NLP FAQ's / Help Center
What are the different neurological levels?
Environment is about the external conditions in which behaviour takes place, and in which we operate. It includes your surroundings: the people and places etc that you are interacting with, and responding to, when you are engaged in a particular activity. The level of the environment contains all external conditions that affect a person.
They can be experienced externally with the senses and can be answered with the questions Where? When? With Whom? Where, when and with whom do you display your behaviours? What are the external influences on you?
Behaviour is actions and reactions by an individual within the environment. The level of behaviour refers to all externally perceived actions and reactions of a person: their actions, their words, their choice of vote, their gestures, their movements, their breathing. It includes your actions - externally observable behaviours, posture, movements, etc. including what an observer would see or hear or feel when you are engaged in a particular activity. Behaviour can be described with sense-specific terms.
This is related to the What? What are your behaviours?
Capability or competence might be considered the ‘how’ level. Competences drive behaviour through a personal strategy, involving skills and their development. These are your 'internal behaviours'. The level of innate capabilities and learned skills which you have for dealing with life situations - and how effectively you use these.
Activities are cognitive and emotional processes that a person goes through to make a certain behaviour possible. They are not perceptible from the outside. It is about knowing, thinking and feeling, including awareness of these abilities.
This is about the How? How do you go about doing things? As an individual or company, what are your capabilities, skills, strategies or action plans?
The next level are the beliefs, the convictions, the values, the inner criteria that underlie the actions (consciously and unconsciously), they are the actual motives of a person, guiding ideas that he believes to be true and uses to use his abilities. People only use existing abilities if there are corresponding beliefs and criteria that allow them to do so. Beliefs are interpretations from previous experiences. They are individual theories of why something is like this and not different. Beliefs and values can either reinforce or undermine capabilities.
It includes whether you believe something is possible or impossible, whether you believe it is necessary or unnecessary, whether or not you feel motivated about it. How your personal Values support or hinder you.
It is about the Why? Why do you do something? What do you believe in or value? As an individual, you may believe you can do anything you choose. Or you may value honesty. From a company perspective, the company may value good customer service and/or the well-being of staff.
The next level is the level of identity: the self-image, the ideas a person constructs about himself and his behaviour, abilities and beliefs, mostly unconsciously. Identity - with the poles of personal and social identity - can also be "conceived" as a special religious belief. It is the central model about the overall personality. Identity is about ‘who’ you are, and could also be considered as the sense of self. It includes the self esteem level, your sense of self, what you identify with, etc. This can include identifying with your job, marriage, religion, etc. it can also include how you interpret events in terms of your own self-worth.
Conversations on this level are often about personal self-actualisation, such as Who? Who are you as an individual or company? What role do you play to achieve your purpose? How do you think of yourself as a person/organization - i.e. I am a successful person.
Spirituality is not always included in the logical levels, and might be thought of as a step beyond the others. It is about ‘what else’, beyond the individual, and related to being part of a bigger system, whether that be family, community or beyond. Some people describe this as the ‘wisdom’ level, and others exclude it altogether, or link it to identity, as being part of how you see yourself.
This spiritual level guides and shapes our life and gives our existence a foundation. It is about the big questions in life: Why do we live?, Why are we here?, What is the meaning of life? Who else? For whom? This can be viewed as your connection to a larger system. If you are an individual or company providing NLP related services, what impact are you having within your community, where you live and work, the NLP community, your culture and the culture of others, etc ?