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The Tony Robbins NLP style has introduced more people to Neurolinguistic Programming than any other NLP teacher I can think of.
While many practitioners frequently dismiss him as being no more than a showman, a businessman or a “disco” NLPer, we can still learn much from him. I for one have participated in almost all of his trainings, for reasons I’ll explain in greater details in this article.
Did you have an outstanding weekend?
Were you able to find new vehicles to meet the emotional needs we discussed on Friday?
I really hope you take the time to do the exercises I share with you. So many of us still believe that information is the difference that makes the difference in our lives.
The difference that makes the difference is the information you apply by taking action.
That’s the only leverage you get. Period.
So let’s move on.
A couple of years ago, when I was neck deep in studying how our sense of identity works, I unearthed a little video by a guy named Stephen Pierce.
In it, he presented a concept called “selfware.”
I loved the name at sight.
He shared that our sense of self revolves around three components (and by the way, this is as usual just a MODEL. This is not academic nor scientific data.)
The first component is our self-image. How we view ourselves.
Stop and consider that for your own case. How do you view yourself? When you think of yourself, are you happy with what you see?
The next component is our self-talk. What we tell ourseves.
You know that nagging little voice in your head? What does it tell you all day long? Does it edify you or debilitate you?
The third component is our self-esteem. How we like ourselves.
Do you like yourself? How much? In your intimate, do you praise yourself or knock yourself down?
In NLP, of course, we have much more granular ways of playing with each of these components.
But for what it’s worth, I find the model really practical. It helps us evaluate very quickly how we’re doing on these three basic areas and how we could make significant improvements by implementing just a few changes.
Imagine the significant changes you’d be able to achieve in your life if you mastered each of these components.
If you want to know more about this, let me know. I’m building a little program I’m going to offer to only a few subscribers in the next two months.
All practical, juicy bits of information that you can turn around and implement IMMEDIATELY to get results in your life.
As all of my clients will tell you, it just works and the effect is instantaneous.
Formal sign-ups aren’t open yet, but I want to gauge the interest to prepare my resources accordingly.
So if you want to know more, hit the comments and just jot down “Me!”
If you’re new to the field of Neurolinguistic Programming, you perhaps feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information, models, patterns and descriptions available online.
Learning NLP becomes a lot easier when you’re able to measure your progress. In this article, you will discover 10 indicators that you’re making progress in your journey. These will serve as flag posts by which you can evaluate how you’re doing.
Here’s what you’ll be able to accomplish as you move forward in learning NLP.
This indicator should be #1, #2, #3, etc. We could use it for the whole list. The reason why so many students find it difficult to learn and apply the Meta Model attests to our failure as teachers to get this particular piece handled (I’m working on it).
Learning NLP’s operational epistemology will enable you to map ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING (skills, patterns, models) to it. Rep systems, swish patterns, language patterns, the whole bit. You will be able to dissect any intervention and point to the pieces of the model that it affects.
You will also have mastered all the jargon, all the way from modalities to meta-states, and you’ll understand specifically what they are pointing to.
As a result, you will be able to create any pattern you need on the fly, because you will understand how to target portions of your client’s model of the world.
I know I keep beating you over the head with it, but the cornerstone skill of NLP involves sharpening your senses. While 90% of the students want to know what to say, you should be interested in what to listen to. While everyone is stuck in their own head, you’ll be in uptime, paying constant attention to the world around you.
Do not underestimate the edge you will gain from this.
As you sharpen your sensory acuity, you will begin detecting and recognizing patterns more effectively. You will be able to recognize the facial movements, gestures, postural changes, eye position and other cues associated to specific thought patterns. This will enable you to track your clients’ train of thought and states by observing their physiology.
As you progress in your practice, you will become as close to a mind reader as you can get. I’ve witnessed my dear master Rex Sikes this first hand doing this, and it is mind-blowing. I haven’t had the privilege of training with Eric Robbie yet, but from what I understand he is a MASTER calibrator.
Pay attention. Make connections. As above, so below. As inside, so outside.
Rapport is not necessarily, as many think, a relationship of trust. It is a relationship of responsiveness. It also involves a physical feeling you get as you establish it.
As you progress, your understanding of rapport will become more and more subtle. You will know how to build it and whether you have it.
Indicator #1 shows your progress in mastering the toolkit and jargon of NLP modeling. This one is about your ability to figure people out.
You will know how to elicit your client’s model of the world and explicitly map it out on paper (or computer, if you prefer). You will be able to link all the pieces responsible for his behavior and states. You will understand what drives and motivates them. You will also understand how they create meaning in their experience.
This indicator is obviously tied to indicator #5. Once you understand the components of a Model of the World, you will be able to ask surgical questions to retrieve the pieces you need to map out the model.
Eventually, you will even be able to ask questions that cause your client to alter her model by herself.
Once again, a direct tie to indicator #5. You will be able to craft your language so that it provokes the effect you intend in your client. Vague when appropriate, specific when needed. Everything at the right time.
This indicator packages indicators #5, 6 and 7. Once you know how to elicit the map, ask questions and use language precisely, you will be able to help your clients alter their model of the world.
This particular indicator also involves you setting clear and definite ethical boundaries for yourself. Not all interventions are ethical interventions. You must know where you set your limits so you can always act in the best interest of those in your care.
Definitely read carefully all of John Grinder’s books if you want to get into modeling. It’s imperative for your safety.
This indicator is obviously tied to indicators #1 and 9. You will know how to assimilate a skills and you will have the code available to transcribe it and transmit it.
