Modeling is the heart and soul of Neuro Linguistic Programming, without which NLP simply cannot exist, it is the process of replicating the full set of behaviors or desirable skills of another person into two discrete parts – the complete set of unconscious behaviors that actually performs the skill, and the meticulous coding of such behavior or patterns into learnable/teachable formats. In other words, this technique comes in handy if you want to learn some skill that another person has, with the same efficiency and performance levels he/she displays, the number of years he/she would have spent to develop it not withstanding.


NLP modeling is achieved by careful observation, in depth learning, discussion, and the practicing of different dimensions of the subject’s mannerisms, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, until the modeler can perfectly replicate these with convincing precision and consistency. Once able to do that, the modeler then sets out refining those copied skills by screening certain features until those aspects that eventually differentiate between mediocre and top performance have been identified. A transferable/learnable model is then built based upon these findings, and is tested extensively to see if it can be taught to others/learnt by others. 


NLP modeling uses the same methodology of learning as a child does. In that sense, it can be said that young children are natural modelers. They curiously observe their parents and others around and model or absorb their behavior, language etc. without consciously realizing the expectations or consequences of that learning process. Further, they do so in phenomenal speeds, something a grownup can never match in any stage in his/her remaining life. We humans seem to lose this edge after we go through our school education, which is assumed to be more organized and systematic. Perhaps, the idea ‘I was born wise, but education ruined me’ has its roots in this phenomenon – having lost the natural talent to learn things spontaneously as one plods through his/her years in  school.


Coming to the NLP technique of modeling – it lets one learn a set of targeted techniques and skills sans any rationalization or conscious intervention mentally. This helps the modeling person to pickup behaviors, motor skills, and the unconscious processes the other person has without ever attempting to translate consciously what they actually do. Switching off the rationale aspect is somewhat similar to the ‘hiding the complexity’ concept of object oriented programming. The more one starts applying his/her senses or intelligence to see through the complexity of our learning processes – or any process in that regard – the more difficult it will get for the human mind to learn it. The magnified complexity of the situation simply intimidates the mind from picking things spontaneously. 


The human mind learns things by patterns, as well as differences in patterns. Shadowing the person, from whom a modeler wishes to copy skills from, to an extent, also lets one pick the skills at a totally unconscious level and tune-in their motor skills to his/her. This is in fact a way of developing motor skills through action rather than observation, and it is very effective when it comes to selectively, at the same time unknowingly, picking only those required skills meanwhile eliminating those which are not necessary to achieve one’s goal. As already stated, if someone tries to do this consciously, he/she may take a longer time or sometimes will not be able to do so at all. Modeling in this manner, consciously is like seeing the world around us through a cone-shaped funnel. Naturally, one’s view will be massively blocked and the line of sight will be very narrow. So, for effective NLP modeling, try using not any funnel and trust your instincts.


NLP modeling has its applications in leadership building, sports, memory enhancement, building language skills, and improving the ability to retain mentally complex information and dissect it as it is required while lecturing, to name a few. To know more about NLP modeling, please continue to search the internet, as well as checking out books at your local library.