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Phone 07 5562 5718 or send an email to book a free 20 minute telephone or Skype session with Abby Eagle. The NLP Meta Model is a linguistic tool that every parent, every child, every member of society needs to learn (in my opinion) in order for consciousness and society to evolve in a more positive direction. NLP Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Meditation. Gold Coast, Robina, Australia. Online NLP Coaching sessions on Skype and by pnone also available.
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The difference between a sheep and a wolf is that the sheep follows blindly while the wolf takes responsibility for their life. Learn to challenge everything for the truth using the NLP Meta Model. Challenge everything? Yes, everything!
(Abby Eagle) The NLP Meta Model is a linguistic tool that was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, and first published in The Structure of Magic, Volume 1 in 1975. It was later updated by Michael Hall and published in Communication Magic in 1997. It gives you a set of questions to help you gather high quality information. Use it to find out what people actually mean by their communication not what you think they are saying. If you meta model your own thought processes then you can achieve more in life.
The Meta Model is based upon the notion that we don't operate on the world directly but take in information through our sense organs and using the three universal modelling processes of distortion, generalisation and deletion form an internal representation (a map) in pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells (VAKOG). The maps that we make in our minds are not the world itself but an internal representation of it. Alfred Korzybski, founder of General Semantics coined the phrase, “The map is not the territory”.
The NLP Meta Model has three categories.
Distortion is the process which allows you to construct, manufacture, create and manipulate sensory data. Distortion is the process of bringing in information through your senses and then playing with that information in your mind to create new concepts, ideas and understandings. Different ways of thinking about the world, philosophy, spirituality, religion, ideology, fantasising about a lover, creating new inventions, writing fiction and producing films all rely upon the ability to distort so called reality. The ability to play with thoughts in your mind allows you to build goals of the future - a future that causes you pain or pleasure.
Generalisation is the process by which you take an element of your model of the world and use it to represent an entire category of experience. For example, a small child learns that things have 'handles' which enable them to be held, moved, opened and manipulated in some way. For example, a cup has a handle; a door has a handle; a key can be thought of as a handle; a bag has a handle; a knife and fork are handles which give you a tool to cut and hold. A tap is a handle to open and close water flow; an 'on off' switch is a handle; a remote control device for a television has a number of handles called 'buttons', and so on.
Generalisations can work for or against you. For example, having one bad experience with a member of one religion does not mean that all the people who share that religion are the same. In one context it may not be okay to use certain types of words but that does not necessarily mean that it is not okay in other contexts. Having one bad experience with a woman does not mean all women are the same, yet when people create these types of generalisations it may limit rather than enhance their lives.
Deletion is the process of selective attention. Whether this be a conscious decision or an unconscious process it is clearly impossible to pay attention to the mass of information that impacts your senses. At some level of awareness you have to choose what to pay attention to. By choosing to focus in on some aspect of your sensory experience you naturally have to delete other information, for example. To hear someone in a crowded room you may have to concentrate in on the speaker and not listen to other conversations. Driving a car in heavy traffic you may need to focus on the road ahead to the detriment of the scenery that passes you by. In a garden you may choose to enjoy the fragrance of a rose yet ignore other sights, sounds, sensations and smells. At times deletion may be useful yet in other contexts it may result in an impoverished experience. For example, if you delete the nice things that people say to you and do for you, and instead focus on what they did not do or say then you may feel unloved.
The Meta Model formalises the process of distortion, generalisation and deletion into a set of linguistic patterns that give you a tool for mapping the structure of how someone is thinking by analysing the words that they use. Meta Model violations do not indicate that someone is thinking incorrectly, just that this way of thinking may work for or against them.
Typically the NLP Meta Model is used to question the words that people use so as to improve the quality of the conversation. But the Meta Model can also be used to analyse the structure of how someone thinks and then deliver information back to them in a form that matches their linguistic structures, as a means to influence that person to some desired outcome, whether that desired outcome be theirs or of the person who is talking to them.
The answer, "I don't know.", to a question indicates that the speaker has reached the limit of their model of the world.
