Institute of Neuro-Semantics Europe

Systemic Excellence #2 – The Neuro-Semantic System

Systemic Excellence #2 – The Neuro-Semantic System

Source: taken from L. Michael Hall, Meta-Relfections #47, October 3, 2011,

A few weeks ago I wrote to the exclusive egroup for Neuro-Semantic Trainers about the purity of the Neuro-Semantic system.  The points of that article were these:

We have a systematic system for working with human experience.
It is a thorough and consistent system so that we do not have to be eclectic.
The Neuro-Semantic NLP system, works as a system which requires systemic thinking.


Then while in Brazil I found myself again urging NLP people and those new to Neuro-Semantics who
identified with the Neuro-Semantic approach to learn and use this model rather than being eclectic.  Why?  Because there are some serious problems with eclectically cutting-and-pasting bits and pieces from numerous models in your approach.  You are highly likely to have and operate from numerous
incongruencies and conflicts, many which may be unconscious and therefore communicate and install inner conflicts and incongruencies in those you work with.

Eclectically taking a bits and pieces from various other models and putting them together is more likely to create a Self-Development Frankenstein that’s grotesque and full of distortions rather than something systematic and systemic. In the last article I spoke about the NLP system of four meta domains by which we can model and replicate excellence. Now I will repeat much of what I wrote to the Trainer’s egroup and expand it for this Neurons group.

Pre-System Life

If you don’t have a system, then the next best choice is to be eclectic.  It is to take a little bit from one place, a little bit of that from another, and put them together into a mix and hope that they don’t collide with each other too much or create confusion or chaos for your participants.  Eclecticism is a great choice when a field is still under construction, when key theorists are still puttingtheories and possibilities together about how a particular domain works.

But it is not so good when there is a workable system, especially when that system is systemic, thorough, and consistent. And that’s where I have a great message for you, and maybe a shocking one:

NLP in its fullness (including Meta-States) is a complete system so you do not need anything else!

The NLP System

Is NLP a system? Yes, you bet.  Some 10 years ago I put together a page that defined it as “a system”—a system with a theoretical base (foundation, framework), variables as elements and components within that system, guidelines or heuristics for how to use the variables and apply the theories (even make hypothesis and test them), and then the resulting patterns or processes as practical applications.

So yes, NLP is a system and that’s why I find it so incredibly frustrating to see NLP trainers who should know better add a bit of Myers-Briggs, add a bit of Taylor-Johnson, or DISC, or Enneagram, or some so-called ‘Quantum this or that,’ or Huna, or any other of a dozen non-NLP pieces to it. You don’t need to if you know the NLP system!  And if you do, then you contaminate the system.  If you do, that will prevents you from working with the fundamental NLP model systemically.  Do that and you open yourself to an approach that is a hodge-podge of glued together bits so that one operates as if from a “grab bag of tricks” instead of a systematic approach based on a solid theoretical

What is the theoretical foundation of complete NLP?  Say hello to Korzybski and Bateson! “The map is not the territory,” human beings make abstractions (draw conclusions) from their experiences and invent mental maps for navigating the world and as they do, their actions, responses and emotions are functions of those maps.  Meet a person at his or her map of the world, match it, seek to understand it, and then offer a new strategy if they want one.

This is simple and profound!  And yes, I’d say that the majority of traditionally trained NLP trainers do not know this!  Shocking but true.  They have been poorly trained and so their trainings are low quality as you can easily see by visiting various NLP websites.  In some countries, there are facets of the NLP model that are not even taught— for example, Meta-Programs are almost never taught in Mexico. And almost every, the linguistic training of the Meta-Model is skipped or so shallowly taught that Practitioners and Master Practitioners cannot tell you the 12 or the 21 distinctions of the Meta-Model or know how to use those distinctions.

The Meta-States System

What about Meta-States? Is the Meta-States model a system in and of itself? Yes, you bet it is!
It also has a theoretical framework (the operation of reflexivity, the meta-move to transcend one state to another, that sets a higher frame, that governs the system back down into neurology), it has variables, guidelines, and it leads to hundreds of Meta-State patterns and processes.  Actually, the page I created ten years ago contrasted NLP and Meta-State systems using these
very terms and categories.

The Neuro-Semantic System

And Neuro-Semantics? Yes, it’s another system and yes, it is one that works perfectly well as an integrated and holistic system per se. Why? Because it fully incorporates the NLP and Meta-State systems.  Its framework now goes to two mechanisms as fundamental functions of the human mind-body-emotion system: meaning (semantics) and performance (neurology).  And that’s why the full
system incorporates and makes practical the Self-Actualization Psychology of Abraham Maslow and why the Self-Actualization models and workshops are now at the center of the system.

The Meta-Coaching System

Yes, you guessed it – another fully integrated system that embraces and holds together all of the
previous systems and gives practical application in terms of one of the newest modalities – coaching. As such a well-trained and certified Meta-Coach has within his or her possession all of the distinctions to facilitate performance, developmental, and transformational coaching. He or she needs no other models.

Yet in this field there is the seductive temptation. It is the seduction to opt for more options!  “Enough is just not enough, I want more.”  For some this drive is driven by a fear, “What if I’m missing out on something?”  And so there are Meta-Coaches, there are Neuro-Semantic NLP trainers who, not satisfied with a full-fledged system, are always out there searching for the newest, the latest, the most sensational, the most expensive, the next guru, etc.  Sad.  And in the field of NLP this is even worse.

It is sad because it means that they will be mediocre as a NLP Trainer, a Neuro-Semantic Trainer, or a Meta-Coach, and a master of nothing. It is sad because they will not be employing the 10,000-hour rule (the 10-year rule) for mastery (Anders Ericksson) and so not persisting and not developing depth and quality in their knowledge or skill level. They will stay mediocre at best and fail to develop any real expertise at worse.  Is that what you want?  I hope not.

With a fully integrative system like the systems we have in Neuro-Semantic NLP, you really do not need to go elsewhere!  One of the genuine pleasures I now have been experiencing is that given I’m in my 25th year with NLP (1986 to 2011), my 15th year with Meta-States (1996-2011), and my 10th
year with Meta-Coaching (2001-2011) I now have the pleasure of seeing and experiencing the systemic interfaces between the models and patterns.  And I’m beginning to use the materials systemically in a way that would have been impossible a few years ago.
So my encouragement to you, my challenge to you, my invitation to you –

Refuse to be seduced by the shallow temptation to jump ship and chase the latest fad and stay committed to the path of mastery of learning to think and work systemically within Neuro-Semantics. Do that and there is the magic of peak experiences awaiting you!