NLP Techniques

Bookmark and Share


It is clear that as NLP Techniques go, rapport is one of the most important in managing behavior in the long term. However, there are other skills which, although less fundamentally important than rapport, build from it. Skills such as the Perceptual Positions exercise and an understanding of the Logical Levels of experience in NLP terms. Both of these NLP techniques will allow you to take your teaching practice to the next level. They both require greater understanding of, and sensitivity to pupil behavior. They are therefore more advanced skills than you may be able to incorporate whilst you are training for example.

However, I would still recommend both studying and practicing them at an early stage if at all possible, as the ability to resolve conflict and understand struggling learners are vital skills. These NLP techniques will encourage you to 'go deeper' into your student's personal experience of school, which can only enrich your teaching.

Perceptual Positions

This is an invaluable NLP technique for all forms of conflict resolution as it enables you see a situation from a variety of other perspectives other than your own and to see how your own behavior impacts on others.

• The exercise involves thinking about a situation where there is currently conflict and 'getting into' first second and third positions.

• We go into first position by simply focusing on what we want and how we feel aggrieved

• We then imagine how the same situation feels for the other person by almost going into character as them, assuming their physiology and using 'I' phrases as if you were them. Its astounding how much you can learn about someone if you stand, sit and breather like them only for a few minutes!

• Third position is what is called the 'engaged observer position', someone who is unaffected by the intensity of the emotions felt and who can advise both first and second positions on how to resolve the conflict.

• The exercise can be done alone or with one or two others. The ultimate aim is for it to become a natural reaction that one can perform unconsciously, in real time as situations occur.

• Please see the sections on

Conflict Resolution and Special Education to see applications with students and support staff.

Logical Levels


Logical levels are a way of identifying where a learning problem originates. Often, we are tempted as teachers to see the surface level only, when pupils are either being disruptive or struggling to learn, or more often than not, both. Looking 'below the surface' is an important first step in creating rapport with pupils. Just asking the question 'why?' will lead you to far more useful interventions with longer term effects.

As far as this NLP technique is concerned, there are 6 levels in a hierarchy as in the example below of a pupil having trouble spelling:

Spiritual/Greater System: “The school is dumb for making us learn spelling words.”

Identity: “I am dumb.”

Beliefs/Values: “Learning spelling words is dumb.”

Capability: “I don’t know how to learn my spelling words.”

Behavior: “I can’t do it”

Environment: “The classroom is too noisy.”

When, as a teacher you see a student struggle and listen to their words, it is important to try to work out at which level the problems are.

There are a couple of important distinctions to make when thinking about where any learning problem originates:

1. You cannot solve a problem at the level at which it manifests. A child who is manifesting a problem on the Behavior level: “I can’t do it” and the Identity level “I am dumb” cannot be helped by a pep talk “of course you can” or a sanction “you’d better do it or else”

2. Most educational problems arise on the capability level: “I don’t know how to learn my spelling words”. This is because by and large, schools do not teach children how to learn. More often than not, a pupil is told to ‘learn your spellings’. If a technique is given it is rarely a suitable one, or one which is suited to their personal learning style.

Now go to the NLP spelling strategy in the section on .. Multiple Intelligences to learn the optimum technique for teaching spelling.

Go to the section on ADHD symptoms to learn more about how Don Blackerby applies logical levels in his special education teaching.

Bookmark & Share

Now move on to Frames, one of the most important NLP Techniques.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.