Introducing NLP - What is NLP: NLP Chat Transcript

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IRC Chat Log, June 14, 1998


NLP Overview
Jonathan Well, again, I'm pleased you all came by tonight -- this chat is in response to several requests I received rather suddenly all together -- asking for more of an overview chat.... something that used less jargon, something that provided higher-level ideas for people who may be new to all this NLP stuff! And I thought, What a Great Idea! Because there's ALL kinds of chat topic transcripts on the web site, including major NLP models of communication, particular advanced skills, some basic skills, and some of the basic chats upon re-reading them recently didn't seem all that basic in terms of the rapidity with which we covered that material. So I can easily see how Some of that material might have been breezed through. So we're going to stay VERY high-level tonight if we can... introducing NLP ideas to you... and only drill-down as we need to -- to clarify a given issue. Does that sound useful to everyone? (y/n) And as you're answering, why not take a moment to write down on a pad, some of your OWN high-level NLP questions. There will be time to get them addressed later on!
bracken, pforkes, Gorlock y
Jonathan As you're writing some questions you have.... make sure to prioritize them because I'm not sure we'll get to all of everyone's questions. But we'll ask & explore some of your best questions. So when I chunk waaaay up... categorize and prioritize my own wishes and desires with NLP... my own skills and goals/outcomes.... get as high-level as I can possibly be... the intention or insight which comes to mind is... How can I be a better Person? And what does that entail for me? What can I do to improve my situation in life and the situations of my family, my friends, my clients, etc...? How can I piece-by-piece improve all of my behavior... optimize my skills... be a more dynamic individual with other people... learn how to communicate more effectively and influence more responsibly, etc. ALL these things come to mind. How can I be a better parent? How can I enjoy my life more, experience more pleasure, be more amazed by the wonderful things in life... How do I learn to never again victimize myself? How do I learn to be more responsible, easily, naturally, comfortably, and with a sense of unbridled fulfillment? These are the things that come to mind for me. These are the questions which I explore as I pursue NLP and other related interests. I find that NLP offers me tools for pursuing answers to these questions... a wider variety of more effective tools than any other methodology or technology than I have ever encountered before. And I may yet find something better and more effective. Who knows... by USING NLP to improve upon itself, I may even be involved in finding something better and more effective, I don't know. I don't know what's going to come of that, but I do know that NLP offers people something akin to a "Human Brain's Owner's Manual." And a better-written one than anything else I've found. So we can get lost in the language patterns, or the jargon definitions... or in the techniques... or the skills... etc. And we'd experience a lot of skills development there. But if it doesn't fit into an overall framework of the pursuit of enlightenment and personal empowerment... then what's it ALL really for? I wonder. See, to me, it all goes to intent. It all boils down to "what is my outcome?" What *ARE* my outcomes? Before the chat began, one of our group here shared with us comments of having attended Tony Robbins' "Date With Destiny." And that he learned something about having explored his PRIMARY QUESTION. Well, without making anyone wrong -- because *we're ALL right*.... I do think my primary question varies from context to context and the only reason I think this is true.... is that our brains get motivated through the process NLP calls generalization. We naturally and usually inappropriately categorize things in our world around us. I think we're extraordinarily complex organisms... and most people get motivated and get clear when they can organize their thoughts into tight categories. Well... such categories exist, we create them... and behaviors are contextually appropriate and inappropriate. They vary a lot. What is a "stuck" state in one context may be the perfect thinking state for another context. "Murder" in one context may be "Self-Defense" in another context. "Being too nice" in one context might be... selfless and giving in another. Being REALLY creative in one context may be perfectly appropriate but in certain hierarchies... considered... uppity or disrespectful. I believe most people's stress comes from when the world doesn't do what you want it to. When you behave in a way that -- in that particular context -- may not be ideal. So. As complex organisms... in a complex world... we need to try to make sense of it all. Now. You can make the best of this in two ways:
(1) You can keep chunking up & up & up until all the problems disappear and it all boils down to ONE wonderful drive or issue or pursuit. That's taking ADVANTAGE of the brain's natural tendency to want to simplify and categorize.
