Tim Brunson DCH

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Changing With Logical Levels

by Dr. William Horton

Perspective is everything!

Our brain is a vast informational system that has a series of maps. These maps grow as new information and experiences are input into our system. There is much territory around these "maps" in our brains and sometimes our perspective limits the incoming information, therefore constraining our "map". How we feel and think about things happening is a good way to explain what perspective is. Sometimes our perspective on new experiences, tasks or information can guide us in the wrong direction and it is important to make sure that we learn to control our thinking. That way we can handle change in smaller steps, making it more manageable. Smaller and manageable steps make the change seem easier therefore allowing for more confidence and being able to better handle the situation. Go to www.nfnlp.com for more.

Logical Levels

There are different levels at which change can occur. As with anything it is easier to change things at a much lower level than one that is more complex. For example, when you think of updating your home, you think of colors, decorations and minor repairs. These are all things that are easier and will not cost an arm and leg or take much effort. The higher level remodeling jobs such as electrical, plumbing and replacing the carpet are much more difficult. NLP'ers look at the below diagram and determine the levels, then comparing to the level of change that the individual is looking for. When the levels of the diagram are all satisfied the individual is happier and more content. This can be called congruence, which is the state of the individual when they are comfortable with values and skills. Misalignment or levels that are out of order can cause individuals thought patterns to be incorrect, therefore leading to failure.

The Right Questions

When you are looking to change it is important to have a good foundation and understand of why you are changing. Sometimes answering why is the hardest part and that amazes many people. Here are the questions that you need to be asking yourself in order to determine the best plan of action and if the change is a good one. Remember the who-what-where-why and how of answering questions, well life's questions are no different.

The environment surrounding your change is very important, this is sometimes the constraining factor of change in your life. Some people are confined to the environment in which they live, sometimes it can change and other times you have to find a way around it. The environment can answer your where, when and whom questions. Behavior involves the actions and behaviors surrounding the changes. This is the "what" question. Behavior is directly linked to the environment level. Capabilities are about your knowledge base and how you can accomplish with your skills. Your capabilities are your guiding force and answer your how questions. Beliefs and values are your motivational base and what allows you to begin the change itself. This is your why question and the importance associated with the change. Identity is your sense of self and in many cases your relation to others. This is the "who" question. Purpose is looking at the entire picture and is sometimes difficult. This is the reason and driving force behind the change as well as why it is necessary. The what for question.

Logical levels step by step

One of the areas where most people go wrong is not establishing a guideline or method to their madness. Using the levels and breaking it down into smaller steps will ensure success. Think about it this way, when a person goes to climb a mountain they do not take one huge step in hopes of reaching the top. There are a series of smaller steps to get there though. Same is true in achieving goals; develop a plan and take smaller steps!

Out of whack

The old saying that you can not fix what you do not acknowledge is very true. It is important to admit that a change is necessary. What ever it may be, if you do not put a price tag on it, you will likely not adhere as closely to the steps!

The right level

After admitting there is a need for change then you must discover what level the change is needed at. Really taking inventory will help you discover the level of change that is needed. For example, is it personal, business or another area that is suffering or could improve? Putting it into action As with anything change in your life must come from motivation and understanding that a change could help you succeed or better your life. It s also necessary to obtain or find the right tools to help you succeed, it may be others , education, business or something else that provides the needed foundation for your change.

Uses for logical levels

Using logical levels can assist you in springing into action after you have answered the questions and surrounded yourself with useful tools. Here is how to use the levels in a practical and efficient manner.

Information gathering

Getting the facts and making use of it is very important. You wouldn't do a research paper without first gathering the information. After finding the information, organize it into a system that you can understand.

Building relationships

Building relationships within the family is important in a change, because it typically changes the dynamics of the entire family. Especially in changes such as marriage or divorce, where the entire family is affected. Understanding how the family can work together and implementing bonds will help continue and make the change more successful.

Improve performance

If it is a business or personal change that is in question it is important to ensure that you are doing your best. It may be that you need to decide at what level or where the change is necessary. In business, is it a financial decision, employee morale or some other decision that is necessary.

Leadership and confidence

Using the levels of change are important to establish a better confidence levels and personal techniques to achieve your goals.

Finding the tools for change

There are certain requirements that are need for change, among these are the desire to change, knowing how to change and the opportunity for change. Deciding that you can make it happen and accepting the fact that you have choices will assist you in the change process.


The environment and surroundings is one of the most important aspects of change. Sometimes the environment is simply not conducive to change so it makes it impossible. Instead of giving up hope, how about realigning, this will make it easier and help you achieve your goal. Changing your environment to a more conducive surrounding with people, business or friends can help make the change an easier one. For example, if you want to learn a new language it is much easier when you surround yourself with others that speak that new language.

Here are a few environmental questions to help decide the right environment choices for you: Answering questions about when you work and feel the best, types of environment where you excel and time of day that you re most successful will help place you in the right environment.


