Common NLP Techniques

NLP Techniques for Lasting Change

There are many different NLP techniques or patterns as they are sometimes called, which can be used for different purposes.

These techniques can be used individually or in combination with one another creating new and effective ways of accessing the mind for powerful and lasting change.

Some of the techniques may sound strange or even seem silly to some people, but there is wisdom behind every procedure in Neuro Linguistic Programming, each procedure contain logical organized steps to help bring about powerful lasting changes in your life.

NLP is a very powerful and positive model that places emphasis on facilitating change and generating solutions. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach, hence the many powerful techniques available for facilitating change and generating solutions.

Here are some of the most common NLP techniques:

Anchoring is when we create a response to something that happens each time there is a specific stimulus. The stimulus could be visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory, or gustatory. An example of an auditory anchor may be when you hear a song on the radio, you begin to feel happy and excited as you think back to your first kiss with your girlfriend.

Anchors are constantly influencing our behaviour. Being at work becomes an anchor for workplace behaviour, being anxious or insecure may be a trigger to smoke or drink.

The Swish pattern was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder and can be used to break automatic thoughts and behaviour patterns, and replace them with more resourceful ones.

Swish can be used for problems such as stopping smoking, anger management, public speaking, self-confidence, self-esteem. The Swish pattern is the most famous and frequently applied Neuro Linguistic Programming technique.

In NLP Re-framing is based on the idea that all meaning depends on your point of view. To re-frame something is to change its meaning, by placing it in a different setting, context or frame. Going dressed as a zombie to a party has a different meaning depending on whether it is Halloween or a funeral.

Re-framing is about taking an ordinary event and putting it in a new frame that is useful or enjoyable. By re-framing a nasty experience you can make it seem funny and less hurtful.

Mirroring enhances the ability to establish rapport with another. The skill of mirroring is important in modelling others and for becoming intuitive in understanding the internal experiences of those you model.

The Meta Model helps clarify communications. The Meta Model is the foundation of NLP. We build representations of the world around us called maps or models. Individual maps and models vary with different people they are rarely the same.

An example would be if two people were to hear someone speak about the fundamentals of parenting, each one would have different interpretation of what they heard. That’s because we use three universal modelling processes to build our maps or models; they are deletions, distortions and generalizations. The Meta Model helps recover deleted information and untangle misunderstandings in our own or others’ communications.

Presuppositions are the founding principles that support the structure of NLP. Presuppositions in general are beliefs, they are not necessarily true. We accept them as if they were true and apply them in a practical way to our lives. If they improve our lives or our performance we can continue to use them as if they were true.

The number of presuppositions varies from list to list; I will list ten of them.

  1. We cannot not communicate
  2. The map is not the territory
  3. There is no failure only feedback
  4. The way you communicate elicits a response
  5. All behaviour is constructive in some way
  6. If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else
  7. People make the best choices they can with what they have at the time
  8. Mind and Body are part of the same cybernetic system
  9. People work perfectly, no one is broken
  10. If one person can learn to do something, anyone can

Calibration improves your ability to observe and respond to physiological and behavioural cues of other people. “Calibration” involves linking behavioural cues to internal cognitive and emotional responses.

Calibration is simply understanding what’s going on with other people, how well you “calibrate” to another person, their state of mind and activity within their minds, will determine to a significant degree how effective you communication will be with them.

Built upon the presupposition that behind every behaviour is a positive intention, is an NLP technique called the parts integration.

Most of us have experienced that inner voice that criticizes us when we make bad choices or mistakes. This critical voice could make you do things that would lower your self-esteem and lower your self-confidence.

Some people experience visual images instead of a critical voice. Their mind would keep bringing pictures up of them doing badly and messing up in situations.

In NLP we call these sections of ourselves “parts”. The possibility of these parts hindering and standing in the way of our progress and success is very real, even though most of our parts are helpful to us.

When some of these parts are not functioning in unity and harmony with each other, we can then do what is called Parts Integration or Parts Negotiation.

Although I have only mentioned a few of the NLP techniques, there are a great deal more. If you would like to learn more about NLP techniques there is a great book called “The Big Book of NLP Techniques” by – Shlomo Vaknin This book contains 200+ Patterns, methods and strategies of NLP.

Mark Csabai

Mark Csabai is an NLP Life Coach in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He works with clients in and around the Free State to help them achieve more, manage stress, build self-worth, increase confidence, overcome fears and help maintain a better life-balance.