The Ultimate Guide

I've pointed out before how NLP is NOT therapy. Most beginning students mistake NLP to be a form of therapy because so much has been published, debated and criticized about the therapeutic models developed in NLP.

This guide aims at giving you solid grounding in NLP’s most important discipline: modeling. So important, in fact, that it gave birth to the field. Once you understand the distinction presented below (and you will), the field will make even more sense to you.

If you read through this entire post, you’ll have figured out 99% of the NLP game.

Many experienced NLPers that I’ve talked to haven’t understood the distinction I’m about to share with you. And yet, when you get it (and you will), you’ll breeze through any NLP material and assimilate it much more quickly, because you’ll have a framework with which to absorb it.



NLP Modeling: Explanation

To best understand NLP Modeling, think of NLP as both:

1. A modeling technology, and

2. A meta-field.

A modeling technology

NLP itself is a modeling technology. Think of it as a process with three overarching steps (we'll dig into a full 6-step description in a bit):

  1. Choose someone who stands out in a particular field or activity (sports, communication, management, leadership, therapy, learning, education, etc.) Make sure they demonstrate stellar performance.
  2. Model that person in order to create an explicit model of how (s)he produces those outstanding results. I will share the unique way this is done in NLP will be shared in greater detail in this guide, but it’s important to distinguish NLP modeling from other types of modeling.
  3. Install the model in others. You have to be able to transfer it. You can deem the project successful if the person who receives the model can produce results comparable to those of the outstanding performer. A critical criterion is that ANY person committed to mastering the model can do so — provided there aren’t any biological limitations that make it impossible.

Modeling breakthroughs

While patterns and models such as representational systems, submodalities and the meta-model of language in therapy are useful to design change patterns such as the compulsion blowout and the swish, they are mostly useful to map out processes that are taking place in and out of awareness.

Sometimes, when reading Bandler’s or Dilts’s writings, we may get the impression that the coding of submodalities was a therapeutic breakthrough.

In my opinion, it was a modeling breakthrough. 

All the models developed in NLP that make it possible to map out cognitive processes furthered the modeling technology. As such, we could also include perceptual positions in that category, as well as Michael Hall’s work with meta-states.

A Meta Field

I’ve come to adopt the perspective that NLP is a field that lends its discoveries to other fields. Let me give you an example so you can easily understand this.

If you’re new to NLP, you’ll soon study the Milton Model, which consists of a collection of language patterns distilled from modelling Milton Erickson, the most prominent practitioner of hypnotherapy.

The Milton Model consists of a series of language patterns used by Milton Erickson, the most prominent practitioner of hypnotherapy of his time (and among the greatest in history).

Most NLPers would tell you that the Milton Model is an NLP model. I prefer to say that NLP practitioners produced a hypnosis model called the Milton Model.

Likewise, I’d rather say that a practitioner of NLP produced a financial mastery model, a soccer dribbling model, a seduction model and so forth and so on. Each field to its own. Our field is the field of modeling. And our tools are those tools that make modeling possible.

Remember: this is only a point of view. Many NLPers would more than likely disagree with me. Nevertheless, I find it more useful to organize the field in that way – perhaps you also will.


How NLP Modeling Is Different

Before we get into the practical steps of NLP modeling, let's have a look at what's so unique about it.

What differentiates NLP modeling from other kinds of modeling?

John Grinder co-founded the field of NLP with Richard Bandler. He was, in great part, responsible for the creation of the code of NLP.

Listen to him succinctly describe what makes NLP Modeling so unique.

The unique difference of NLP modeling

NLP modeling is a bit different than other types of modeling activities. In this article you will learn what distinguishes NLP modeling from other types.

*** Update: I strongly suggest you read the comments at the end of this post. They complement the information in the post and address such topics as safety guidelines when modeling. ***

In a previous article I mentioned that the modeling done in NLP distinguishes itself from other forms of modeling in significant ways. 

NLP Modeling is incredibly exciting and rewarding. It leverages the behavioral learning skills that all of us used as small children to develop our first abilities. Unfortunately, most of us lose access to those skills after we grow up. But it's never too late to bring them back...

Someone once asked me if it would be possible to use NLP modeling to model groups of people.

I’m sure it’s possible to model a group of people. Researchers do it all the time. It’s called profiling, demographics, psychographics, or any number of additional terms. All of these terms point to certain models created about groups. But it has nothing to do with NLP Modeling.

The purpose of NLP Modeling is to find someone who’s really good at something, observe and imitate that person like a little kid and then, once I become as good as them, start figuring out what the heck she’s doing and I’m doing that makes it work, so I can teach that skill to other people.

End of story.

