February 14, 2011

Brand and the NLP Logical Levels of Change

MP9004385661 Brand and the NLP Logical Levels of ChangeI’ve had a number of conversations with people about reinventing or reinforcing their brand to attract more clients, earn more income, etc. and I love it – it’s what I help my clients do.  There’s only one problem – some people want to do it in 15 minutes or less.

I’ve found that the average person may not recognize that there are usually deep-seated beliefs and behaviors that are often the root of their current state.  And when it’s taken more than 15 minutes to create these beliefs and behaviors, it takes time to make  transformations to an identity.

A model I learned about with NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) years ago taught me about “logical levels of change”.  This model was first developed by neuro-linguistic expert and anthropologist Gregory Bateson. It was further developed by Robert Dilts, an NLP pioneer.  Here’s a high level overview:

Most NLP experts will talk about 6 logical levels of change.  Each level of change relates to how you think about situations and each will give you different information to help you determine where you may be having difficulty moving forward, or where you can focus on change work.  Imagining that you’re looking at a ladder, the first bullet will be the bottom rung:

  1. Environment (external factors) – How does/can my environment support me? Where? When? Who else is involved?
  2. Behavior (performance, actions, reactions) – What do I want to do or say, and what will I do or say?
  3. Capabilities (knowledge, skills, competencies) – How does this draw on my capabilities? What can I draw on now or further  develop?
  4. Beliefs & Values (what you hold true, right or wrong) – How does this either fit or reinforce what is important to me?   What must I believe in order for XX to happen?
  5. Identity (how you think about yourself) – How does this fit with who I am (or who I am becoming)?  **Your brand is here and incorporates how others think about you too.**
  6. Purpose/Spirituality (big picture of life) – What am I doing this for?

The premise is that change is usually easier going from the bottom of the ladder (environment) and working up.  If you change something at a higher level, it will usually impact lower levels but not always the other way around.  Therefore, you may be struggling with change at a higher level because you still need work at another lower-linked level.

I think an example is an order.  Say you want to reinvent your brand (identity) – instead of thinking of yourself as the public relations professional who has worked for a corporation 18 years, you now want to become an entrepreneur who provides motivational speaking and coaching services.  You’re used to working in an office, on a set schedule, you take direction from your leadership, write reports, attend public relations networking events, and so on.

Using the levels, it is not likely you will transform into a superstar entrepreneur overnight – it might require that you  build certain skills and knowledge, that you perhaps change your circle of influence to spend more time in the space of successful speakers and coaches.  Depending on your desired outcomes, you’d have to determine what changes are needed and at what level.

The neat thing about this model is that you can use each level to ask yourself powerful questions (like the ones I listed) to determine starting points for change.  Still feeling stuck? Get the help of a coach or accountability partner to work through this ladder so you reduce blind spots for yourself.

WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach.  Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business.  Claim your free instant access to a free video download, 5 Secrets to Developing Your Unique Brand Proposition at: www.bepromotable.com.

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Getting Positive Results Using C-FAR

Sharing with you a quick audio on my C-FAR formula. This is something I developed for myself several years ago to remind me that I have the ability to impact the type of results I get when I intentionally make the decision to change something in the process.

Listen in…

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#4 – Branding Mistakes Made by New Solopreneurs

Enjoy #4 of the biggest branding mistakes made by solopreneurs. Let me know what you think – is it okay to have a barrage of different messages going to the same group of people constantly, with all representing YOU?

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#3.5 – Branding Mistakes Made by New Solopreneurs

What do you think about branding mistake #3.5? What position have you strategically chosen for your personal brand?

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Goal Setting Is Not Dead…Just Boring

iStock 000015158998XSmall Goal Setting Is Not Dead...Just BoringGoal setting always gets to be pretty popular this time of year. You hear a lot of techniques about how to do it and one of the most common ways is the SMART technique.  I’m not writing about that here, because it’s so overused now, I don’t think you’ll care.

No matter what you use, the new year always kicks us off with a great start, right?  But then somehow you lose interest.

There is this cycle that we seem to get into and it goes a little something like this:

  • Day 1: Whoo hoo, yeah, I’m on it this time. I’m going to [your goal here] –>
  • Day 3: This is great. I can’t believe how this is changing [enter positive results] for me! I will definitely keep this up. — >
  • Day 5: You know what, I’m just going to take a little bitty break…I’ll come back to it, I promise! — >
  • Day 10: What was that thing I was trying to do again?
  • Day 20: Start over again or drop it completely..

Part of the reason this happens is that we haven’t really developed for ourselves a tangible, exciting “why” and “what”. What I mean by this is the vision of what we want to get to and why we’re doing it was never really that clear and constant.

You see, when you are setting a goal, it’s important to identify the most clear picture possible of what you want. And doing this early in the process is one of the best ways to I learned this training in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) when I studied with a celebrated master pracititioner, Susan Stageman, for over a year.

Yes, it took me that long to really get it and start applying the techniques . I can be kind of hard-headed, as my mom used to say.  There were so many good ones, but the one that has stuck with me forever is called creating a “well-formed outcome” (WFO).

This is a very powerful way to set long-term and short-term goals so that they STICK…and really, that’s what we set them for in the first place.

So I’m going to share with you my criteria for remembering the WFO in 5 simple steps. Maybe this will keep your goal setting from being so boring. icon wink Goal Setting Is Not Dead...Just Boring . I call it the PLEAS approach (as in, can I have another goal, “pleas”):


State the goal in positive terms. Describe the present situation and compare it with the desired future goal. Make sure you can see yourself having obtained the goal.


Line up the goal with your values and beliefs. For me this means lining up what I’ve asked for, or stated, to be sure it is in the will of what God has for my life.  I pray and ask for spiritual guidance around the goal.  You may line it up however you see fit. It’s important that your goals are a good fit with what’s important to you.


Describe the goal using “sensory” terms. What will let you know that you have attained that desired state?  This is a critical piece – think in terms of what you will hear, see, and feel when you have success.


Consider if the goal is right for you in all areas of your life. Is there something that may hold you back? Is this goal right for you right now, in this place where you are?

Self-initiated & Maintained

Self-initiated and maintained. Your goal must be something that you can  initiate and maintain. It must not be something dependent on other people. Make sure that your goal reflects things that you can directly affect.

If your goal, or outcome is set each time with these criteria in mind, you will have crystal-clear vision that you can hang on to and it will get you past those tough times when you’re ready to let go.  OR it will bring you back to what you wanted in the first place…SUCCESS!

Share one of your clear outcomes in the comments below.

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#2 – Branding Mistakes Made By New Solopreneurs

Sharing the 2nd big branding mistake made by new solopreneurs in this short audio clip. Enjoy!

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