Behavioral modeling is used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP to help someone observe and copy the ways another person goes about getting excellent results. Another, less used method, is to model bad behaviors to help you understand what strategies are best avoided or changed.
What is Behavioral Modeling?
Simply put, in NLP behavioral modeling is copying behavior.
Think back to the things you have learned in your life. Hasn’t it been easier to learn something when you first asked someone who was good at what you wanted to do to show you how to do it? Then, after you observed what they did, their behaviors, you tried to do what they did? This is usually how we learn most things, though observing behaviors and then duplicating them.
An NLP practitioner uses this same process to teach a behavior or skill to themselves or others. They observe a behavior and then create a map of the actions they observed. They also inquire about what the model was thinking as they performed an action. These are the first steps used in mapping the behavior.
A behavioral map is a detailed description of the behavior. This map or model describes all the essential thoughts and actions needed to achieve results that are similar to the desired response or outcome.
As a person does the behavior you would like to adopt, let’s say keeping their desk clean, you watch and document what you see. You might ask them why they clean their desk a certain way or place things in a certain order.
After you note your observations, you can then attempt to duplicate their behaviors. As you do, you can break the steps down into smaller pieces, or chunks. This allows you to observe your results as you go through each chunk. Now you can improve your results by tweaking what you do on each single part and then observing how those small changes affect your outcome.
Practical Uses of Behavioral Modeling
Behavioral modeling has many practical applications. For example, you can use it to model someone you admire, such as a successful manager or leader. Athletes use modeling regularly to improve their performance. The same goes for any area of your life.
You can also use behavioral modeling to improve your communications by modeling a successful communicator’s behavior. You can then use the techniques you observe to respond in the way your model would. For example, responding more calmly and positively in tense situations.
Using Behavioral Modeling to Change Your Perception
The purpose of behavioral modeling is to change your perception. You see, NLP can’t change the world, it changes how you perceive the world. Using behavioral modeling, you can think and act the way your successful model perceives a situation and then acts, rather than how most people would perceive and act on that situation. This allows you to move successfully though the sticky situations you’re bound to encounter in your life.