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Metaprograms, sometimes called Meta Programs or Meta-Programs in NLP are unconscious, content-free programs we run which filter our experiences.

Any reading is a snap shot of how a person was when you met them and it could change if the person experiences a significant emotion event i.e. bereavement, divorce, winning the lottery. The Metaprograms process relies totally on verbal and non-verbal cues. Its accuracy can be challenged however; all psychological profiles will have some degree of error.

The difference between Metaprograms profiling and others is that we do not have to spend hours filling in forms to get the same result. We are generally more relaxed, which means that the results are more likely to be a real reflection on how we behave in our environment.

It is also worth noting that when working with Meta Programs we will act differently in different environments e.g. home, with a partner, when doing a sport or when with a person in authority like a parent or boss. This is normal. The Meta-Programs profile is relevant to our environment; certain areas may or may not cross over to other areas of our life.


Our values affect whether we are happy or not doing a job. They are the things that drive us. How we work is we evaluate our jobs against our values BEFORE and AFTER an event. If the events do not match up to a value we become de-motivated. Likewise if an event matches our values we get the feeling of motivation.

We also have our own personal motivation reasons as to what we want out of business/life/career. Any value that is not satisfied causes us to feel de-motivated in that area.

Here is a brief video with Terry Elston working with Values with a live client, Joanna, who was looking for a new career.

This should be kept in mind when you are dealing with any person and situation. Whether a person is classified in metaprograms as an extrovert, introvert, judger, perceiver or any of the many different types, it’s useful to also note what the values of that individual are as those values will influence their behaviour (and therefore the metaprograms) in different contexts.

We get into values in another MP3 series called “From Values to Motivation”

The next 19 or so pages will give you the basis of metaprograms and the language patterns you can use to elicit them (alongside the CD set of course). After this, the 2nd section is dedicated to slightly more depth and information about the same metaprograms.




A) Introvert

B) Extrovert


A) Sensor

B) Intuitor


A) Thinking

B) Feeling


A) Judger

B) Perceiver



A) Judging

B) Thinking Feeling

C) Perceiving

D) Sensing Intuition


Judger Close for sales etc.

Mr. Jones, you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. And the right way to _______________ is …

1. Needs assessment.

2. Proposal Dissociated first time

3. Accepts proposal, pays.

4. And you can feel good about making a good purchase (Only #4 is associated the first time through. Then all associated the second time through.)


The Complex Metaprograms

1. RESPONDING TO SITUATIONS – Direction filter
What do you want in a car (job/relationship)?
What’s important to you about _______?
A) Toward 10% (Pleasure Pull)
B) Toward with a little Away 30%
C) Both Toward and Away equally 20%
D) Away with a little Toward 30%
E) Away 10% (Pain Push)

2. MOTIVATION REASON (the Why?) – Reason filter
Why are you choosing to do what you’re doing?
Do you prefer to create new procedures and never follow them or stick to the rules and guidelines?
A) Options (Possibility) – 40%
B) Both – 20%
C) Procedures (Necessity) – 40%

3. LANGUAGE MOTIVATION – Modal operator sequence
How did you motivate yourself to go to work this morning?
What was the last thing you said to yourself just before you got
out of bed this morning, left your house?
Can, get, Possible, Will, Time, Want, Would, Better, May,
Should, Need, Hope, Have, Got, Must Necessary

4. LEADING SELF AND OTHERS – Management direction filter
a. Do you know what to do to increase the chances of success in a job?
b. Do you know what someone else has to do?
c. Do you find it easy to tell them?
A) Self and Others (YYY) 15% – Leader
B) Self Only (YYN) 75% – Potential Leader
C) Self but Not Others (YNN) 3% – In it for themselves
D) Others Only (NYY) 7% – Helper

– Affiliation filter
Tell me about a work situation in which you were the happiest, a one-time event.
A) Management Player – 20%
B) Team Player – 60%
C) Independent Player – 20%

Tell me about a work situation in which you were the happiest, a one-time event. (same as last question)

A) People (Who) – 30%
B) Information -Systems (Why and all other questions)- 5%
C) Activity (How and When) – 30%
D) Things (What) – 30%
E) Place (Where) – 5%

Tell me about one of your favourite working experiences?
What’s your favorite restaurant? Tell me about it.
A) People (Who)
B) Information -Systems (Why and all other questions)
C) Activity (How and When)
D) Things (What)
E) Place (Where)

When you come into a situation do you usually act quickly after sizing it up, or do you do a detailed study and then act?
A) Active – 20%
C) Both – 60%
B) Reflective (Reactive) – 20%
D) Inactive (?% Not known)

