Filtering Experience Through Neuro-Logical Levels

When you want to connect with someone, speaking their language is often a matter of speaking their level.

Table of contents for Neurological Levels

  1. Filtering Experience Through Neuro-Logical Levels
  2. NLP Pattern: Aligning Neurological Levels

How to make intimate connections with yourself and others.

Neuro-Logical Levels are considered to be a Meta-Program in NLP. Specifically, these neuro-logical levels are categories of experience. In integral terms, I would consider them to be a typology that has a built-in hierarchy. They are not stages or levels that must sequentially arise. However, they do seem to be a holarchy. You could also consider the neuro-logical levels to be lines of development. NLP is a mess in its organization of principles. That’s why I just consider NLP to be a powerful set of tools for creating change.

If you’re doing change work with someone or with yourself, the neuro-logical levels are very useful. You can identify in what “level” a challenge is centered and then use the appropriate NLP intervention. They also make a good check list to go through as you’re doing any kind of life planning or if you need some motivation.

Neuro-Logical Levels

  • Ecology: Who else?
    My relationship to the Universe and what’s outside me.
  • Identity: Who?
    What kind of person I am.
  • Beliefs: Why?
    My values, criteria, generalizations about the world and other people. What’s important to me.
  • Capabilities: How?
    My generic skills, strategies, physiological abilities.
  • Behavior: What?
    What I do in any particular context.
  • Environment: Where and When?
    The context in which I operate.

Neuro-logical levels in an organization:

  • Ecology = Vision
    Change the world.
  • Identity = Mission
    I’m a change agent.
  • Beliefs = Permission, Motivation
    Change is desirable.
  • Capabilities = Direction
    Change processes.
  • Specific Behaviors = Action
    A specific change process.
  • Environment = Reactions
    Culture. Responses to change.

Next time you are listening to someone speak, notice what level they are coming from. A statement like, “I’m the kind of person who…” is coming from the level of Identity. If someone is telling you their opinions about a subject, they are coming from the level of Belief. You get the idea.

When you want to connect with someone, speaking their language is often a matter of speaking their level.