There are two ways to learn the NLP Meta Model:

  1. By rote
  2. By understanding the principles that sit behind it.

The Meta Model is one of the most difficult and infuriating areas of NLP to master, and I can understand why so many people opt for the rote learning route. To begin with it seems simple and gives you massive results. Taking the time and effort to really learn the principles behind the Meta Model can be hard work and time consuming, but, if you make the effort you will be rewarded much more than just learning a handful of questions.

1. Learning the Meta Model By Rote

Learning by rote seems easier, but limits you to asking the same old questions and hoping for the best. Do any of these sound familiar:

“What specifically?”

“How would you know if it isn’t true?”

“What would it be like if you could?”

To begin with, by using these stock questions, you will see a marked improvements in your ability to persuade, to gather information and to facilitate change. But, if you stick to just churning out the same questions parrot fashion you will never progress or improve, all you will do is churn out the same old questions you have been taught parrot fashion.

The Meta Model is is sadly often taught by rote, as it is easier that way and gives the students a false sense of competency without forcing them into the uncomfortable area of “learning…”.

In the short term, learning a bunch of stimulus/response, stock questions may help you, but in the long term it will simply hamstring your efforts to become a more effective communicator. It is much like the technique based approach that some NLPers and NLP training organisations use. The techniques are great until they don’t work for you. Then what do you do? If you don’t understand the methodology behind the techniques you are stuck. If you do understand the methodology, well, you don’t need to the techniques in the first place!

2. Learning the Meta Model from the Inside Out

Taking the effort to learn the Meta Model from the inside out is hard work. You will have to delve into linguistics and logic in much more detail, you will have to relearn or revise the rules of grammar, you will at times want to chuck it all out of the window and go and do the stimulus response parrot fashion approach (I know, I have been there, several times!).

However, if you take the time you will not need to remember all the “right” questions, you will naturally and spontaneously ask the most appropriate question at the most appropriate time to get the most appropriate result.

To begin with it will be harder, but it will be worth it in the end. Your communication will seem more natural and you will become one of those people that other people want to be around, as problems will just melt away.

To learn more about how to learn the Meta Model from the inside out, click here.