Part 7 Strategies

The Sequences of Internal Representation Systems
Our behaviour, without exception, is controlled by our internal processing strategies. Every one of us, for example, has a set of strategies peculiar to us for motivating ourselves to get out of bed in the morning. For some it may be an internal clock; for others an external alarm and for others they may hit the ‘snooze’ button several times until they feel pressured by a lack of time and/or internal representations of being late for work and getting in trouble! You will have a strategy for everything you do. Nevertheless, our cultural models do not explicitly teach us the details of strategies that make for success in each situation. This is why we may encounter inconsistent levels of success in different areas of our lives. A person may have very successful strategies for making money, for instance, yet fail dismally with the strategies they run for, let’s say, personal relationships.
By applying the techniques of NLP, individuals have learned to either, modify existing strategies, or create new ones, that allow them to succeed in achieving their outcomes. Indeed, most strategies can be easily learned or modified to ensure the accomplishment of whatever goal we choose.

What Is A Strategy

The Presuppositions of Strategies
1. ALL behaviour is the result of neurological patterns. If a neurological pattern occurs then behaviour happens.
2. Any particular neurological pattern is the culmination of two processes:
a) Accessing Cues.
b) Synaesthesia Patterns, including things such as anchors, associations, and transderivational search and overlap.
Note: Synaesthesia is where two or more Representational Systems are linked and so are triggered at the same time. E.g. A smell evokes an immediate emotion and image of a particular person. *Transderivational Search is where a person goes inside to find the relevant
information they require. They may appear to ‘be miles away’ during this process.

*Transderivational search is a psychological and cybernetics term, meaning when a search is being conducted for a fuzzy match across a broad field. In computing the equivalent function can be performed using content-addressable memory

The TOTE Model

A strategy is the specific order and sequencing of Internal and External Representations that follow an explicit representation of the intended goal, which should then lead to the accomplishment of the specific outcome. Strategies, if ill-formed, or inappropriate to the context of the outcome, can, of course, fail. Have you ever tried something that failed although it worked in a different context?

The Components:
 Elicitation: The first step is to discover the person’s Strategy through the process of Elicitation.
 Utilisation: Next, utilise the Strategy by feeding back information to the person in the same order and sequence that it was elicited. The test or check is simply that if the Strategy has been elicited correctly, we will get the desired outcome.
 Change and Design: The next step is to then be able to change the strategy if a person’s Strategy is not getting the desired outcome. If the person doesn’t have a Strategy for a certain outcome then a new Strategy can be installed. This requires design.
 Installation: Once the modifications of the Strategy have been made, or a new Strategy has been designed, it can be installed and run to check they achieve the desired outcome.

1. The first Test is a cue or Trigger that begins the Strategy. It establishes the criteria “fed forward” and is used as a standard of comparison for the second test.
2. The Operation accesses data by remembering, creating, or gathering the information required by the Strategy from the internal or external world.
3. The second Test is a comparison of some aspect of the accessed data with the criteria established by the first test. The two things compared must be represented in the same Representation System.
4. The Exit, (a.k.a.) Decision Point, or Choice Point, is a representation of the results of the test. If there is a match, the Strategy exits. If there is a mismatch, the Strategy recycles.
5. The Strategy may recycle by:
 Changing the outcome or redirecting the Strategy.
 Adjusting the Criteria, Chunking Laterally or Reorienting.
 Refining or further specifying the outcome.
 Accessing more data.

Using Strategies

In order to get the information down quickly enough, NLP has created a universal type of ‘shorthand’. Simply because your attention needs to be on the person as they run the strategy you are eliciting, we do not have time for lengthy note-taking. The way that we write down a strategy when working with someone is very straightforward. We use the letters representing the main modalities V-A-K-O-G and add Ad (Auditory Digital) because self-talk often crops up as a vital part of people’s strategies. Think about the ways that we can run each modality. We can run them internally, so we can
remember or construct an image (V) in our minds. To show that that is an internal Visual what letter do you think we might put after it as a
superscript? That’s right, either an ‘i’ to show it is internal or a letter ‘r’ to show that it is a remembered image. What if the trigger were an external image? Get it? It’s pretty straightforward forward, isn’t it?
Now then, from what we have just said, what do you think you would do with the other modalities for notation? That’s right! You would add exactly the same thing, depending on whether it is internal, external, remembered or constructed. It is surprisingly common for people to run what is called a Synaesthesia. This is where one modality instantly and simultaneously triggers another modality in the sequence within the strategy. The most common are V / K. Some prefer to simply write V/K Syn. Whether you keep to the crossed-line notation or the shorthand version be consistent and make sure that you know what each symbol means.
Have a look at the examples below and remember-the notations were created to help you write down a strategy, so be gentle with yourself and just get familiar with it and practice noting down parts of strategies when you are chatting to people

