Modeling is at the foundation of NLP. This technique is known for its effectiveness and particularly suitable for transferring skills from one person to another. By comprehensively observing someone who excels in a specific area and copying this person’s mindset, another can achieve the same results.
What is modeling in NLP?
Modeling is the process of re-creating and excelling in peak performance. By comprehensively studying the mindset of a successful person, it can be conveyed to someone else. This process can take place in individuals, groups, and organizations.
In principle, anyone can model human behavior by mapping the beliefs, physiology, and specific thought processes (strategies) that underlie the skill or behavior. As with all NLP approaches, it’s essential to think in advance about the goal being pursued.
NLP modeling techniques
The NLP modeling techniques that contribute to a successful outcome are the following NLP techniques:
- Representation systems
- NLP strategies
- Physiological components (including posture)
- Meta programs, beliefs, and values
- Reference structures – the necessary background knowledge
Three stages of modeling
Phase 1: Observation of the model
During this phase, you observe the person whose behavior you want to adopt or convey. For this, you use the Perceptual positions. The emphasis is on what the person says, what he does, and especially what the internal thinking strategies are that make this person excel in what he does.
For that reason, it is important to understand the supporting beliefs and assumptions used by the person in question.
We get the “what” out of direct observation. The “how” and “why” are obtained by asking quality questions. It is mainly about using the subconscious cues used by the model, as these provide valuable information.
Phase 2: Find the properties that make the difference
In traditional learning, the existing knowledge and skills are expanded step by step. The disadvantage of this learning method is that we often do not know which pieces of information are essential to achieve the desired result. This learning method is extremely time-consuming because we must filter out the irrelevant information through trial and error before we can start working with the relevant information.
In modeling with NLP, you get that information much more efficiently because the success story is your model. That person can share his / her “train of thought” and transfer his / her skills. So you only get the valuable bits of information you need to learn the skill.
However, it is crucial to make a distinction between relevant and irrelevant information. The model may make use of metaphors or other forms of imagery that may seem irrelevant at first but are later of decisive importance when it turns out that the person is, for example, highly visually oriented.
Questions you ask your model
When modeling, it’s vital to map the observation systems. To do this, you listen to the language patterns used by the model. “I see it like this and so,” or “That rings a bell”. Based on those kinds of expressions, you can determine the preferred representation systems of your discussion partner.
In some cases, it can be surprisingly valuable to ask, “What does that mean to you?” or “How do you know it is so?”
Good questions you can ask the model are:
- What characteristic behavior is at the foundation for your success?
- How do you achieve your results?
- What are you doing differently from most people who are unsuccessful?
- What makes the difference to you?
When you have the answers to your questions, you can fit them together like a puzzle to complete your success model.
Phase 3: Design a method to teach the skill
Once you have mapped out all parts of the strategy and put them in the correct order, they can be transferred to another person or to yourself, of course. Rehearsal is crucial here, where you go through the steps one by one. Mental rehearsal is an effective technique to master the skills.
Modeling with NLP is a powerful process that can accelerate skills learning. You can use it to excel in a certain area and learn to understand or get to know someone else better. The more you learn about your model, the easier it will be to make a match.