“It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.”

Robert Dilts a name associated with NLP right from its inception. Robert learned the subject from the significant contributions of Bandler, Grinder and Pucelik.

He himself was responsible for shaping NLP and putting it on the map. Robert has earned himself the reputation of a leading behavioural skills trainer and consultant since the early 70’s. His personal contributions to the field of NLP include much of his work on the NLP techniques, surrounded around Strategies and the Belief Systems, developing what we now know as the ‘Systemic NLP’.

One of the leading developers of unique approaches in innovation and leadership, Robert has been a mentor to hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and leaders like Steve Jobs of Apple, Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Elon Musk of and developed the innovative approach Success Factor

“My experience is that inventors come in all sizes, all nationalities, all ages. The only thing I’m sure of is that inventors are always stubborn.”

Modeling – the difference that makes the difference.

Robert is recognised internationally to have been one of the inaugural pillars in developing, training and practicing NLP. Robert has his name associated with Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, The World Bank, Alitalia, Telecom Italia, Lucasfilms Ltd., Ernst & Young, AT Kearney, The American Society for Training and Development, The University of Miami School of Medicine, and all of the major NLP institutes. Robert is also the recipient of the President’s Undergraduate Fellowship in 1977 for his research correlating eye movement and brain function.

Robert is a co-developer (with his late brother, John Dilts) of the Success Factor Modeling™ process, which is a method to identify and transfer factors characteristics and capabilities related to success in order to promote effective entrepreneurial activities within new and traditional companies. This, by analyzing crucial patterns of business, practices and behavioural skills used by successful individuals, teams and companies.

It was Robert who first put Meta- Model in a order list and it is understood and recognised today. He organized and put eleven distinctions separating them in two categories in 1975. He describes a new model of leadership capturing the latest practices of effective leadership, offering approaches to reduce stress and to promote satisfaction in Alpha Leadership: Tools for Business Leaders Who Want More From Life.

Robert and Todd together with Judith DeLozier and Teresa Epstein established the NLP University, which provides a full range of basic and advanced NLP training. Robert and Todd were also the founders of Dynamic Learning Publications and The Academy of Behavioral Technology.

Robert also was the CEO and of Behavioural Engineering, a computer software company using NLP concepts to create interactive computer products for education, training and personal development. Robert has a degree in Behavioural Technology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received the President's Undergraduate Fellowship in 1977 for research correlating eye movement and brain function conducted at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute in San Francisco.

A long time student and colleague of both Grinder and Bandler, Mr. Dilts also studied personally with Milton H. Erickson, M.D., and Gregory Bateson. In addition to spearheading the applications of NLP to education, creativity, health, and leadership, his personal contributions to the field of NLP include much of the seminal work on the NLP techniques of Strategies and Belief Systems, and the development of what has become known as ‘Systemic NLP’. Some of his techniques and models include: Reimprinting, Integration of Conflicting Beliefs, Sleight of Mouth Patterns, The Spelling Strategy, The Allergy Technique, Neuro-Logical Levels, The Belief Change Cycle, Generative NLP Patterns, the Unified Field Theory for NLP and many others.

‘The Boss’ - I’d like to call him that,

“Elegant” that is what Dick used to address him as.

The guitarist, student of John Grinder, on the timeline of NLP from the beginning, when I first met him in the Red Woods, he is ‘a Californian’ in its every sense…

He lives the principle of NLP and practices the practice…

I will always remember that starry night when we had this long conversation after the Drumming session, And its so very nice to see and talk with Robert as he foundly spoke with me about Dick, his early days.

“We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it”,

he said and I will remember this, always.

He got introduced to Grinder as his college professor and got fascinated with the linguistic approaches. Especially in a time when education was very theoretical - here Robert was thrilled to receive something so real lifelike.

From the last of his teens he was on the timeline of NLP with Judy, he is the so ‘generative’ in nature and with him you will most definitely get two things (a) compassion and (b) an extreme flow of collaborative ideas.

Robert is the most skilled, agile orator I have seen.

He plays the guitar, runs daily for an hour at least, he is so active with technology and with all the latest developments.

Robert is the reason why we have so many models and reach of NLP, In my view. I like the way he cross models and how he does it so effectively, above all so quickly. It is a thing that comes so naturally to him. When I was chatting up with him on that starry night at the UCSC after the long drumming night, he tells me ‘how eliciting genius is his thing and how observant he is with them’

What I like the most is the humbless and humanness he brings to the field. When you are with Robert, it is always so easy and there is a sense is space. He holds you in ways you feel sponsored and he anchors values so well.

If ever you meet him, do tell him to narrate a poem of or a story or even better a joke. It will be a moment in time which you will always anchor, trust me on that - because he has the special ability to hold time and use the spaces in between so that you are participating in an experience worth remembering.


This article is written by Plabita Borah who has been a part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP). Plabita belongs from Assam and holds MSc in Clinical Psychology. She is ambitious, driven and thrives on challenge. She constantly sets goals and strives towards them. She also loves meeting people and learning about theirs lives and background.

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