me kay cooke

Integrity Within The Model (top tip for NLPers)

“She told me I was better than Tony Robbins” he said.

“(Better) at what?” I enquired.

“Making her feel fantastic” he smiled.

“So how did you do that? I asked (the NLPer)

“She just has to think of me and she feels amazing” he replied.

“But surely her dependency on you for fantastic feelings, contravenes our NLP ethics of a client’s ‘freedom’ of thought, emotion and behaviour?” I challenged.

“I have a special gift, and I can make you feel fantastic too” he offered.

“I gotta go feed the dogs” I retreated, thinking he sounded like a pawn on a chessboard – limited by single units of behaviour for his own feel good.


Have you ever have conversations like this? Where a person’s personality ‘needs’ (e.g. to feel important) are apparently more important than the skills available.


Can we do more to promote integrity when working with clients? Do we need to pay more respect to the reputation of our NLP profession?


History is littered with macabre anecdotes of people using their skills for personal gain across a myriad of professions. Can integrity be taught? I believe so and I believe it starts with increasing self-consciousness. Which is what we help our clients to do, only how many NLPers apply to self first? I wonder.


So you know you’ve got good NLP skills right?

And yet professionally, you’ve probably experienced strong emotional reactions to certain situations/people? Probably you didn’t get the best result because your personality hijacked you in some way.


Maybe you gave a presentation and ‘needed’ everyone to love your performance, leaving you vulnerable to frowning faces.

Perhaps you tried to ‘rescue’ a client by providing your (ill fitting) solution for them, leaving you frustrated by their lack of change.

Or have you ever found yourself sitting in judgment or even getting angry with a client? I certainly have.


Since a skilled NLPer feasts on feedback, reflecting on both process and outcome of client work is key and taking a Meta position helps evaluate both self and others (suggest using neurological levels as an evaluation tool).

The Law of Requisite Variety (key NLP presupposition) states that a brain with the most neuronal connections will have the most (thinking, feeling, behavioural) flexibility, just like the queen on a chess board, most powerful because she can move in many directions, unlike said pawn.


Think Meta again.


What are the structures of integrity?

Humans are primarily motivated by ‘what’s in it for me’ which makes the Ancient Greek aphorism ‘know thyself’ important, unless you are happy leaving your unknown, unconscious drivers in charge.


At the very least be clear about 3 things:

  • Is what I want to have happen in this situation ‘well formed’?
  • Is there conflict between my personality needs (approval, attachment, validation, security, certainty (right/wrong), etc) and the stated goal of my client?
  • How am I benefitting from this situation (money, experience, research etc or personality needs)?


At first, you may wish to reject your insights when answering these questions, until you realise there is nothing to judge or fear. Instead, by bringing your consciousness into your own deeper structures, you remove cognitive dissonance; gain self-esteem as well as clarity of the processes that enhance your work.


I suggest that before we ‘help’ other people, there are smart conversations to be had with oneself – the Meta Model becoming a mighty tool for self-awareness and not just for gathering information from the deeper structures of other people’s minds.















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