In NLP, Strategies Link the Mind with the Body
In NLP, a mind and body that is not running strategies, or mental patterns, is asleep or dead... in which case we really don't need NLP. But for those of us that are alive and awake, it's profitable to understand how strategies in the mind and body work in real time and in the real world.
In NLP, strategies are what we do neurologically to get what we want. So strategies have both mental and physiological components based in our neurology. Strategies are a sequence of representational building blocks in our mind that lead to an outcome. These strategies may be conscious or unconscious.
Here is an example: If I see a piece of chocolate cake, I might imagine how much I would like it and begin to salivate, and so I walk over and take a bite. Seeing and imagining, salivating, walking and eating are all connected in a strategy that has a beginning, a certain sequence and and end. Here is a more complex version of a strategy that includes more choice: I see a piece of chocolate cake, and I might imagine how much I would like it and begin to salivate, but then I check how full my stomach feels, and remember that I have a date at the gym soon, and so I decide to hydrate with a glass of cool water instead.
Components of Strategies
In NLP, we study the structure, sequence and components of neurological strategies including:
- External Stimuli, or triggers and anchors in the environment
- Internal States, or alertness and emotions
- Representational Systems, including sensory modes and their submodalities
- External Behaviors, including all physiological responses
Categories of Strategies
There are all kinds of strategies that we have as human beings, including:
- Decision Strategies, or how we decide for or against something
- Motivation Strategies, or how we decide to move toward or away from something
- Learning Strategies, or how we accumulate and organize information
- Reality Strategies, or how we know what is real and what is not
- Memory Strategies, or how we chunk and recall information we have leaned
Reasons for Understanding Strategies
If we know the components, and categories of strategies, we can effectively program changes to them in order to get a better outcome. Precisely at the point in a strategy that is not working, we can snip out a part of a strategy, insert another option, bring in new information, or rearrange the sequence of steps, in order allow a person to unconsciously and naturally achieve a better result.
If NLP Practitioners think like programmers, and think of strategies as neurological code, then they will also understand how and where to make changes to that code. That is what this section deals with.
This section addresses how we use the components of strategies within each category of strategy in order to make changes where necessary to get what we want. We are changing the way the mind works, including its links to the body, and hence produce a different outcome in the real world.