We all have representational systems running in our brain. We perceive all reality in terms of these three representational systems.

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic (Body Feelings and Emotions)

If I ask you to recall a great experience, you had had, and describe it, what would you describe? Visually predominant people would describe their experience mostly in terms of sight, the words they use belonging to the visual representational system. They might use words such as

  • "Let's see..."
  • "The way I see it is..."
  • "My point of view is..."
  • "I can't see the big picture..."

Whereas those whose representational systems are predominantly auditory would use auditory words.

  • "That does not ring a bell to me..."
  • "It sounds horrible..."
  • "What this tells me is..."
  • "I want to hear it again..."

Similarly those whose representational systems are predominantly kinesthetic would use words that indicate touch, weight etc.

  • "The incident has left me feeling heavy..."
  • "I am touched..."
  • "I feel perked up..."
  • "I can't grasp what he or she is saying..."

Those who are visual tend to speak fast (they are describing the mental pictures that pop up in their mind). Those who are auditory tend to speak rhythmically and those who are kinesthetic tend to speak slowly.

Matching a person's predominant style would be especially useful in developing rapport with the person. If you hear some concept in your most predominant style it would be irresistible for you.

That leads us to what is called as Convincer Pattern. Basically, you have a pattern to become convinced. The Convincer pattern is your unique pattern to get convinced.

Visual people have a compelling urge to see the product before they buy it. For auditory people, it is sufficient if they hear about the product (and they prefer the phone and they do a lot of their dealings over the phone). Kinesthetic people are best moved when they have emotions attached to the sales pitch. These and many more convincer patterns can be found here.

The way you describe a problem is the most important clue

Years ago, I met an NLP practitioner with whom I was discussing my situation.

"What do you want?" he asked me point blank.

I told him "I don't see peace in sight".

He said "Hey great!" he exclaimed as I had given him the most important clue to the solution. "Peace is in sight! Remember, Peace is in sight!" he told me.

That kind of programmed me, and I stopped worrying about the issue.

All I had to do was to visualize peace in my mind. That happened to be the most important clue I needed for my problem.

People talk about wanting some distance from the problem. All they have to do is to push the mental pictures away in their mind. People talk about wanting to run away from their problems. All they have to do is to reduce the volume of the problem and push it away far far away in their minds, so that they are psychologically miles away from their issue.

There was a guy who did not like to go to social occasions. Richard Bandler, asked him why he would not go to parties. The guy said "I don't think people there would like me." He did not say "I think people there won't like me." The way he said that was very important. That was the vital clue. Bandler asked him to think that the people there would like him.

If you are feeling lethargic, you might describe your problem as "I am feeling sluggish". Then the answer is to fasten your body movements. Notice that you had described your issue kinesthetically and the solution is in the kinesthetic representational system. If you are feeling hectic, and that you are moving too fast, the solution is to deliberately slow down your body movements. That could be a permanent cure to impatience.

Impatience could be the result of seeing pictures moving very fast too. Then the cure is to slow down the pictures, so that you see them moving slide by slide. That could instantly make you patient.

Changing the attributes of the representational systems such as pushing away the pictures, darkening the pictures, reducing the volume of the inner voices is called altering the submodalities of the representational system.