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- General Information on the Techniques of NLP
- The 14 most important NLP Techniques in Review
General Information on the Techniques of NLP
There are a great number of NLP techniques. This has to do, on the one hand, with NLPs fascinating origins and on the other, with its present areas of applications. The original idea behind NLP and its models lies the question: “how can we use the best therapeutic techniques in non-therapeutic contexts?” NLP has its basis in the modelling of master therapists. Because of NLPs rapid and popular international development, its practitioners, masters and trainers have developed techniques in a dizzying number of contexts. Some of these techniques have such a rapid effect that it borders on magic. Often it only takes minutes to affect a lasting and profound change. Anyone practicing NLP for any length of time has accumulated a great number of stories to this affect. Other NLP techniques take longer to integrate and become effective. Often these are the techniques where the client herself gets homework; something effective to do over and over to integrate the desired transformation.
NLP techniques all serve different purposes. One major emphasis is the schooling of perception within the communication process. Only someone with the desire and ability to perceive not only his own self-expression, but also just how this expression is perceived by his listener, can really refine their communication over time. The important cues here are “calibration” and “rapport”. Calibration is the precise regulation of multiple communication channels. Rapport is the quality of the communication-relationship itself. Rapport is difficult to describe without resorting to somewhat esoteric jargon like “vibrations”, “energy”, “wavelength” and the like. It is however, something we all experience daily in our interactions with others. NLP has the advantage of making this rapport conscious and malleable. This gives NLP practitioners a strong leg-up in communication. It gives the ability to enter into the experiential world of the listener and thereby speak more and more of the listeners language! This is a soft skill not to be underestimated!
Communication, rapport and calibration is something we do with ourselves as well. Who among us does not have inner conversations? Who among us does not dream and encounter unconscious material in these dreams? This is common experience. Yet what are the qualities of this form of communication? How is your “self-talk”? How conscious can you become of unconscious material? The answers to these and so many more questions determine your own sense of well-being. This is also one of the areas in which NLP excels; Personal Development. Many NLP practitioners do not coach or train. Yet they have grown in their experience of themselves, their communication with themselves and their needs and their communication with others.
Another very specific and extremely successful area of NLP endeavor is with “Strategy”. Just as in chess, as in war or as in any sport, a successful strategy makes the difference between success and failure, between winning and losing. What exactly IS a strategy? On its most basic level, a strategy is a series of internal or external steps leading to a specific objective. There are strategies for singing an opera role. There are strategies for spelling. There are strategies for conducting a business meeting. There are even strategies for the effective ordering of tonight’s pizza! Of course, strategies can be effective, less effective or not effective. This is where NLP comes in. Because of its ability to focus on important micro-steps, NLP has shown itself extremely helpful in the optimization of strategies. As writers with writers-block, athletes in a slump, musicians facing a technical hurdle and speakers with stage fright can all attest: NLPs techniques WORK! If you become aware of what exactly you are doing that does not work and change it, you will become more effective. That is NLPs goal!
Another area of NLP success is in its work with limiting beliefs. Our “beliefs” filter our world. Our filters determine our reality. We all live within a “sense-horizon”, within certain limitations to what and how we perceive. We can expand this horizon, but ONLY after we’ve become aware of its limitations!
Here’s a typical example: we all know women who think men only want one thing. It’s become something of a cliché in TV and film. We know, of course, the women who think this have some negative experiences with men and are trying to protect themselves. The irony is that this belief, constructed as a protection, is actually forming their experience of men. It’s become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now imagine a man who has fallen deeply in love with such a woman. Every word, every gesture is interpreted within the framework of: “Men are all alike. The only want one thing.” What chances do this relationship have if nothing changes? Not a lot. And this is just one example. What limiting beliefs do we have regarding money, work, family, sports, our bodies? What do these prevent us from perceiving? What might our lives be like when we succeed in transforming these beliefs? Even if you just find one single big, solitary, limiting belief and transform it, it would be worth twice the time, energy and money involved in an NLP training. Yet practitioners report multiple belief transformations in one single NLP-Training Weekend! No wonder we’re so enthusiastic about it!
The 14 most important NLP Techniques in Review
When people get together, their physical expressions, body language, word usage and voice tonality undergo a matching process. In other words, they begin to mirror each other. For better or for worse, this mirroring process leads to a very specific quality of “Rapport”. This is a natural process. Even animals do it. Watch birds fly, dogs play or horses run and you’ll see how in social groups the individuals mirror each other and strengthen the bond of their relationship. The more conscious this process can be, the more effective the relationship. The more effective the relationship, the more effective the communication.
