What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming

NLP diagramNLP comprises three key components of human communication: neurological, language and programming. The neurological system regulates our bodily function, language deals with communication with ourselves and others, and programming deals with the kinds of models of the world we create. It is a vast area of study. For our purposes here, it’s important to note the three key elements of NLP that we use and encourage you to think about.

We have 5 senses – 5 modalities with which we perceive the world:

  • seeing (visual)
  • hearing (auditory)
  • feeling (kinesthetic)
  • fasting (gustatory)
  • olfactory (smell)

We all have all them (unless we have sensory impairment), but most people will have a dominate mode of processing information.  A simple example goes like this:

If you are a predominantly visual person, you are likely to say things like:

“I see what you mean” or ‘That looks good to me” Or, ‘I can just picture that”.

If you are a predominantly auditory person, you are likely to say:

“That sounds good to me”, or “I hear what you are saying” or ‘That rings a bell”.

If you are predominantly kinesthetic, you are likely to say things like:

“I feel happy about that” or “My gut instinct is…”or “That’s music to my ears”.

We use taste / smell less in language in everyday speech, but they are still used.  It is still common to hear people saying things like:

“Food for thought”, “I smell a rat”,  “I need time to digest that” and so on.

The importance of understanding your primary modality is this: when you start asking yourself questions about what changes you’d like to have in your life, and you begin writing them down, it’s useful to know what your primary modality is. This means that when you plan your creative visualization, for example, you’ll know that if you are primarily kinesthetic, you should concentrate on how you feel and what you want to feel more of. It can be quite fun.