NLP is used in nearly every form of professional marketing you consume on a daily basis. It is a branch of psychology, first created, by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
NLP techniques are used to figure out how a person’s brain processes information. More specifically how a person:
A basic introductory article on NLP is available here. When you are first trained on how to apply NLP techniques, you are asked a series of questions that tell you how your own brain works. In this article I will show you my results. The process is known as Meta-Programming. While it is a bit dangerous for me to put my information out there, because this information is extremely valuable to marketers and sales people, I trust I can keep from being manipulated. But, can I really? I guess I’ll find out?
As you are going through this exercise do your best to figure out what categories you fit into. I will be providing a test in the very near future. I’ll do my best to keep these articles short, so that you can take the time figuring out how your brain works. On with the testing!
How Our Brains Process Information
Reasoning Style (Details / General Case)
I prefer the specifics not the general. “Give me the details and I’ll see what it means to me.” Not: “Give me your general concept and I’ll figure out how it applies to me.”
Ask: “What do you prefer first the big picture or the details?”
Relationship Style (That’s Different From / That’s Similar to)
I prefer to sort the differences, when I attempt to understand something new. “I love change, variety and newness.” Not: “Likes regularity, conservatism, and security”
Ask: “Tell me what you think about these two things?”
Representational System Style (Auditory / Visual / Kinesthetic)
I believe I’m strongly Auditory, when I am in the moment, but Visual when remembering past events and Kinesthetic, when I explain what will occur.
Ask: “What lets you know that you can believe a product feels right for you?” “Do you buy something because it sounds right, makes sense, looks right, or feels right?” “When do you know someone made the right decision when it sounds like they did, when it looks like they did, when it makes sense, or when it feels like they did?” “What type of advertising do you find most convincing: ones with diagrams and charts, ones with an announcer with a good voice quality, ones with a lot of data and figures, or ones that provide a level of hands on experience?”
Information Gathering Style (Uptime / Downtime)
I operate in an uptime state when talking with people in that I analyze everything they are saying verbally and nonverbally. A person who operates in downtime would seem unfocused because they are constantly going inside of themselves to deduct how the information they are hearing effects their thoughts and feelings.
Ask: “Do people say you are a good listener, or do you find yourself day dreaming a lot?” “Do you sometimes get lost in your own thoughts during conversations?”
Information Gathering Style II (Fact Gatherer / Intuition)
I operate as a fact gatherer when gathering information. I spend more time working with facts, rather than trusting my intuition.
Ask: “When evaluating something, do you want proof and evidence, or would you prefer to take a small amount of information and think through the applications on your own?” “Do you make decisions based off of practical facts, or abstract possibilities?”
Perceptual Categories Style (Definite Right & Wrong / Multitude of Gray Answers)
When making decisions I operate more as a Black-or-white thinker. I believe that most questions have a definite right or wrong answer. Gray thinkers believe that their can be many possible right answers and that one should think very carefully before making a decision.
Ask: “Do you find it easy to make quick decisions, or do you prefer to take your time making the best decision possible?” “Do you think of the world as black and white, or a multitude of grays?”
Attribution Style (Optimists / Pessimists)
I operate as an optimist in that I am lead most by my focus on visions and dreams. When approaching a potential problem I think about solutions, ideas, and suggestions. A pessimist would focus more on dangers, threats or potential difficulties.
Ask: “When you are presented with a problem do first consider worst case scenario’s or best?” “Do you spend more time thinking about problems, or opportunities?”
Perceptual Durability Style (Prefer New Options / Prefer Old Solutions)
I operate with a Permeable attitude, in that I’m open to new ideas. I don’t believe that just because something works you shouldn’t be open to an idea that might work better. People who are impermeable, process ideas and beliefs and stick with them in a way that they don’t welcome new information.
Ask: “Are you more attracted to new ideas, or ideas that have stood the test of time?” “Do you change your opinion on something easily?” “Do you prefer the old way of doing things, or the new ways?”
Focus Style ( Focused / Unfocused )
I am an unfocused person, in that I find it difficult to read or screen out my surrounding environment. People that are naturally focused find no problem screening out most any environment when concentrating. I believe that this backs up my belief that I am more attuned with my auditory mode, over the others.
Ask: “Do you find it easy to concentrate in most any environment, or do you get distracted while reading in some environments?” “Do you find some places are to noisy to concentrate in?” “Does noise ever hamper your ability to think?”
Philosophical Direction ( Why did it happen / How did it happen )
I am more interested in what I can do about a problem (How), than I am about Why it happened.
Ask: “When approaching a problem will you first ask why it occurred, or jump in and respond to it?” “Do you prefer to think about why things happen, or focus on solving issues?” “Do second guess your decisions, or pay them little thought?”
Reality Structure Style ( Constant Earth / Constantly Changing Earth )
I see the world as pretty constant (Aristotelian). Things change, but in the grand sceam of things, everything is pretty much the same. Non-aristotelian people see the world as not being full of people and things, but instead see the world as actions ( Weather, Activities, etc. )
Ask: “Do you think the world is pretty much the same, or changing dramatically day to day?”
