Tag Archives: Neurological Levels

Flourishing: Positive Psychology, Well-Being Theory and NLP

06 Oct 11
Daniel Smith
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What do we want? What do you want?

Happiness? Success? Love? Peace? A sense of purpose and meaning?

Intention is an important part of NLP. From “old school” techniques like the 6-Step Reframe (or N-Step Reframe), Grinder’s OIC Pattern, Dilts’ Neurological Levels, to the Virtual Question/ Primary Question process, Values and Logical Levels, getting beyond the surface to the core intention is powerful.

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E. P. SeligmanIn his latest book, Martin Seligman, moves beyond focusing on just ‘happiness’ to “well-being” as the topic of positive psychology, and proposes five measurable elements (“PERMA”):

  1. Positive emotion (including happiness and life satisfaction)
    How? What Went Well and Why.
  2. Engagement (also known as flow – when you use your strengths to face the challenges coming your way)
    When people use their highest strengths to face the challenges that come their way they are more likely to experience flow.
    How? Identify your greatest strengths and identify specific ways that you can use them more.
  3. Positive Relationships
    How? Using Active Constructive questioning.
  4. Meaning (purpose and involvement in something greater than oneself)
    How? Write your vision of a positive future; Write your own obituary.
  5. Achievement
    How? Grit – ‘never give up’/ self discipline – predicts the top performers.

In Flourish, Seligman outlines an array of ‘tested’ methods for enhancing these elements, many of which overlap with what we’ve been doing in NLP for years… it is great to see the evidence building!

You can watch Seligman’s 25-minute speech that he presented to RSA in July 2011 on this topic here. Note that this is more recent than his comments on the state of psychology he presented at TED.

Recoded Neurological Levels: The How and Why Model

30 May 11
Daniel Smith
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Many trained in New Code NLP are interested in recoding existing patterns. Existing NLP formats can have great value when we can distill their underlying pattern rather than slavishly sticking with a preexisting rigid format.

Here is one attempt at recoding Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels prepared by Daniel Smith:

If you can imagine holding a set of chopsticks (or pickup sticks) in one hand, vertically, then letting them go so that they fall to the surface. The sticks will often cross each other at various points.

  1. Choose a behaviour, characteristic, or idea with which an individual identifies for exploration. Framed by “explore the intentions to generate alignment”, secure support from the unconscious for the process. It may be useful to prime awareness of the rules for logical levels (especially heritability).
  2. Using codewords and inviting suggestions from the unconscious, generate an hierarchy of intention (eg asking “What for?”). It could be convenient to spatially mark the various points.
  3. Return to the starting point. Again using codewords and inviting suggestions from the unconscious, chunk down to how that behaviour are manifested.
  4. Present the proposed hierarchy to the unconscious for approval or refinement.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for different behaviour, characteristic or idea. Initially, have subsequent hierarchies non-overlapping (eg by having them parallel or skewed). From Third Position, compare subsequent hierarchies together, noticing any patterns. Check for similarities and overlap between terms in the heirachy; where they are similar, ensure support from the unconscious for having them treated as the same, so that the separate hierarchies can start to overlap.
  6. Discovery Process (optional): Move between the various points that have been marked and a Third Position, only allowing enough time for an awareness of that point to be reached before moving randomly to another point. Continue for 10-15 minutes (or until the unconscious presents a signal that it is time to stop).