Neuro Linguistic Programming sets out to discover how people learn, how people think, how people do things excellently and how to replicate success. The difference that makes the difference between those who excel and those who get by in the way they communicate, motivate, influence, negotiate, lead, and empower.

NLP provides us with a very useful model of how we communicate, learn and change and with this model for the first time we can develop the skills to discover how you make sense of your world and most importantly how to make it what you want it to be.

The NLP Communication Model

When something happens outside of us (external event), we take in information through our five senses - what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste. We then filter that information to create our own internal representation of that event. This internal representation affects our emotional state. At the same time it affects our body's physiology, including our body language. This all then becomes the driving force for our behaviour.

When something happens outside of us (external event), we take in information through our five senses - what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste.

We then reduce that information down by filtering through our life’s experiences: delete, distort and generalise. We pass the information through our filters: language, memories, decisions, perceptions, values, beliefs and attitudes, and meta programs. That creates an internal representation of the event - the pictures in your head and the way you might talk to yourself.

In turn that affects your emotional state - how you feel about it. If you have a good picture you feel great, if you have a bad picture you feel lousy. Those two affect your physiology - thinking, feeling, stance, breathing.

Your internal representation, state and physiology become the driving force for your behaviour. Your behaviour becomes the Input into the other person. If your input is in a positive way that matches the other person’s model of the world then we have good communication.

After the external event comes in through our sensory input channels, and before we make an Internal Representation of the event, we filter the event. We run that event through our internal processing filters. Our internal processing filters are how we delete, distort and generalise the information that comes in through our five senses.

Deletion occurs when we selectively pay attention to certain aspects of our experience and not others. Deletion means we overlook or omit certain sensory information. Without deletion, we would be faced with much too much information to handle our conscious minds.

Distortion occurs when we make shifts in our experience of sensory data by making misrepresentations of reality. Distortion helps us in the process of motivating ourselves. Motivation occurs when we actually distort material that has come to us and that has already been changed by one of our filtering systems. Distortion is also helpful in planning. We distort to plan when we construct imaginary futures.

The third process is generalisation, were we draw global conclusions based on our experiences. At its best, generalisation is one of the ways that we learn, whereby we take the information we have and drawn broad conclusions about the world based on one or more experiences. At its worst, generalisation is how we take a single event and make it into a lifetime of experience.

So the question is, "Where two people have the same stimulus, why don't they have the same response?" The answer is: because we delete, distort, and generalise the information from the outside in different ways.

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