Big progress happens when people like Tony Robbins come in and distill models such as the following:

  • From Jay Abraham: How to take a business from $400,000 to $20,000,000 in yearly revenue;
  • From Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee: How to get a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 8 months;
  • From Gerry Coffey: How to find meaning in the most excruciatingly painful experiences;
  • From Robert Young: How to restore total cellular health in 30 days or less.

Bandler and Grinder's contribution goes without mention, of course. Distilling how to do lightning therapy from Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir is heroism.

And the key to it is, you have to be able to do the skill yourself. Bandler became as good or better than Milton, Virginia and Fritz. Grinder didn’t become as good as Bandler but he can still kick some serious therapeutic ass leveraging the models they produced.

That’s NLP Modeling. That’s taking the best of human achievement and making it sharable. That’s making a serious contribution to human heritage. That has impact. That matters.


How to Do
NLP Modeling

Now, let's cover the 6 master steps of NLP Modeling.

This is the "official" instruction set as taught by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair in their modeling workshops.

They also outlined it in detail in their book "Whispering In The Wind".


Identify a model

This first step requires that we choose a top performer.

Here's your most important criteria: choose someone who produces outstanding result or results consistently.

For instance, you could model a soccer player's unique way of dribbling.

Or you could model a top salesperson's closing skills.

Or you could model a clinician who has an unmatched record for helping patients recover from illnesses.

Find someone who can get a result you'd like to produce time and time again, consistently without fail.


Assimilate their behavioral patterns unconsciously

In most modeling methods the modeler acts simply as an outside observer.

NLP Modeling demands that the modeler actually step into the shoes of the outstanding performer. Through repeated imitation and practice, you will unconsciously absorb his or her behavioral patterns.

This is the crux of NLP Modeling. Let's talk about this some more.

When using other modeling methods, you'd be constantly trying to consciously figure out how the top performer is achieving those results.

You'd be analyzing his movements, his behavior, his words, his tonality, and so forth, trying to understand consciously how he produces those astonishing results.

NLP Modeling is different.

When modeling the NLP way, you imitate the genius without trying to figure out what's going on.

Just do as he does. Or do as she does.

Copy him.

Mimic her.

But not in a caricatural way.

Do it in a genuine way, acting as best as you can to let that person mold you so you become just like him/her.

As an example, imagine you'd want to model an outstanding tennis player's serve. In Step 2, you'd actually pretend to be the player, going through the same motions over and over, seeking to emulate the player's behavior.

One of the questions I most often get in modeling seminars is this:

"Which Pieces Do You Need To Focus On When Modeling?"

What do you think? If you had to successfully replicate someone’s behavior, chiefly someone who produces outstanding results, what would you focus on?

1. Physiology

When you begin modeling someone, begin by observing their physiology. That word simply means “the way someone moves or uses their body.”

Pay attention. Where are they looking? Are their heads up or down? Where is their breathing? How open are their eyes? Are they standing fully erect or rather compressed? Where are they hands? What about their arm muscle tone?

Take notice of all these details and immediately duplicate their posture. This will take you a long way into the modeling process.

2. Intonation

Their intonation will give you access into their internal experience. Pay attention to and duplicate it.

Someone who speaks loudly will experience and produce an effect completely different from someone who whispers.

Adopt their vocal behavior yourself. Notice the change in your own behavior and feelings as you begin to speak with the same vocal qualities as the person you are modeling. Adopt their volume, their timbre, their pitch and notice how that makes you feel.

To get a full list of auditory qualities, check out my article on auditory submodalities.

3. Strategy

Outstanding performers organize and channel their resources differently than average and mediocre performers.

When Ennio Morricone undertakes the writing of an Oscar-nominated movie score, he goes about it in a very specific and unique way.

Pete Sampras had a very specific guiding strategy he used to obliterate his opponents quickly.

Bill Clinton uses a communication strategy that enables him to garner the population’s sympathy even in the most trying conditions.

Every top performer has a specific strategy (s)he follows to produce results, even though that strategy may remain unconscious.

You, as a modeler, must make that strategy explicit. You must elicit it and then map it out so that someone else can learn it.

4. Beliefs

Caveat emptor: Only model beliefs when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Anytime you model beliefs, you alter your model of the world in favor of someone else’s. That would be the equivalent of updating the operating system of your computer without fully understanding what consequences might be.

Beliefs offer the gateway to possibility. Those who produce outstanding results have a set of beliefs that unleash their potential. You want to identify those as quickly as possible and adopt the ecological ones (if you want to know more about this, post a question in the comments and we discuss it below).

Often times, you’ll notice that outstanding performers’ beliefs provide the fuel for their performance. It enables them to recover from failures, bounce back and keep moving towards their desired outcome.

