NLP modeling — the core skill of NLP

This is an NLP modeling, research, and development blog. In a previous post I defined NLP modeling. In future articles, I’ll write about my process for modeling, and reveal modeling tips and tricks. Today, I discuss how NLP and modeling relate.

What is NLP?

When most people talk about NLP, they mean:

  1. NLP techniques, such as anchoring, pacing and leading, and the Fast Phobia Cure;
  2. NLP applications, such as applying rapport skills to sales; and/or
  3. NLP models, such as timelines and eye access cues.

However, I and most NLP developers regard another aspect of NLP as more important:

  1. NLP modeling, NLP’s process for figuring out the specifics of how someone does a skill in enough detail that other people can achieve similar results.

What makes modeling important?

Modeling has been called “the core skill of NLP,” and I agree. Why?

  • Modeling created NLP’s other techniques, models, and applications. Even models and techniques that originally came from other disciplines were developed, tested, and refined by modeling when brought into NLP.
  • If you knew how to model, and nothing else, you could create the rest of NLP. Which is exactly how John Grinder and Richard Bandler originated NLP in the first place!
  • Modeling is one of the key factors that distinguishes NLP from other fields. (I’ll discuss others in a later post.)

In a sense, NLP is modeling. The rest of what people label “NLP” is simply is simply the “trail of techniques” created by applying the core NLP skill.

Yet as I write this in 2009, most NLP trainings focus far more on techniques, applications, and content than on modeling skills. That puzzles me.

What can you do with modeling?

Many NLP students only learn NLP models, applications, and techniques. What can these people do when those techniques fail? Not much, probably.

Once you know modeling, you can modify and even invent NLP techniques to achieve what you want! You can figure out why a technique fails with a particular client, then figure out what will work for that person and do it.

You can also model the skills of people you encounter, learn those skills for yourself, and teach them to others.

And NLP modeling is fun! Every time I run a modeling group, people love modeling and want to do more.

That’s because modeling is a great way to explore how your mind works. Your mind does thousands of amazing things you usually take for granted. With NLP modeling, you can begin to discover how you do them, and better appreciate the remarkable things your mind does for you.

Because people currently understand so little about the human mind, and NLP only began in the early 1980s, it’s easy to model something new — something that no one has ever modeled before. It’s an amazing feeling when you know you’re on the cutting edge of human knowledge.

Finally, modeling is the best way I know of to learn NLP, and to improve your NLP skills.

Joy

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Related: NLP blogger Steve Bauer writes about Modeling: The Core Discipline of NLP

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