Logical Levels Exercise

Logical Levels and Outcome Formation

The exercise in a recent NLP Practitioner Certification included using the Logical Levels as a Life-Change Pattern with regard to acheiving an Outcome. The Logical Levels are from Robert Dilt’s contribution to NLP. Robert studied Gregory Bateson’s Logical Levels of Education and adapted it to a number of applications. The Logical Levels include Environment, Behavior, Capability, Values/Beliefs, Identity, and Spirit. My purpose here is not to describe what the levels are but to comment on how to do the exercise of taking an individual through the levels by taking an outcome (goal) and separating out and anchoring the state relating to each of the Logical Levels.

A student was asking if, “the logical levels are the pieces of the puzzle that are put together to make the outcome realized – not the actual steps, but maybe the rungs of the ladder that need to be in place to get you there.”

My answer is, “That sounds like a good basic frame although I don’t know if all the rungs ‘need’ to be there.” So, let’s expand it a bit for everyone. We are using Logical Levels as an NLP Life-Change Pattern. One of the basic premises we are working with here is that to accomplish any outcome, pathways through the brain and nervous system potentiate the ability and therefore the accomplishment. People who win the lottery rarely keep the money for long. In their programming, they have no foundation for having it or keeping it. A good question to ask is, “What prevents the person from already having the outcome they say they want?” Fully representing the outcome has not been achieved yet and/or secondary gain (usually a blind spot) has not been uncovered. The goal here is to experience the state of already having achieved the outcome. That will create a target state. Remember to keep refocusing on the target state that has already been created to manifest the result you want. To facilitate your subject/client, that’s all you need to be going for here with your subject or client. Could it be that simple? Well, yes, you’ll also have to do what’s necessary to follow through, however, this pattern bypasses most of the reasons most people do not achieve their goals.

NOTE: A Breakthrough is a goal or outcome that is big enough to change the way you play the game of yoru life affecting every thought and action and you don’t know how to achieve it from where you stand now. IT should be stated in the positive, self generating and not depending on others, and worded without qualifiers and quantifiers. This will relate to your Breakthrough. You want your Breakthrough/Outcome completed in a specific time frame or at least the foundation so completely in place that you have no doubt about it’s accomplishment. So, you need (A-I-S-B) – Want to (Attitude), Opportunity/Expectation to (Intention), Energy to (State) and Action (Behavior). Stated more simply, you want your subject to experience the completed outcome first; as in now. It’s a little counter-intuitive, and it’s what we are saying highly successful people do. You do want to model the strategies of highly successful people, don’t you? Most of us just haven’t been doing things this way until now.

Now, when you separate out the possible Logical Levels starting with Environment and anchor that state, the first thing you are sorting for is where on the Logical Level chart you or your client are operating now. You should eventually be able to recognize language at each level and match the person at their level for greater rapport. At Environment, you will want to pay attention to the language including “they,” “them,” “everyone,” “people do,” and other language referencing some cause outside the self, lack of responsibility or belief, and lack of a sense of internal causality as in “out of my control” and feelings that will include “frustrated,” and “apathetic.” Most of us will feel tense and frustrated although it is possible to find someone else (not us of course) for whom the state is much more comfortable. It can be easier not to have goals or take personal responsibility, and to blame others. And then, separating out and anchoring Behavior, Capability, Beliefs and Values, Identity, etc., your client will very likely gain some insight into what the barrier to achievement has been up to now. There’s often a release of emotional pressure when they get to the level that unhooks the old behavior.

NOTE: Remember that the old behavior has a positive intent and purpose and it’s been serving the person. Honor the old behavior for what it was trying to accomplish.
NOTE: Sometimes I step a person up past the Logical Level at which they were stuck, which is what I was trying to do with Kelli in the exercise on Sunday. From the point they are no longer stuck at all, looking back may give them the necessary clues to unhook the old behavior.
NOTE: Step your subject up from Environment to Behavior to Capability and back again so he/she has clear anchoring between the state attached to each level.
NOTE: If you are getting resistance, step off the levels and go back to the reason for doing the exercise. Does your subject really want the outcome? Does he/she want it in a compelling enough way to do what is necessary to get it. In this case, that includes moving their blind spot into full view. This process will do that.
That sounds like a good basic frame (below). Let’s expand it a bit for everyone. We are using Logical Levels as an NLP Life-Change Pattern. One of the concepts we are working with here is that to accomplish any outcome, pathways through the brain and nervous system potentiate the ability and therefore the accomplishment. People who win the lottery rarely keep the money for long. In their programming, they have no foundation for having it or keeping it. A good question to ask is, “What prevents the person from already having the outcome they say they want?” Fully representing the outcome has not been achieved yet and/or secondary gain (usually a blind spot) has not been uncovered. The goal here is to experience the state of already having achieved the outcome. That’s all you need to be going for here.

NOTE: This will relate to your Breakthrough. You want to come out of this course with the Breakthrough/Outcome completed or at least the foundation so completely in place that you have no doubt about it’s accomplishment. So, you need (A-I-S-B) – Want to (Attitude), Opportunity/Expectation to (Intention), Energy to (State) and Action (Behavior). Stated more simply, you want your subject to experience the completed outcome first. It’s a little counter-intuitive, and it’s what we are saying highly successful people do. Model highly successful behavior. Most of us just haven’t been doing things this way until now.

Now, when you separate out the possible Logical Levels starting with Environment and anchor that state, the first thing you are sorting for is where on the Logical Level chart you or your client are operating now. You should eventually be able to recognize language at each level and match the person at their level for greater rapport. At Environment, you will want to pay attention to the language including “they,” “them,” “everyone,” “people do,” and other language referencing some cause outside the self, lack of responsibility or belief, and lack of a sense of internal causality as in “out of my control” and feelings that will include “frustrated,” and “apathetic.” Most of us will feel tense and frustrated although it is possible to find someone else (not us of course) for whom the state is much more comfortable. It can be easier not to have goals or take personal responsibility, and to blame others. And then, separating out and anchoring Behavior, Capability, Beliefs and Values, Identity, etc., your client will very likely gain some insight into what the barrier to achievement has been up to now. There’s often a release of emotional pressure when they get to the level that unhooks the old behavior.

NOTE: Remember that the old behavior has a positive intent and purpose and it’s been serving the person. Honor the old behavior for what it was trying to accomplish.
NOTE: Sometimes I step a person up past the Logical Level at which they were stuck, which is what I was trying to do with Kelli in the exercise on Sunday. From the point they are no longer stuck at all, looking back may give them the necessary clues to unhook the old behavior.
NOTE: Step your subject up from Environment to Behavior to Capability and back again so he/she has clear anchoring between the state attached to each level.
NOTE: If you are getting resistance, step off the levels and go back to the reason for doing the exercise. Does your subject really want the outcome? Does he/she want it in a compelling enough way to do what is necessary to get it. In this case, that includes moving their blind spot into full view. This process will do that.

One thought on “Logical Levels Exercise

  1. Ibzar

    Classification and the natural tendency to make sense out of our environment is the baseline to the scale of meaning. Prcoessing, chunking, and then meaning clues in which the personality profile clues us in on. Decisions, decisions, decisions….is the sword of constructing meaning and out of our real time experience. And the trick of humor is one of many valuable tools in which can hint to us how we layer, and layer unconsciously to build the edifice of logical inference!!!

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