5. Other pieces

While there are indeed other pieces to the modeling puzzle that you will learn to attend to, I gave you the most important chunks.

A few of the other pieces would include:

  • values 
  • representational system used 
  • submodality preferences, and
  • energy level 

While these other pieces are very important, the first four I listed above will take you 90% of the way in replicating the results produced by an outstanding performer.

Give it a shot. It’s much easier than you think.


Produce results similar to those of the top performer

You know you've unconsciously assimilated the behavioral patterns of the top performer when you produce similar results in roughly the same amount of time. Depending on the modeling project, this may take minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or even years. It all depends on the complexity of the skill you're working on acquiring.

In the case of our example, you'd know you've unconsciously assimilated the other player's serve once you were able to consistently produce a similar quality of serve.

Criteria are subjective, but you can always enlist outside help to evaluate whether your results are congruent with your model's.


Clean up the pattern

In anyone's behavior, even that of a top performer, there will always be "white noise". This simply means that certain parts of their behavior will not be necessary to produce outstanding results. In this step, after you've demonstrated that you've absorbed the pattern by producing outstanding results, you start testing what actually needs to be included in the pattern and what can be left out.

Let's go back to our example:

Imagine that you were modeling an outstanding tennis player's serve. One piece of the player's behavior is to bounce the ball three times on the court prior to starting his serve motion.

During Step 4, you'd actually test serving without bouncing the ball three times on the court to verify whether that piece of the pattern is essential to maintaining the serve's quality. You might discover that it's absolutely necessary and you might also discover that it's completely dispensable.


Code the model

Once you've cleaned up the pattern, it's time to figure out what's going on and to create a description of what you and the outstanding performer are doing. The key here is to describe this in a way that anybody truly committed to mastering the pattern can do it.


Pass it on

This is where the rubber meets the road. The last step and master purpose of the modeler's job is to transfer or teach the pattern to someone else. In this step, you'd take the model you created in Step 5 and transfer it to a new person. If this proves difficult, you might find it necessary to modify the description you created of the pattern until transferring it becomes easy.

The most elegant models can be absorbed very quickly by a committed learner.

What are the next steps in the development of modeling?

As I see it, the most interesting next steps in the development of NLP touch upon modeling tools, technology and coding protocols.

All of these from the standpoint of all three modeling phases:

  • Unconscious uptake of patterning to be modeled
  • Effective coding of the assimilated patterns
  • Effective installation of the coded patterns

Potentially, we could include a fourth modeling activity. This is up to debate.

  • Effective uninstallation of old, obstructive patterning

As modelers, we need to develop more effective protocols for each of these activities, which are today at a craftsman’s level.

The goal is to reach industrial-strength technologies and models that we can depend upon as modelers.


NLP Modeling

There are far and few resources available to understand Modeling, the discipline that gave us NLP. Here are some resources I recommend you read through to deepen your understanding. I will add to this list over time.

WARNING: I don’t agree with all of them. I don’t agree with any of them that the modeling methodology they describe was the one used by the co-founders. And yet what they’re writing is worth reading. Each offers juicy little nuggets that will improve your perspective on the field.

How To Do A Modeling Project – Penny Tompkins and James Lawley

Image credit: GWizNLP

This article addresses the modeling project in a very well-defined and structured way. It will show you, step by step, how you can identify your modeling outcomes, map out the results you want to achieve, plan your project, execute it and transfer your newly acquired competence to a learner.

A fantastic resource.

My caveat is that they focus almost exclusively on 3rd person modeling, or observer modeling. In Whispering In The Wind, John Grinder details that the key characteristic that distinguishes the modeling that gave birth to NLP was the unconscious acquisition of the patterning by the modeler. I’ve detailed those defining steps at length in the 6 Master Steps of NLP Modeling.

Expanding Your World – David Gordon and Graham Dawes

Image Credit: Expand Your World

David Gordon has been involved in the world of NLP as long as human beings have had two feet. He’s responsible for developing the Emprint Method, one of the earliest NLP change models, which I still use to this day because of its elegance.

Their new book, Expand Your World, focuses on modeling. On their website, they offer an introduction to modeling. Have a look at it. They describe the advantages and benefits you will draw from learning how to model.

Pay close attention to the stages of modeling they propose in their introduction and how those differ from the ones I list in the 6 Master Steps of NLP Modeling.

Remodeling Modeling – John McWhirter

In this fantastic article (and you might want to read his entire series), John McWhirter describes at length the various types of modeling available, the advantages of each and how they tie into NLP.

If I were you, I’d take the time to study his website and the treasure of articles he has written on DBM (Developmental Behavior Modeling), a discipline he developed to improve and further structure NLP.