9. PAYING ATTENTION – Attention Direction
When you listen to a conversation do you hear what is going on or do you go inside and listen to what they mean?
or (No question, just observe — you are looking for the compulsive Others person.)
A) Others, Outside with you – 75%
B) Both Inside and Outside – 15%
B) Self, Inside with themselves – 10%

10. DEALING WITH STRESS – Emotional stress response
Tell me about a situation (context-related) that gave you trouble, a one-time event.
Tell me about a work event (a one time event) that gave you trouble?
A) Thinking, Disassociated, Does not feel stress – 15%
B) Choice – 70%
C) Feeling, Associated – Gets Stressed 15%

11. ORGANISING THEMSELVES – Time storage filter
What direction is the past and what direction is the future for you?
Do you have a personal organizer such as a Filofax™, diary that you use, electronic organizer
A) Through Time – 50%
Organized, Planners, Structured, Decisive. Administrative
C) In Time – 50%
Flexible, Impulsive, Unplanned, Open-minded, Need autonomy

12. JUDGING RESULTS – Frame of reference filter
How do you know when you’re doing a good job?
A) Internal (They know) – 20%
B) Internal with External Check – 40%
C) Equal Internal & External Balanced – 5%
D) External with Internal Check – 30%
E) External (Need to check) – 5%

How do you know when someone else is good at what they do? Do you have to: –
A) See it? (visual) 55%
B) Hear about it? (Auditory) 30%
C) Read (Digital, self talk) 12%
D) Do it with them (Kinesthetic) 3%

-Convincer demonstration filter
How often does someone have to demonstrate competence to you before you’re convinced?
A) Automatic (Always) – 8%
B) Number of Times – 52%
C) Period of Time – 25%
D) Consistent – !5%

– Chunk size filter
If we were going to do a project together, would you want to know the big picture first, or the details first. Would you really need to know the… (ask other)?
A) Big Picture, Global, Abstract – 10%
B) Big Picture then Details, Global to Specific – 75%
C) Details then big picture, Specific to Global – 10%
D) Details, Specific – 5%

– Relationship filter
What is the relationship between these three coins? o0o (use the questions for this below)
What is the relationship between what you’re doing this year on the job and what you did at this time last year?
A) Sameness (matching) 15yrs or more – 10%
B) Sameness with Exception 3-5yrs – 55%
C) Differences with Exception 1-2yrs – 25%
D) Differences (mis-matchers) 6months – 10%


We have four different senses that we use to represent the world to ourselves.
1. Visual
2. Sound
3. Feelings
4. Words

Over time one of these senses becomes more dominant. This gives us different personality traits, since we DIRECTLY TRANSLATE AND ACT UPON WHAT IS GOING THROUGH OUR MIND AT ANY ONE TIME. This trait also determines how we communicate (What we say is also a direct translation of what is going through our mind at that moment in time.)

Visual people tend to work well in places where there is a lot visually going on. You like to be shown things. When a visual person buys anything they will use words like, ‘Get an EYE full of that’ or ‘SHOW me the BIG PICTURE’.

Sound people work well when they are in harmony with what is going on or in a quiet place. They like to be told stories and hear things before they make a decision to buy (they can even buy things over the phone having never seen them before.) They use words like ‘I can TUNE into that’ or ‘Let’s ECHO that out.’

People who communicate using ‘Words’ or self talk (The voice that plays over and over in our heads). They communicate by using lots of NON-SENSORY words. When they buy things it is based on detailed information not on how it looks, feels or sounds. People who communicate using self-talk will say ‘The overall COMPLEXITY of the SITUATION MEANS I have to CONSIDER the facts’, just to make a decision yes or no.

People who process things through their feelings will like jobs that involve manual/physical work or where they are around people who are sensitive. They like to be comfortable in their work and will sit down to ponder over things. When making a decision to buy, they will have to get a feel for or touch the product. They will use words like; ‘I can get in TOUCH with that’ or ‘that FEELS right to me.’

Tell me how you would or do go about leading people?

How we like to be led and how we lead others?
This profile looks at how we like to be led and therefore determines the type of culture we will be happy in. Is it one where we like to be told what we have to do or do we respond well if we are encouraged to achieve a goal? The lines and hierarchy determines the order and intensity we will use to be led or lead someone. This also directly links into how we learn, and has many implications to our management style.

This profile can determine how well a person will do in a management or team context. It can also determine if the person will cause problems in a team or not. Leaders tend to cover most areas of the grid. Others cover only a few aspects of the grid. This reading will give us an insight into how effective a person will be in many varying situations, and can determine levels of responsibility in given situations.

Each type becomes more Global as we get further down. The reading given relates to the intensity of the answer. A 5 is average. We are aiming for a 5 at all levels with the flexibility to become more intense in one specific type and when it is required. The top transactional leadership types are very authoritarian and ‘Typical Management’ the next set is more subtle and persuasive, more of a hands off leader than a manager. All the types are important and a great manager/leader will have total flexibility.