(2) You can become more relaxed KNOWING that things aren't as simple as we'd like them to be, and allow our laughter connected with that to drive us forward into doing better than we thought we could, until we found out that we really can push forward without needing to simplify things!
Does this make sense (y/n)?
pforkes y
Jonathan Some of Tony's motivational force comes from the process of steadily chunking UP with his seminar participants, as he's introducing NLP -related topics to his audiences. He USES NLP skills to make use of those natural brain processes, even if they aren't "truth..." to help us drive ourselves forward. Its a GOOD way. It isn't the only way.
symbol y
Jonathan Though what he offers is very useful, I like having more options! So. Let my fingers relax for a moment... and I want to open up the chat for a little bit to comments about the above, if you even have any yet! NLP for me is about pursuing answers to all of the above! So think about it. What kinds of thoughts, comments, or questions did any of the above spark... in you?
Gorlock Let me try my primary question changing from time to time as I chunk up and down under different circumstances and I interpret that as a lack of focus on high level outcomes?
symbol You started out by saying "What *ARE* my outcomes?" That's very true for me.
finter Jon - can u explain what chunking up means?
Jonathan Yes finter -- chunking UP is the process of generalizing more & more & more
bracken There's more information around in most situations than you can readily deal with - having an outcome you want to reach is a filter on which bits to attend to
Jonathan Angel Hair with Red Marinara Sauce (CHUNKS UP TO:) pasta with red sauce (CHUNKS UP TO:) Italian Food (CHUNKS UP TO:) Food (CHUNKS UP TO:) Human Sustenance
piizaan What if you chunk up too high? Like saying "I want to be successful", well what does that actually mean to me?
Jonathan Piizaan -- depends on the person -- some people like the "big picture" approach to everything.... some people like to drill down into the details in order to move forward....
symbol I found it very useful to ask myself : " What is my intention to have THESE outcomes?"
Jonathan Yes, symbol, I like that description...
finter I see, so it all chunks up to happiness
Jonathan Well, finter, you're on the right path there ;) and Tony Robbins knows this.... Whenever you chunk up... USUALLY, the problems disappear one by one. The smaller chunk you deal with, the more problems naturally arise.
piizaan Too many things that you are worrying about?
finter But surely you must tackle all the little chunks to achieve the finite goal
Jonathan When people are lost in the problems they face... they haven't been able to SEE the forest for the trees. Tony chunks people up to 40,000' in the air... and it ALL looks good from there.... ;) Yes, finter... you must tackle the little stuff to create your outcome. But you won't be motivated to get through them quickly and with pleasure if you aren't directed towards what you KNOW is right there and tangible... touchable... within reach...
Gorlock If you have to tackle all the little chunks, you may never deal with the big's a numbers thing.
finter 40,000 feet in the air scares the stuffing out of me, It doesn't make me happy
Jonathan Finter, what DOES make you happy? (besides, 40,000 feet up is a metaphor... think top-of-the-mountain)
finter Drinking Smoking and laughing, I'm ashamed to admit... and performing music to people, that is the biggest rush
Jonathan So... if you were alone in a room, by yourself, drinking, smoking, & laughing... that would make you happy???
finter Well its better if there is a room of people, but taking away the rest of the people, I am almost complete until the next day, then i feel awful
Jonathan Laughing, Smoking & Drinking by yourself is almost all of what you're after? OK.
finter No, not at all, its a crutch
Jonathan Lets move this in another direction, thank you..... but before I do.... I'd like to say that PAIN and difficulty in people's lives... is a FUNCTION of... or a RESULT of... an impoverished view of the world and of your own possibilities. People create crutches or habits out of the most fun things in their lives -- without knowing how MUCH more satisfying other things can be.
Gorlock Jon could you explain impoverished as you used it there?
Jonathan Yes, Gorlock, I will explain impoverished, but in a little bit (be patient). So using things like the Meta-Model... you can find out what people's models of the world really are like. You can use NLP models of communication ... (like the Meta Model)... to listen to the words people use (or listen to the words YOU use).... and hear the SURFACE STRUCTURE of their communication (surface structure is "what you hear.") And you can learn from the surface structure... what people's INTERNAL understanding of reality is all about. This is about using the surface structure to build a MODEL of their internal "DEEP STRUCTURE" of experience. Following me here? Surface structure's WHAT YOU HEAR, Deep Structure is WHAT YOU DON'T HEAR! Hear, here! ;)
follie I must be slow...