Once again, I think the modeling methodology used by the co-founders is much simpler and straight-forward than the scope he addresses in his article. Yet, reading the distinctions he puts forth will enrich your modeling experience and your appreciation of the nuances of your model’s behavior.

Stever Robbins Riffs On NLP Modeling

Most of my readers know how keen I am on discussing NLP Modeling — both on this blog and offline.

Stever Robbins is a VERY respected NLP trainer, and habitually offers keen insights that are worth your attention.

In a post, he riffs on NLP Modeling and weaves a few juicy historical details into his narrative. Pay particular attention to his mention of the 4-tuple, a variable created by Bandler and Grinder to track sensory modalities brought in and out of awareness. Very, very few NLP beginners know of the 4-tuple and only the most serious students will sit through the hairy presentation of the concept.

On distinctions and operations:

In Math, distinctions called “numbers” include 4, 5, and 9. Our operators include something called “addition.” The rules of math say when you combine 4 and 5 using addition, you get 9.
In NLP, we have distinctions called “4-tuples” with a specific set of internal/external sight, sound, small, taste, etc. We have an operators, “set anchor” and “fire archor.” Given two different 4-tuples, we can anchor both. When we combine them using the operator “fire off anchors,” we get a new 4-tuple with elements of the original two.

Notice how Bandler and Grinder worked on creating a specific code with which to track what’s happening in awareness and communication. Little attention is given to this code in trainings nowadays but you’ll find it worth your while to sink your teeth into it and figure it all out. You’ll find all of this in the seminal books of NLP (Structure of Magic I and II, Patterns I and II).

On modelers:

The paradox is that those who love building models rarely enjoy applying them once the model seems to work. And those who like application are rarely good at building them.

That’s why so few NLP trainers are well-integrated and multi-faceted. One of these few is Tony Robbins.

Although I disagree with Stever here. If you adhere strictly to the NLP Modeling distinction (also discussed here), the modeler MUST by presupposition apply the model naturally in his or her behavior.

Read through Stever’s post. Great little nuggets on modeling that will hook nicely into what we’ve been discussing here.

In Closing...

There you have it! The 6 Master Steps of NLP Modeling. If you're interested in furthering your comprehension of NLP Modeling, read Whispering In The Wind by John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair. The distinguishing characteristic of NLP Modeling exists in Step 2. In most other forms of modeling, the modeler acts as a mere observer. In NLP Modeling, the modeler gets deeply involved in the modeling process.

That's how as a small child you developed your first behaviors. How about claiming that unique skill back and using it to increase your overall sense of personal excellence?

Going Beyond The Marketing

When learning how to model, you have to go beyond the beaten trail. Modeling actually requires work. That’s the truth. It’s a discipline like Kung-Fu. Entering the know-nothing state is not like eating an ice cream cone on a hot sunday.

And it takes time. It took Bandler and Grinder months to model Perls, Satir and Erickson. In the latter case, if I remember correctly John Grinder’s account in Whispering In The Wind, it took at least 8 months.

So go past the fluff and into the real stuff. Modeling is not something you’ll pick up at a seminar. You’ll participate in a quick intro, but the real work will happen on your own, practicing.

Kind of like Michael Jordan shooting free throws thousands of times in a row.
And it’s worth it. Every second of it.

Here’s how Steve Jobs does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

Here’s how George Soros does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

Here’s how Richard Branson does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

Here’s how Woody Allen does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

Here’s how Dave Matthews does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

Here’s how Ronaldinho does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

Here’s how Dan Brown does it. Let me show you, I can do what he does. And let me teach you how you can do it too.

That’s NLP Modeling. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what matters.

And it’s f&%$ing hard. Oh, let me tell you… Describing what Steve Jobs does from the third person isn’t all that hard. You can use all of your NLP jargon and descriptive chops and make it sound very NLPish.

But mesmerizing an audience the way Steve does is a whole other ball game. You can’t watch Steve in video and get it. You have to be in his presence. You have to feel him. You have to let it soak in. Then, once you try to figure out what’s going on, you can add in some video performances to help you out. But first, you have to snif the guy out. You have to absorb his skill the way a kid would absorb his dad or his teacher’s idiosyncracies. You have to enter his world. You can’t do that from just watching a performance. Gotta be there. Gotta feel it.

That’s the big challenge with NLP Modeling. It’s not a journalist job. It’s not just “watch and describe what you hear and see in NLP terminology.”

It’s an extreme sport. 

So whenever someone says they used NLP to model someone, run them against that criterion. I’m sure 99% of all models that come across you will fall like flies on a blue zapper.