For the sake of NLP behavior is not only your observable actions, but also the way you feel about the actions. How you feel about your behavior and actions is generally the driving forces behind the action, inspiring it again and again. It may well be the purpose that drives your behavior and until you understand that, you may have a more difficult time with changing behavior. Determining whether or not your behavior is in line with goals is sometimes difficult, but here are a few questions that can help. Are your actions consistent with your goals, are your behaviors positive and keep you happy, is there a pattern in your behavior, if so is it consistent with your goals? What do you notice about others, are there patterns? Does your body language change in different situations, note the differences.

Maximizing positive behavior is important when on the achieving path. Whether it be a salad at dinner or setting time aside for practicing that new found love for golf. For a while it is a conscious effort to maximize the right behaviors, but after a while it becomes old hat. On the flip side of that you will want to decrease bad behavior by eliminating it.


Because the human mind is a learning machine it is no doubt that some people have skills or talents that are inborn. Some people seem more "capable" than others and often times others mistakenly think it is based on intelligence. Most researchers, business owners and others now realize that the best employees are those that are team oriented and have a positive attitude. Those that look at new challenges or change with a positive spirit can acquire new skills and capabilities. Just like you learn to ride a bike or snow ski, you can learn new things, if you have the desire and right attitude. . NLP looks to the learning and acquiring of new skills, but the core theory is based on the fact that all skills are learnable. Believing that employees, individuals as well as all others can learn by watching and modeling their behavior by the positive influence of others is the theory of NLP.

Asking yourself the following questions can help you get an idea of your capabilities and help you better understand where you can make improvements. Thinking back and asking yourself about a skill that you learned at a previous time. Thinking about the events, happenings and situation that lead to the positive learning of this skill can help you recognize the pattern to make it happen again. Looking at what you are good at, what do others comment and compliment you at? Recognizing the patters and behaviors around these questions can help you focus attention leading to succeeding again.

*Beliefs & Values

Beliefs and values drive people to either achieve their goals or be lost in trying. The way we feel about something, especially one of our goals, motivates us to continue on. Seeking out a goal is not always easy and since success does not come overnight this motivation is imperative. Our beliefs not only keep us moving toward the end result, but also help us rank our goals and wants. If there are two important things on the agenda we have to rank and make a decision as to which to do first. Most people will move toward the goal or "thing" that has the highest price tag. For example, we may get great recognition for playing a round of golf, but if we fail to go to work, the money is shut off.

Beliefs also keep you in the place or environment that we need to be. If our goal is to get into shape then our goal is best achievable in the gym or fitness area. Our beliefs that fitness is associated with the gym, but on the other hand we believe that in shape and fit is not at the ice cream parlor.

On the levels of logics our beliefs and values drive the lower levels allowing for all of the levels to come into alignment. If you are concerned that there may be a conflict between the levels here are questions to help make a determination. Discovering what is important to you and why, what is important to others, what do you believe to be right from wrong.


Many think that a person's identity is based on skills, intelligence and their behavior. NLP looks at the definition of identity of the person separate from their behavior. Instead of lumping people into a category based on their actions, NLP sees behavior as a consequence of an underlying motive. This belief is an optimistic view of mankind and avoids attaching labels to people based on their behavior.

Now this does not sound like a major theory, but it is because we say a great deal about expectations of others by how we speak to them. If we speak to someone about bad behavior and attach it to their identity, we are sending them the message that their character is flawed. We need to speak about the behavior and avoid negative affect to the identity level of the individual. Here are questions to answer if there is conflict surrounding identity. How do you express yourself, how do you feel about yourself, how do others feel about you, do you label others, do others have an accurate picture of who you really are?


The purpose or reason behind is generally the reason in which people journey onward to their goal. For some people their purpose is larger than their identity and they achieve great things. People journey through life sometimes questioning their purpose in life, but it is often right in front of them. They are looking too hard! Through hard times and great suffering their have been individuals that have persevered because their passion was greater than any other thing in their life. Look at Dalai Lama and the resistance, suffering, but the passion was definitely a driving force, some might say the only force.

A passion for something will generally keep an individual on track for much longer than normal. People will endure great things when they feel strongly about something. Finding a passion or purpose will guide a person toward their goal regardless of the conflict or troubles that they cross during their journey. Answering the following questions will help with your purpose. What are you here on Earth for, how do you want people to remember you when you die, what strengths can you use to contribute to a higher good?

Recognizing other peoples Logical Levels

By recognizing other people's comments you can determine their logical levels and/or conflict. Being able to determine the level of the individual will enable you to help them make the necessary changes. Also understanding that it is not always what they say, but where the emphasis is placed in the sentence. Here are some statements and evaluations:

I can't do it here. Statement about identity.

I can't do it here. Statement about beliefs.

I can't do it here. Statement about capabilitiy.

I can't do it here. Statement about behavior.

I can't do it here. Statement about environment.

For more information visit: http://www.nfnlp.com.

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