NLP Training – The Human Communication Model

Written by Terry Elston

diagram of the human communication model

The Human Communication Model is an important subject that we cover early on our NLP Training courses. It explains how we process and use information and how this affects our state, physiology and behaviour. In order to make changes it is necessary to understand this model because it gives us an overview of how we as human beings make sense of our worlds – how we construct our realities.

All learning, behaviour and change happens at an unconscious level.

For example, when you make a change, new neurological connections are being made inside of you. Now, do you think you can do this consciously? Highly unlikely. If that was possible, we certainly would not be running any NLP Training courses.

It is estimated that our brain receives more than 2 million bits of information through our senses every second (Mihaly Csikszentmihaly from the book Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience).

diagram of the human communication model

If we were to take in all this information consciously it would drive us absolutely crazy. So what happens to all this information? Well, according to memory theorists (George Miller and the number 7), we can only consciously process 7 +/- 2 bits of information at any given moment. So in the speed of a second, the mind has to compress about 2 million bits of information down to 7 +/- bits of information. This is a process that the mind does unconsciously.

It does this in such a manner that it leaves out the information that is unnecessary and reduces the focus to what is important to you. For example, I bet you did not pay attention to your breathing before I mentioned it just now. Why? It was simply not important to you, so you simply deleted the whole sensation from your experience.

Lets say for arguments sake that you have an event happening. You perceive this event through your senses (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory). You thereby process this sensory information through your filters where you make deletions, distortions and generalizations about the perceived event. The filters you run this information by are your memories, your language, your values, your beliefs, your attitudes, your decisions, your meta programs (internal personality filters) and your idea of time, space, matter and energy.

After this filtering you end up with an internal representation of the event, which through your nervous system (neurology) will affect your body chemistry (your state). This will again affect your body language, your posture and your facial expressions, in other words, your behaviour and therefore your results!

What this is really telling us is that the world that we experience is not the world that is outside of us, it is a world that we are creating inside. We do not experience reality as it is, we only experience our own perception of reality. Since we all have more or less different sets of filters (that being different sets of values, beliefs, memories etc.), we will all have our own unique perception of the world. This therefore explains how one person can perceive an event completely differently than another person who have experienced the same event.

What is interesting about this from an NLP point of view is that if our internal representations (our perceptions) of reality are based on our filters, then what we could do in order to change our experiences of the world is simply to change our filters. We are actually in charge of how we perceive reality.

Now, your question might be “How on earth do I change my filters?”

Well, the whole idea of NLP is based on the fact that everything we do are processes, and if we know how we do these processes, we would also know how not to do them and how to replace them with processes that serves us in a more positive way.

All of our NLP Training courses provides you with the tools and skills on how to change your filters so that you can create your reality into how you want it to be.

How do you want to experience your reality?

If you choose to experience your NLP Training through an auditory channel, then we have a great selection of NLP MP3 products for you.