  • This material is EXCELLENT thanks Martin, I recently started a life coaching course almost a month ago to get my foot into the nlp industry as I had been listening to Anthony Robbins work for quite a while. So Thanks for this page 🙂

  • Ehy Martin,
    first of all Thank you for this article and all the links in the other one about modelling.

    My question is:
    when I find a model, should I tell him that I m going to model him or just befriend him, spend a lot of time with my model and do all the job in secret….

    Thank you

    • Hey Fabio,

      Good to hear from you. The answer is really “it depends”. In extensive modeling projects, you may want to let your examplar know what’s going on. This could happen in cases when you want to model someone’s full communication framework, for instance. If you want to model Steve Job’s preparation for a presentation, he’s going to have to be in on it.

      In other cases, you may want to model a micro-behavior or just a few patterns. For instance, you may want to model a particular closing technique from a top salesperson. No need to let her in on what you’re doing. Just absorb the patterning until you can replicate results.

      • Martin thank you,
        I have been in many other NLP websites but this one is simple, clear and very useful!
        It’s like a little pearl.

        My last question is:
        when you say “Just absorb the patterning until you can replicate results”
        you are talking about outcome results..don’t you?

        I have been confused about performance goals, outcome goals and while in a first instance I was thinking performance goal is actually the best thing to focus on, because the result comes from the performance (at least I guess so…), but in a modeling project I have the impression that is actually the outcome that counts.
        For instance:
        Until I don’t get her same number of sales, her same amount of money (that she constantly get) I m not “her” yet…so the phase number2 is not finished yet..

        Can you clarify this for me?

        Thank you.
        All the best


        • Fabio,

          You wrote:
          “I have been confused about performance goals, outcome goals and while in a first instance I was thinking performance goal is actually the best thing to focus on, because the result comes from the performance (at least I guess so…), but in a modeling project I have the impression that is actually the outcome that counts.
          For instance:
          Until I don’t get her same number of sales, her same amount of money (that she constantly get) I m not “her” yet…so the phase number2 is not finished yet…”

          Yes, what matters is the end result. And you have to define specifically what that end result is at the onset of your modeling project.

          You can choose a macro-result like the one you stated above: same number of sales. You can also choose more micro-results from your exemplar’s repertoire: making the prospect say yes to you three times in a row.

          In sports, for instance, you could model a player’s complete style of play, or you may want to model just a particular dribbling pattern that makes him or her effective.

          Your end result might be: “play the game like such player”.
          Or it could be: “get past a defender using such pattern”.

          As you correctly pointed out, phase 2 isn’t over until you can consistently demonstrate that result without actually knowing how you pull it off.

  • Martin do you believe me that these answers,
    this blog and all the sources you posted are enlightening for me?

    Now I understand why I didn’t get the results I wanted even putting all my blood into it,
    I was going in the wrong direction..

    I m so excited about NLP modeling, I m really committed into it now!

    I know what I want very well and I know the people able to get consistently the results I was struggling for from years.
    I straight away contacted a couple of them, but they refused to be modeled…

    So I read in “Whispering in the wind” that Grinder did some covert hypnosis to Ericksson to get him convinced to see them straight away, (I think that Ericksson just recognized that these two guys were “brave” to do that, I don’t believe he got hypnotized)

    How do I get a model to let himself “being modeled”for a long term project?

    I mean,
    What’s in there FOR HIM?

  • Hi Martin,
    Because I m gonna start my modeling project in the next weeks, I ve a question for you..

    I ve read that in NLP modeling after you reach the same results of your model (step3), you clean the patterns getting rid of the useless things. (step4).
    Then you build a model (step 5) and you transfer it (step6).

    Given that my goal is to get the same results of my model (or possibly even more consistent!)
    WHY should I do step 5 and 6?

    I can get his same results at step 4.
    UNLESS step 5 and 6 give to me an edge that make me even better than my model.

    Is it like that?

    Thank You VERY MUCH! 🙂


    • Hey Fabio,

      Good questions. Technically, if all you care about is replicating those results for yourself, you could be done at step 4.

      There are, however, a few advantages to moving on to step 5 and 6.

      1. You’ll be able to teach others how to get the results in much less time. You may not need this right now, but it might come in handy at some point.

      2. It will help you clean up the model even more. While you will do some of that in step 4, having the model explicitly in front of you will help you detect additional patterns that can be streamlined.

      3. You may be able to derive and design other models from this one and enhance its applications. For example, once you code a motivational language pattern for sports explicitly, you can start playing with it to apply it covertly to different contexts.

      With that said, it’s really a matter of personal choice for the modeler. You can choose to go all the way in your modeling process or stay at step 4. Some modelers may find it valuable to train themselves in all the modeling skills, while others may feel content just having the result.

