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How To Use The NLP Principles in a Conversation?

Here is a short, practical text that will help you apply the main NLP principles in a natural way when you speak English.

Read the sample conversation between a manager and a colleague and see if you can find and identify all the NLP principles!

Written with love by: Suzanne Pilch, ICF Certified Coach & MPEC Partner

Conversation Practice:

Manager: Hi John, how’s it going today?

Colleague: It’s going well, thanks for asking.

Manager: That’s great to hear. I wanted to talk to you about the upcoming project. I noticed that we have a tight deadline and I wanted to make sure we are both on the same page about what needs to be done.

Colleague: Sure, I’m all ears.

Manager: So, I think it’s important that we focus on engagement throughout the project. We need to make sure that everyone is involved and feels invested in the success of the project. What do you think about that?

Colleague: I completely agree. It’s much easier to work on something when you feel like you’re a part of it.

Manager: Exactly. And I think we can also use repetition to make sure everyone is clear on the expectations and timelines. We can have regular meetings to review progress and make adjustments as needed.


Colleague: That sounds like a good idea. I think it’s important to keep everyone in the loop, especially with a tight deadline.

Manager: Yes, and we can also use memory retention techniques to help everyone remember what needs to be done. We can use visuals, like charts and graphs, to help people understand the progress we’re making.

Colleague: That’s a great idea. Visual aids are always helpful in keeping things organized and easy to understand.

Manager: Finally, we need to make sure that we’re developing all aspects of our project management skills, including communication, planning, and problem-solving. We can use simulations to practice these skills and make sure we’re all working together efficiently.

Colleague: I think that’s a fantastic idea. By practicing these skills, we can make sure we’re all on the same page and working towards a common goal.

Manager: Great, so let’s get started on implementing these principles and make sure we have a successful project completion. Thanks for your input, John.

Colleague: No problem, happy to help. Let’s make this a success!

Not sure if you spotted all the NLP Principles? Here is all you need!

In the sample conversation, the manager and colleague demonstrated the use of several NLP principles:

Rapport building: The conversation started with the manager asking how the colleague’s weekend was, which is a common way of building rapport and establishing a positive connection. The colleague responded enthusiastically, indicating that rapport had been established.

Meta-modeling: The colleague expressed a problem, saying “I just can’t seem to keep up with all the emails.” The manager used meta-modeling by asking “what specifically is causing you to struggle?” This helped to clarify the problem and allowed the colleague to identify the root cause of their issue.

Reframing: The colleague identified that their workload was overwhelming, which could be seen as a negative situation. The manager used reframing by asking if the colleague saw the workload as a challenge that could be overcome. This shifted the perspective of the situation and allowed the colleague to see it in a more positive light.

Anchoring: The manager helped the colleague to recall a time when they had successfully managed a similar workload. This is an example of anchoring, which involves linking a specific emotional state to a specific trigger. By recalling the feeling of success, the colleague was able to feel more confident and capable in their current situation.

Future pacing: The manager ended the conversation by asking the colleague to visualize a positive outcome, saying “imagine how good it will feel when you complete all those emails.” This is an example of future pacing, which involves imagining a positive future outcome to create motivation and confidence in the present.

Overall, these NLP principles were used to establish rapport, clarify the problem, reframe the situation in a positive light, anchor positive emotions to past experiences, and create motivation for future success.

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