The following version of the NLP Meta Model covers the original ten patterns. Michael Hall added nine new distinctions in 1997 in his book, Communication Magic. To make it easier to memorise the basic Meta Model use the acrostic: MLCCP UM NUS
1. Mind Reading
2. Lost Performative
3. Cause and Effect
4. Complex Equivalence
6. Universal Quantifiers
7. Modal Operators
9. Unspecified Verbs
10. Simple Deletions
Watch the NLP Meta Model videos on youtube.
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A mind read is where you think that you know what someone else is thinking or feeling without any sensory based information to support that idea. Mind Reads can take a number of forms. One is where I think I know what you are thinking and feeling. Another is where I think that you should know how I think or feel. One can also hold mind reads about the future, as in crystal ball gazing and prophesying.
Gather more information about the mind read by asking, "How and what?", type questions.
A lost performative is a value judgement which does not specify who is making the judgement of whether something is good or bad, right or wrong. It is where a person states their personal belief as a fact.
Challenge a lost performative to get the source of the belief, by asking, "Who says, according to whom, how do you know that?", type questions.
A cause and effect meta model violation is based upon the belief that 'A' causes 'B' when in fact there may be no factual evidence to support that belief. In the context of linguistics the cause is wrongly put outside of self. The belief is that something occurs in the world that makes you think or feel a certain way, or makes you do something. An event in the world 'A' causes you to feel, think or do 'B'.
But we are the meaning makers - that is no one can make you feel a certain way; no one can make you angry; no one can make you fat and no one can make you think a particular way or act in a particular way (putting aside the context of torture or indoctrination)
A cause and effect linguistic pattern is recognised by the use of words such as, "makes, because, if... then, as... then, since, so".
Gather more information about a cause and effect by asking, "How specifically?", and use counter example type questions to learn how the person does the process of making themselves feel and act in a particular way.
When you hear the word ‘then’ you could also treat it as a complex equivalence in that A=B. In that case the response could be, “Since when does a drop in share price mean that you should feel disappointed? What other response could you have?” Either way we are directing the speaker to take responsibility for their state of mind.
A complex equivalence is about the relationship between two thoughts, ideas, events or objects. Where meaning is attributed to an event. Something means something else, that is A=B. For example, a man is late for his dinner date. The woman says out loud with a disappointed tone of voice, "You are late." She thinks to herself, "He does not love me anymore." She then decides to go out with another man. When her partner asks her why, she says, "Well I thought that you did not want to be with me."
A complex equivalence can be recognised as two separate thoughts, statements, ideas or events that are connected in the way that A=B. What is missing is the linkage such as 'that means',' that just means', 'it must be that'. Once we have identified the complex equivalence we can challenge it to gather more information.
A complex equivalence is different to a cause and effect. "I hate it when you are late.", or, "You make me angry when you are late," is a cause and effect. "You being late means you don't love me is a complex equivalence." The complex equivalence is at a higher level of abstraction.
Challenge a complex equivalence to get the two statement that are linked, and/or to get a counter example. For example, "So does A have to equal B? Does it always have to mean that? Could it mean something else?"
A presupposition is the condition or element in a statement which has to be true in order for the sentence to make sense. But in doing so we may accept something that is either true or false. For example, "The cat sat on the mat.", presupposes that there is a cat and a mat but was there really a cat or a mat? Only further investigation will prove this to be true or not. For a detailed list of presuppositions read The Structure of Magic Appendix B, by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, 1975.
We challenge a presupposition to get specific details and learn the truth of the matter. For example, in the statement, "The cat sat on the mat.", the questioning method could be, "How do we know if that is even true? Is there actually a cat, is there a mat? Who made that statement? Is this person a reliable and honest witness? Which cat? When, where and how did the cat sit on the mat? Show me the evidence?"
A universal quantifier is an absolute generalisation (universal generalisation) that excludes exceptions by stating that something is true for everything. You can recognise a universal quantifier by the words, "all, always, every, never, everyone, no one, no body, none".
Challenge the universal quantifier to get a counter example by repeating the key word back to the speaker and marking it out by using intonation, volume and a questioning tonality.
