top of page

Understanding NLP - Part 2

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

CA brief overview of the Meta-Model. Sensory Acuity, Mirroring/Matching, Predicates, and Anchors will be briefly explained.

Part Two - Understanding NLP

This is a sequel to the first Understanding NLP article. In this article I will talk about Sensory Acuity, Mirroring/Matching, Predicates, and Anchors. This is a very, very brief explanation of these modalities. . Stay tuned for the 3rd and final instalment of this 3 part series. I will be talking about the meta-model and techniques.

Sensory Acuity

We can take one look at a person and can infer a great deal about what they are thinking or what their thought process is at that time. For example, we will know when a person is happy or unhappy. We will know when a person is depressed. We know when to avoid our bosses - it may be his or her "bad day." Of course, some people are good at hiding their true feelings.

In general, a person's thought process is very closely tied to his/her physiology. A dog can sense when you are afraid. How did he know? We pick up clues from the body language of the person we are communicating to: slumped shoulders, downcast eyes, drooping head, lack of animation etc. Sensory acuity takes these observations beyond the more obviously recognizable clues and uses the physical feedback in addition to someone's words to gain as much from the communication as possible.

Mirroring and Matching

Mirroring and matching are two techniques of Neuro-linguistic Programming used to gain rapport at the unconscious level. This is possible by becoming like the person with whom you need to make a connection.

Generally, people look, act, sound and move like one another, they tend to notice the similarity at the unconscious level and therefore get along with each other.

It is a natural process to help things come in a state of harmony. Even two similar pendulums suspended with a wire will tend to synchronize their swimming motion. We can therefore gain rapport with any person by emulating the person using the process of mirroring and matching given in NLP.

You can start by observing groups of people who are comfortable and enjoy with each other. You can observe people at hangouts, restaurants, meetings etc. These people will tend to behave in synchronization with each other, by talking, eating, sitting or gesturing in a similar manner. They will sit in similar positions, and have similar kind of behaviour. These actions are not deliberate, but happen at the unconscious level once they have entered the state of rapport.

There are several Neuro-linguistic elements in our behaviour that we can mirror and match using NLP. We can mirror or match ones voice and posture, blinking and facial expression, words and gesturing, physiology and position. For example if a person tilts his head to the left, we should tilt the head to the right, just like a mirror. Align your posture similar to the curvature of the spine. When you sit across someone, you can assume a mirror position of the hands, legs, head etc. When a person talks, you can observe the gestures used and hand movements. You can use the same gestures when responding back. However, do not try to imitate every gesture every time, or else it will look like you are playing the monkey game. When a person is talking simply notice the gestures used, and use them when you are responding.

Try to be as discreet as possible when using the matching and mirroring techniques of NLP. You can delay an action by a few seconds. For example if the person shift his position, you can match it by shifting your position after some time.

Another useful technique is to use crossover mirroring. In crossover mirroring, when a person changes one part of his physiology, you can mirror it by changing some other part of your Neuro-linguistic physiology. That means, if the person moves his leg, you can do a crossover mirroring by moving your hand. You can match the breathing of a person, by moving your fingers with the same frequency as that of the breathing. Such Neuro-linguistic techniques will help you implement the mirroring and matching techniques without making the person consciously aware of your behaviour.


In NLP training, the senses through which we experience the world, are referred to as representational systems. The words to describe these systems are called predicates. Therefore, you have several different systems working for you: Visual predicates (for things you see), auditory predicates (for things you hear), kinaesthetic predicates (things you feel or tactile sensations), AD or self talk predicates (also called labelling system), olfactory predicates (things you smell), and gustatory predicates (things you taste).

In NLP everyone has system that they prefer over another and process the most information through it. It can give you a clue as to what might be going on inside someone else’s internal map of the world. This preferred system can be determined through physiology and predicates used in a conversation.

Here are few examples of the predicates used in these sentences.

“I really don’t feel comfortable with this” (Kinaesthetic)

“This doesn’t sound right for me” (Auditory)

“I don’t see how this going to work out” (Visual)

“It smells bad and it also tastes bad” (Olfactory/Gustatory)

Knowing the preferred representational system (predicates they use) of someone is useful in any context. Imagine trying to communicate with someone who is foreign or doesn’t have very good English speaking skills chances are you’ll be able to get the gist of what they are trying to say by listening to the predicates they use. If you present information with someone else’s preferred system the information will be very desirable for them.

Welcome to your blog post. Use this space to connect with your readers and potential customers in a way that’s current and interesting. Think of it as an ongoing conversation where you can share updates about business, trends, news, and more.

Design with Ease

Do you have a design in mind for your blog? Whether you prefer a trendy postcard look or you’re going for a more editorial style blog - there’s a stunning layout for everyone.

