Modeling, eliciting what an ‘expert’ – your Role Model – thinks they know, what they unconsciously know, producing an outcome, and transferring the behavior to yourself.  An ‘expert’ is not necessarily someone with extraordinary skills or special powers. You could model how someone keeps her desk tidy. You could use the same key questions to find out how someone keeps himself depressed, or becomes frustrated.

‘Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.’ –Albert Einstein

‘What I need is someone who will make me do what I can.’ –Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ –Isaac Newton

‘Simply be the qualities you seek in others.’ –Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ –Mahatma Gandhi

‘Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating…too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.’ –John Wooden

‘Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.’ –James Baldwin

‘You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.’ –Khalil Gibran

‘Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.’ –Rosabeth Moss Kantor

‘You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.’ –Oliver Goldsmith

‘Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.’ –Marcus Aurelius

‘I know that being seen as a role model means taking responsibility for all my actions. I am human, and of course, sometimes I make mistakes. But I promise that when I fall, I get back up.’ –Jennifer Lopez


Which of these was the winner for you? Which is the one you remember right now?  And you: are you a role model? What do you personally look for in a role model?

To model a particular skill or performance we identify the strategies of the ‘expert’, or even of oneself: the patterns of one’s own behaviors. When you ask detailed questions about a person’s strategy for doing something they may come to recognize just how skillful they are.

In modeling a person’s behavior you temporarily enter their world. Doing this increases your understanding of them. By asking questions and by listening to and observing their replies you discover how they prepare themselves in a particular manner, or that they have a certain way of recovering from setbacks.

Common applications of modeling include:

  • Understanding something better by observing the underlying processes.
  • Repeating or refining a performance (such as in a sport or a managerial situation) by specifying the steps followed by expert performers.
  • Achieving a Desired Outcome. This can accomplished by developing ‘techniques’ based on modeling a number of different successful examples or cases.
  • Developing a process in order to apply it to other context (e.g. an effective strategy for managing a sports team may be applied to managing a business team, and vice versa.)

To model behavior you want to become interested and curious. You create rapport, ask questions, check your understanding of what they describe, pay particular attention to their non-verbal communication. Then you could use their answers to form a mental image/feeling.

You would start by Observing, and fully imagining yourself in someone else’s reality. The focus is on ‘What’ the person does (behavior and physiology), ‘How’ they do it (internal thinking strategies) and ‘Why’ they do it (supporting beliefs and assumptions).

Finding the difference that makes the difference: traditional learning adds pieces of a skill one bit at a time until we have them all. The drawback to this method is we don’t know which bits are essential. By contrast modeling, which is the basis of accelerated learning, gets all the elements and then subtracts to find what is necessary.

By systematically taking out elements of the model’s behavior, we can find what pieces are essential. If the process still works without that element, the element is not relevant.

The important questions are:

  • What are the behavioral patterns of the successful person?
  • How does she achieve her results?
  • What did she do that is different from a person who is not successful?
  • What is the difference that makes the difference?

Think of an ‘expert’, an individual who does something well.  Find out all you can about how they do it. Identify a different context in which their strategies could be applied by someone else


Next: S is for Success!

Or Get It All Now, the full version, Quotes, Pictures, Applications and Affirmations:  ‘A Winners Alphabet‘ An A thru Z of Inspiration on How to Get what you Want.  © Kris Deva North 2017

Better yet, come join Kris’s next NLP Practitioner Training! 10th thru 17th April