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The Art of Modelling

Demystifying modelling
by shining a light into the modeller's mind

with Penny Tompkins, James Lawley and Marian Way

12-21 September 2014,  Residential, Suffolk, UK

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT available until 23rd Jun 2014

Ever wondered what goes on in the minds of expert modellers? Despite 40 years of NLP there is still remarkably little on the how-to of the how-to of the modelling process. Not just the how to gather information but also what to do with it. And what about the art of acquisition, how does that work?

Penny Tompkins and James Lawley have used a dozen different kinds of modelling methods over 20 years modelling individuals, groups and processes. Their modelling of brilliant psychotherapist David Grove is one of the major contributions to NLP in the last few decades. They have even developed a new way to model: Symbolic Modelling. For them modelling is not an add-on. It is the basis of everything they do. From therapy to group facilitation to consultancy to research. On top of this, you will benefit from Marian Way's ability as a natural modeller and her particular expertise in the design of learning formats and training activities, which encourage others to acquire new models and skills.

Modelling can be regarded as a way to replicate excellence, as a form of accelerated learning, as an enabler of intuitive decisions, as a tool for self-awareness and personal development, as a research methodology, and more ...

Penny, James and Marian are offering an opportunity to join a small group (max 20) who want to delve into the why's and where-for's of modelling human perception and behaviour. The event is open to those who have a keen interest in enhancing their modelling skills. You do not need to be trained in Clean Language, although it will help. There is only one way to learn modelling – and that's by modelling.  Instead of a formal training, we will create the conditions for discovery, investigation, experimentation and hands-on learning.

We will tailor the learning to what interests those who come along within the following frames:
- How to distinguish and apply a range of modelling methodologies derived from NLP.

- How the various stances, perspectives and perceptual positions taken by the modeller facilitate the modelling process.

- The skills needed at each of the five stages of a modelling project.

- And how modelling can be used everyday to learn and make sense of the world.

- What a 'clean' approach can bring to modelling.

A typical modelling project will go through the following stages (not necessarily in this order):

    1. Preparation. How to identify the: purpose and measurable success criteria; competencies most useful to model; who is to be modelled; scale of the project; budget and an action plan.

    2. Information Gathering. How to observe an exemplar in the context within which they use their skills, and how to conduct a modelling interview using a variety of methodologies.

    3. Model Creation. Are you going to create a top-down or bottom-up model? How to use comparative and contrastive analysis to identify what an exemplar does that everyone else does not. How to sift through all the data and pull it together to produce a model of behaviour, state and mental process. Then how to simplify the model to it's minimum components while still maintaining the results – discovering the difference that makes the difference.

    4. Testing.  How to test if you and/or others can use the model and how much their results improve. How to refine the model based on feedback.

    5. Acquiring. Now it all depends what others want to use the model for. How to utilise guidelines and principles code-conguently to enable others to acquire and apply the model.

If I were you, I'd book my place today at the early bird discount rate .

For further information and to book a place go to:

For an idea of the breath and depth of what we will be covering on the workshop, see:
What Makes a Modeller? by Judy Rees
How to do a modelling project by James Lawley & Penny Tompkins
A Modellers Perspective by James Lawley
20 other articles about modelling


4 workshops
live, online 2021

How People Change

Penny Tompkins
James Lawley
Marian Way

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