Every layout comes with the latest social features built in. Readers will be able to easily share posts on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, view how many people have liked a post, made comments and more. With the Wix, building your online community has never been easier.

Create Relevant Content

You’ll be posting loads of engaging content, so be sure to keep your blog organized with Categories that also allow readers to explore more of what interests them. Each category of your blog has its own page that’s fully customizable. Add a catchy title, a brief description and a beautiful image to the category page header to truly make it your own. You can also add tags (#vacation #dream #summer) throughout your posts to reach more people, and help readers search for relevant content. Using hashtags can expand your post reach and help people find the content that matters to them. Go ahead, #hashtag away.

Stun Your Readers

Be original, show off your style, and tell your story.

Blogging gives your site a voice, so let your business’ personality shine through. Are you a creative agency? Go wild with original blog posts about recent projects, cool inspirational ideas, or what your company culture is like. Add images, and videos to really spice it up, and pepper it with slang to keep readers interested. Are you a programmer? Stay on the more technical side by offering weekly tips, tricks, and hacks that show off your knowledge of the industry. No matter what type of business you have, one thing is for sure - blogging gives your business the opportunity to be heard in a way in a different and unconventional way.

Get Inspired

Below is a chart which outlines the types of words/predicates people will use in a preferred representational system. Remember the preferred system can change depending on the context/situation they are in.


You can create anchors to serve you or change those that do not generate the results you want. To do this, you need to understand some basic concepts about anchors.

Anchors can be created naturally or artificially in two ways:

  1. In a single instance, if there is a highly emotional (positive or negative) event. E.g. your significant other takes you to a special place and proposes to you in a very romantic and emotional way. When you return to this location, what comes to mind?Repetition, the continual association between a stimulus and a response. Repetition is needed if the emotion is not strong or there is no emotional involvement. Television commercials often link an alcoholic beverage with a pleasant experience. After seeing this advertisement a number of times, you begin to make the association.

  2. Repetition, the continual association between a stimulus and a response. Repetition is needed if the emotion is not strong or there is no emotional involvement. Television commercials often link an alcoholic beverage with a pleasant experience. After seeing this advertisement a number of times, you begin to make the association.

The anchor needs to be:

Unique, distinct and easy to repeat. If touching your thumb and index finger is not something you do on a regular basis, then this would be a good kinaesthetic anchor. Saying a word internally to yourself in a particular tone of voice would be a good auditory/auditory digital anchor. Selecting a trigger that you inadvertently fire quite often has the potential of dissipating the anchor and rendering it useless. Unique triggers make better and longer lasting anchors.

Linked to a state that is cleanly and completely re-experienced. If your client wishes to create an anchor to feel confident in certain situations and he recalls a past event when he felt confident, but he was also confused as to your instructions, then the stimulus will generate a response that is a mixture of confidence and confusion.

Timed just as the state is reaching its peak. As your client recalls a time that he had a certain attribute (e.g. confidence), the feeling of confidence will begin to get stronger until it reaches a peak. Generally, the anchor should be applied when the response is about 2/3 of its peak and held until it peaks. Depending on how fast your client accesses his feelings, the anchor could be applied anywhere from a couple of seconds to 10 seconds. Applying the anchor past the peak, may pick up a weakened state or some other state.

The basic steps for anchoring are:

Have your client recall a past vivid experience for the state you are anchoring.

Apply a specific trigger as the state is reaching its peak.

Break state.

Test the anchor. When you fire the trigger, does your client think of the state?

Repeating steps 1 - 3 several times will make the anchor stronger. This is called stacking an anchor.

The best state to anchor is a naturally occurring state (e.g. you are laughing at a joke you just heard). The next best state is a past vivid highly associated state. If you wish to create an anchor for a specific state that you have never experienced, do you know someone that has that quality? Imagine stepping into that other person's shoes and taking on her physiology and feelings (this person can be real or imaginary).

To elicit a past memory for anchoring purposes, you can use the following scrip for yourself or with your client:

Remember a specific time when you were really _____ (e.g. confident). Close your eyes and fully associate into that memory by going back to that time, putting yourself in your own body, looking through your own eyes, seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard and have the feelings of being really _____.

You can also assist your client by using a voice tonality that reflects the state he is accessing. If he is accessing an energetic state, then your voice tonality would reflect energy.

To maintain an anchor, it should only be fired when necessary and have regular reinforcement. To reinforce (or build up) an anchor, you can either on a regular basis repeat the process you used to establish the anchor or if you notice you are naturally experiencing the state that you desire then fire the trigger to enhance the anchor.

To make an anchor really strong or to associate different resources to the same anchor, you can stack anchors; that is you repeat the anchoring process several times by eliciting several occurrences of the same or different states and anchor them in the same place.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my passion about NLP. Please come back for the final article, Part Three of Three. Korey Snider

7 views0 comments


bottom of page