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Topic: Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns
Posted by: Jon Edwards
Date/Time: 30/09/2002 21:53:14

Hi Michael,

Re. State Diagrams, there's a nice example (using an ATM machine) at and some good basic tips at (see especially the section "Common Confusions #2")

I believe they originated in Automata Theory - a Google search for "state machines" and/or "state diagrams" should pull up plenty of background info!   :-)

It's hard to summarise the differences between state diagrams and flowcharts, but I'll try!

Flowcharts are fairly linear and procedural - they break the pattern down into a sequence of steps/tasks, with branches when a decision is made ("Have I established a signalling system with my unconscious? Yes/No?" for example). Most of the patterns I've seen in NLP books, seem to be represented in a similar way (as text), so flowcharts are a good way of representing them, as there's a fairly isomorphic mapping between the sub-tasks in the written text and the boxes on the flowchart.

State Diagrams are perhaps a higher level of abstraction, and require a bit more of a "mindshift" - which can make them more interesting, as they show graphically something that is not immediately obvious from a written description of a pattern. The important bits are "states", "transitions", and "events".

It's trying to represent the different "states of mind" that you use during a pattern, and how you move between them (transitions, and the events that cause them). The actual detailed sub-tasks that you do in each state are represented in the procedures for that state (which could be shown as flowcharts)

Trying to translate that to NLP, I had to bend things slightly to fit -

- As, according to the rules of state diagrams, events can only be caused by "actors" external to the system, you need to somehow represent the part of the mind that decides when it's time to shift to another state - I called that "Self", for want of a better word. In the case of a conversation, "Other" (the other person you are talking to) is obviously external to the system, so inputs from Other are Events and will cause a transition - e.g. when Self is Talking and Other interrupts. If we were diagramming a client-therapist pattern, the Therapist would be the external "actor" who causes the events that influence the client's mind to shift state (making suggestions or firing anchors, for example).

In a practical sense, it might be useful to actually go through the NLP pattern you are trying to diagram (6 step reframe, for example), and then "replay" the session in 1st and/or 3rd Position, and notice when you changed state - maybe you shifted your physical position, maybe your eye-movements or breathing patterns changed.... Actually, it might be easier to lead someone else through it, and calibrate their shifts between state?

Excuse me if I go all Zen for a moment (state-change!), but it seems like the emphasis on state in New Code is a little like music - it's not just the notes you play, it's the gaps/changes between the notes (the transitions) that makes the tune!

Hope that clarifies things a little?

Cheers, Jon

Entire Thread

TopicDate PostedPosted By
Formats for documenting NLP patterns20/09/2002 15:13:14Jon Edwards
     Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns20/09/2002 17:34:11Carmen Bostic St. Clair and John Grinder
          Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns21/09/2002 12:36:32Jon Edwards
          Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns24/09/2002 17:11:18Jon Edwards
               Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns25/09/2002 03:42:03John Grinder
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns25/09/2002 16:46:54Jon Edwards
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns25/09/2002 18:33:15John Grinder
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns25/09/2002 19:16:31Jon Edwards
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns28/09/2002 06:07:46David Chuipka
                                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns28/09/2002 15:56:07Jon Edwards
               Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns27/09/2002 06:06:45Jeisyn Murphy
                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns27/09/2002 15:24:39Jon Edwards
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns30/09/2002 05:05:12Jeisyn Murphy
                         Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns30/09/2002 09:21:48Michael Carroll
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns30/09/2002 21:53:14Jon Edwards
                                   Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns30/09/2002 23:54:15Michael Carroll
     Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns26/09/2002 07:23:33Michael V
          Re:Re:Formats for documenting NLP patterns27/09/2002 10:48:15Jon Edwards

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