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Creating Choice Life Coaching

Neurological Levels

Neuro-linguistic Programming deals with bringing about personal change. This change is not
just in outward behaviour, but our underlying aspects as well. The change can be in our
values, beliefs and unconscious parts of the self that we might not be consciously aware
of. Our inner representations determine our behaviour and affect us at several different
levels. An actual change can only occur after the change is conceived and imagined in the
person’s mind.

When the different levels of thinking are in congruence with each other, the person is
experiencing a meaningful life. Neuro-linguistic Programming terms this as alignment.
Alignment occurs when every part of the person is heading in the same direction. On the
contrary, when inner misalignment occurs, there is an inner conflict between various levels
of the mind. In order to bring about a lasting personal change, these different levels must
be brought in harmony with each other.

Anthropologist Gregory Bateson developed the original Neuro-linguistic Programming


model on neurological levels, which was later on adopted by Robert Dilts in his Neuro-
linguistic Programming pursuits. There are six neurological levels organized on top of one
another. Sets of rules apply for changing something at any level and these rules differ
from each other. Changing an attribute of one level may or may not affect the upper
levels. However, changing an attribute at the upper levels will always affect the lower
levels. As per Neuro-linguistic courses, the model can be considered as a cascading
waterfall, where the upper levels translate their effects on the lower levels. Moreover, a
change in behaviour of a lower level will not last for a long time if a value of belief at the
upper level does not support the new behaviour. If these neurological levels are not
carefully understood, it could result in problems for changing behaviour. On the other
hand, identifying and understanding the significance of each level and help make and retain
a desired change.

In order to understand these Neuro-linguistic levels, we must start with the lowest level
and work our way up to the highest level. Starting with the lowest neurological level:

1) Environment: This is the lowest level of the neurological model. It helps you consider
the surrounding world, in terms of location, people, objects etc.

2) Behaviour: This level comes above the environment. Using this level, you can identify
your specific behaviours that you are good at, such as negotiating, making schedules etc.

3) Capability: This level comes above the behaviour. Using this level you can identify what
the overall capability is that your behaviour translates to, such as marketing, time
management etc.

4) Belief & Values: This level comes above the capability. This level indicates who you are
and what you believe about yourself. What is the belief that is true for you in order to
have the capability? For example importance of value of a product, or importance of time.

Richard Holmes FDA Accredited NLP Coach


Creating Choice Life Coaching
Neurological Levels

5) Identity: This level comes above the belief. It sums up you as a person by stating your
identity. For example, you are a business oriented person, or a timely person.

6) Spirituality: This level comes above the identity. It indicates what metaphor or symbol
can be used to identify your spiritual connection or any higher ideal. For example, it could
be a swan, a blue sky or a tropical garden.

As per Neuro-linguistic training, the model can be traversed to identify the higher-level
attributes of a lower level behaviour. Choose different behaviours that you excel at to
find the higher level aspects. Every level feeds the level below in a logical hierarchy. For
example, a person who believes in the importance of people will have the capability of
relating to people. This capability will feed his behaviour related to people skills such as
listening, rapport etc. Moreover, these behavioural skills will support the capability of the
person, and thereby his beliefs.

As per Neuro-linguistic courses, the model can be used to address problems or taking
important decisions as well. You can begin by identifying the level in the Neuro-linguistic
model where the problem exists. Then identify the cause of the problem in terms of its
level, by tracing the issue at each level. You can then find out how a personal change in a
level can be done to tackle the problem.

Richard Holmes FDA Accredited NLP Coach