In other words, you will be able to raise the level of everybody’s game.
What I’m sharing with you here is my own road map. I still have a lot to do to get to the level I wish to attain. What matters most is constantly moving forward on all of these flag posts.
Remember, these indicators are not on/off switches. They are more like analogue sliders, gauges that go from 1 to 10. They do not represent “can” or “can’t,” but rather “how far up on the continuum do you find yourself right now?”
Learning NLP is full-contact sport. All the indicators inevitably bring us back to my constant mantra: practice, practice, practice.
Chris contacted me yesterday with a series of questions that I’m sure resonates with many other readers. I’ll reprint our email exchange without edits here for everyone’s benefit (with Chris’s authorization, of course). I think you’ll find the raw dialogue much juicier than if I cleaned it up.
To make reading easier, Chris’s questions will all be printed in italics. My answers will be in standard print. Let’s go!
I hope you’ll forgive the intrusion. I’m still having a hard time understanding what NLP actually is.
I read about modelling which makes sense on the surface- identify someone that consistently delivers the results you want and learn the processes that they go through to get the results, filtering the parts that aren’t relevant. Am I wrong so far?
But then I also see a seemingly unrelated component of using language constructs to some purpose or another. I’m not really sure what to make of that part or how it is related. I’ve seen bits about using it to direct the subconscious mind in some way or another, but if done on someone else in day-to-day life, I’m not sure how that doesn’t qualify as manipulation.
Honestly, I started looking into NLP when I saw some mention but some conspiracist that President Obama uses NLP techniques in his speeches to achieve some particular result. I found this interesting (and/or shocking… and/or hard to believe) but that’s how I got here.
I don’t want to waste your time, but is there anything you might point me to that would help me better understand what NLP is and what it is about? I’ve read the wikipedia articles but I’m still not clear.
Great to hear from you. No intrusion at all, I’m here to help.
You wouldn’t believe how often readers ask me questions like the ones you ask. The field has been littered with so much garbage that new students find it challenging to navigate.
You wrote: “I read about modelling which makes sense on the surface- identify someone that consistently delivers the results you want and learn the processes that they go through to get the results, filtering the parts that aren’t relevant. Am I wrong so far?”
You’re dead on. This is really the heart of NLP. The few who master this are the ones who create amazing lives. Tony Robbins is a perfect example of that (although many practitioners and trainers poo poo him constantly).
You wrote: “But then I also see a seemingly unrelated component of using language constructs to some purpose or another. I’m not really sure what to make of that part or how it is related. I’ve seen bits about using it to direct the subconscious mind in some way or another, but if done on someone else in day-to-day life, I’m not sure how that doesn’t qualify as manipulation.”
This is where the confusion sets in. What I’m about to share with you is my own understanding. Many NLPers would disagree with me, but my students generally prefer my approach.
Let’s go back to the first part you brought up — modeling excellence. Basically, at the onset of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder modeled the best therapists in the world: Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and *blink, blink, blink* MILTON ERICKSON, one of the greatest hypnotist who ever lived.
Milton was an ace at using language to induce therapeutic responses from his patients. The legacy of modeling his language patterns is what you write about above. It’s that “seemingly unrelated component of using language constructs.” Students of those modeled patterns decided to apply them to other areas besides therapy. Notably, sales, negotiation and seduction.
Here’s my approach: that’s not NLP. That’s applied hypnosis. These patterns are somewhat like the Force in Star Wars: applied ethically, they transform lives; applied with only selfish interest in mind, they turn into cheap manipulation. So, in my book, that’s a misuse of the term “NLP.”
You wrote: “Honestly, I started looking into NLP when I saw some mention but some conspiracist that President Obama uses NLP techniques in his speeches to achieve some particular result. I found this interesting (and/or shocking… and/or hard to believe) but that’s how I got here.”
Once again, misuse of the term NLP. Obama probably uses techniques such as anchoring and language patterns. These, of course, are techniques borrowed from Milton Erickson.
So let’s get to your question: what is NLP?
I’ve written extensively about it on my site. If you will, I’ll point you to specific pages so you can dig in a bit more:
What is NLP?
What Is The Difference Between NLP and Hypnosis?
Getting Back To The Roots Of NLP
Can I Solve A Bunch Of Problems By Using NLP On Myself
Do You Think NLP Will Help Me Achieve My Weight Loss Goals
Take a look. If you have any question whatsoever, let me know. NLP transformed my life. I’m committed to helping others understand it accurately so they can obtain the same benefits.
Thanks for the clarification. I’ll read the articles you cited.
The confusing part comes from the LINGUISTIC component of the name. If NLP is fundamentally about modelling, codifying, and then teaching the model, why is LINGUISTIC so prominently featured in the name? It seems to suggest the hypnosis/trance elements as being a fundamental rather than just one application.
Am I missing it?
You asked: “If NLP is fundamentally about modelling, codifying, and then teaching the model, why is LINGUISTIC so prominently featured in the name?”
The linguistic piece refers to the operational epistemology of the field (I write more about this in the articles). “Neurolinguistic” refers to how we sense the world and encode it in our nervous system (in language). Language is how we encode and manipulate our experiences. “Programming” refers to the syntax of that code.
NLP, or Neurolinguistic Programming, is one of the worst labels I’ve ever come across. Frank Pucelik (the third, unknown founder of NLP) states in interviews that he, Bandler and Grinder used to call it “Meta.” Potentially equally as ambiguous…
I hope this helps.