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New Code NLP

Early in the 1980s John Grinder surveyed the terrain of the field he co-created and was somewhat disappointed at the level of personal incongruence in NLP Practitioners. Grinder saw NLP-trained people who were able to weave spells of magic for their clients and yet these people who had access to powerful patterning of change were failing miserably in applying NLP in their own lives. Grinder states:

The New Code is a set of patterns developed in the mid - 80s by myself John Grinder with contributions initially by Judith Delozier and subsequently by Carmen Bostic St. Clair. The motivations for the creation of the New Code are multiple and include a recognition that the coding of patterning I accomplished with Richard Bandler in the creation of NLP contained a number of serious coding flaws. In the late 70s I noticed (JG) a significant number of NLP trained practitioners who were stunningly effective in doing change work with clients yet these same practitioners had chosen not to, or lacked the choice to, apply the patterns of NLP successfully to themselves. I therefore set out with the intention of designing a set of patterns that would both correct the coding flaws of the Classic code (roughly my collaborative work with Bandler from 1974 through 1978) that could not be effectively presented unless the presenter was congruent with self application.

John Grinder stated that currently there is no full congruency through self-application of NLP to people trained in NLP. As a result of John Grinder and Carmen Bostic’s continued quest to bring excellence to the field, the New Code has been developed to significantly advance the quality of change work in NLP.

As the New Code emerged it became clear that something different was present. What was different was designer models which occurred as a natural consequence of deep extended modelling and training activities of experts, and partially explicated design variables underlying the classic code. The re-coding of NLP offered Grinder an opportunity to correct what he deemed to be flaws in the classic code patterning. The New Code takes the design variables of classic code formats to the extreme- for example the resource states in the New Code are created by a game or task that activates a content-free high performance state which has no historical experiences attached. One of the key aspects of New Code change formats is the verification and selection of behavioural changes by calibrating with the unconscious mind using explicit kinaesthetic signals.

According to John Grinder the Classic Code has a number of steps that are not necessary anymore in the present times.
The New Code is characterised by the following: 

  • The subconscious is explicitly given the responsibility to choose critical elements such as state, resources and new behaviour; the subconscious is included in every step;
  • The choice of new behaviour has specific criteria namely that it has to meet the higher positive intention that was linked to the undesired behaviour.
  • Change takes place at the level of state and intention rather than the level of behaviour
  • One of the fundamental strategies behind the New Code is the development of a number of games that brings the player into an automatic "high performance state" or a so called "know nothing state". In this state our conscious is less active and change can take place at a faster and more direct way at the unconscious level. 
  • Next to this there are a number of characteristics for the New Code NLP:
  • A large responsibility for the "agent of change" to check the change by calibration if the change has taken place;
  • To avoid the use of content is an important part of the change process;
  • An explicit use of clean perceptual positions, especially the triple description;
  • Explicit framing, outcome, intentions, consequences and challenging relevancy;
  • Ordering relationships including hierarchies such as the model of logical levels (not to be confused with Robert Dilts' Neurological levels);
  • The Verbal Package (a streamlined version of Meta model NLP) with reduced questions, explicit framing and the more refined verbal distinctions such as those named by the terms description, interpretation and evaluation;
  • The use of anchors for the desired state;
  • A single four-steps format for change with a variable 3rd step. The 3rd step usually includes new code games, designed to induce the high performance state. These games include for example the Alphabet game, the NASA game and variants of Roger Tabb's trampoline exercises;
  • Sanctuary: A process for working with an unwanted state that either creeps up on you so slowly that you are not aware of it until you are experiencing it deeply or so quickly you lose control;
  • Multiple forms of involuntary signals for unconscious communication; 
  • A relatively indifferent approach to consciously wanting to understand content of the change, of both the client as well as the agent of change. This ensures the unnecessary trap of investigating cause and effect;
  • All New Code interventions are focused on getting change with the so called know nothing state. With the help of the know nothing state the conscious part is avoided and the change has taken place at the unconscious level.

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