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Four Pillars Of NLP

Neuro Linguistics Programming, an approach in practice with its origin back in the 1970s consists of various techniques and patterns which are developed to emulate behaviour of selected geniuses which could help others achieve their goals with a different mindset. There are several psychotherapies that are developed with the intention of improving an individual but as it is well known that every coin has two sides, similarly there are a few limitations to every approach and therefore that gap provides a new opportunity to develop new interventions with different approaches. The "Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic" learning styles as well as other new technologies used in communication, psychotherapy, and education are famous in NLP techniques. Apart from its use in the psychology field as a therapeutic technique, it is employed in business for sales, management, training, and hiring. NLP coaching is used by business and entertainment professionals as well as players and coaches in amateur, professional, and Olympic sports to enhance performance.

The foundation laid by Bandler and Grinder for NLP was because of their inquisitiveness

to know and understand as to why some therapists are more fortunate and successful in comparison to other therapists. Using Grinder's linguistic expertise, Bandler and Grinder discovered the pattern that was ingrained in these therapists. They analysed behavioural patterns using language-based modelling techniques. Models and theories from fields including psychology, linguistics, ethnography, mathematics, cognitive theory, and verbal and nonverbal communication are all incorporated into NLP.

As every building has a structure or pillar upon which it is raised, similarly NLP has 4 major pillars upon which it operates: namely, Outcomes, Sensory Acuity, Behavioural Flexibility, and Rapport. It seems easy to interpret the meaning of these words but its method and the way of implication is something which is studied by practitioners which ultimately serves its purpose and therefore needs deep study.

Pillar 1: Outcome- defining your goals. It may seem apparent, but having a distinct idea of what one wants to accomplish is necessary.

Creating clear outcomes is a crucial step towards success. What do you actually desire is answered clearly by the question, what do you actually want? There is a model: Be->Do->Have. According to this concept, one must initially develop the traits of a person who can achieve that goal which is decided, and after that enact the necessary procedures, to savour the results of one’s labours. The steps towards creating a well defined outcome pattern are as follows~

  • Step 1- Set a gratifying, precise objective.Indicate your desired result or goal in positive, precise language. Steer clear of declarations like, "I don't want to be a perfectionist."A "not frame" motivates the subconscious to produce what you believe to be in opposition.

  • Step 2- Describe your result in terms of capacity, not inability. Make sure that your activities, not those that others should perform, are what shape your outcome. Additionally, you should and must be able to take action on it on your own.

  • Step 3- Meaning is typically determined by context. Describe the environment in which your well-formed result will occur. Your aim becomes more definite and inspiring as a result. Making sure that you have established an ecological goal is also beneficial.

  • Step 4- Modalities of Sense. Use your five senses to describe the result.

If you must use a term like "love," "appreciation," or "passion," be sure to mention the senses that contribute to that emotion. What does it mean to you to feel more valued from a sensory perspective? How does it feel to be "appreciated"? Which body part do you feel it in?

  • Step 5- Objectives.To feel more motivated and to solve problems more effectively, divide your aim into smaller, more doable objectives.

  • Step 6- Support. Plan the assistance you require to bring about this result. What materials do you require?

  • Step 7- Examine the ecology. What can be getting in the way of your objective? Exist any principles, objectives, individuals, or laws that could be problematic?

  • Step 8- Set up your benchmarks. You must be aware of the indicators of development you will spot along the route. By adding the materials from your checklist to a timetable, you can establish milestones. Uncertainty regarding milestones is a red flag.

  • Step 9- Goals should be written down. A notepad or file for this gives you a place to think creatively and solve problems.

  • Step 10- Test. Keep track of your progress toward the goal and its checkpoints.

Pillar 2 - Sensory Acuity: The capacity to distinguish between various states or events using only one's senses. It tells you whether your actions are bringing you closer to your goals. Just knowing about sensory acuity does not suffice as it can convey information through minor changes in one’s physiology about how they feel and it can affect their behaviour in a certain situation. You can determine what it signifies if you notice it repeatedly occurring in a specific circumstance or in response to anything you're doing.

Pillar 3- Behavioural flexibility: The capacity to alter one's own conduct in order to get the desired reaction from another person is known as behavioural flexibility. Instead of having habitual, and hence constrained, reactions that would restrict performance potential, it might refer to the development of a wide range of responses to any given stimulus. Successful people understand the importance of flexibility. They are aware that the more adaptable they are, the more options they have and the better able they are to adjust to changes in their surroundings.

Pillar 4- Rapport: Why is it that politicians, entertainers, salespeople, and other interesting people can connect with you? Is all of it just organic chemistry? Sometimes. Professionals, however, are taught how to build rapport. People who are proud of their aspirations for higher values and their efforts to develop the abilities necessary to make a positive difference in the world flourish in their chosen fields by using rapport-building techniques.

There are really useful techniques in NLP under the four pillars mentioned above which would help individuals to grow not just on the professional forefront but on a personal level as well which leads an individual to happiness and contentment. As it is known that just by knowing or reading out of curiosity won’t serve any purpose until and unless it is absorbed or practised in one’s life for betterment, same is with the concept of NLP. Many of you must have heard about NLP or seen it being practised by practitioners but, one strong reason to yourself get engaged in learning and experiencing NLP, is the cut- edge competition with ever evolving technological developments. In this present time of being constantly connected to people through various mediums, we barely focus on ourselves. Through the process of NLP, one would be equipped with better self-management skills along with learning whole new ways of interacting with other people and understanding how they think and feel.


Joanne. (2020, June 17). Behavioural Flexibility – NLP Matters. Destiny Pursuit Coaching & Training.

Neuro Linguistic Programming. (2003, February 13). CIMA Topic Gateway Series No. 43.

Smith, A. (2011, November 7). What Is Sensory Acuity in NLP? Practical NLP;

Vaknin, S. (n.d.). The Big Book of NLP Techniques


This Blog on ' Four pillars of NLP' has been contributed by Nidhi Panchal. She is an inquisitive student pursuing her Bachelor's in Psychology with great dedication, adaptable to a different perspective and tends to build knowledge and experience with proper strategic management. She is part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP). GIRP is an IJNGP initiative to encourage young adults across our globe to showcase their research skills in psychology and to present it in creative content expression.


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