NLP Modelling

This video introduces modelling – probably the most important skill in NLP.

Modelling is probably the most important NLP skill.  By observing and copying the ways others achieve results, it’s very easy to suggest and try out different approaches to see what works for us.

The testing part is essential. It’s only by testing our work that we’re able to improve.

As with all NLP approaches, before you start, think about what you want to achieve. The three most common goals of NLP modelling are:

  1. Developing techniques to improve performance
  2. Modelling bad behaviours as a way of knowing which strategies we need to avoid or to change.
  3. Using modelling to understand or know someone better. The more we’re aware of the way our clients think, the easier it is to develop rapport.

There is a truism: if you want to find out something, simply ask and watch. Then add the steps, test and improve, and you’re on the way to become a good modeller.


5 recommended approaches to modelling.


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 the approaches 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 become apparent, leading to surprisingly easy change.

The best way to become good at this is through 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 keys to encourage or discourage specific behaviours.


Suggested Exercise

Chose a behaviour that you wish to change.

  1. Elicit the sequence you go through to achieve that behaviour.
  2. Identify the triggers that encourage the behaviour.
  3. 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.
  4. Future pace. Imagine that some time in the future when we see a trifle, we hesitate, smile and then drink a glass of water.
  5. Test. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. When you feel as familiar as possible with your role model’s performance, close your eyes, relax and recreate your role model performing a sequence of actions at the highest level of excellence. See and hear everything there is to build a model of that competence.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Step out of your role model’s body, with the intention of retaining as much of the skill as possible as you return to normal working consciousness.
  6. As soon as possible (and as much as possible) practice the borrowed skill, noticing how this exercise improves your performance.
  7. 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.