Operating principles

The art and science of NLP consists of many skills and a set of operating principles and assumptions. The operating principles, whilst not being the “truth”, do provide a potent context for acting effectively and creating results.

  1. We do not operate directly on the world. We create maps from our sensory experiences, then operate and communicate from our maps. However, the map is not the territory. Most human problems are caused by the maps in our heads. It is easier to change the map than the territory.
  2. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got, so if what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else! It is easier to change your own behaviour than other people’s.
  3. There is no failure, only feedback; no mistakes, only results, no errors, only learning. Every experience may be viewed as an unprecedented opportunity to learn.
  4. The individual with the greatest flexibility of thought and behaviour can (and generally will) control the outcome of any interaction. Excellence comes from having many choices. Wisdom comes from having multiple perspectives.
  5. It is not what happens to you that makes the difference; it’s what you do with what happens to you.
  6. You cannot not communicate; you can only choose to do so unconsciously, or to be conscious of the effects you create. 93% of communication is non-verbal.
  7. The meaning of your communication is the response you get, which may be different to the one you intended. There is no such thing as a resistant person, only an inflexible communicator.
  8. There is a positive intention behind all human behaviour. To believe otherwise is to create it so. With others, seek the positive intention. With yourself, remember that you are not your behaviour. There is a distinction between self, intention and behaviour .
  9. All human beings share the same neurology, so what’s possible for one is possible for anyone. The only question is, “How specifically?” If anyone else has ever done it, then it is possible for me to learn how to do it .
  10. Memory and imagination use the same neurological circuits and potentially have the same impact. Each of us already has, or can create the resources we need.

NB None of this is true; it does, however, have profound consequences…

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