NLP Communication Model

If you don’t already know about the NLP Communication Model then you are about to learn a powerful tool that’s going to enable you to understand communication on a whole new level by:

  1. Understanding how you communicate.
  2. Understanding how others communicate.
  3. Seeing how changing your approach can get you better results.

Imagine being able to create win-win situations or at least being able to understand where people are coming from in your meetings, sales pitches, HR issues, relationships etc. and I mean REALLY understand. By getting a good grasp on each of these points you’re going to be pretty well prepared for taking your skills to the next level and getting yourself bigger gains.

The NLP Communication Model was created by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall in 1988. They took the concepts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) that the founders of NLP, John Grinder and Richard Bandler had formulated. As of today the NLP Communication Model forms one of the key pillars of teaching in NLP of how we process experiences.

The objective in mind with NLP was to be able to find a way to create a formula for excellence and instil it in ourselves. So it would be well worth your time learning how excellence is programmed into someone, don’t you think?

That’s exactly what the NLP Communication Model allows us to do! It gives us an of what’s under the hood in our minds and how our experiences, opinions and beliefs are affected to name a few.

NLP Communication Model

The NLP Communication Model

Let’s break this down and start at the beginning. We experience something. This could be reading a post on the internet, going to the movies with friends, riding a bike, going on a date, painting a shed. Literally anything is an experience, every second of every day we are experiencing a multitude of stimuli and experiences!

So that experience is external of us and it needs to somehow get inside of us. This is where the first filter comes into play, our senses. All experiences external of us enter our awareness through our senses by seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting. Our senses filter these experience because we all have different ranges in our senses. Some of us can hear better than others, some people are blind, some people have a more acute sense of smell, etc. There might also be other senses that we don’t process that are limiting our sensing of that experience, i.e. infrared sight in darkness.

Once the experience is filtered by our senses then it is internal and goes through a whole bunch of unconscious filters that delete, distort and generalise the event. This happens extremely fast and we aren’t even aware that our experiences are filtered in this way as by the time it comes into our conscious awareness it has already run through these filters. So as you read this, from the time you have read this sentence to the time you are aware of what those words mean to you whatever you think, feel, understand in your awareness is a result of those filters deleting, distorting and generalising the information.

So what are these filters that these experiences that we have go through at such an incredible speed? Let’s have a look:

  • Time, Space, Matter & Energy
  • Language
  • Memories
  • Decisions
  • Meta Programs
  • Values & Beliefs
  • Attitudes

That’s a lot of information for these events to go through! Depending on each one of these filters the information from each event will be morphed as it passes through each one and at the end of the process pops the end result which is an internal representation.

An internal representation is like a folder that you have on your computer desktop. Each folder has different files in it that contributes to the folder’s overall meaning. For example, if you think of chocolate then your mind finds the chocolate folder. It then looks in the chocolate folder and reads each file to tell itself how to interpret it. So there would be a file that tells you what chocolate looks like, what it tastes like, what it smells like, feels like, sounds like and how you feel and think about the chocolate.

From the mind reading how to interpret the event it then causes an state in us. If we take the example of chocolate, our state for chocolate might be excitement or happiness.

Our state then powers our physiology. So if we feel excited we might be smiling, have rosy cheeks and have a spring in our step when we walk.

That’s A LOT of stuff that’s going on in our heads before we even get to a behaviour!

It doesn’t stop there either, because it works the other way as well! If we change our physiology that can change our state and our internal representation. By changing our state, we can always affect our internal representation and physiology too. They are all interconnected and if we change one then the others are altered as a result.

Finally, through all three of these aspects, our internal representation, state and physiology we get our behaviour.

Imagine how everything that you have ever done or believe affects how you think and interpret world around us. When you attend an NLP Practitioner course you get taught skills that work within the NLP communication model and become really flexible in your communication.

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