Modus operandi (MO) refers to one's typical method or style of moving through the world. A modal operator is a type of adverb that precedes a verb and indicates whether we act out of necessity or possibility - that is, because we have to do something or because we want to do something. Modal operators are related to the motivational styles of moving away-from what we don't want, and moving towards what we do want.
Whether you do what you have to or what you want to it will still fulfil some value - either an away-from value or a towards value, or both. The number of values the action fulfills and the relative importance of those values will influence the strength of the motivation. Modal operators also determine the boundaries of what is possible for us to achieve.
Modal operators can be chained to move us from necessity to possibility. For example, read the following series of statements and notice how it changes your frame of mind:
"I don't want to leave the house but I should do some exercise. I think I could go to the beach. I know I can go the beach. Yes, I want to go the beach. I am going to the beach. I will go to the beach."
Gather more information about a modal operator by asking, "What would happen if?" What would happen if you didn't? What stops you?" You can also ask lost performative type challenges by asking, According to whom?" In some cases repeat the word and mark it out using a questioning tonality.
"Can not", is interesting because the speaker is saying they, "Can do the process of 'not'... (Richard Bandler). In the first example below the speaker says literally that they can not see. That is, they can not make an image of themselves interviewing Tony Abbot. The solution is to help them build the image.
Nominalisations are process words (verbs) which have been frozen in time to make them a static thing (nouns). For example in the sentence, the investigation failed to find any evidence to support the claims. The noun investigation is derived from the verb to investigate. Verbs suggest a movement whereas nouns just 'sit there'.
The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus (544 BC), is quoted as saying that, "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." But when you think about it, how can you even step in the same river once, for the simple reason that a river (noun) is actually in a process of rivering (verb). Using the same line of thinking, a tree is actually a 'treeing'. Even a road is in process, and given time will decay. Most nearly everything in existence is in a process. People are born, they live and they die. Each moment brings new experiences and new memories, and every time that you think back on the past your memory of it changes in some way. Likewise the future is not caste in stone - the possibilities are ever changing. Life should be lived like a fresh breeze, constantly in a state of flux, ever moving and ever refreshing itself. Nominalisations on the other hand may cause a state of stagnation.
For example, in the film, The Stoning of Soraya M. we hear that "Justice demands that the woman be put to death". "Justice", is a nominalisation. Can you touch justice? Can you kick it, can you hold it, can you put it on a table? How can you challenge justice? You can challenge the people who are enforcing their version of justice but you can't challenge justice.
President George Bush declared a "War on terror" but how can you fight with a nominalisation? You can fight with specific people who engage in activities that terrify other people but how do you fight with terror? By not clearly defining 'terror' the government can do what ever it likes in the name of fighting terror.
Some people make statements like, "The scripture says...", or, "This is the word of God." But both scripture and God are nominalisations. What is a scripture and who is God?
To induce trance we use nominalisations and to bring people out of trance we ask questions that uncover the process. Believe it or not the most influential politicians and priests are masters of hypnotism, and that is whether they acknowledge it or not!
To denominalise a nominalisation ask questions that uncover the process like, "How specifically? How do you do the process of 'x'? What do you mean by that word?"
Unspecified verbs are process words which don't specify to a greater or lesser degree what specifically is being referred to. Something is omitted. Gather more information by asking, "How specifically?", type questions.
There is a deletion when we sense that some information is missing from the statement. The way to check is by attempting to build a clear representation in the cinema of your mind? Start by asking yourself, "What is missing from this statement?", then ask questions like, "About what? About whom? What do you mean by that? What specifically?"
An unspecified referential index is where the phrase fails to specify a person or thing. For example, words like, "It, she, he, they, we, us, you, one, someone.", and generalisations which refer to a group like, "Australians, the British, the man in the street, people, Christians, politicians, journalists". Gather more information by asking, "Who, what or which specifically?"
A comparative deletion is where there is a comparison involving a greater or lesser value in which what is being compared is not specified. As in words ending in 'er' and 'est'. "Better, best, less, least, worst, more, bigger, lighter, smaller, very, even."
Recover the comparative deletion by asking questions like, "Better than who or what specifically? Compared to whom or what specifically?"
___ © Author Abby Eagle