Modelling is probably the most important skill in NLP.
When we’ve modelled how we or others achieve results, it’s very easy to suggest and test different approaches to find out what works.
The testing part is essential. It’s only by testing our work that we’re able to continually improve upon what we do.
As with all NLP approaches, think about what you want to achieve first. The three most common goals of NLP modelling are:
- Developing techniques to improve performance
- Modeling bad behaviours as a way of knowing which strategies we need either to avoid or to change.
- Using modelling to get to understand or know someone better. The more we’re aware of the way our clients think and , the easier it is to develop rapport.
There is a truism. If you want to find out something, simply ask and watch. If and then add the steps of steps of test and improve you’re on the way to become a good modeller!
5 recommended approaches to modelling are:
1 Simply Ask
Sometimes we make life unnecessarily difficult. If you want to know how to do something, find some people who are good at that thing and ask them what they do.
The test is : Can we make it work for us?
If that doesn’t work then move on to 2, 3, 4 and 5 below.
2 Eliciting NLP Strategies
This is using meta model and strategy elicitation questions to identify the modality (sensory) sequence that leads to a result. In asking these questions choice points often become apparent, leading to surprisingly easy change.
The best way to become good at this this is through both continual practice of meta model and strategy elicitation questions. It really is about practice, practice, practice.
Useful questions to elicit strategies include (they may be repeated several times):
“What happened before that?”
“What happened next?”
“What does that mean?”
“Tell me more?”
“How do you know?”
The approach lets us identify the triggers and anchors that give us the keys to encouraging or discouraging specific behaviours.
Chose a behaviour that you wish to change
- Elicit the sequence you go through to achieve that behaviour
- Identify the triggers that encourage the behaviour
- Make some small changes to the strategy so that you get a more useful result. For example, if we want to explore eating more healthily, we may have a trigger that when we see a chocolate trifle that we’re drawn to eat it. We want to change the result of the trigger and, for example, drink a glass of water instead.
- Future pace. Imagine that some time in the future when we see a trifle in the future we hesitate, smile and then drink a glass of water.
- Purposely search out a trifle and see how easy it is to drink a glass of water instead of eating the trifle.
3 Pure NLP Modelling
This is very well illustrated by the following Richard Bandler’s ‘Steal a Skill Technique’:
- Decide on a role model – Someone whose physical performance you would like to replicate. Spend as much time as possible studying your role model in the flesh, or on video recordings. Simply relax while watching them, softening your vision and hearing and seeing the flow of the performance.
- When you feel as familiar as possible with your role model’s performance, close your eyes, relax and recreate your role models performing a sequence of actions at the highest level of excellence. See and hear everything there is to build a model of that competence.
- When you have watched this performance for some time, move around the mental image of your role model and step inside. Imagine that you are able to see through the eyes of excellence, hear through the ears of excellence and feel the feelings of excellence.
- Run through the same sequence of actions but from within, noticing this time what your body feels as you do this. Repeat several times as you have a sense of familiarity.
- Step out of your role model’s body, with the intention of retaining as much of the sill as possible as you return to normal working consciousness.
- As soon as possible (and as much as possible) practice the borrowed skill, noticing how this exercise improves your performance.
- Repeat the entire exercise, combining it with what-ever real time practice you do, at least once a day for the first 21 days, then at least once a week as maintenance