Communication Channel Preference ( Verbal / Non-Verbal )
I lay more importance in how a person says something than what they say. This is mainly because I have spent a great deal of time studying body language and the such. People that focus on the verbal channel trust more what people say. They believe body language is not important.
Ask: “Do you lay more importance in what someone says, or how thy say it?” “Do you trust more what a person says, or their body language?” “Do you think it’s easier to learn about people by watching them, or talking to them?”
How we Input, Process and Output Information Based on Emotions
Stress Coping Style (Assertive / Aggressive / Passive)
I prefer the assertive coping style in that when I’m put in a stressful situation I try to figure out how I can change myself to reduce the stress level. Other coping styles include the Fight (Aggressive) and Flight (Passive) styles.
An aggressive person will confront that which is causing stress, while a passive person will do whatever they can to get away from the stress. Nobody is purely aggressive or passive in all situations, but each person will show a preference over time.
Ask: “What do you do when you are put in a stressful situation by someone, confront them, avoid them, or think about how you could change to subdue the stress level?” ”If something is creating stress in your life do you, avoid it, confront it, or spend time figuring out how to subside the stress?”
The Authority Style (Act on your own/Act as society tells you)
I very strongly, make decisions based off of my own internal values (Self-Referent). Others rely heavily on the general values of society as a whole. They believe everyone should follow a very strict set of rules and live in a world of should’s and should nots.
Ask: “Are your values based off of your own rules, or those general rules be they societal or biblical?” “When making decisions do you trust your gut, or do you think about how people may judge your decisions?” “Would you say you model your life off of people you respect, or do things the way you know best?”
Emotional State Style (Thinking/Feeling)
I process data, by thinking my way through it (Dissociated). Other people process data by completely amercing themselves emotionally (Associated). They see the world as a whole, while ignoring the minute details. Dissociated people see the details, but miss the emotional impact of a situation.
Ask: “When making a decision do you rely on facts, or personal values?” “When deciding on something do you base decisions on facts presented, or on your gut?” “Are you more dominating or nurturing?”
Activity Level Response Style (Inactive/Reflective/Active)
I act quickly, when put in most situations. I try to solve problems, rather than reflect on the relevant and irrelevant information (Reflective). Others do not seem to engage in information processing, unless they are forced (Inactive).
Ask: “Do you tend to enjoy getting something done, spending time to get it done with the best result, or avoiding it if it isn’t worth your time?” “Do you study something for a long time before acting, get the general idea and then act, or do you just wait till it works itself out?”
Convincing or Believability Style (Difficult to Convince/Easily Convinced)
I require a large amount of convincing before I will believe something is true (Convincing). Other people are convinced normally based on just whether something is sold targeting their chosen representational system (Believability). This is what someone means when they say, that sounds believable (Auditory), that feels right (Kinesthetic), that looks right (Visual), or that makes sense (Internal Auditory).
People differ in regards to how many times something must jell with their representational system before they make decisions as well. For some people, something must feel right (Kinetic) in their chosen system just once, other people require it to sound right (Auditory) many times before they make a decision. Most people make decisions because they look right (Visual Convincers: 50% – 75%), sound right (Auditory Convincers: 15% – 35%), Makes Sense (Self Talk Convincers: 3% – 15%), and Feels Right (Kinesthetic: 12% – 15%).
To find out how many times someone needs convinced, just ask them: “How many times does something have to prove itself before you are convinced?” “How many times do you need to see, hear, read or do something before you think you are competent in using it?” 8 – 10% of people assume something will be right for them, unless proven otherwise. 50% of people can be persuaded to believe anything if you just present believable information, in their chosen representational system enough times (Repetition Requirements).
Other people, 25% of society, makes decisions purely based on their own personal time requirements being met. Once they feel that they have thought about something long enough they will make a decision. If someone says they will get back to you in three months, they normally mean dramatically less time than that. If you contact them, in say three weeks and reference that it feels like three months sinse they have talked with you, they will probably agree that they are ready to make a decision now.
15% of people are almost never convinced of almost anything. These are the people that go threw life mistrusting most people. The only way to try and convince these people is to tell them that you are aware that they will never be convinced and that no time will feel like the right time to try something different, so why don’t they try it out today?
Emotional Direction Style (Pervasive Emotions / Non-Pervasive Emotions)
My emotions are definitely non-pervasive. I am happy about somethings and unhappy about others all at the same time. A person that has pervasive emotions will be either unhappy about everything, or on cloud nine about everything.
Ask: “In general when you are happy about one thing does that naturally make you happy about everything in general?” “When in conversation is it natural for you to switch from things your happy about to others that you are unhappy about, or do you focus on just one main topic?”
Emotional Intensity Style (Timid / Bold)
In general, I am more bold than timid. I enjoy the limelight, attention, and will risk putting others off by giving my point of view. Others cling to that which is certain, avoid risks, and enjoy routinized lifestyles.
Ask: “Do you enjoy more routine, or change in life?” “Do you enjoy doing that which you know you can do, or trying different things that you may fail at?”
That’s All Folks
We’ll that’s all I’m going to cover on Meta-programming at this point. Stay tuned for upcoming articles in which I’ll cover everything I know about NLP and Indirect Hypnosis. Leave any questions below!
Till Next Time…