Neuro-Linguistic Programming In A Nutshell

NLP was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who believed that the thoughts and behaviors of successful people could be taught to others. Neuro-linguistic programming is a means of changing the thoughts or behaviors of an individual to help them achieve a desired outcome. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is based on the idea that people use internal “maps” to navigate the world. However, these maps are often constrained by certain limitations or unconscious biases that are unique to every individual.

Understanding neuro-linguistic programming

It is comprised of three parts:

  1. Communication and interaction of mind and body (“neuro“).
  2. Use of verbal and non-verbal communication (“linguistic“).
  3. How people conduct activities either mindfully or automatically (programming).

Although NLP can be hard to define, many consider it an instructional manual for the mind.

NLP helps individuals become more powerful communicators.

It enables them to influence their own thoughts and feelings in addition to the thoughts and feelings of others in a predictable fashion.

Neuro-linguistic programming in business

In business, neuro-linguistic programming is beneficial in a variety of scenarios:

Effective staff communication

Effective staff communication across individuals or various departments.

Neuro-linguistic programming is associated with emotional intelligence, or the ability to use and manage one’s own emotions to communicate and empathize with others.

Strengthening sales processes

Strengthening sales negotiation and persuasion skills.

Successful negotiation is a structured process that is well suited to NLP principles.

Fundamentally, negotiators must recognize the client’s emotional state and shift them toward a state where they are likely to accept a proposal.

They must also be hyper-aware of their own emotions and how they portray themselves.

Delivering convincing presentations

Presenters who use NLP skills can read the emotional state of the audience through body language and adjust accordingly.

The presenters themselves can also use NLP techniques to reduce the stress associated with public speaking.


Effective leaders are better attuned to the needs of their staff.

They understand that their choice of words and body language impacts employee happiness, motivation, and morale.

They can also motivate others toward a shared vision by overcoming resistance and obstacles.

How does neuro-linguistic programming work?

Modeling, action, and effective communication are core components of NLP.

Those who practice the method must analyze and understand a range of situational perspectives through the mind, body, and senses. 

In other words, NLP is an experiential approach.

If an individual wants to understand an action, they must perform that action to learn from the experience.

Only then can the process be intimated and communicated (modeled) to others.

To better understand how others navigate the world, NLP practitioners can use the six logical levels of learning, communication, and change.

It is a model that the practitioner can run in the background while communicating with another individual, group, or organization.

The six levels include:

Purpose and spirituality

For whom or what purpose is the change for?


Would the change reflect the person one perceives themselves to be?

Beliefs and values

Do personal beliefs or values hinder or support the change?

Capabilities and skills

How might the change be implemented?


What needs to change? Behaviors encompass specific actions.


Or the arena where change will take place. Here, change is reliant on interaction with people and places.

Key takeaways

  • Neuro-linguistic programming is an approach to communication and personal development that analyzes the behavior of successful people.
  • In business, neuro-linguistic programming can be used to strengthen leadership and presentation skills. It can also be used to increase emotional intelligence, which has important implications for sales negotiation and staff communication.
  • Modeling, action, and communication are core components of neuro-linguistic programming. For an individual to incorporate an action, they must first experience it through imitation and then successfully model it to others.

Read Next: Lasswell Communication Model, Linear Model Of Communication.

Connected Communication Models

Aristotle’s Model of Communication

The Aristotle model of communication is a linear model with a focus on public speaking. The Aristotle model of communication was developed by Greek philosopher and orator Aristotle, who proposed the linear model to demonstrate the importance of the speaker and their audience during communication. 

Communication Cycle

The linear model of communication is a relatively simplistic model envisaging a process in which a sender encodes and transmits a message that is received and decoded by a recipient. The linear model of communication suggests communication moves in one direction only. The sender transmits a message to the receiver, but the receiver does not transmit a response or provide feedback to the sender.

Berlo’s SMCR Model

Berlo’s SMCR model was created by American communication theorist David Berlo in 1960, who expanded the Shannon-Weaver model of communication into clear and distinct parts. Berlo’s SMCR model is a one-way or linear communication framework based on the Shannon-Weaver communication model.

Helical Model of Communication

The helical model of communication is a framework inspired by the three-dimensional spring-like curve of a helix. It argues communication is cyclical, continuous, non-repetitive, accumulative, and influenced by time and experience.

Lasswell Communication Model

The Lasswell communication model is a linear framework for explaining the communication process through segmentation. Lasswell proposed media propaganda performs three social functions: surveillance, correlation, and transmission. Lasswell believed the media could impact what viewers believed about the information presented.

Modus Tollens

Modus tollens is a deductive argument form and a rule of inference used to make conclusions of arguments and sets of arguments.  Modus tollens argues that if P is true then Q is also true. However, P is false. Therefore Q is also false. Modus tollens as an inference rule dates back to late antiquity where it was taught as part of Aristotelian logic. The first person to describe the rule in detail was Theophrastus, successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school.

Five Cannons of Rhetoric

The five canons of rhetoric were first organized by Roman philosopher Cicero in his treatise De Inventione in around 84 BC. Some 150 years later, Roman rhetorician Quintilian explored each of the five canons in more depth as part of his 12-volume textbook entitled Institutio Oratoria. The work helped the five canons become a major component of rhetorical education well into the medieval period. The five canons of rhetoric comprise a system for understanding powerful and effective communication.

Communication Strategy

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Noise if Communication

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7 Cs of Communication

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Transactional Model of Communication

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Digital Approaches to Communication

E-business Model

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Strategy Map

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Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Story Mapping

Story mapping is a simple holistic approach to using stories in agile development without losing sight of the big picture. Story mapping was first introduced by Jeff Patton in 2005 and is based on the concept of user stories, or stories that communicate product requirements from the perspective of user value.

Effective Communication

An effective communication strategy starts with a clear brand identity, by defining clear boundaries and compromises your brand will not take in the marketplace. Based on that, understanding, whether context, formats, and scale are in line with your business message to prevent a loss of identity.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies are based on a set of channels that can be used to amplify your brand and your product. So that you can connect it with the right audience. You can amplify the product to further scale the business. And you can build a strong business model around your brand

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

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