      It’s up to you.

  • Ehy Martin!
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    Even if on the web everyone says that Robbins is a modeler…
    anyways I couldn’t find anywhere (yet) WHO specifically he modeled!

    I checked on the web for days and the most I found was my same question on an Nlp forum… with no answers 🙂

    I know this might sound a bit “rash” but
    (making it very easy) is it “true” to say that Tony Robbins
    modeled excellent people in a field he likes (motivation, nlp, I don’t know what else anyways all stuff that produce ultra positive 🙂 changes in people and their lifes)
    and then he modeled the best marketers in order to “sell with excellence his excellence?”


    1- Choose field X
    2- (through modeling) Excellence in field X
    3- (through modeling) Excellence in selling your products (books, seminars..) about X

    so easy that my first thought is that it’s probably too easy to be true 😉 (limiting belief :))

    What do you think?

    ps. I m writing from London. Where are you?

    • Fabio,

      Tony modeled several performers in several different fields. Jim Rohn, Peter Guber, Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, Jay Abraham, a top financial trader he mentions a lot. The list is endless.

      Tony describes modeling as his key approach to achieving results in any area of life, so it’s a tool he leverages constantly to absorb new patterning.

  • Hey Martin!
    how is going? 🙂

    I ve a question for you!
    What advices would you give to someone that is modeling from videotapes?
    I read that Bandler and Pucelik did it with Perls.

    How can a modeler maximize the results of a modeling project done using videotapes?
    How can a modeler get the most beautiful results from videos?
    (of course, giving that, the videos portray the model acting in parallel contexts to the ones where the modeler is going to work)

    Looking forward your answer!!!!!

    • Fabio,

      The steps to follow are the exact same as with a live exemplar. Simply follow the steps and you’ll maximize results. Obviously, having a live person gives you many more reference points. However, your approach as a modeler will remain the same.

  • Hey Martin,
    you know what is the biggest huge obstacle I am finding in modeling?


    It’s easy to say: model the best. But if tomorrow I call Jay Abraham how do I get him to let me be around him for 9months to model what he does?
    or Peter guber?

    I tried to contact some geniuses but there are so many gatekeepers and stuff like that that unless I am already “someone”.

  • Hi Martin-

    I can only hope you are still replying on the comments to this thread. My question is this, suppose I want to model an actor, not a Hollywood superstar, but someone that has only been in 1 movie. He is a real ladykiller(stud with the ladies, charmer, romantic, and the women love him for his overall demeanor towards them-NO NOT JAMES BOND, btw) anyways, there is nothing really that special about this person, where’s ordinary street clothes, but has an amazing capacity to talk to the women in the film with a very sexy voice, and has the body language in conjunction with these sweet talks. I thought he was a fascination character, is there still a chance that this person can be modeled?? Even thought the actor is long dead now. Moreover, I just want to model his voice skills and whatever body language he demonstrated in the film. Can this be attempted without ever knowing that particular person?? Let me know, this is useful knowledge that can make my life much more fulfilling and successful, even if the act of modeling that person improves and or replicates some good experiences. Yeah Martin, please let me know your thoughts on this issue. Thanks -Michael Fields

    • Hey Mike,

      You’re in luck. Not only am I still answering the thread, but I’m on right now.

      So you want to model a movie character. From what I understand, it’s not even an actor.

      You can try modeling the character and see if you can get the same results he does through his behaviors.

      The challenge I find with your project is simple. Movie characters and movie situations are, as you know, fictitious. So their counterparts don’t necessarily react realistically.

      If I were you, though, I wouldn’t do that. I’d find a real person who gets real world results.

      Let me ask you this: what prevents you from running your modeling project on a real person, with organic behaviors and organic reactions from his surroundings?

      • Martin what up?
        Seems like you still respond to older topics ..just jumped on this site.

        And alot of things wrong with this pop in my mind reading this.

        1) why would you ever want to model whole people?
        Ive learned alot of natural hypnosis it seems as when i was younger i spend alot of time ”trancing out” on movies even though you definatly cant modell movie characters unless your in some kind of pickup process where your actively meeting and interacting with women but it probably isnt moddeling i moddelled jason stathams energy and sense of masculinity his demeanor and presence did it with lots of dudes and then played with it the next days. tho this probably isnt modeelling, i def tranced out.

        i also observed lots of people in the rea lworld. this gave me alot of trouble i started feeling people’s ”energy” inside my sytem i had it with women to i had trouble shutting it off i would observe women and started to feel inclined to walk in their sexxy hip swaying patterns. with flamboyant gaymen i started to get spontanous urges to use feminine handgestures and the speech patterns would hardcore rubbed off on me out of nothing.
        it took me some serious time to figure out what this was. it took alot of centering exercises and other experimenting to fix this. its about 80 to 90% gone i still dislike watching tv series with weak spineless characters for this reason theres stil lthat 10%. i think it all started with that tv thing.

