MAJOR PRESUPPOSITIONS OF NLP: The Top 13 Original Major Presuppositions of NLP Defined

Presuppositions of NLP: Sometimes confusingly called “Frames of NLP” the creators of NLP used these presuppositions in developing the field. Using these perspectives will give you the attitudes that makes NLP work. 

A form of Perceptual Filter – An attitude, bias, point of view, perspective or set of assumptions or presuppositions about the object, person or situation. This attitude “colors” all perceptions of the object, etc.

There will be exceptions to all of these presuppositions, but they are a very useful starting basis for communication and a very effective way to increase your awareness of your personal perceptual filters (aka personal biases).

1. Communication is redundant. You are always communicating, in all 3 major Sensory Modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) in addition to words. (And the nonverbal communication usually comprises 70 90%.)

2. The meaning of your communication is the response that you get. Communication is not about what you intend, or about saying the right words. Communication is about creating an experience in, and getting a response from, the listener. The “bottom line” is the response you elicit. This is a useful way for each of us to think about what we do and say. This means that if I write something as an author and you don’t like it, that’s the response I’ve elicited. It’s more useful for me to think, “I got a response I don’t want. How can I change my behavior so that I’ll get a response I do want?” At the same time it’s  more useful for you to think “What can I do to either get the author to do things differently, or to learn from this situation anyway, even if it’s not the way I want it?”

3. People respond to their map of reality, not to reality itself. NLP is the science of changing these maps (not reality). By changing maps, it’s possible to change people’s responses.

4. Requisite variety: The element in a system with the most flexibility will usually be the controlling element.

5. People work perfectly. No one is wrong or broken; it’s simply a matter of finding out how you function now, so that you can effectively change how you function in that context to something more useful or desirable.

6. People always make the best choice available to them at the time (but usually there are lots of other better ones). However, there may be a wealth of better ones that we haven’t explored yet.

7. Every behavior is useful in some context. Re-contextualizing behavior is a major category of NLP intervention.

8. Choice is better than no choice.

9. Anyone can do anything. If one person can do something, it is possible to model it and teach it to anyone else.

10. People already have all the resources they need. What they need is access to these resources at appropriate times and places.

11. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Every response can be utilized. Richard Bandler has often said that he has made more mistakes than anyone he knows. Robert Dilts has an inventor friend who tries out a lot of things that don’t work. When Robert once asked him, “Isn’t that discouraging? he replied, “Oh, no. I just realize that’s a solution to a different problem.”

12. Chunking. Anything can be accomplished (by anyone) if you break the task down into small enough chunks. “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.”

13. Positive Intent.
Behind every behavior is a positive intent.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top