The NLP ‘Options & Procedures’ pattern

Have you come across this person? …or is it you? NLP_Options_Procedures3

  • I don’t like making long term plans – I want to keep my options open!
  • I have difficulty in making decisions: decisions just tie you down!
  • No, I’m not too good at following the rules. I like to do things my way!

Or how about this one…?

  • Look – let’s make sure we do it right and finish it on time!
  • I need a clear plan of action before I begin – so I know exactly what to do!
  • Just tell me what you want done so I can get started!

These are statements made by people who are very dissimilar. Chalk and cheese, in fact. And this pattern of behavioural preferences is identified in an NLP Meta Programme called ‘Options and Procedures’.

Meta Programmes describe continuums between different styles of thinking and acting. So, in this case, people who favour the Options approach will be towards one end and those who favour the Procedures will be towards the other.

How they go about things

Procedures preference

People who have this preference tend to value efficiency. They get things done reliably and on time. They like to work to a clearly defined plan. They don’t like lots of options or choices and may even find these confusing or irritating. They are great at making decisions – and sticking to them!

Options preference

Those who have this preference tend to value choice and the opportunity to experiment. They like to vary how they go about things rather than sticking to the rules. This can result in their being somewhat unreliable unless closely supervised. Sometimes their results will be excellent and sometimes… not so! They hate making decisions since this would tie them down – and restrict their options!

This NLP Meta Programme pattern and its applications in the workplace are described in a new article on the Pegasus NLP Website.