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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.
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.
When I’m introducing Neurolinguistic Programming to new students, one of the first things that I stress is that NLP is not therapy.
Throughout the years, NLP has become primarily associated with therapy due to the fact that Richard Bandler and John Grinder founded the field by modeling outstanding therapists. This close association has created much confusion for the field.
While NLP has produced exquisite techniques and tools to resolve personal problems, the field remains agnostic as to its applications. As a competent practicioner, you can derive applications in various fields, including therapy, counseling, leadership, writing, publishing, advertising and many others.
To make sense out of the mish-mash of NLP-related material you will go through, you’ll find it useful to categorize the areas of activities tied to NLP.
This article will be very short and to the point but nevertheless one of the most important I will post. The distinctions you learn in this one will allow you to map out your areas of learning in NLP.
With that said, let’s get to our 4 areas:
1. NLP Modeling
This is THE main area of NLP, as I’ve constantly harped on since starting this blog. NLP You’re modeling any time you’re coding behavioral patterns into explicit strategies or models, more specifically the behavior of geniuses who produce outstanding results in a specific field. You can also be said to be modeling when you craft useful descriptions or maps of phenomena that you observe (for instance, eye movements tied to the use of a specific representational system).
2. NLP Design
As you become more proficient in modeling, you will inevitably be drawn to design. You are designing any time you’re using NLP variables to create new patterns with the intent of producing a specific result. For example, you might design a specific sequence of sentences that trigger specific sensory channels whose goal is to persuade a client to buy a house.
3. NLP Installation
Installation has to do with the actual “Programming” of NLP. You’re installing whenever you’re transferring, conditioning or programming a pattern in yourself or another person using anchoring, hypnotic language, chaining states or any combination of the former. For instance, you’re installing when you run someone through a swish pattern.
4. NLP Training
Training deals with teaching specific skills to a student. Either you’re training or you’re being trained. You’re training whenever you’re explaining, describing or exemplifying a specific pattern or model for a student to learn how apply that specific pattern or model. While writing or reading this blog can’t exactly be considered training, it would fall in this generic category. This is what we’ve been doing together all along.
Now, don’t take all of this for cash. These categories don’t really exist. I just made them up because they make learning NLP much easier. They help you to understand what’s going on and serve as a crutch to make sense of the patterning coming your way.
Ideally, as you progress in learning NLP, you’ll create your own categories (your models). Please share your models with other learners as it will enrich and stimulate your learning even more.
I get this question all the time.
You might even have wondered about that yourself sometime back.
I scoured the internet quickly to see what “experts” had to say on the topic. Didn’t really find anything all that enlightening so I decided to write up an answer for you here.
First, let’s talk about Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP).