What are NLP Presuppositions?
The field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) has a number of basic assumptions that support the practitioner in getting more consistent results with their clients and in their life.
These presuppositions were developed when the creators of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder were modeling some of the greatest therapists and thinkers in our history to create the field of NLP. Some of these great people were Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, and Alfred Korzybski, among others.
What are Presuppositions?
Presuppositions are something we assume or believe in advance.
They are not necessarily true beliefs but produce useful results when we assume or believe them in advance.
They can be enhancing beliefs that enable us to get greater results if used consciously.
They express some of the central concepts that govern the field of NLP.
Beliefs are powerful because beliefs are self-fulfilling. For example, If we believe someone doesn’t like us, we may become defensive toward them, then they feel that and respond by not liking us. It becomes a self-fulfilling reality. Because we presupposed they didn't like us, we became defensive toward them, and they then didn't like us because we were defensive toward them.
On the contrary, If we believe someone likes us a lot, we may maintain a positive energy toward them, then they feel that and respond by liking us back. It becomes a self-fulfilling reality.
As a people helper, If I believe three of the presuppositions of NLP...
People are not broken; they work perfectly well.
We all respond to our maps of reality, not reality itself.
Separate the person from their behavior. People are much more than their actions, words, emotions, roles, etc.
Then I will believe that a person's behavior is operating as it should be under their current way of thinking (their map of reality).
So if a person comes to me with anxiety, I automatically think to myself, "Wow, they are really good at creating this anxiety. I wonder how they are doing it?"
I get curious about the driving factors. Then I dive into their mind with questions to understand what they think about, believe, and focus on to create the anxiety.
Once I understand them and their world, I can facilitate change in how the person thinks, believes, and focuses, which will change their behavior into something more desirable.
Below are some common presuppositions used in NLP
1. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.
2. The map is not the territory.
3. We all respond to our maps of reality, not reality itself.
4. The true meaning of your communication is the response you get.
4. In any connected system, the element with the widest range of variability will always be the dominant influence.
5. People are not broken; they work perfectly well.
6. People have the resources they need to respond effectively to the world. They only need to access, strengthen and sequence those resources into effective strategies.
8. We can model excellence by breaking tasks and skills into small chunks to express and replicate the strategy of high performance.
9. Mind-body are part of the same system and influence each other.
10. It is better to have choice than the lack of choice.
11. Neuro-linguistic states are created by and composed of internal representations and physiology.
12. When calibrating someone's reality, the highest information will be behavior.
13. The fact that we use the same neurological circuits when we remember or imagine, we can use these to create new programs, skills, ways of thinking, and behaviors.
14. Separate the person from their behavior. People are much more than their actions, words, emotions, roles, etc.
15. Every behavior/experience has a positive intent.
16. Resistance, first and foremost, indicates a lack of rapport.
17. Every subjective experience has two parts; content and process.
18. If what you're doing doesn't work, try something different.