Jonathan Follie, go ahead and tell me what isn't clear about the above, I want it to be clear!
follie The difference between surface and deep structure, I think. Maybe some different words?
Jonathan OK. How many people have heard the NLP statement "The Map is Not The Territory?" What this basically means is... "reality" is some intangible middle-zone that we can never truly know. Reality is the TERRITORY. And inside our minds, we create little maps of the world... through which we operate... and which get build through our sensory systems (using visual or auditory info, for example) Now. Our internal MAPS... are not the same thing as the TERRITORY. Because... when creating those maps... we DELETE, DISTORT, and GENERALIZE all that information coming in through our senses!
follie Are you saying that "you can't judge a book by its cover"?
Jonathan Similar, follie, but probably not the same. We create... "IMPOVERISHED" views of the world, automatically, because we never have ALL the information needed to create a MAP that exactly matches reality. That's what I mean by impoverished.
follie We see what we focus on, which may not be what's really happening?
Jonathan We never, ever EVER have as much information as we COULD have, if we were really perceiving & understanding "reality." Sure, Follie. Now. this isn't tragic.... its just.. how our brains operate. Its not a BAD thing. The only bad thing would be to not understand these processes and how they happen, and then... never make USE of these processes. In short... NLP is how to RUN YOUR OWN BRAIN BETTER! Does this make sense? And it starts by accepting how your brain does certain things. Now. We have these maps that aren't the same thing as reality. Which CAUSES us, to rely on our "assumptions or beliefs" about ourselves and other people quite a lot. And a belief is a curious thing... we can have empowering beliefs... and we can have limiting beliefs. And most people don't know... that the difference is very small. It only takes a choice... it doesn't take years of experience... or lots of pain... to decide to have more empowering beliefs. NLP teaches us skills for SHAPING POWERFUL beliefs. And we then act on those beliefs in the world. By doing so... we create a better life for ourselves and for those around us. {phew!} So. Back to DEEP STRUCTURE vs SURFACE STRUCTURE! Deep structure... is you own mindset... your own belief systems... your own internal constructs that represent reality. I don't hear the deep structure of your experience... but the deep structure supports the words you use when you speak with me. So in your SURFACE structure (the language I hear), I hear CLUES as to how you understand the world (your DEEP STRUCTURE!).
follie Thanks, Jonathan, I'm with you now, I think
Jonathan And I hear CLUES... using NLP Techniques... for determining how you are limiting yourself! By looking & listening for particular things... which may be in your deep structure... I can find out where your OWN limiting beliefs are preventing you from being more self-empowered.... from experiencing more pleasure... and from, lets say, having better relationships or, earning more money. NLP is not only about learning to run YOUR own brain better..... its also about learning how to help OTHER people run their own brains better.... or... about you learning how other people run their own brains.. so that you can communicate with them more effectively. Or so that you can learn from them more efficiently. {phew} I'm done for the moment. That covers a LOT of high-level material. Now... I'd like to ask everyone if they have any questions about the above... and if they don't then we'll move into YOUR general NLP questions!
Jonathan Everyone throw your questions out to the channel now, And we'll get to them 1 by 1. Each person send only 1, for the moment... please!
Guest8992 Let's talk about spatial anchoring versus submodalities anchoring..
finter I have a question about people language. NLP describes how you can tell someone's primary modal by using peoples speech pattern, where i live I have noticed every one uses the term "I see" its a colloquialism, but how can u distinguish between "sayings" and real expression?
Jonathan Why would you want to, finter? I mean, don't you think that if they were made uncomfortable by the unconscious implication of the colloquialism, that they wouldn't use it?
finter We have a lot of pretty scenery here could that be the cause?
Jonathan Might be.
finter I don't understand you.
