How Words Work with Neuro Linguistic Programming

Written by John Flynn


How Words Work with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Words are like a Map for your mind, guiding you where you want to go. Imagine someone comes to you and says “I am lost, I knew the way but now I am lost”. By searching, choosing and speaking the best words you have in your vocabulary – almost like magic you guide them to their destination.

For instance, what will happen when you ask/guide them with an inductive sentence? “Ahhh, you were lost, and what are you searching for NOW, that you can now find without looking outside anymore?”

Words can work wonders in NLP. Words can cast spells and incantations. Words can cut through you like a sword (S-word) or even create beautiful models of the world.

Is NLP actually this powerful?

virgina satirThe Meta Model is one such example of how Words are like a Map for your mind. How Words Work in The Meta Model is people respond to events based on their internal pictures, sounds and feelings – our senses. Fritz PerlsThese language patterns were based on the work of family therapistVirginia Satir, gestalt therapist Fritz Perls These senses collect experiences into groups and/or categories and label them with words.

The Meta Model (like our example above) is a method for guiding someone through their poorly laid out word map back to the sensory-based experiences they are based on. It is here in the information-rich mental Sat-Nav that new directions can be formed that will result in a successful journey.

The Meta Model is a set of questions that can be split into three categories:

1) Distortions
2) Generalizations
3) Deletions

The person above said they knew the way, but now they’re lost. All we had to do was ask some specific questions to get them back on track. That’s how we can then begin to formulate the inductive language pattern to set them free:

– How do you know the way?
– How do you know you are lost?
– How will you find your way?

With The Meta Model we have the ability to inspire vision by the articulation of our questions for the person to create or contemplate dynamic solutions as if by revelation.

Words can create a Map of the Mind through something called the The Milton Model, which is a set of language patterns designed to produce a trance or agreement in three ways:

1) Pace and lead
2) Distract the conscious mind
3) Speak directly to the unconscious mind and access its hidden resources

It is a series of abstract language patterns, which are ambiguous, so a person takes their own meaning out of the communication based on their own experience.

The Milton Model

The Milton Model can help think of ideas, or blow up a perception of the World and create that new internal world we talked about earlier.

The Milton Model is not unlike The Meta Model, in fact many of the language patterns are identical. The one main difference is in The Meta Model – we used questions to be specific when the person was being vague, so the said person could have clarity on their journey.

In The Milton Model when we use the same language patterns as The Meta-Model we “want” to be vague, using vague suggestions to produce a trance. This is where we can move to higher levels of thinking by distracting the conscious mind, speak directly to the unconscious and access its hidden resources for the journey.

A Words Map of the Mind would not be complete without Predicates, earlier we touched on this in “How Words Work with Neuro Linguistic Programming in The Meta-Model”.

NLP Representational Systems

We said earlier “people respond to events based on their internal pictures, sounds and feelings” these are our senses through which we experience the world, and are referred to as Representational Systems in NLP.

The words to describe these Systems are what we are talking about here, Predicates…
In NLP, Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic and the one we missed earlier Auditory Digital are what are known as Predicates.

It will be easier to show you how this works rather than try to explain it; by the end I am sure what I am saying will ring a bell, you will have a feel for Predicates and you will have a distinct sense of understanding.

Take the sentence we had earlier “Before you made contact with me I once was lost and now I’m found” and then see what you notice about the three coming sentences:

1) Before you spoke to me, I was in the dark and now I can see
2) As you spoke to me, I heard what you were saying
3) You provided me with a way to make sense of things

Our sentence from earlier uses Kinaesthetic words, the first Visual, the second Auditory and the third Auditory Digital. The sentences are different, but did you notice they all transmit the same message?

Our internal thought process is a reflection of the words we use. This is a very important point in NLP as your words are giving a glimpse to the external world of your thoughts and their structures.

Essentially the Predicates you hear will provide you with a person’s lead Representational System on any given moment or day.

We have briefly covered How Words Work with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), by taking a journey through the specific street of The Meta-Model, we had a layover in the abstract world of The Milton Model before finally reaching our destination in Predicates while learning how words work. Believe me when I say the journey has just begun!

By John Flynn, NLP Practitioner