This map illustrates my version of the NLP Communication Model. It illustrates the skills Neuro-Semantic NLP helps to create and the way people respond to external events.

“What do you want?” is one of the primary questions coaches ask their clients (or friends). The well-formed outcome (WFO) questions provide a tool to help understand what a person really wants, and if what they want is consistent with their values and highest intentions. This list of questions from Neuro-Semantics is an expanded version of those originating from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

This map illustrates the Matrix Model, which is a systems model within Neuro-Semantics. It helps organize a large amount of information when coaching a person.  It includes process matrices that help us create our mental maps of reality, and content matrices that reflect mental maps of ourselves

This cognitive map explores the meta-states model within Neuro-Semantics, and relates meta-states to frames. (Updated May 23, 2017)

Learn about Meta-States

Suppose you see a potential danger and feel fear. The state of fear is called a primary state since it is triggered from outside of you. Being human, you will probably reflect on that fear. Many of us have been ashamed of being afraid. That is a meta-state, a state about another state, and is triggered from within yourself. It sets a new frame of meaning for that original state. Now, your relationship with the state of fear is shame: shameful fear. How would you experience fear differently if instead you were curious about your fear? All states that begin with self (e.g., self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy) are meta-states. Sometimes this self-reflection places us in a state of mind (e.g., feeling anxiety) that is not useful. Other times, our self-reflection and meta-states place us into highly desirable states, such as joyful learning or intelligent, fearless risk-taking. Self-reflection can give us the ability to gain new perspectives, understandings, insights, and choices.

Using the Meta-States Model lets you look at your meta-states, and the actions, beliefs, values and decisions they drive. This enables you to use them to actively manage your mental and emotional states to enhance your well-being and performance. Most of the tools in our Powerful Tools for Self-Leadership course are applications of the Meta-States Model.


This cognitive map illustrates a cognitive distortions model. It is useful to a meta-coach (e.g., life coach) who wants to understand how a client can get himself or herself in trouble, or to anyone who wants to understand how politicians can distort reality.

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