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John Grinder's Future Vision for NLP

Patrick E. Merlevede, June 1997

This web page is a part from the notes I took at a seminar with John Grinder in June 1997 at the IEP in The Netherlands. This section is a part of the Article I wrote for the NLP World magazine (March 1998 issue).

Modeling is the heart of NLP. Let's focus on the discovery of patterns!

Take the methodology, go out to model and make a difference!

Move into area's that NLP has not coded before. Model these areas with the tools that NLP explicated.

What I see often nowadays is that people are repeating old patterns over and over again or offering trivial variations of old patterns which serve to achieve the same objectives. And most disturbingly, these variations tend to be more complex than the original patterns, thereby violating the first principle of modeling. This provokes some questions?

Where are the new models?

Do people realize that there are no right models? There is no right model, no correct number of steps -> it doesn't matter!

Make your own Code! Throw away the old models or at least find new ways to describe the old patterns, so that they become more transportable, easier to learn. That is one of the goals of the new code of NLP/ Getting to achieve the same goals, but far simpler than before. Find out what's common in the old code – What variables lie behind the patterns? Which variables do you find all the time? Ask yourself the question: How else can I do it?

Using patterns is like learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels. Once you know how to ride a bicycle, you take the training wheels off, because at that point they become an obstacle to using the bicycle to its full potential. Similarly, during training, I recommend that people stick to the pattern presented until they have mastered it. Once they have the pattern integrated at the unconscious level, they have the freedom to experiment with it and to be creative to find other ways.

Adapt NLP

It would be very useful to modify NLP for specific cultural requirements. NLP was created in California in the ‘70’s by two males. It carries a very American framework, using American cultural filters. It requires adaptation, mapping it to other cultures.

NLP carries the risk that comes with any nominalization of an actual experience; that is, writing down a fixed interpretation of a certain experience at a certain moment. Once you write something down, you risk getting fundamentalists, who stick to the form and Liberals who will re-interprete the form, attempting to update it to give it a current relevance. Oral communication has the advantage that the form will evolve with the context.

NLP is about systematically asking the questions "How specifically?" about any interesting experience, or How do you know that you know.

Corrupt the world! (in the same sense as Socrates corrupted the youth of Athens)

Let's create momentum by spreading the technology of choice! two ways to do this are:

get NLP embedded in the educational system: install the patterns in a group of teachers so that they teach it to the next generation

On legal issues and quality of NLP:

NLP Belongs to the people, to the public domain.
(more about this on

Bandler and Grinder both deserve credit for their role in creating NLP

There is a need for associations to control quality (probably on a national level initially, only later on a world-wide level), but this is separate from legal issues.

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John Grinder is the co-creator of NLP. He currently works as a consultant for Quantum Leap Inc. He still lives in the coastal mountains just outside of Santa Cruz and can be reached through Quantum Leap Inc, 170 F.Alamo Plaza #368, Alamo, CA 94507, USA, Fax: +1 (510)837-2080 and by email at