Have you noticed that people are different? Of course you have. Have you ever wondered how those differences are created? If you begin with the fact that most of us have five senses and yet there is far more information available to those senses than we could possibly process - or would want to - you have the key.
Given that our senses pick up more information than we can actually use, it would seem that some kind of filtering process is going on in order to feed our conscious awareness with a manageable amount of data. Therefore each of us is only aware of a tiny proportion of what is going on at any one time. In effect, we all create our own, highly subjective, 'map of the world' inside our own minds. Small wonder then, that two people can emerge from an hour-long meeting with totally different views about its value!
So NLP is built upon a systematic approach to understanding the filtering process, the nature of the filters - which may include beliefs, values, past experiences and languages - and the extent to which the resulting map of the world is effective. An effective map of the world is one that supports the achievement of your goals. An ineffective part of the map inhibits the achievement of the same goals.
NLP is also concerned with how an ineffective part of the map of the world can be adjusted to become effective. Hence NLP has generated many techniques for systematically changing behaviour, beliefs, habits, negative emotions and so on. It has also given us many equally useful techniques for eliciting information about maps of the world and the ways in which they operate, effectively or ineffectively. And ultimately, all maps of the world are effective at producing results - it's just a question of whether or not they were the results you wanted!
The Brilliant Minds NLP Language & Communication Model:
At the heart of NLP lies the idea of 'subjective experience' and the way in which each person processes information to create a 'map of the world' that enables them to interact with their environment and the people in it. To help understand this, we use the model below. You won't find this in any of the books on NLP, because it was created by Dianne Lowther using ideas from a number of different sources in NLP and the wider field of Psychology.
Download the model diagram here