NLP communication model



NLP model of communication600


 From the moment we are born our brain is busy coping with one fundamental task.  That is, to find meaning in the world. To reach this outcome, our brain builds up newer and more intricate synapses which are networks joining the neurons.


So when we go back to the beginning, our brain commits from inception into the world to “finding meanings in reality” In NLP we refer to this as “building a map”.Stickman map touch800 

This map is built by observing events.  These events come rushing into our brains from as much as 2 million bits of information per second (BPS).  This is an amazing thing that is happening within us.  The conscious mind can't and probably shouldn't process that much.  In reality the conscious mind can only process approximately 134 bits per second. You don't have to be a genius to understand that our senses make available far more information than the conscious mind can usefully cope with. So how do we automatically know which bits of information to keep within our conscious observation?  

 Amazingly enough, the incoming information passes through a number of filters to reduce the information down to (roughly) 134 bits per second.   These filters are what makes every person unique.  No two people filter information the same exact way.  All of this goes to create each persons unique “Model of the world.”


What kind of filters do we all use?  There are many, however for the purposes of this article we will lightly touch on the big three.  


Filter 1 - GeneralizationsNLP model of communication600 

In this filter or process we can't help but to draw global conclusions.  It only takes one or two prior experiences in order for us to begin to lump seemingly similar experiences as the same.  

Take for example a door.  We see them everyday and do not think consciously about what a door is.  We simply accept, from prior experience that a door is a conduit between two locations.  We never stop to consider if that door has a wall behind it.  We generalize the door based on prior experience.  This is a superbly efficient form of learning.  We have now learned how a door works and do not need to examine each and every door we come across.  

The best case scenario in our generalizations is that we can efficiently learn information that can be applied globally.  

The worst case scenario is that we take a single event, process it and make global assumptions that are not really true.  This is the basis for irrational thought.  In some cases, this is how phobias begin.



Imagine a person goes to buy a car.  After purchasing, they discover that they were lied to.  Based on this single experience that person might make the generalization that all car sales people are liars.  

 Have you ever known someone that was emotionally hurt in a relationship?  Perhaps they have now generalized all members of the opposite sex as mean or evil.  How detrimental to ones relationships if they filtered a single event to mean that all people of one gender can't be trusted.  


 Filter 2- Deletions

 As our minds strive to understand the world around us, we omit certain parts of our current experience by selectively paying attention to select parts.  In other words we focus on (or let in) what seems most important and allow the rest to pass the conscious mind by.

 EXAMPLE:janet jackson

 Many years ago, I was at a SuperBowl party.  Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake were performing their now infamous halftime show.  There we were, no less than 25 people watching the show when Janet Jackson had her famous wardrobe malfunction.  Half of the people watching her expose herself screamed in surprise.  The other half (including the author) argued that she was wearing something under her garment.  The host used his TiVo to rewind and clear up the discrepancy.  

Why did half of us swear that she was not fully exposed?  Because our unconscious mind knew from experience that you can’t show a naked breast on national television (generalization).  I mean you just cant do that...right?  So our unconscious minds distorted the image in our head.  We would have bet the house that she was covered.  We were wrong.  Our minds changed the actual event.  We knew what we saw.  Seeing is believing but seeing is NOT always reality!

Deletion is another miracle of our brilliant minds.  It is a sort of economy of our nervous system.  When we must concentrate our energies on a single task or outcome, we delete every extra perception in order to focus on what we consider most crucial.  


 As you read this you are not conscious of the feel of the chair against your body.  That is until you read the last sentence, which has now brought it to your consciousness.  It was not necessary that you thought about the texture of your chair or the hum of the air conditioning unit in the background.  Our minds efficiently deal with information that we do not deem necessary to the task at hand.  

Ever hear two people give an account of a car accident they witnessed?  If so, then you may have noticed that they saw the event differently.  They built an internal representation of the event.  In doing so, they each deleted certain information as it was rushing into their representational system.  

