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Book Review Break: Introducing NLP

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 13 years and 49 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Book: Introducing NLP

by: Joseph O’Connor & John Seymour

Subtitle: Psychological Skills for Understanding and Influencing People

Interpreted Thesis:
"NLP is the art and science of excellence, derived from studying how top people in different fields obtain their outstanding results."

"The purpose of NLP is to increase human choice and freedom." "The development of a rich awareness in each of our physical senses is
sensory acuity, and an explicit goal of NLP training."

I originally typed this entire post out about 6 – 8 months ago. When it was nearly complete (probably 4-5k words), it got deleted entirely. I was obviously
completely distraught, and it’s one of the reasons I haven’t blogged in quite a while. The book, however was really SO good that I felt I had to redo it.
In fact, I’ve re-read the book several times since then. I’ve also read a few other books on the subject, but none of the others had the down to earth approach
that really seemed to teach me so much that this one did. The book is actually out of print – with some copies selling upwards of $100 – $200 (for a while
when I last checked the cheapest one was $50). It seemed to say something about
the quality of the book, to me, if the demand for it was this high.


This is a fantastic introduction to Neuro Linguistic Programming. It has a ton of bookmark worthy content, and my copy is filled with dog ears from reading
repeated times. Since we are constantly bombarded by media from every direction
at nearly all times – it’s important to have selective filters about what you consume. NLP arms you with the filters for perception, and encourages you to
maximize your mental cpu cycles.


  • -Neuro Linguistic Processing
  • -Communication
  • -Psychology
    -Self Improvement

    Key Terminology
    Anchoring – The process by which any stimulus or representation (external or internal) gets connected to and triggers a response. Anchors can occur naturally
    or be set up intentionally.

    Congruence – State of being unified, and completely sincere, with all aspects ofa person working together toward an outcome.

    Content Reframing – Taking a statement and giving it another meaning, by asking, ‘Where would this be an appropriate response?’

    Eye Accessing Cues – Movements of the eyes in certain directions which indicate visual, auditory, or kinesthetic thinking.

    Frame – Set a context or way of perceiving something

    Future pace – Metnally rehearsing an outcome to ensure that the desired behaviour
    will occur.

    Reframing – Formal process to stop unwanted behaviour by providing better alternatives.
    -or- Changing the frame of reference round a statement to give it another meaning.

    Quotes – I read something once that had the definition of the quotes pattern as talking as if someone else was telling the story.

    Quotes from dog-eared pages:
    Reasonable men adapt themselve to the world.
    Unreasonable men adapt the world to themselves.
    That’s why all progress depends on unreasonable men.

  • -George Bernard Shaw
  • NLP is the art and science of excellence, derived from studying how top people in different fields obtain their outstanding results.

    A photograph never was the person.
    A stepping stone is not the journey.
    A musical score is not the sound.
    There is no magic, only magicians and people’s perceptions.

    An artist, a lumberjack and a botanist taking a stroll through a wood will have very different experiences and notice very different things. If you go
    through the worldlooking for excellence, you find excellence. If you go through
    the world looking for problems you will find problems. Or as the Arabic saying puts it, " What a piece of bread looks like depends on whether you are
    hungry or not."

    Some of the NLP basic filters are often referred to as Behavioural Frames.
    These are ways fo thinking about how you act. The first is an orientation towards
    outcomes rather than problems.

    The Four Stages of Learning:

    1. 1.Unconcious Incompetence
      2.Conscious Incompetence
      3.Conscious Competence

    4.Unconscious Competence

    Outcomes Summary
    You can remember this from the mnemonic ‘POSERS’ spelt out by the letters:
    Own part

    Representational Systems:
    Visual – sight
    Auditory – hearing
    Kinesthetic – touch/feeling
    Olfactory – smell
    Gustatory – taste

    Eye accessing cues
    Straight – visualization
    Up/right – visual constructed images
    Right – constructed sounds
    Down/right – kinesthetic/ feelings
    Up/left – visual remembered images
    Left – Remembered sounds
    Down/left – Internal dialogue

    Visual memory questions:

    1. What colour is your front door?
    2. What do you see on your journey to the nearest shop?
  • How do stripes go round a tiger’s body?