Jonathan What I'm saying is... People wouldn't use the term "I see" if their unconscious mind wanted to "hear," not "see."
finter OK
Jonathan If they use "I see" then chances are they're happy touching on a visual mode there long enough to say "I see" if not longer... ;) Touching on a visual mode ;)
Ruralguy Perhaps this question is out of place, but how does one change one's limiting beliefs to powerful ones?
Jonathan Ruralguy... its a good question, and there are a lot of ways. I'll keep my answer high level.
(1) Have you read my chat log on Belief Systems yet?
(2) Have you read Time for a Change?
Ruralguy I probably did, but don't remember it right now. Yes.
Jonathan Those two sources will give you a lot of information on changing beliefs.
MarcM Plus the book "Beliefs" :) plus, the other one by Dilts which is the same thing :)
Jonathan And I mean a LOT of information. In (2) above... look for the section on the belief change matrix. Also "Changing Belief Systems with NLP." Dilts. OK.
Ruralguy Thank you.
Jonathan So...... other high-level questions?
finter What is high level?
Jonathan Here's what I believe is high-level enough for this chat: "Can NLP be used to help X?" "Can NLP improve Y?" "Can I learn NLP for Z?"
MarcM One of the problems I've always had with beliefs, is, well... you believe them for a reason. i.e. You've got some evidence to support them.
symbol Another question : how do I develop the ability to see/notice structures?
Jonathan GREAT QUESTION, symbol... The Meta-Model is a collection of language patterns under the groupings... Deletion, Generalization, and Distortion. And by learning the patterns that fit under those categories.... and learning how they sound... what the clues are for them... you'll start to hear these patterns in language ALL around you. In everyone's speech. This is not eclectic material. Everyone uses these patterns, and so few people are paying attention to the semantic implications of those patterns! So just by learning the patterns from a book, or booklet, or the web... and by getting experience listening for the patterns, you would automatically begin to hear them in the language people use around you, all day long. It would amaze you to know how much information people are giving away without knowing about it. I have an exercise workbook I just finished up on the Meta Model patterns, actually.
finter Can NLP be used to help someone with agoraphobia?
Jonathan Agoraphobia?
finter Yes, open spaces.
symbol Sometimes my attention seems to be more on the inside instead of the outside
Jonathan Yes, Symbol... I would imagine you mind-read a lot... you have a strong set of internal voices... it tends to get in the way of your best results, does it not?
symbol Yes. Yes, it sometimes does
Jonathan Yep, NLP does help with that, but typically that takes some time to gain more flexibility about internal/external direction.... training's help more than books do with that.
symbol Going to a 3rd position (or diss.) helps
Jonathan NLP can help people make some very profound changes, its certainly true. You can learn a lot from books & tapes. But live in-person training makes SO much difference in terms of the behavioral installation of these skills.
Grendal {smile}
Jonathan That's kind of the reason for my upcoming fall seminar series. I recognize a couple of names of people here who are planning on attending. 3 days of concrete skills development. So you get a vivid taste of what it can do for you. Its very difficult for many people to commit to an NLP Practitioner Training when they don't know what the concrete results would be for themselves... I understand that!
finter Jon - have you ever thought about a seminar in the uk?
Jonathan Finter -- I'd LOVE to do a training in the UK. I'm negotiating to do some work over in Europe in the Spring, so it may be a possibility.
Jonathan Let's take stock of where we're at. We've covered 1ST what your goals and outcomes are. We've talked about the kinds of questions you can ask yourselves regarding what areas of your life you'd like to improve, optimize, enjoy more... etc.... And we've talked about how we can understand other people so much more clearly... their internal understanding of life... their direction... and we IMPLIED -- ( but didn't address directly) how we can help ENRICH their deep structure using our knowledge of their potentially impoverished deep structure. Because we don't CURE people with NLP. We only ENRICH people's possibilities! We ADD to the options we and they have... we take stock of our own position in relation to where we want to be going... and the position of others in relation to where they want to be going... and we can use NLP to enrich our have a more open set of possibilities and options...

Joe Riggio joins the chat!
Jonathan Would that be Joe Riggio arriving now? Excellent! If that's Joe Riggio, then we're in for a treat!
ethonics Yep, it's me Joseph Riggio.