Avoids decisions, withdraws when needed, uninvolved and takes no stand

Transactional Leadership
MANAGEMENT BY EXCEPTION: (Environment – Where)
Intervention only when collaborators deviate from expectations. As long as things are going according to expectations, he or she does not try to change anything. Gives negative feedback when there is failure to meet standards.

CONTINGENT REWARD: (Behaviour – What)
Contracts an exchange of reward for effort. Tells collaborators what to do if they want to be rewarded. Assures collaborator that they can get what they want in exchange for effort. Gives special commendations and promotions for good work.

Transformational Leadership
MANAGEMENT BY OBJECTIVE: (Skills/Capabilities – How)
Provides collaborators with clear representations of the desired goals and evidences to know when the goals have been achieved. Encourages collaborators to use their own capabilities and resources

Leader’s ideas compel collaborators to rethink some of their own ideas. Old ideas are thought of in new ways. Stresses intelligence, rationality and careful problem solving.

INSPIRATIONAL: (Value – What’s important)
Operates as a kind of ‘Cheerleader’ Motivation and encouraging collaborators to do their best or to give a little extra. Emphasises values, empowering beliefs in future possibilities

Gives personalised attention to neglected members, treat each collaborator individually, coach and advise.

Has a sense of vision, mission and gives collaborators a sense of purpose. Is a model collaborator. Gains respect and trust.

Meta Programs
Communication Style
(Developed with Donna Morabito, adapted from Kappas)

When you need to work through a problem or a challenge in your life, is it absolutely necessary for you to:
Talk about it with someone else, or
Think about it by yourself only?
A) External
B) Internal

If someone you knew quite well said to you, “I’m thirsty,” would you:
Find the comment interesting, but probably do nothing about it, or
Would you feel really compelled to do something about it?
A) Literal
B) Inferential

If you felt that someone around you was not performing as well as they should, would you:
Come to the point and tell them directly, or would you
Hint, imply and give them clues.
A) Literal
B) Inferential

• A Literal Listener may not know when an Inferential Speaker complements them.
• An Inferential Listener may think that any question is a request for action.

What to say to this person as you talk to them. (Where three dots appear ‘…’ you can provide the necessary information.)

1. Responding to situations – Direction Filter
Pessimist – Away: “Here’s what we want to avoid. This will reduce our potential problems and liabilities.”

Away With Toward: “Here’s what we want to avoid… here are our goals.”

Realist – Both Toward And Away:
“Here are our goals… and just as important, here is what we want to avoid.”

Optimist – Toward: “Here are our goals and objectives.”

Toward With Some Away: “Here are our goals and objectives… here’s what we want to be to be careful to avoid.”

2. Motivation Reason – Reason Filter
Both: “As you consider the possibilities of this project, also consider what obligations we have…”

Procedure – Necessity: “Consider the obligations we have… We really must do this.”

Options – Possibilities: “Consider the possibilities in this project… we really can do this.”

3. Language Motivation – Modal Operator Sequence: Use their Modal Operator in a sentence.

4. Leading self and others – Direction Filter
Self and others: “You are the leader you know what to do and you can lead this project”

Self Only: “You know that what other people do in this project is not important to you, and that is why…”

Self but Not Others:
“Who are we to tell them what to do? But that’s why we must.”

Others Only: “The boss knows what we need to do, so that’s why we should…”

5. Management Team Independent – Affiliation Filter
Management Player: “I know you want to be in charge…”

Team Player: “I know that you want a team to play with…”

Independent Player: “You have a high need to be independent, and that is why it is important to foster teamwork in this situation.”

6. The Work Preference Filter
People: “Let me tell you about the people who will be working on this project.”
Systems: “Let me tell you how the system works.”

Activity: “Let me tell you how things happen and when they happen.”

Things: “Let me tell you about what we’ll be working with.”

Place: “Let me tell you where you will be working”

7. Working Interest – Primary Interest Filter
Activity: Interested in “how”. “Let me tell you how this will work.”

Information: Interested in “why” or “what” information is available. “Let me tell you what you need to know, and why.”

People: Who they are with is important. “Let me tell you who you will be working with on this project.”

Place: Location is important. “Let me tell you where this project is …”

Things: Interested in “what”. “Let me tell you what we’ll need.”

8. How much energy a person has – Action Filter
Active: “Let’s go and do this project. There’s no need to wait.”

Both: “You’ve had all the time you need to study this, and now is the time for action”

Reflective: “I know you want to study this. It’s OK. Take all the time you need to make the decision now.”