    Visual construction questions:

    1. What would your bedroom look like with pink spotted wallpaper?
    2. If a map is upside down, which direction is southeast?
  • Imagine a purple triangle inside a read square.

    Auditory memory questions:

    1. Can you hear your favorite piece of music in your mind?
    2. Which door slams loudest in your house?
  • What is the sound of the engaged (busy) tone on your phone?

    Internal dialogue questions:

    1. 1.What tone of voice do you use when you talk to yourself?
    2. Recite a nursery rhyme silenty.

    3.When you talk to yourself, where does the sound come from?

    Kinesthetic questions:

    1. What does it feel like when you put on wet socks?
    2. What is it like to put your foot into a cold swimming pool?
  • How do you feel after a good meal?

    Changing submodalities is a matter of personal experience, difficult to convey in words. Theory is arguable, experience is convincing. You can be the director
    of your own mental film show and decide how you want to think, rather than be at the mercy of the representations that seem to arise of their own accord.
    Like television in summer, the brain shows a lot of repeats, many of which are old, and not very good films. You do not have to watch them.

    Lists of Sensory-based words and phrases

    Look, picture, focus, imagination, insight, scene, blank, visualize, perspective,
    shine, reflect, clarify, examine, eye, focus, foresee, illusion, illustrate, notice, outlook, reveal, preview, see, show, survey, vision, watch, reveal,
    hazy, dark.

    Say, accent, rhythm, loud, tone, resonate, sound, monotonous, deaf, ring, ask, accent, audible, clear, discuss, proclaim, remark, listen, ring, shout, speechless,
    vocal, tell, silence, dissonant, harmonious, shrill, quiet, dumb.

    Touch, handle, contact, push, rub, solid, warm, cold, rough, tackle, push, pressure,
    sensitive, stress, tangible, tension, touch, concrete, gentle, grasp, hold, scrape, solid, suffer, heavy, smooth.

    Decide, think remember, know, meditate, recognize, attend, understand, evaluate,
    process, decide, learn, motivate, change, conscious, consider

    Scented, stale, fishy, nosy, fragrant, smoky, fresh

    Sour, flavour, bitter, taste, salty, juicy, sweet

    Anchoring Resourceful States Summary

    1. Identify the situation where you want to be more resourceful
    2. Identify the particular resource you want, e.g. confidence
    3. Check the resource really is appropriate
    4. Find an occassion in your life when you had that resource.
  • Select the anchors you are going to use in each of the three main representational
    systems; something you see, hear, and feel.
  • Step into another location and in your imagination put yourself fully back into the expreience of that resourceful state. Re-experience it again. When
    it has peaked, change state and step out of it.
  • Re-experience your resource state and as it comes to peak, connect the three
    anchors. Hold the state for as long as you want, then change state.
  • Test the association by firing the anchors and confirming that you do indeed
    go into the state.
  • Identify the signal that le’s you know you are in a problem situation where you want to use your resource. This signal will remind you to use your anchor

    Unified Field of NLP (Robert Dilts) for a salesman:

    1. Spiritual -
    2. Identity – i am a good salesman
    3. Belief – if i do well at sales, i could be promoted
    4. Capability – i can sell this product to people
    5. Behaviour – i made that sale today
    6. Environment – this neighborhood is a good area for
      my work in selling


    However, because only moving black objects are recognized
    as food, a frog will starve to death in a box of dead flies. So perceptual filters
    that are too narrow and too efficient can starve us of good experiences, weven when we are surrounded by exciting possibilities, because they are not recognized
    as such.