Jonathan Welcome Joe!
Grendal Joe, Welcome.
ethonics Thanks ... So what you folks been chewing away at???
Jonathan Glad you can join the chat! --we're near closure on the "official chat" for the evening on "Introducing NLP" but I'm SURE people would love to ask you some questions... Folks, I met Joe in Austin TX, folks, at Bandlers' Meta Master Track.
ethonics Go for it ... I'll do my best to answer what I can as I can ...
Jonathan Joe runs Applied Behavioral Technologies... An NLP Training and Consulting business, if I'm not mistaken.
ethonics You've got it just about right on. We do about 80% of our business consulting to Fortune 100 profile international companies and the remaining 20% delivering "open" seminars like our "Mythogenic Self" ...
Jonathan Folks... you asked ME a lot of questions earlier... why not repeat the questions for Joe now? That way you get not only my opinion -- but also the opinion of a trainer who's been doing this quite a bit longer than have I! Take advantage! And I'll just ask Joe to answer at a really high level (for the sake of the chat log and for the sake of our attendees, many of whom are very new to NLP). Step up with your questions folks, Joe is a really warm & giving guy -- and its a major bonus to be able to ask your questions again of someone else like Joe!
Grendal What do the larger companies ask of your training's?
ethonics Basically it's simple. R O I (Return on Investment). In general we're not cheap, in fact we're probably at the high end of the market ... between $2000 and $10,000 per participant.
Grendal do you teach them, or install within them?
follie as a real newbie, let me try a question...
ethonics Usually, what this must translate into is demonstrated performance improvement and unqualified participant enthusiasm for the training.
follie when one is first starting out to try to learn about the people I work with, and with all the possibilities for learning about people's surface and deep structures, what kinds of things should I start with? "People i work with" = my clients & customers
ethonics In terms of topics the most frequently requested are sales training and high level management development (including negotiation).
follie in other words, where do i begin?
ethonics Follie ... this is an interesting question, especially as my area of expertise and interest is in creating transformational change at the individual and organizational levels. In some circles this is referred to as 'generative' change. I'm a little uneasy with the word 'generative' as I've heard it bandied about to represent symptomatological change and that's not how I understand it ...
follie i don't want to change other people so much as i want to learn where they are coming from
ethonics To go direct to your question of where you can begin and what to "look" for my most specific and general comment would be ... It's all in the body first. Language will always be at least one step removed from direct experience.
follie unfortunately 95% of my work is done on the phone...
ethonics Well then go to the next most direct marker ... auditory tonal. This includes tone, pitch, rhythm, volume, pace. If I had to give you a specific recommendation here, what I'd say is first mark out and respond to the rhythms. Rhythm is the interface between tonal and kinesthic anyway. It will always contain information about the kinesthetic experience.
follie ok
Jonathan Do you mean, pacing, Joe? Picking up the same pace of their rhythms?
ethonics This is deeper than pacing. Pacing and leading must be interlaced anyway. In the end when rapport is present who's pacing who? Of course pacing is critical to establishing and maintaining rapport and I find very few practitioners can do it to the extent necessary to establish and hold 'deep' rapport.
Jonathan Agreed, I always find it to be a dance.
symbol Another question : Which NLP-models are most effective in creating change at the organizational level? (i'm a student business management)
ethonics Symbol, I'm not sure of what you mean by NLP Models. Could you give me an example???
symbol e.g. I found Logical Levels very useful in thinking about org. change
ethonics As I understand the NLP Model it's an integral whole form. In this regard I'm a little unique and to the end of a continuum in the NLP community. When the model starts getting segregated and fragmented it's no longer the NLP model as I understand it ... at this point it's gone to technique.
Jonathan Folks... if we're going to go down this route... I'm going to stop & thank everyone for coming and participating and close down the chat on an NLP Overview officially. I'll stick around and participate beyond that, but if we get into this, its getting beyond the simple overview I had in mind for introducing NLP to you (which is just fine!) So.... thanks to everyone! Readers can find more from Joseph Riggio (Ethonics) in 2 other chats published here!


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