Introduction to Meta Programs
Meta-programs are unconscious, content-free programs we run in our head which filter our experiences. We are able to predict behavior through them and they determine what we pay attention to. They are deeply buried in our unconscious mind.
Knowing your internal programs can predict actions in a certain situation. There are no right or wrong patterns. Think about them as to how they are useful in a certain context. Do they help you or disable you to achieve a certain result.
You Are Not Your Behavior
Just because you made bad decisions in certain situations doesn’t make you a ‘bad person’. With NLP, it is possible to change and improve these programs. They are a good indicator of how you handle information. Changing meta programs allow you to handle incoming information differently and for your benefit.
The 4 Basic Meta Programs
In NLP we care about Internal Processes, the Internal States and External behaviors.
- Internal Processing: Strategies – “how” we do what we do
- Internal States: Emotions – “why” we do what we do
- External Behavior: Combination of the 2 above – “what” we do
#1 External Behavior: Introvert/Extravert
Introvert: prefers to be alone, interested in his/her internal world, makes up about 25% of our population. They have few friends and deep relationships with them. Working alone and to be left alone is their preference. They are self-sufficient and like concepts and ideas.
Introverts: People who prefer to focus on their inner world of ideas and impressions.
Extrovert: prefers to be around people, interested in the other world, makes up about 75% of our population. They have a lot of friends with shallow relationships with them. Working in teams is their preference and they enjoy interactions with others. They are talkative, like action, often impulsive, outgoing and have a strong ego.
Extroverts: People who prefer to focus on the outher world of people and things.
#2 Internal Processes: Intuitor/Sensor
Intuitor: prefers to perceive possibilities and the meaning of their experiences, makes up about 25% of our population. A dreamer, dreaming up new plans. Sometimes they don’t make sense. Interested in a big picture, the future, and possibilities. Interested how things relate to each other and can be so occupied with these relationships that he/she completely disregards what is going on with them in the ‘now’. Imaginative and have a positive attitude toward changing things. Reads information and like symbolic and abstract level of thinking. Have a high tolerance to complex ideas.
Intuitors: People who prefer to focus on the future with abstract ideas and possiblities.
Sensor: prefers the real, the practical, the facts. Will be interested in the concrete which relies on facts, makes up about 75% of our population. Interested in the ‘now’, and so much into their sensory experiences in the ‘now’ that they completely disregard their intuitions. Prefers to be realistic and down to earth and learns through visual aids. Values authority and needs order in order to be solid and realistic. Most of the time bad planner, since he/she is always in the ‘now’.
Sensors: People who prefer focusing on the present and concrete information from facts.
#3 Internal State: Thinker/Feeler
Thinker: makes decisions objectively and impersonally, keeping in mind principles, policies and laws, makes up about 50% of our population. It is more important to him/her ‘what’ happened not ‘why’ it happened. Thinks outside of him/herself and look at time as a continuum and analyzing events impersonally.
Thinkers: People who prefer to base their decisions on logic, analyzing cause and effect objectively.
Feeler: makes decisions subjectively and personally considering their past experiences and how it effects others, makes up about 50% of our population. Makes his/her decisions emotionally. Prefers the past over the present, since it is more real to him/her. “This reminds me of a situation…”
Feelers: People who prefer to base their decision on emotions and values subjectively , centering people in their evaluation.
#4 Adaptive Response: Judger/Perceiver
Judger: prefers to run his/her own life decisively, plans precisely for the future and makes up about 50% of our population. Has a high need for closure; therefore, he/she might experience anxiety around decision making. Makes lists and quick at decision making.
Judgers: People who prefer planning and organizing their life. They want things to be finished.
Perceiver: prefers life to just happen, spontaneous, flexible and makes up about 50% of our population. Keeps options open hence circumstances and things are constantly changing and he/she needs that last fact in order to decide.
Perceivers: People who prefer sponteneous and flexible life style and they keep their options open.