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…
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:
- NLP techniques, such as anchoring, pacing and leading, and the Fast Phobia Cure;
- NLP applications, such as applying rapport skills to sales; and/or
- NLP models, such as timelines and eye access cues.
However, I and most NLP developers regard another aspect of NLP as more important:
- 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.
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.
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.