        long story short why would you want to take on other people whole demeanor based on their unique development values etc. while you have a whole different system.

        why would you want to modell a soccer player that devised a unique playing style based on his physique and anatomy his strenths and weaknesses, while i have a different body type with different physical strenths and tendencies.

        its the same how in martial arts i wouldnt moddel a dude, might moddel his detemrination killer instinct attides and mindsets, or if his style was simmilar to my preferences i might try stealing pieces , but his style is not mine, your better of with proper learning strategies, tote, visualisation and other principles to maximise your growth and learning of your unique style martial art.

        and how exactly do you sort the patterns and get what you dont want flushed out of your system , i had alot of trouble getting thos speech patterns out, but then since i was into pickup my personality was constantly evolving and i was constantly visualising naturally better behaviours so that could be considered a fulltime light trance ( everything i focussed and did back then was about evolving my personality, growing observing and learning new bits and meeting women) so that mightve contributed to it


        • Hey Calvin,

          Good to hear from you. And yes, I still answer comments on ALL POSTS.

          You asked: “why would you ever want to model whole people?”

          You tell me. Why would you?

          You asked: “why would you want to take on other people whole demeanor based on their unique development values etc. while you have a whole different system”

          Once again, why would you? There’s a key word in your question: “whole.” That particular word doesn’t set up the question as I think you want it answered.

          I don’t. I’d want to take on a particular segment of someone’s behavior. More often than not, it’s unnecessary for you to adopt someone else’s value system to be able to assimilate their behavior.

          You asked: “why would you want to modell a soccer player that devised a unique playing style based on his physique and anatomy his strenths and weaknesses, while i have a different body type with different physical strenths and tendencies”

          My brother plays soccer. He stands at 6’1. He modeled many of Romario’s dribbling strategies, who stands at 5’7. These strategies made him a more effective player. That doesn’t mean he became Romario. That doesn’t mean he adopted Romario’s attitude. It simply means he was able to produce results similar to Romario’s in similar circumstances. He went on to do the same with Ronaldo moves and Figo moves.

          You wrote:
          “its the same how in martial arts i wouldnt moddel a dude, might moddel his detemrination killer instinct attides and mindsets […]”

          This might reveal why you have some reserves with regards to modeling. In this phrase, you state you would focus on modeling qualities and attitudes rather than behaviors that are responsible for results.

          My recommendation is that you leave out attitudes and qualities and focus on behaviors that produce results.

          In “Turtles All The Way Down,” John Grinder points out the importance of setting up filters at the onset of a modeling project. The goal is to only assimilate the patterns you actually want to emulate and filter out the rest.

          I don’t remember accurately whether it was in Turtles or in “Whispering In The Wind” (or even in the Whispering Forum), but Grinder attributes some of Richard Bandler’s eventual health challenges to his lack of filters while modeling Milton Erickson. He assimilated more than he wanted to.

          You asked:
          “how exactly do you sort the patterns and get what you dont want flushed out of your system”

          Refer back to my previous answer. The best way to flush them out is to prevent them from coming in in the first place.

          If they are already in your system, replace them with other behaviors you find more empowering.

          You wrote:
          “tho this probably isnt modeelling, i def tranced out.”

          Actually, it was. Imprudent modeling, perhaps, but it was. You carried out step 2 of the modeling process using Deep Trance Identification (DTI) successfully. However, you failed to set up protective filters and you probably did not end up coding those models.

          You raise important issues in your comment. I will revisit this post and update it with a few safety guidelines for step 2. NLP Modeling is a full-contact sport and is not to be taken lightly if it is to be performed exquisitely.

          • Hey man, thanks for taking the time to respond.

            Il try to get back to this, i keep not having the time to write a proper responce.
            For now i think tho the biggest difference is.

            the tought of actually taking on somebody elses body mechanics physiology etc makes me cringe,
            thats probably because everyday a part of a my focus still is wiring in my own mechanics i should probably see someone for this.
            back in the day overtime i developed alot of weird body compulsions and body sensations that i didnt like (from basicly for a longtime passively taking in to much from other people) the way i began interrupting those patterns initially was kind of crude, i basicly go out of my way to maintain my own pattern of movements ive distinguished

            because when i make foreign moves it triggers certain muscles witch vaguely arouses older patterns of movements, witch may trigger even older patterns and i fear it triggers that whole chain. because to an extent they still feel fammiliar.
            like every now and then when i walk and a muscle group gets tickled jsut a wee bit diff il feel a vague desire to do a feminine hip away walking type movement.

            iback in the day i basicly pattern interrupted the older patterns and religously replaced them with the ones i wanted to od then religiously kept doing them.
            together with intuitive visualising it and things.

            i probably should see someone sometime see if i can fully eradicate it out of my system.