Filter 3 - Distortions

The third thing we do is DISTORT information. We have one student that defines distortion as something performed by ex-wives.  I am pretty sure that is a generalization.

 Seriously though, how many times have you or someone you have known said something like "Tom didn’t say good morning to me today, he must not like me!” Was that really the case?  Could Tom have been depressed about something else and that was why he didn't say hi?  Could Tom have simply not seen the offended party? 

Many times we as humans arbitrarily interpret reality by distorting its meaning. Just like the Janet Jackson halftime show, many of us distorted our experience to match our generalizations.  We not only deleted the nudity but distorted it to look as though she was wearing something underneath her jacket.  We saw it but it was not really there.  Think about that for a moment.     

As we strive to "find meaning" in our world, we often see things that simply do not exist.  In NLP this is referred to a “allucinating.” 

 For the purposes of this article, it is not important to delve further.  If you are as fascinated by this subject as some of us are, you can discover the world behind these filters by signing up for one of our certified NLP trainings.  These courses are truly the next level of persuasion. This all goes to say that...



 Take a look at the diagram above.  As you can see, there is an external event.  As we witness the event we filter it.  After the event has been filtered, we make an internal representation of the event.  In other words, what we see is NOT the event but rather an internal representation of the event.   THIS IS HUGE.  Lets say that again.  What we see is NOT the event but rather an internal representation of that event.  After we have made this internal representation we get into a state, this reflects in our physiology (the way we use our body).  This become a cycle that eventually results in a manifested behavior.  

STOP!  Take a moment now and look hard at the diagram.  As you do you may begin to realize why this can be a game changer for the persuader.  You may already have started to realize that this learning alone, can change the way you look at those with whom your are commissioned to persuade.  



Many years ago I was running sales floor,  A sales agent walked into my office and said "I have the worst client in world.  She is a real bitch."  This dialog reflected the ignorance of the sales agent.  Had the the sales agent understood the diagram above, they would have understood that the client was not a "bitch."  Rather, her behavior was simply the result of past experiences in which she deleted, generalized and distorted the events in which she witnessed.  Perhaps she was treated abusively by other sales people.  Maybe she was worried that she would like what the agent was selling and would feel compelled to spend her money.  Who knows?  Certainly not the sales agent that walked into my office.  

 In situations like these, a sale is lost because the sales person did not respect the clients model of the world.  



That is why the best sales people are empathetic.  They see hateful behavior as simply that.  Behavior.  The Professional Influencer understands that the client who is exhibiting nasty behavior is not like that all the time.  That woman is not a "bitch" to everyone.  She probably has children that she loves deeply.  She likely has friends that would swear upon her loyalty and other fine qualities.  The Professional Influencer sees unwanted behavior and understands that it is temporary.  Why?  Because the master of persuasion understands that this client will turn into their biggest fan and not only purchase today, but become an advocate for the Professional Influencer.  The type of raving fan that insists that all of her friends come into the office and also purchase.  It all begins with using professional rapport skills. 

How do you build rapport?  Maybe, just maybe that will be the topic of next weeks feature article.  In the meantime, have a great week of influence.  




You may already know that employers are attracted to people that are different, new and unique.  Today we have overwhelming scientific proof that sales people that differentiate themselves from the crowd are more successful.  They are more likely to close that sale, get that promotion and have longer lasting relationships. 

Show your employer that you are deadly serious about reaching the companies goals.  Increase your income and line yourself up for the next big promotion.  All of this can and will be achieved when you enroll in the "Professional Influence Certification Course." 

Upon successful completion of this course you will become CERTIFIED!  Your certification goes on the "BIO" page and is registered with the INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDIES OF PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCE (ISPI).  As you read through this you may begin to realize that a link to this bio page can also be a powerful part of your resume. 

Are you ready to take your game to the next level?  If so email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For more information about this and other certification courses simply click here.

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