Sunday, December 24, 2006

NLP: NLP is about Thinking Part 2 - Then, what is NLP?


In Part 1 of this series, I explained that NLP can be applied in therapy, communication, selling, personal development, changes, management & leadership, and coaching, but NLP is not about either of them.

Then what is NLP?

1. NLP is about Modeling. NLP started in the early 70's by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the originators of NLP. They created NLP by modeling several great therapists at that time, including Virginia Satir (Mother of Family Therapy), Fritz Perls (Founder of Gestalt Therapy) and Milton Erickson (Greatest Hypnotherapist in 20th Century).

Through their works with these therapists, Bandler and Grinder formulated these therapists' models of therapy. They discovered the therapists' patterns through observing how they did their works. They called their modeling techniques as Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

According to Grinder, only those models formulated by this NLP Modeling Process should be classified as NLP. So, NLP is about Modeling. All other models, patterns and skills of NLP are the results of this NLP Modeling Process.

These models, patterns and skills of NLP are NOT NLP. they are just the results of NLP. There are not currently over thousands of these models, patterns and skills through the modeling works of many NLP developers in the last 30 years.

2. NLP is about Thinking. NLP is the modeling of how people doing something. One of the key criteria for NLP Modeling is that the behaviour being modeled must be consistent so that it is not just out of random.

A behaviour being consistent because there is a structure of thinking behind that behaviour. This structure of thinking can be a fixed thinking process (i.e. strategy in NLP term), based on some fixed Beliefs, Values, Rules and/or Attitudes. These fixed Beliefs, Values, Rules and/or Attitudes filter off those "unrelated" elements in our mind and thus generating the same, repeated thoughts and thus the same repeated behaviour every time we do something. So, NLP called these fixed Beliefs, Values, Rules and/or Attitudes, Filters.

If one wants to change the result of a behaviour effectively, he/she needs to change his/her thoughts. To change his/her thoughts, one needs to change the Filters first.

NLP is thus also the study of this kind of "Thinking" - the relationships of Filters, Thoughts and Behaviours.

In Part 3, we are going to talk more about Filters.

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