9. Paying Attention – Attention Direction:
Outside: Here are all the things you need to consider right now
Is not just about language, it’s also about their physiology.

Inside: As you go inside and think about that and its implication for the future, what are your thoughts.

10. Dealing with Stress – Emotional Stress Response
Associated: “I know this situation upsets you, but…”

Choice: “You have the choice to react or not in this situation…”

Dissociated: “I know that this situation doesn’t upset you at all, and perhaps you need to show some feeling in this situation.”

11. Organizing themselves – Time Storage Filter
Through Time:
“Time is of the essence, as you know, so let’s…” “Let’s take this step by step.”

In Time: “You know that we are apt to lose track of time, so let’s keep track of what time it is.” “Keeping our options open”

12. Judging results – Frame Of Reference Filter
Internal: “I can’t convince you of anything. Only you will know for sure.”

Internal With External Check:
“As you check inside you will know that the evidence indicates…”

Balanced: “As you consider what you think, and what others think…”

External: “Consider what others in this project think…”

13. Convincer Strategy
Just make sure you use the correct representational system to convince them. E.g. A visual person will need to see pictures, and auditory to hear stories etc.

14. Convincer Strategy

Automatic: (There is no need to convince this person, they will be, automatically)

Consistent: “I know you will never be completely convinced, and that’s the reason why you’ll have to do this to find out.”

A Number of Times: “Here are ____(a number of) options. I’m sure that you will find one of them is right for you.”

One Time: “Here is the option which makes the most sense.”

A Period of Time: (Call the person in a period of time which is no less than 10% of the total period of time, and say:) “I’ve been so busy since the last time we talked, it almost seems like ______(total period).”

15. Communicating and Receiving Information – Chunk Size Filter
Global: “Here’s the big picture…” (Don’t give too many details, stay abstract.)

Global to Specific: “Here’s the big picture…now here are the details.”

Specific: “Here are the details.” (Be specific. Don’t use abstractions.)

Specific to Global: “Here are the details…and here’s the big picture.” (Perhaps they will develop the big picture on their own.)

16. How they understand and decide – Relationship Filter
Sameness: “This is the same as what you already know (or “are doing”).”

Sameness with Exception: As you consider what I’ve said you’ll find it is the same as what you already know. Then as you consider it, you will probably find the reasons why it’s different, and those are the reasons why you will want to do it.”

Difference with Exception: “I don’t know if you will believe this or not…”

Differences: “You probably won’t believe this…”

Values and Highly-valued Criteria
You can feed back the elicited values in the following order so as to motivate this person:

Below this point on the next pages are the same metaprograms in slightly more depth.

1. Responding to Situations
How we are motivated and which direction we are motivated?
Every human moves either TOWARDS pleasure or AWAY from pain. This reading determines if we are attracted ‘towards’ reward/achievement or ‘away’ from avoidance/punishment.

TOWARDS – OPTIMIST – 10% – They are focussed on their goals – TOWARD, which means they are good at managing priorities and get excited and energised by goals – they may have trouble recognising what should be avoided. They are motivated by desires they like a reward or ‘carrot’ rather than a stick. They don’t like harsh disciplinary measures to get them going (though sometimes it can be the only way to draw attention to what they may be missing). Sales, entrepreneurial, a go-getter.

TOWARDS with a little AWAY – 30% – They are focussed on the goals that they want, but also consider the problems that they need to avoid, the negative consequences of what might happen. This is the most popular situation for a person who is in business. They are good at general business.

TOWARDS and AWAY equally – REALIST – 20% – They are motivated equally by what they want to achieve and what they want to avoid. They like going for goals but can see the negative problems as well by going for a goal. Often they may stand on the fence being able to weigh up situations equally. Generally any form of business or job.

AWAY with a little TOWARDS – 30% – They look for the problems first, then consider what they want, their goal. They look for what they should avoid and then what would happen if they did get what they want. They like deadlines but need some reward to keep them happy. They can be motivated by their fears rather than pleasures (therefore avoidance with a little pleasure can motivate them).

AWAY- PESSIMIST – 10% – They are the types of people who look for what should be avoided. Their motivation is triggered by when there is a problem to be solved. They become energised by threats and get going when deadlines have to be met. They are good at troubleshooting, solving problems and pinpointing possible obstacles during planning. They probably have trouble maintaining focus on their goals because they are easily distracted by negative situations. Excellent at trouble shooting and fault finding and great at solving crises.

2. Motivation Reason –The Why
Why we are doing a job?
The reason filter tells us if we act as though we have a choice in our lives. It tells us why someone is doing something. Do we have a choice or not!

OPTIONS – 40% – They are motivated by opportunities – to do something a different way. They love to create procedures but hate following them. They love to break the rules. They love to start a new project but hate finishing it. They are people who love development and are interested in WHY something is done not HOW to do it. They would be great in a job that creates new procedures that they never have to follow.