            • anyway i gotta run,

              thanks for the responces.
              im actually thinkin i probably should find a proper nlp or hypnotherapist and see if i can fuly flush this out.

              the main probablem i had was i had to track the patterns so i could change them while also resisting the urges to engage in the compulsive patterns while simulatenously i had to do them a little bit to find out all the triggers and identify the things in my body.

              so idid it pretty crudely and messy 50% tought out 50% justp lain ld forcing it away.
              having someone guide me, do a proper inventarisation of the issues and come up with the exact nlp applications to this and be guided through it will probably allow a much more fluid and full change .
              anyway this ended up bein more about my issue then moddelling.
              i see where your coming from with the points you made tho.

              good stuff,


            • Calvin,

              If you’re interested, contact me directly at martin (at) Let’s see what we can do about this situation.


              • Hey whats going on man,

                saw you responded on my hotmail,
                had to look twice since you changed your name.

                i actually have some time booked with a hypnotherapist in england for some other things, its on lay away because i dont have the time to fully commit to the process right now im to busy with more urgent things.

                so i will bring this up with him first see where we can take it.

                the motivation goal setting part on your coaching page actually peeked my curiosity earlier tho when i looked at it.
                i might still contact you at some point , i havent been able to find a proper product on motivation and goal setting so far. if its self help its usually alot of rah rah
                if its more pure NLP its mostly some talk about submodalities but very bland and generic. very robotic recipe form.

                i appreciate the offer il keep it in mind for sure.
                while im here gonna quickly check out the metamodel post, im liking the site.
                i enjoyed the posts about the subconscious distinctions (paraphrasing here) and alot of the posts that were in that catagory (when i clicked next post)

                kind of short and consise lil informative pieces. cool stuff.
                my intro to nlp was tony robbins so i notice pure nlp tends to approach the subject very differently. i like the posts with all the cool but simple distinctions.
                helps me organise alot of the experiental data i have while still keeping it flowing.



                • Hi Martin,

                  I got to your site doing a google search on modeling. I really like this site and the steps for modeling, very simple compare to what i read in other books…just subscribed. I got alot of ebooks, books, cds on NLP but i find it hard to learn so much information, i then decided to concentrate on modeling. I got a couple of questions for you.

                  1- Can you model the physical traits of someone, like his height, his voice, the lenght of his legs ? if yes, how do i do this ?

                  2- What if i want to model a business person but i cannot approach this person, what is the best thing to do ?

                  3- I want to model a person making x amount of money being a real estate investor but i only saw this person in a magazine talking about it. Is it possible ?

                  Thank you for your answers.


                • Hey Hans,

                  Great questions.

                  You asked:
                  “Can you model the physical traits of someone, like his height, his voice, the lenght of his legs ? if yes, how do i do this ?”

                  I’m not sure I understand your question here. Are you asking if it’s possible to model how long someone’s legs are or the person’s height?

                  You asked:
                  “What if i want to model a business person but i cannot approach this person, what is the best thing to do ?”

                  The next best thing is to watch a video of the person actually doing what you want to model. For instance, if you want to model Tony Robbins’s public speaking style, watch his videos. However, to model Tony Robbins’s investment strategy, watching him speak would be useless.

                  You asked:
                  “I want to model a person making x amount of money being a real estate investor but i only saw this person in a magazine talking about it. Is it possible ?”

                  Unlikely. The very purpose of modeling in NLP is to bypass the person’s description of what they’re doing. More often than not, oustanding performers have no conscious idea of how they do what they do.

                • Hi Martin,

                  Thank you for the quick reply, i was not expecting this too soon ! What i meant concerning modeling this person’s height, is i’m 5 ’10…can i model this person who’s 6 ‘1 to be his height ?

                  Ok so i get it now, the best approach is to watch a video of someone if i cant reach that person. I have this friend i used to hang out with, sometimes i do things that is really him….and it’s not like i was intentionnally modeling him, as this was never in my mind…weird !!!
                  One last question, i once won $5,000 at this lottery, is it possible to convince my subconsious mind to duplicate this again or is it possible to model myself and win this amount again ? cuz i heard if you did something before you can do it again !



                • Hey Hans,

                  Regarding the lottery:
                  Give it a try! You never know, it may just work.

  • There seems to be a correlation between NLP modelling and Method Acting. Would I be correct in that assumption? If not, what distinguishes the two?

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