An Extra Logical Levels Exercise

The Logical Levels process is a valuable NLP tool which can be used to organize one’s thinking. The practitioner can use it as a model to identify where difficulties lie and to help a client understand in a clear and structured manner where he or she is stuck. The lowest level is environment and the highest level is identity; each level builds on previous levels.

IDENTITY
A person’s self-esteem, sense of self, and with what they identify.This can include identifying with one’s job, marriage, or religion. However, identify can also include how the person’s interprets events in terms of personal self-worth.

BELIEFS & VALUES
Whether a person believes something is possible or impossible, whether they believe it is necessary or unnecessary, whether or not they feel motivated about it.

CAPABILITY & SKILLS
Whether or not a person has innate capabilities and/or learned skills for dealing appropriately with an issue.

BEHAVIOR
The external behavior can include what an observer would see or hear or feel when the individual is engaged in a particular activity.

ENVIRONMENT
The: the people and places that an individual interacts with and responds to, when they are engaged in a particular activity.

The Logical Levels process can be used with a client as a way to organize thinking, gather information, and communicate. The process helps establish an understanding of what makes a person “tick.”  When looking for reasons why change is not occurring, it can be helpful to look at a person’s neurological levels as a way of determining exactly where a block is located and where it would be most effective to intervene.

Hypothetical Case using the Logical Levels Exercise:

Gregg came to see an NLP Practitioner because of his nervousness in making presentations.

Environment Level – refers to what is around the person when the behavior occurs. 
Gregg:  I get nervous every time I give a presentation either for a small or a large group.

Behavior Level – refers to what the person does.
Gregg:  I break out in a cold sweat, stutter, and can barely say the words.

Capability Level – refers to what a person is able to do.
 Gregg: I know the material; I am conversant in one-to-one meetings but not in front of groups.

Belief Level – refers to what a person thinks he or she can or should do. 
Gregg: I should be able to do this; I know the products and I have taken speaking classes. I shouldn’t be nervous, but I always am.

Identity Level – refers to what a person thinks of him or herself.
  Gregg: I want to excel at my job, speaking is part of the job, and I just can’t do it comfortably.

One option is to intervene at the Environment Level where I could provide Gregg with ways to manage the anxiety or we could role play the speaking engagements.. But, because I knew that intervening at a higher level affects the lower levels, I chose to focus on the Belief Level instead. At the Belief Level, Gregg thinks “he should be able to make the presentations and he shouldn’t be nervous.” If his thinking at that Level were reframed to the belief “nervousness is a good sign, it keeps me sharp and provides information, that shift might open the door to further possibilities and additional NLP strategies.