OPTIONS & PROCEDURES EQUALLY – 20% – They are equally motivated by creating new procedures and by following them. They do neither with great conviction yet they are balanced in their approach to both sides. They would be great in a job whereby they have to create simple new procedures or adapt present procedures and be somewhat flexible in their approach to things.

PROCEDURES – 40% – They are people who like to follow set ways. They believe there is a right way to do things. They are interested in HOW to do things not WHY. They want to get to the end of a procedure once started. They will not break the rules. They are great in a job whereby they have to follow set procedures to the letter.

3. Language Motivation
Are we motivated by goals or not?
Some of us plan for our future; some of us do not. This determines by how much we achieve or do not achieve in our targets. Our language reflects how we motivate other people and ourselves. Do we use the word CAN or HAVE, SHOULD or GOT, MUST or WANT etc in a sentence. For example if our word is WANT, and someone was trying to persuade us to do something by saying ‘You have GOT to do that’, we would challenge that statement. However if you were to say ‘You’ll WANT to do this’ we won’t question it, we will just get on and do what ever was being asked.

POSSIBILITY They are motivated by having choice in their life, looking for what is possible rather than what is necessary. They like to search for new ways to do things. In fact they may search for too many ways to do things rather than concentrating on the obvious choice. They are interested in what might be – the potential. Obligations or responsibilities probably do not motivate them. They would be best suited in a job where they have plenty of choice as to what they do and how they do it.

NECESSITY They are the type of person who is motivated by responsibilities, they do what is necessary, what needs to be done. They seldom try to find reasons for doing things since they see only obligations rules and pressures. They probably have a limited view on what they must do and can become stuck in their ways. They would enjoy a job that involves them having to be responsible in their work, where they are not required to think but follow laid down procedures.

4. Leading self &/or others
Can we lead people?
This profile looks at whether we are leaders or potential leadership material, or if we are in it for ourselves or for others. It also covers whether a person has the desire to lead people or not.

SELF AND OTHERS – 15% -They are people who can communicate their rules for others. They believe that people are similar. What is good for them will suit other people. They are the type of person who can say ‘If I were you I would….’ They are leaders because they know what they need to do, they know what others need to do and they find it easy to tell them what to do.

SELF NOT OTHERS – 75% – They know the rules to follow but are reluctant to or unable to communicate that to others? ‘Different stokes for different folks’ They are the type of person who can understand both sides of an argument. They are the type of person who does not want to be a leader but likes being lead. If forced they could become a leader.

SELF ONLY – 3% – They have rules for themselves and do not have a concern for others. They can be selfish. They are NOT leaders and probably do not want to be. They do not really care about what others do. They like to be left alone to be independent of others in a team.

OTHERS ONLY – 7% – They do not have guidelines for themselves but once given the rules are quite willing to pass them onto others. They may have a problem providing direction or making decisions for themselves, they may get stuck and not know what to do. They probably would be good at a job that has a lot of red tape to follow and is very bureaucratic. They know what others need to be doing and they find it very easy to tell them!

5. Management, Team, Independent
How we work?
People are very different, some work well when left alone, others have to manage, while others need to be in a team in order to succeed.

MANAGEMENT – 20% – They like to be the manager, in control. They probably enjoy responsibility but need to have something or others to manage. They do not like working alone and want to be boss of their own territory. They understand working in a corporate hierarchy. They will probably seek leadership and can take orders from superiors.

TEAM – 60% – They want to share responsibility with others and hate working on their own. They want their rewards to come from the team. If in a management situation they will want to do everything with their employees. If left to do something alone they will seek people to be involved with.

INDEPENDENT – 20% – They want to work alone and will want to have sole responsibility for what they are doing. Their work suffers with others around. They will work in an office with the door closed. As a manager (which is something they will dislike) they will do all the work on their own and not involve anyone. They do not take direction well.

6. Working Preference
What is our working preference?
These refer to what we do, pay attention to and the area of life we are most interested in. They determine where we go, what we do and with whom we do it with. Either we prefer to work with people, things, activity, information or places. If this filter is not matched to what we do job wise, we will never be happy in the job. For example a ‘people’ person working with things will always be unhappy and may never really understand why. They may think they are doing that type of job for the money or their need to support their family. If they wanted to be happy in their work then a change in career to working with people would solve the issue. The areas of interest correspond directly to the ‘Nouns’ in our language; therefore the classes of names are for what exists in our world.

PEOPLE – 30 % – These people prefer to work and be around people and work on people issues such as their goals or problems. They like to talk about people and constantly want to be with other people. They pay more attention to people’s feelings and thoughts and are said to be ‘sensitive’. They will tend to talk about whom they have worked with. They work well in areas where they are dealing with people.