More information about: Rapport
An “Anchor” is a stimulus-response coupling. The ability to “condition” or “program” a desired habit is the secret of state management. The moment you realize that your environment determines your own, personal ‘inner weather’ and you’re sick of it, is the moment when you decide to ‘anchor’ new inner habits and regain more personal calibration.
More Information about: Anchoring
Representation systems are not only our five senses, but also how these senses gather, store and retrieve information. We all ‘sort’ our world through sight, sound, feeling-sense, smell and taste and we all have a ‘dominant’ and a ‘recessive’ Rep-System. It will come as no surprise that most of our hidden resources reside in the recessive Rep-System.
More information about Representation Systems
Six Step Reframing is a highly popular and often-used format. In 6 very specific steps, undesired habits and behavior are transformed and personal resources brought strongly into play to form new and more effective ones.
More information about Reframing
The Swish Technique
With the swish technique we use specific inner pictures to modify addictive or pseudo-addictive behaviors. By altering inner, unconscious visual patterning, by making these inner images smaller, darker, farther away or less focused, we have the ability to alter our motivation and our appetites.
More information about The Swish Technique
With this technique it is possible, in an astoundingly short time, to eliminate phobic reactions permanently. The client constructs a fear-inducing, inner film, then gains control over its construction by altering Black-White/Color, Forwards/Backwards and Dissociation/Association.
More information about Fast-Phobia
The Milton Model, named after the brilliant hypno-therapist Milton Ericsson, uses techniques to induce a transformative trance. These techniques involve a complex mix of indirect linguistic patterns, specific mirroring, powerful voice/resonances (to mention only a few) to assist the client in contacting unconscious, unused resources and making them permanently accessible.
More information about Milton Model
The Meta-Model of Language
These techniques dock on the work of linguists like Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker and use the surface structure and the depth structure of language patterns to uncover important deleted, distorted or generalized information. The “Meta” implies a model of a model. In other words, we are studying modelling itself here. This Meta-Model is a sentence-oriented, language-oriented technique for the formation of precise questions designed to make communication crystal clear for the speaker and for the listener.
More information about Meta-Model
This is a method to specify goals and to distinguish between goals and other future projections like dreams, wishes or needs. SMART makes goals more accessible by determining their
R ealism and how they live in
When these criterion are met and polished, goals become accessible and joyful.
More information about SMART Method
Strategies are specific, conscious, internal or external steps to reach a specific objective. There are numerous techniques which use effective strategies to assist clients to better understand their world and themselves.
More information about Strategies
Einstein once said that it is impossible to separate Time and Space. The NLP Time Line is a Spatial representation of Time. In other words, we all have spatial representations of time within us, mostly unconscious. Listen to people and watch them when they say something like; “I put that whole crap behind me!”, or “I have my whole life in front of me!” Not only the words, but the gestures show how spatially we orient ourselves in the depth and breadth of time. The NLP Time Line makes use of this interesting phenomenon to understanding of our representation of time.
More information about Time Line
Altering Perceptual Positions or Position 1, 2, 3
“You can’t really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.” Position 1, 2, 3 IS walking that mile! If you’ve ever said, or heard “consider things from my perspective”, this technique gives us an astounding ability to do this regularly and playfully.
More information about Position 1,2, 3
Parts Party or Negotiation between Parts
An inner personality “Part” is a representation of a very specific need. The inner Child, The Hero, The inner Critic, The Warrior, our inner Creativity are all psycho-dynamic representations of important needs. Often these parts don’t get along or fail to even perceive each other. In other words, we are at odds with ourselves. When this happens, NLP offers effective techniques for resolution.
The Logical Levels or NeuroLogical Levels
Based on the work of Abraham Maslow, Clare Graves, Claudius Ptolemy and Robert Dilts, among others, the Logical Levels are ways of understanding not only the context in which something appears, but also its basic motivation. Often we mistake one for the other. Clarification in the areas of:
ENVIRONMENT, BEHAVIOR, SKILLS, BELIEFS, VALUES, IDENTITY AND MISSION
can become a personal enlightenment experience.
An example: Imagine a solo pianist who plays a bad concert. Imagine further him saying: “I AM a bad pianist!”. This musician has just confused the logical levels of BEHAVIOR and IDENTITY! That sentence alone invokes an entire gamut of very negative and unhealthy physical reactions through just this confusion.
Now imagine that pianist saying “Wow, that was a lousy concert. I better get to work!” Now the levels are clear and motivation, learning and improvement are aligned. This is the power in the Logical Levels.