Your elicitation skills work for NLP modeling

If you’re like most NLP Practitioners I talk with, your training included a lot of elicitation, and little or no NLP modeling.

That’s unfortunate, because modeling is the core skill of NLP. In fact, Richard Bandler and John Grinder used it to create Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP’s rich array of techniques, models, and applications got developed and refined using modeling.

How ironic that NLPers so rarely learn NLP’s core skill and strategy. But fortunately…

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Improve your social life with association and disassociation cues

Today I’m going to remind you of a simple NLP pattern that can help you:

  • Make friends and keep them
  • Become more popular and attractive to others
  • Get dates and keep partners
  • Reduce conflict and negativity in your life
  • Get more support from others
  • Keep people around you happier

You already know this skill. You learned it during NLP training, and use it during interventions.

But you probably haven’t generalized it to everyday life. (Most NLPers don’t.) This subtle shift in language can make a big difference.

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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.
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How to pick competent role models

In a previous post, I discussed the problems of learning skills and attitudes from role models who aren’t competent. In this post I’ll discuss how to find real experts to learn from.

What makes an expert?

To find good exemplars (examples of a skill or ability) to learn from, evaluate their results. Ask:

  • How good are the person’s actual results? It doesn’t matter if Rowena thinks she is the world expert in good relationships; it matters whether she has good relationships. Judge only by results, not by what you, she, or other people think will work, does work, or should work.
  • Does this exemplar get consistently great results? Someone who has excellent relationship skills will tend to have lots of good relationships: with their spouse, parents, children, friends, neighbors, etc. They’ll also have minimal problems with bad relationships, quarrels, firings, and people doing nasty things to them.
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What is NLP modeling?

Version 1.0

Definition of NLP modeling

NLP modeling is a methodology for turning a skill that one person can do into a “recipe” that other people can follow to achieve similar results.

For instance, Richard Bandler famously developed the NLP Fast Phobia Cure by modeling people who used to have phobias, but had gotten over them. Many of NLP’s therapeutic techniques were modeled from successful therapists — most famously Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, and Milton Erickson.

An NLP “recipe” for a skill is called a model.

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Missed kicks make brain see smaller goal post

Researchers from Purdue University recently discovered that visual perceptions change depending on how well people perform a goal-oriented task:

Missed kicks make brain see smaller goal post

Flubbing a field goal kick doesn’t just bruise your ego — new research shows it may actually change how your brain sees the goal posts.

In a study of 23 non-football athletes who each kicked 10 field goals, researchers found that players’ performance directly affected their perception of the size of the goal: After a series of missed kicks, athletes perceived the post to be taller and more narrow than before, while successful kicks made the post appear larger-than-life.

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The structure of resourceful and unresourceful states

As an NLP modeler, I’ve learned to ask “How do people do that?” about nearly everything. Often the most mundane, taken-for-granted behaviors yield the most surprising and intriguing results.

Unresourcefulness, for example. It’s not surprising that people can get unresourceful when they have no clue how to do something, or have failed in the past. Especially if the task or project is important, or has large consequences.

It is surprising that people get unresourceful about skills they know they can do, and have done successfully many times before.

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Expanding “now”

How a person structures “now” on their timeline has a big effect on their quality of life. Two important distinctions about now are:

  1. the degree to which the person is “in time” or “observing time”, and
  2. the physical size of “now.”

If now is physically small, the person is likely to feel pressured or harassed, as though there is literally not enough time to get things done.

If now is spacious, they are likely to experience of having plenty of time, even when they have a lot to do and not much actual time available.

If now is enormous, the future may seem irrelevant because it is so small and far away. This works well for meditating, but can cause significant problems in day-to-day life.

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Utilize problem anchors to reinforce positive change

Dr. Lewis Walker, author Changing with NLP: A Casebook of Neuro-Linguistic Programming in Medical Practice, recently wrote:

I think that when someone has had a longstanding chronic problem over many years, in virtually all areas of life there are huge numbers of contextual anchors (people, places, color schemes, sounds, voice tones, postures, gestures, etc.) that keep it alive… Chronic re-exposure to these myriad anchors after a session is one way in which the problem can recur over time to a varying degree…

I have experienced this anchor issue myself in making major life changes. It’s a big problem for a lot of people.

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In time, observe time — why not both?

How a person structures “now” on their timeline has a big effect on their quality of life.

  • If they are in time, with their timeline running through their body (or they stand inside a “time tube”), they are probably good at being present in the moment. However, they may stay so in the moment that they have trouble keeping appointments or planning ahead.
  • If they observe time, standing outside the “now” so they have perspective and can see the future from now, they can probably remember appointments and plan ahead. However, they might find it difficult to enjoy the moment because they always see, hear, and think about their future and/or past.

Each option has useful elements, and it would be nice to have them all, rather than having to pick one or the other. That’s why I developed the following technique.

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