THINGS – 30% – These people like to work with products, tools, and objects. They are often the collectors of this world. They like tangible things. These people can treat other people as objects, and have no time for emotions in the workplace. They tend to talk about what things they have been involved with. They work well in retail, or areas where they are selling or dealing with things.

ACTIVITY – 30% – These people like to work on things that keep them active, or involve working in areas that involve activity e.g. Sport. They are generally always-active people. They tend to tell you how they completed something and when it was completed.

INFORMATION – 5%. – These people prefer to work with information and are interested in who, what, where, when, how and mostly why. They are information freaks and will often want to know as much information as they possibly can about a chosen subject They will want to know it all; qualities, notions, circumstances, characteristics and data associated to a subject.

PLACE – 5% – These people prefer where they work in preference to anything else. They are interested in the place, the location, and where they are located at any time. What matters most to these people is where they are or going to: whether it be their place of work, where they shop, where they live, where they conduct business meetings or where they have lunch and dinner.

7. Working Interest
Where do we place our interest in work?
When we work our interest can be focussed on specific areas based upon people, places, things, information, activity and time. This filter determines what will be done first and then second in a job.

PEOPLE – Who they work with is important to them, i.e. They enjoy a job that involves putting people to work or assisting people in some way. They probably spend a lot of time on the phone or socialising with people. They use people to get a job completed or for solving problems.

THINGS – What they look for in work is the right thing, product, result or task in order to complete a job. They are interested in what goes on and want to use tangible products or machines to solve a situation and they will buy in or find a machine.

INFORMATION – They are interested in ‘why’ or ‘what information’ is available. They want to share information with others; they use data/facts figures to get a job completed, and they use market data or information to solve problems.

TIME – When they work they want to do everything around time, schedule what is going on around them and work to tight finite deadlines. Their lives revolve around the clock and everything revolves around completion by a specific date or time. They are ‘clock watchers’. To solve problems they will use Time & Motion studies.

ACTIVIVTY – How they work is determined by how much they are doing, or how active they are. The speed of what is going on is important to them, they like to have plenty to do and do a job that it is not boring. It is the ‘doing’ that is the most important.

PLACE – The location they work in or places they visit are extremely important to them. The location may depend on distance, whether it is near or far, or some factor of convenience. The venue of work is most important – they will buy in new furniture or buy a new office/venue.

8. How much energy a person has?
How long a person will take to complete a job?
Some of us are very active; some of us tend to think a lot about things before we work on a job. This is directly related to how quickly we will get a job done and the amount of energy we have.

ACTIVE – 20% – They are very active people and probably initiate things. They create, take initiative and act. They probably have loads of energy and are on the go all the time with no time to wait. On the downside they are likely to act with little or no consideration, often without thinking or organising. They may upset people by bulldozing ahead with what they want to do without considering other people or anything that may need to be done. They are good at going out and completing the job, and making things happen – entrepreneurial, great for sales.

ACTIVE & REFLECTIVE – 60% – They are a combination of both active and reactive, they like to take action and consider what needs to be done. The amount of energy they have is neither high nor low. They are people who wait for others to initiate things and sometimes go out to make things happen.

REACTIVE – 20% – They are people who wait for others to initiate things and like to study them before acting. They like to consider and analyse actions before doing them and like things to take their course instead of making them happen. They are the type of person who studies something in detail to understand it before they act and won’t act unless they are forced or can see what pleasure they will get from completing the task. They are people who would probably like to do detailed studies, evaluate the consequences and then react when forced, so as not to do anything rash, believing in chance and good luck. They make good analysts and academics or facilitators of projects.

9. Paying Attention
Where we focus our attention?
When we are communicating with people where do we focus our attention? It may be outside with them as a person/customer or inside with our own thoughts. This determines how much interest we show in other people or things going on around us. It therefore deals indirectly with our attitude (which is a collection of values and beliefs about a certain context). This also determines how intuitive we are as a person.

OUTSIDE WITH YOU – 75% – They like the facts, figures and details to things. They are not really interested in what else is going on. They like to get to the point. They spend their whole life outside with other people in the world. They make assumptions based on other peoples reactions to them. They know how well they are communicating based on how people react to them as opposed to how they feel about it inside.

INSIDE WITH THEMSELVES – 10% – They are the type of people that spend time in their own world considering how they feel about what is going on and their reaction to it. Most of the time they may seem oblivious to other people. They may also talk without looking at a person or seem to ignore people in their company (they will not think they are being rude, but it may seem that way to others). They may make assumptions about things based entirely on their own feelings or thoughts. They know how well they are communicating by how well they feel or think about what they are saying. They often disregard the reaction of others relying on their own judgement. They also spend a lot of time ‘inside’ with their own thoughts. They can tell a person everything that is going on inside if they ask. They can find themselves waffling, never getting to the point.

