What is NLP? Definition #2

NLP is… A coding and notational system for understanding and patterning subjective reality. In order to produce a model of behaviours or anything else one must have certain tools to code information.

What Grinder and Bandler set out to do in creating NLP was to find a simple way of coding behaviour.

The purpose of a model is to identify patterns in the interactions between human behaviour and their environment. This is done so a specific behaviour can be systematized within the desired context to achieve the desired result. The model makes it easy for any one learning the model to obtain the desired results efficiently, effectively and consistently.

Decision theory shows a model in this structure: environmental variables (that we assume are limitations) plus decision variables (possibilities) create outcomes or results. Specifically, models are made up of a structural element or building blocks and a syntax or a set of rules that describe how the building blocks are put together. So if we are to change the outcomes, we need to change the inputs. The possibilities are what resources/inputs we think we have. However, if we can change some of those limitations into possibilities, we can change the final output.

NLP is a model designed to increase the possible outcomes of behaviour. In this way it allows us to change the inputs to increase flexibility so the final output or behaviour is changed. To make these changes we need a notation that describes experience (or how and what people perceive, think, feel and behave).

In NLP we use 5 classes of sensory experience: seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting and we have both internal and external experiences of those. So it makes sense that we can use seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling& tasting as our coding system. We can also note if the experience is and internally generated experience or an externally generated experience. By being able to track those expressions of experience, we can change a single aspect, which will provide for a flexibility in perception and result in a completely different output. 

For example, if you picture smelly garbage and we remove the colour out of that garbage, is it smelly? Or if we move the picture of tomorrow’s deadline test further away from you, is the pressure as intense? Most like not. This is the beauty of the model of NLP as a coding system. We can take any experience and break it up into smaller manageable pieces then change an element/piece and produce change.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com