while thinking. Others may use sounds while a third group may think based on their emotions.
In Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP, there are three recognized representational systems which include visual auditory and kinesthetic.
Visual people relate to the world generally by the way they see things. When they speak, they will use terms like “I see, what you’re saying” or “I can see why you would think that way”. Visual people are also very concerned with their appearance, and they work better when following directions that are clearly written down. When trying to influence a visual thinker, your best bet is to provide them with written documentation in the form of directions, proof or a general explanation of what you’re speaking about.
Next on the list are auditory people. Auditory people assimilate information by tuning in or listening to clearly hear what it is that they are being told. They also enjoy talking with others and conversation is something that they find very interesting. For auditory people their world is represented by sound, therefore, to get their attention and engage them, you must say something that sounds very appealing to them
The third type of representational system is called kinesthetic. People who fall into this category relate to the world, make decisions and behave based upon the way something feels to them. You could call them touchy-feely people. They relate to both touch and motion. Kinesthetic people assimilate information through their sense of touch. And because of this, they are very skilled in certain areas. As an example, they are typically known to acquire a physical skill faster than the average person.
We all use metaphors while speaking either in the form of phrases that we say or in the form of a stories that we tell. When you use a metaphor you access certain values in your brain based on your background, culture and belief system. This information becomes loaded into your brain and so may impact the decisions or choices made at that time.
The same happens when you use a metaphor when talking to someone else. This person also accesses a certain part of their mind based on the metaphor you used. By selecting the metaphors you use you can let the person you are talking to load certain information into their mind and so essentially control their behavior and choices to a certain extent.
Inner conflict often occurs when a person has two similar yet contrasting “towards” values and “away from” values. For example, a person may be extremely fearful of being poor because he had been poor since he was young. He has a strong “away from poverty” value that he keeps at the very center of his mindset.
On the other hand, he also has a positive/affirmative “towards” value: “I want to be wealthy”. To many people, these two values are the same because the perceived end is also the same. But in reality, the subconscious mind is really getting a very conflicting message. Poverty is central to the person’s thinking and yet, he also wants wealth. This is a very problematic situation because the subconscious mind will transform the negative value into a positive one (“I want to be poor”) and it will attempt to pursue both values to the detriment of the person. It is obvious that in such cases, the “away from” value must be removed to improve the person’s chances of success.
The Meta Model
The Meta model is one of the very useful tools that can be used in communication because it counters the effect of Deletions, Distortions and Generalizations that people usually make while communicating. The Meta model is sometimes referred to as a Meta language because it involves changing the way you use the language in order to communicate more effectively.
The Meta model involves being more specific in order to prove to others that their filters have changed their real experiences. Let’s take the three examples mentioned above and see how can you can ask questions using the Meta model in order to deal with them: