In every single situation we filter what is going on around us and inside of us based on our personal history, our memories, our beliefs, our values and many other various unconscious filters (Meta Programs). Once we filter an event, we automatically distort, delete and generalise it to make sense of it for ourselves. This is what is known as our Model of the World.

This filtering process explains why you and your very best friend can have very different understandings of the exact same thing- because you have filtered it differently.

Everything we do, every behaviour we have, every decision we make and everything we say is based on this filtering process. It is understood that the majority of our filters were built or created during our Imprint Stage. According to Developmental Psychologist, Dr. Morris Massey, between the ages of 0-7 is the Imprint Stage where we have very few filters in place and we start to create our beliefs, values and various other programs based on the people, environment and conditions around us. It is during this timeframe that the majority of our filters are created.

If I have a friend who is very clingy and wants to check in with me on a more-than-regular-basis, a few questions and some observations may be able to tell me that this friend has a fear of being abandoned. Now, I may not know why, and in my friendship, the why isn’t important (even if I want to know!). What is important is that I can understand that this is a real fear for my friend and I can be an even better friend by respecting her need to be with me.

NLP will provide you with many tools to understand each aspect of another person’s Model of the World. You’ll obtain listening, observation and questioning techniques that will allow you to identify a person’s beliefs, values, habits and unconscious patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours. With enough experience, you’ll be able to understand more about a person in 30 seconds of observation that you may be able to do now with a 1 hour interview.

When you can understand someone in a vaster and deeper way, you cannot only communicate more effectively with that person; but the underlying relationship becomes deeper and stronger. This understanding of others will help you to truly respect their model of the world.