NLP Presuppositions

NLP Presuppositions, useful beliefs when helping people change and grow

NLP Technique | NLP Presuppositions

The  co-founders of NLP discovered that the people they modelled, who were very successful at helping others change, had a number of similar, useful beliefs. which were summarised the as the NLP presuppositions. They also developed a number of techniques to help us reduce our limiting beliefs and strengthen the beliefs that are useful to us. This post looks at Michael’s take on the NLP Presuppositions, beliefs that are useful to help us and our clients develop and grow.

NLP Presuppositions. Useful beliefs when helping us and other develop and change.


Our Map is NOT the Territory

The representation we hold of the world is our internal map based on our experiences and filters.

When we don’t communicate with others it’s nothing to do with us being good or bad, it’s to do with our maps. We communicate better when our maps are aligned, the more we communicate from the other person’s map the more they understand us.

It they’re visual we’re better using visual words, if they’re motivated away from pain, it’s better we’re the same, if we use some of exactly the same words and similar postures …. the better we communicate.

It’s also true that whatever we say, unless it’s totally bland, some people will like it and some people won’t. It’s how the world is.


The ability to change the process by which we experience reality is often more valuable than changing the content of our experience of reality

Really bad (and sad) things happen. That’s the content of the experience of reality. We can’t change that content. In fact not accepting it can harm us. However we can change how we react to it. We can change what we learn from it. NLP has lots of tools we can use to change the process of how we react and act to whatever happens.

I can argue that fate continue to deal us cards. Our key choice is how we play them. Another choice we can make is to learn to play them better. It’s our choice. NLP is about being curious about how the people that get the best results play them.


The meaning of the communication is the response we get

If people don’t react in a way we want it’s a sign for us to change the way we communicate. I don’t judge how successful my communication is by what I think, it’s about how others react.

If at first I don’t get the result I want I simply keep coming back with similar and different approaches until I do. Again NLP gives us a great many tools to develop how we can respond in the future.


The resources an individual needs to change are already within them

When we have total faith in someone it can make a huge difference to how quickly they succeed. When we believe someone has all the resources they need it changes the way we relate to them. We’ll tend to lightly coach and encourage rather than put them down.

There is a secondary point to this. The best change always starts from within, not from outside. Trying to change others can work, however it normally disempowers the other person. Giving them the confidence that they can change themselves, empowers them.


We connect to the world through our senses

This is obvious, however the implications aren’t always thought through. We build our maps of reality based on our sensory input. The better we see, look, hear and connect to or feelings and the less we filter the information we receive, the better our maps will be. The better we’ll connect and communicate with the world.

Our memories are built from this sensory input, when we change some of the qualities of this sensory input, for example we make our pictures more (or less) colourful, we change the experience. This gives us the ability to boost and reinforce our good and useful memories and reduce the impact of our less useful ones.


Feedback vs Failure

Feedback is information. However it’s the information we need to move forward, which we can choose to take notice of or not.

We can view success and failure as essential parts of life. We don’t learn to walk without falling over. It’s the falling over that leads to to succeed. The moment we stop making mistakes is the time we stop learning.

Maybe the real fear to overcome is the fear of failure. That’s what can stop us being as successful as we want.


The positive worth of the individual is held constant, while the value and appropriateness of internal and or external  behaviour question is questioned against a specific outcome

We hold the individual in high regard and are able to explore, question and challenge if what they’re doing internally and externally is helping them to achieve what they want. Our job isn’t to make personal judgements or comments. It’s to help them uncover accurate information so they can make their own decisions


There is a positive intention motivating every behaviour and a context in which every behaviour has value

Behaviours are only good or bad in the context of achieving some result. We’re not into removing bad behaviours, they might be really useful later. However we may suggest much more useful behaviours for the task in hand.

Sometimes it’s really useful to uncover their positive intention, and ensure we satisfy it in a more useful and enjoyable way.


When we have real choice. We’ll naturally make the best one

Or job is to give people real choices. We only have a choice when we have at least three alternatives and we know not only know  the why, what and how of doing them … but we also know we can do them.


Related Links

NLP Training
NLP Techniques
NLP Techniques | Success Quiz
NLP Techniques | Certification Presentation
NLP Techniques | Daily Questions
NLP Techniques | Hypnosis
NLP Techniques | Modelling
NLP Techniques | NLP Presuppositions (This page)
NLP Techniques | State
NLP Techniques | Storytelling
NLP Techniques | NLP Coaching Model


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NLP Presuppositions

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