10 popular techniques in Neuro-linguistic Programming

The Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) refers to a communication model made up of a series of techniques that seeks to understand how a person processes the information that enters his brain through sensory experiences. By learning how we process that information and how to work with it, you can discover our patterns. In addition, achieving, with certain specific techniques, changing what is not healthy for new ways of understanding the same situation. For example, modifying a negative memory for a positive one or changing the way we understand a certain fact so that it does not cause us pain or anxiety.

10 Most used techniques in Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Rapport or Empathy

Rapport is a basic tool within NLP. It is indicated in situations in which the person wishes to create harmony, achieve synergy with any person in the environment, whether work or personal. Its objective is to create a pleasant environment of cooperation and mutual cooperation, where there are no distortions, judgments, discussions or misunderstandings, thus achieving active listening by both parties.

Active listening is key in Rapport; This works both the transmission of the message as well as the understanding of the message of the interlocutor. In this technique the use of body language is of vital importance.

Covert orders

This technique is particularly focused on persuasion, using one of its biggest secrets: intonation. It is a covert persuasion, which can be disguised in normal conversation. According to covert orders When asking a question, the end of the sentence should be expressed in an ascending tone (tending to the treble). On the contrary, the orders are formulated with a descending intonation, that is, the tone falls towards the end of the sentence. Therefore, NLP proposes to tone the questions in descending order, as an order, to achieve the desired effect.

Anchorage (conditioning)

It is a basic NLP technique useful to decrease emotions of discomfort, such as anxiety or anguish in a stressful situation. This is based on classical conditioning in the psychology of learning; It consists of associating a stimulus with an emotional state, seeking that when the stimulus is repeated, the state to which said stimulus is associated will also be reiterated.


Physiology is one of the fastest and most effective ways to change the emotional state; This technique is directly applied to change it. It is based on knowing the functioning of the body and how postures, breathing, heart rate, among others, influence the person's mood. By modifying our body postures and learning to breathe correctly, we can modify our behavior, and, as a consequence, what we transmit abroad.

Eye access

The ocular accesses are part of the physiology and it is based on knowing the positions that the eyes of human beings acquire when they think, since these end up giving a complete and clear vision of the emotional state of a person. Therefore, the key to this technique is the interpretation of the different positions that the eyes adopt in space. This is a way of recognizing the representational system (visual, auditory or kinesthetic) of each person. In addition, in specific situations, it helps to recognize if the person is thinking of internal images, sounds or experiencing sensations.

Internal or external reference

References are a type of metaprogram, that is, unconscious and systematic mental patterns that a person faces in a given situation. Knowing them is like having an instruction manual for each person. Being aware of our patterns as well as that of others helps us increase self-knowledge and empathy towards others. Specifically, the reference standard allows us to know what the criteria and value standards of the actions are based on. In this will reside the decision process.

2 reference styles can be distinguished: internal or external.

Internal reference

They are people who focus on their own point of view, their own perspective towards the world and their feelings. They use their own criteria to analyze and decide.

External reference

They are people who seek the consensus of those around them and give great importance to the opinion of others.

Visual / Auditory / Kinesthetic

Most used techniques in Neurolinguistic Programming

According to NLP, each person has a sensitive channel to understand the world and to relate to people. These are: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Visual people have an altor energy level, they are restless and observant. They usually visualize images in their mind to be able to remember them. They need quiet places to focus. Auditory people are relaxed, communicative and highly gifted with expression, they like to converse and remember in great detail each of the words they have heard. Kinesthetic people are people who, despite being calm, have a taste for emotions and for everything related to manual things, they need to touch, experiment with taste, smell, etc. They are socially expressive, they seek closeness and physical contact, like hugs.

Knowing the sensitive channel of the person will help to have greater self-knowledge and also to improve personal relationships.

Change of beliefs and empowerment of identity

According to NLP, changing the beliefs that a person has about the world and about himself, identifying his current beliefs and his internal conflicts, and being aware of a change, would be able to modify his reality, managing to live a full and prosperous life in all sense.

Language patterns or illusion of alternative

This technique seeks to convince the other person to do what we want them to do. It consists of giving the person several options to decide, but all of them will be directed towards what we want to achieve. For example, if our goal is to go to a party, the question to achieve our goal would be "are we going to go to the party by car or taxi?" instead of "do you want to go to the party or not?" (here we are giving you the option not to go).

Modal operators of need and possibility

According to NLP, metaprograms are firm thinking strategies that act unconsciously on people. Within these are the modal operators (or modal operators of need and possibility) that express in us an infinity of possibilities or on the contrary, a world of restrictions or duties. They are like implicit orders of our internal dialogue that are manifested in the form of words like I can, could, should, should, need, want, want, have, etc. Each one produces an emotion in the person.

For example, a very common phrase used is: "I can't do this" as justification for not being able to perform a certain action. When you hear someone say it, the most likely thing to say is "why can't you?" Offering the person an opportunity to give an endless list of reasons why they can't. On the other hand, if the question is "what is stopping you?", We direct the person to consider possible solutions to their problem instead of thinking of excuses. That is, to focus your attention on the solution.