Meta-Model

In NLP the Meta-Model is a model of language, derived from Virginia Satir, that gives us an “over” view of language.

It allows us to recognize deletionsgeneralizations and distortions in our language, and gives us questions to clarify imprecise language and gain specificity.

The Meta-Model can be used to curiously challenge statements and conclusions to dig deeper into the internal causes for the conclusion. If you respond to a conclusion with an opinion or contradictory statement, the conclusion is unlikely to change. If you use Meta-Model to dig deeper into the language, you can establish the underlying ‘cause and effect’ and in many cases cause change to occur. When the underlying belief is found, the individual you are communicating with can be enlightened and can often see their old statement very differently, therefore changing the emotional response.

Here’s an example:

Conclusion: Steve doesn’t like me

Meta-Model examples: How do you know he doesn’t like you? Who says that Steve doesn’t like you? What causes you to choose to think that he doesn’t like you?

When using Meta-Model, you will either find a deeper layer of information or the individual will change their perception. In the case of the example outlined above, the individual you are communicating with may end up arriving at the conclusion that there is no reason to believe that Steve doesn’t like him / her.

The Meta-Model is an essential NLP tool for NLP Practitioners. It provides the necessary insight into how beliefs are constructed and provides a great opportunity to loosen up the reality that the client has created for themselves.

Meta-Model goes hand in hand with a technique called Reframing, which is a language technique designed to communicate with the belief system and give their language a new meaning or context which enables change to occur. You can read more about NLP Reframing in our article.

It’s not only NLP Practitioners that can benefit from the Meta-Model. It’s a powerful tool for leaders that can enable more effective performance management. The ability to challenge our own perceptions and view them differently greatly enhances the relationship between our internal world and the external world. This makes the Meta-Model a useful tool for anyone seeking to improve their mind-set or become an advanced communicator.

You can read more about the Meta Model in our article here.