    Meta Model Patterns and their questions –


    • Unspecified Noun – ‘Who or what specifically…?’
    • Unspecified Verb – ‘How specifically is this happening?’
    • Comparison – ‘Compared with what?’
    • Judgement – ‘Who says…?’
    • Nominalization – ‘How is this being done?’


    • Modal Operator of Possibility – ‘What prevents you…?’
    • Modal Operator of Necessity – ‘What would happen if you did/didn’t?’
    • Universal Quantifier – ‘Always? Never? Everyone?’


    • Complex Equivalence – ‘How does this mean that?’
    • Presupposition – ‘What leads you to believe that…?’
    • Cause and Effect – ‘How exactly do you make yourself do this…?’
    • Mind Reading – ‘How do you know?’

    Ambiguity is one such method. What you say can be soundly ambiguous. Like the last sentence. Does ‘soundly’ here mean definitely or phonetically? Hear, it
    means the latter, and it’s a good example of one word carrying two meanings.
    Another example would be, ‘When you experience insecurity… (In security?)’
    There are many words that have different meanings but sound the same… there/they’re…
    nose/knows. It is difficult to right/ write phonological ambiguity Note: Two other types of ambiguity include – syntactic and punctuation ambiguity.

    There is an interesting pattern known as ‘quotes’. You can say anything if you first set up a context where it is not really you saying it. The easiest
    way to do this is by telling a story where someone says the message you want to convey, and mark it out in some way from the rest of the story.

    I am reminded of a time when we did a seminar on these patterns. One of the participants came up to us afterwards, and we asked him during hte course of
    the conversation if he had heard of the quotes pattern. He said, ‘Yes. It was funny how that happened. I was walking down a street a couple weeks ago and
    a complete stranger came up to me and said, "Isn’t this quotes pattern interesting?"

    Conversational postulates – Questions that literally only require a yes/no answer, yet actually draw a response. Examples: ‘Is the door still open?’ (Shut
    the door)

    The story of the prince and the magician.

    There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. – William Shakespeare

    We are not reatreating, said a general, we are advancing backwards.

    The Prince and the Magician – an awesome narrative that summarizes a lot of the concepts of NLP in a short story. Originally published in The Magus.

    Six Step Reframing

    1. Identify the behavior or response to be changed
    2. Establish communication with the part responsible for the behavior
    3. Seperate the positive intention from the behaviour
    4. Ask your creative part to generate new ways thta will accomplish the same
    5. Ask the X part if it will agree to use the new choices rather than the old
      behaviour over the next few weeks
    6. Ecological check (make sure there are no other parts that may object ot
      the new choices)

    Application to SEO:

    NLP seemed to go well beyond SEO for me. It has become more a philosophy that has helped to structure my way of life in being more solution oriented than
    problem oriented. If you tell someone NOT to think about purple and green striped
    flying monkeys, it is the ONLY thing the will think about until given an alternative.
    NLP focuses on giving you alternatives for your line of thinking, which in turn
    gives you more choice in behavior.

    There are certainly plenty of applications for NLP to SEO, though I see it more as ability to become a better teacher, consultant, or communicator. NLP
    is truly a fascinating topic, and the understanding is something that will most
    likely enrich your life far beyond just search. Any understanding of human thought
    patterns really help with search and user behavior, but this book will help beyond search into your everyday interactions in life (assuming you get off
    the computer every now and then).

    Closing Notes
    I’d encourage anyone to read this book – in case you didn’t get that. Maybe one day I’ll do a list of resourceful NLP links.

  • More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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    • Todd Mintz

      Copy shipping to my house now (and plenty of copies available for under $20 shipped).

      BTW, The Magus is one of the best novels I’ve ever read…well worth checking out.

    • Zak Nicola

      Glad you decided to re-write the review for “Introducing NLP.” I’m really looking forward to reading it now.

    • NLP Exeter

      Some great info on NLP nice to see others share thier info without putting a charge on it. Robert dilts is one of the best guys doing NLP you can learn some good value styles. Keep up the free blogs.
      NLP Exeter

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