Strategy Notation:

What To Watch Out For

Formal Elicitation Questions

Elicitation Issues

Buying Strategies
Strategies are made up of a series of TOTES, mini-strategies if you will.
“How did you know it was time to begin the process of X?”
“How did you decide that that was the (___X___) for you?”
To find the person’s convincer strategy (a TOTE within the strategy) you can
ask about a convincer strategy from something else. It is usually constant.
“How are you convinced someone is competent at what they do?”
a) Are you automatically convinced?
b) Do they need to demonstrate their competence a number of times?
 How many times?
c) Do they need to demonstrate their competence over a period of time?
 How long?
d) Or are you never convinced?
“How did you know you made a good decision?”
(This nullifies ‘buyer’s remorse’.)

“How do you know someone is attractive?”
Recognizing Attraction:
“How do you know someone finds you attractive?”
“How are you convinced that someone finds you attractive?”
Deep Love:
“In order for you to know that someone deeply loves you is it absolutely
necessary for you to:-
V – To be given things, taken places or be looked at in a particular way.
Or A – To hear a particular tone of voice or certain words?
Or K – Be touched or held in a particular way or place?

“When do you do it?”
“How did you know it was time?”
“How do you do it?”
“What came next?”
“Same as buying” See above.
“How do you know this is a problem?

1. Decide which Strategy you want to elicit.
2. Ask appropriate Elicitation Questions.
3. Observe and test Eye Accessing Patterns, listen for Predicates and notice Physiology.
 Eye Accessing Cues: Is the person Normal or Reverse Organised?
 What are the Conscious and Unconscious Steps in the Strategy?
 What is the Appropriate Chunk for this individual to operate from?
 Look out for Synesthesias.
 What is their Lead Representational System e.g. Ar /Ad ?
 What’s their Convincer Strategy?
If it is the ‘Number of Times’ make sure you get the number from them.
 Do you have all the steps that you think makes up the Strategy?
Can you justify each step as necessary?
Are there any ‘Loop Backs’? Does the Strategy circle back to a particular point over and over?

Exercise – Strategy Elicitation

What do you want to be better at?
From Bandler & Grinder
This pattern allows you to create new behaviours and run them through your mind before actually trying them out. You mentally rehearse your future behaviour and so pace yourself into this new future. Future pacing also allows you to do an ecology check.
STEPS: (Be clear that there is some change you wish to make.)
 Eyes: Look down left – Ad
Talk to yourself. Ask yourself, “What do I want to do differently?” Say to yourself, “If I could do that, what would it look like?” As you say this lead yourself into Vc.
 Eyes: Look up right – Vc See yourself (Dissociated) doing that new behaviour. Notice what happens to your state and the effect upon any other people involved.
 Eyes: Look down right – K Step into the experience and looking through your own eyes (Associated), feel how it is. The kinaesthetic check is a crucial part of your evidence procedure. It enables you to evaluate your new behaviour and make any necessary adjustments.
 Cycle round at least three times. Make any necessary adjustments or modifications. Find some alternatives – you may make changes or add in new pieces – then run them in your mind’s eye. Watch what happens (dissociated) and then associate into yourself and check the associated feelings.
 Future pace. Think of a time in the future when you will want to have this choice of behaviour. Notice the cues that it is time to do it. Imagine yourself in that context and then run through the new behaviour. As you watch yourself (dissociated), notice what happens and then slide
into (associate into) the future you and check the feelings. If you need to change anything then run through the procedure again until you get a positive K check. When satisfied that you have the new behaviour as you wish, run through the future pace procedure at least three times.

Module Review