10. Responding to Stress
How do we deal with stress?
Stress is one of the largest reasons for sickness in the work environment today. How we deal with stress can determine what type of job and managers we will be best suited to or work with.

DISASOCIATED – 15% – They tend to not get stressed in the work environment and distance themselves from others, often having trouble empathising with others. They may come across as cold and unfeeling. They react to on the job pressure unemotionally and seem to be unaffected by the emotions of others, they are great in High-Stress situations. However they need to be aware of the stress building up and take time out for their body to recuperate, as they are often not aware of the damage they might be doing.

CHOICE – 70% – They have choice as to whether they get stressed or stay emotionally uninvolved in a situation, dependant on what and where they are. They have choice in whether they get involved in a situation and they may choose to react with feelings or be cold. They can empathise with others or choose not to.

ASSOCIATED – 15% – They get emotionally involved in situations and find stressful situations a hindrance to their work. They are best suited to low stress personal situations that involves contact with people. They have emotional responses to the normal levels of stress at work and they get into their emotions and stay there mulling over them for long stretches of time.

11. Organising Ourselves
How do we get organises?
Are we organised people or do we like things to be unplanned. How do we go about organising things? Where do we put our attention to determine the structure of how we organise ourselves and/or organisations?

THROUGH TIME – 50% – They are the type of people who are highly organised and structured in everything that they do. They like everything to be sorted. They can see what has happened in the past, what is happening now and what will happen in the future if they do not organise. Have structured plans for everything, in the extreme they may tend to be very inflexible and regimented in how things are to be done. They hate people being late, make lists and are always on time for meetings. They deploy untidiness and dislike chaos, preferring to make what happens in the world revolve around them and their plans rather than ever being spontaneous and going with the flow. They will make the best managers of projects and long term strategic situations yet, if they have no plan they need to rely on people who can be spontaneous and flexible to help them.

IN-TIME – 50% – They are the type of people who are generally disorganised, they like to be free, to live in the now and just hang out with little or no goals or plans. Waiting for something to happen around them to determine what action they take. They tend to like to keep their options open and let what goes on around them determine how they live their lives. They are very flexible and easygoing time is something that other people worry about. They are often late for everyday meetings, (for very important meeting they may be on time.) They never make lists and they never organise things. They let the world and its events control them, go with the flow. They are great in a crisis because they can see their way out of it because of their infinite flexibility.

12. Judging Results
How we judge whether something is right or not?
Some of us know inside that something is right, some of us have to check outside. This profile determines whether we give or need feedback.

INTERNAL – 20% – They know inside if they are right, they don’t need to check with people at all, they just know. They are the type of person who has a set of internal rules that they judge results against and judge others results against too. This type of person is ideally suited for top managerial positions where there is a high need for strong direction and leadership where no one else can show them the way forward.

INTERNAL WITH EXTERNAL SECOND – 40% – They know inside and on odd occasions require some form of external feedback for reassurance. They need praise now and again and seek it when something big needs to be decided upon preferring the big judgements to be a shared responsibility.

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL EQUALLY – 5% – They seek external praise and know inside equally if something is right or not. Most of the time they look for praise and then know they are right.

EXTERNAL WITH INTERNAL SECOND – 30% – They need regular praise or feedback as reassurance as to whether they have done a good job or not. They then know inside if it is right or not. They seek attention from many people and resonant that all is OK on a regular basis.

EXTERNAL – 5% – They need to continuously be checking outside if they are right; they may never know and seek continuous approval and feedback from people. They check externally with others for their rules as to right and wrong and act upon those rather than any rules they may have. They need feedback in order that they can judge whether something is right or not.

13. Convincer Representation
How we process external information to become convinced?
We have four different thought styles of processing information to becoming convinced about something.
1. Visual – 55%
2. Sound – 30%
3. Feelings – 12%
4. Words – 3%

When we are convinced about something it will be in ONE of these areas.
E.g. if a person tries to convince us by giving us data to read to demonstrate something works but we need to SEE it. We will not be convinced by any amount of data/information or being told will just not do it for us.

14. Convincer strategy
How we process being convinced?
Some of us are convinced straight away, some have to be involved 3,5,17 times, others will take time, and others are never convinced.

AUTOMATIC – 8% – They are automatically convinced this means that they make snap decisions about things and they are easily sold or persuaded about something having only to be convinced once. However they equally become unconvinced in the same way and can swap and change allegiances automatically.

