Quite often when we talk, we make assumptions in the language we use. The meta-model allows us to see patterns in the language, and phrases to test those assumptions. If these patterns are used deliberately then they can be used to influence – so knowing how to challenge them allows the receiver the ability to reduce that influence.
|NLP Meta Model Pattern||Examples you may hear||Questions to gather more information||You||Partner|
|Simple Deletion||I’ve been out
|Where have you specifically been?
What do you want help with?
|Unspecified verbs||She annoyed me||How specifically did she annoy you?|
|Judgement||You’re Wrong||Who says so and what are the facts?|
|Comparison||She’s better than I am||Better than you?|
|Normalisation||Our Relationship is not working
Change is Easy
|How do we not relate to each other?
Changing what is easy?
|Possibilities||I can’t … it’s not possible||What stops you? Is that true?|
|Necessity||We have to do this … we should, ought to||What would happen if we didn’t?
Who says we should?
|Universal Quantifiers||He never thinks about my feelings
We always do it this way
Every single time? What would happen if we did it differently?
|Complex Equivalence||With a name like that, he must be popular||How does having this name mean that he’s popular?|
|Mind Reading||You’re going to love this||How do you know that?
|Cause and Effect||His voice makes me angry
I made her feel awful
|How does his voice make you angry?
How exactly did you do that?
(Adapted from Toby & Kate McCartney)