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NLP Presuppositions

NLP Presuppositions are the underlying principles behind how NLPers think. They’re not necessarily true, and they’re useful as a base line for thinking about behaviour.

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is a collection of techniques that gives you insights into behaviours, so you can understand, influence and create change. It gives you insight into your own behaviours and those of others. I use it in all of my work. Consciously or not. So here are the maxims that NLP work from:


About communication

Here are the NLP presuppositions from communication.

  • The meaning of my communication is the response I get.
  • You can not communicate,you can not influence.
  • Language is a secondary representation of experience.
  • Everything anyone does makes sense to them in that moment.
  • Behaviour is the highest form of communication.
  • The map is not the territory.
  • There are no resistant people, only inflexible communicators.
  • resistance is a sign of insufficient pacing.


About people

Here are some NLP Presuppositions about people:

  • having a choice is better than not having any.
  • People make the best choice available to them in any given moment.
  • People have all the resources they need.
  • People are not their behaviours.


About behaviour

These are some presuppositions around behaviours

  • Every behaviour has a positive intention.
  • There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states.
  • Respect the other person’s model of the world.
  • Always add choice, never take away.


About “me”

And these ones are related to “me”:

  • If it’s possible in the world, it’s possible for me, it’s only a question of how.
  • For things to change, first I must change.
  • If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.
  • There is no failure, only feedback.

Cindy Tonkin has written a few guides to NLP processes, but these are only tools: NLP underlies much of how she works on programs like Presentation Mastery, Make no Sound like Yes, and Smarter Data People. Talk to Cindy about getting your data science consulting teams working smarter, faster and nicer.

NLP presuppositions

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