NO OF TIMES – 52% – They need a number of times either 3, 5, 17 times before they change their mind or become convinced about something. This means that they are consistent with their thoughts when they are being persuaded to purchase or buy something. They do not take the first thing that comes along, preferring to wait and consider something a couple of times or more. (A SEE something 3 times Convincer is the most popular convincer strategy)

PERIOD OF TIME – 25% – They are not convinced until a period of time has elapsed that means they have to wait some TIME before they are convinced. This is usually over a few days or months.

CONSISTENT/NEVER – 15% – They are never convinced if something or someone is right. Everyday is a new day. From a management point of view this is a problem since in employing people they are never convinced if they are any good at their jobs and as a manager they are a perfectionist and expect everyone else to be a perfectionist everyday that they work as well.

15. Communicating and receiving information
How we receive and communicate information?
We all receive and communicate information differently, the process we use to do that either covers the big picture or the specific details. These also determine how much emphasis we will put on different aspects of a job. The arrow determines how much of the big picture or specific details they need. The scale gives a range of our need and ability to communicate and receive information.

BIG PICTURE – 10% – They are people who communicate and want to be communicated using the big picture and/or conceptual ideas. They may present ideas in random order because they can see the whole thing at once. E.g. if they ask ‘How was today’ they will say ‘Fine a good day’. They do not like data, facts or figures or boring intricacies, they prefer to consider how it all fits together in one big chunk.

BIG PICTURE THEN DETAILS – 75% – Deductive thinker. They consider the big picture and then the details. They think like the majority of the population and like normal training or course work. They consider the overall big picture to what they have to do and then look into the details.

DETAILS THEN BIG PICTURE – 10% – Inductive thinker. They consider the details first and then the big picture, preferring new styles of qualifications like NVQs to old traditional qualifications. They communicate differently from the majority of the population, talking about the details first then the big picture. This can come across as very frustrating for many people.

DETAILS/SPECIFIC – 5% – They like to know the details or have everything explained in detail. E.g. if they ask ‘How was today’ they will say ‘It started off by me going to the shops, followed by the car not starting, then after that etc, etc…’ They find it difficult to create overviews.

16. How they understand and decide
How we understand and decide things?
When we receive information, in order to process it we make comparisons. How we compare inside our heads, either with different or similar things will determine how long we will stay in a job; how argumentative/passive we are; how creative we are, and how we understand and make decisions.

SAMENESS – 10% – They like everything to stay the same, they do not like change and may refuse to adapt to new changes or new plans. They will stay in a job for 12 years or prefer things to stay the same. They will only get argumentative when change is forced upon them, only then they become involved.

SAMENESS WITH DIFFERENCE – 55% – They like everything to be the same, but like to have some variation. They like to stay in a job 5-7 years before they need to change what they do.

DIFFERENECE WITH SAMENESS – 25% – They are happy with change but not all the time, they need to settle into a job but hate monotonous work. They will stay in a job 1½ years 3 to years before they need a change in their work.

DIFFERENCE – 10% – They thrive on change, the more variation the better. They love it and cause change to happen just for change sake. They thrive on change. They resist stable or static situations. They will stay in a job for 6 months to 1½ years before moving on.


We have four different senses that we use to represent the world to ourselves.
1. Visual
2. Sound
3. Feelings
4. Words

Over time one of these senses becomes more dominant. This gives us different personality traits, since we DIRECTLY TRANSLATE AND ACT UPON WHAT IS GOING THROUGH OUR MIND AT ANY ONE TIME. This trait also determines how we communicate (What we say is also a direct translation of what is going through our mind at that moment in time.)

Visual people tend to work well in places where there is a lot visually going on. You like to be shown things. When a visual person buys anything they will use words like, ‘Get an EYE full of that’ or ‘SHOW me the BIG PICTURE’.

Sound people work well when they are in harmony with what is going on or in a quiet place. They like to be told stories and hear things before they make a decision to buy (they can even buy things over the phone having never seen them before.) They use words like ‘I can TUNE into that’ or ‘Let’s ECHO that out.’

People who communicate using ‘Words’ or self talk (The voice that plays over and over in our heads). They communicate by using lots of NON-SENSORY words. When they buy things it is based on detailed information not on how it looks, feels or sounds. People who communicate using self-talk will say ‘The overall COMPLEXITY of the SITUATION MEANS I have to CONSIDER the facts’, just to make a decision yes or no.

People who process things through their feelings will like jobs that involve manual/physical work or where they are around people who are sensitive. They like to be comfortable in their work and will sit down to ponder over things. When making a decision to buy, they will have to get a feel for or touch the product. They will use words like; ‘I can get in TOUCH with that’ or ‘that FEELS right to me.’

Metaprograms is a powerful tool that organisations can utilise to improve team work and communication.

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