What Is NLP?

What is NLP?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is “The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience and what can be calculated from it.” It is a model of communication and personality. NLP began as a model of how we communicate to ourselves and others originally developed by R. Bandler and J. Grinder. This model explains how we process the information that comes into us from the outside. The belief is that “The map is not the territory”. And so the internal representations that we take about as outside event are not necessarily the event itself.

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Typically, what happens is that there is an external event and we run that event through our internal processing. We make an Internal Representation (I/R) of that event. That I/R of the vent combines with a physiology and creates a state. “State” refers to the internal emotional state of the individual – a happy state, a sad state, a motivated state, and so on. Our I/R includes our internal pictures, sounds and dialogue, and our feelings (for example, whether we feel motivated, challenged, pleased, excited, and so on).

A given state is the result of the combination of an I/R and a physiology. So what happens is that an event comes in through our sensory input channels (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory), then it gets filtered and we process the event. As we process that event, we delete, distort and generalize the information that comes in, according to any number of elements that filter our perception. The filters are Meta Programs, belief systems, values, decisions and memories. These 5 filters will determine our internal representation of an event that is occurring right now. It is our I/R that puts us in a certain state, and creates a certain physiology. The state in which we find ourselves, will determine our behavior.

It’s important to remember here that the map (our I/R here) is not the territory. Our every experience is something that we literally make up inside our heads. We do not experience reality directly, since we are always deleting, distorting and generalizing. Essentially, what we do experience is our experience of the territory and not the territory itself.

In a study of communication the researchers determined that about 7% of what we communicate is the result of words we say (verbal), the other 38% is a result of our verbal behavior (tonality of voice, timbre, tempo and volume)and 55% is completely non verbal part of communication which is physiology, body posture, breathing, skin color that changes and our movements. The match between our verbal and non verbal communication indicates our level of congruency.