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NLP Submodailities

In NLP Submodalities, the special sensory qualities perceived by each of the five senses. For example:

  • visual submodalities include color, shape, movement, brightness, depth etc.,
  • auditory sub-modalities include volume, pitch, tempo, etc.,
  • kinesthetic sub-modalities include pressure, temperature, texture, location, etc.


First of all to start with, some example properties of each modality out of the Representational System.

  • Visual: picture, slides or movie, bright or dim, size (relative to life), near or far, focussed or unfocussed etc.
  • Auditory: left or right ear, dolby surround, pace, timbre etc.
  • Kinesthetic: movement of the feeling, intensity, weight, pressure, heat, cold etc.
  • Olfactory: is there any smell attached, pungent, sweet, etc.
  • Gustatory: sweet, sour, bitter etc.

These are just examples of properties of the modalities or Representational System. Asking these properties to the person you are interviewing gives you an indication. As a result it indicates of what the specific memory this person has. Hence, keep in mind that utilizing these properties enable you to do make your work easy. It keeps the memories of the person you work with as anonymous as possible. Last but not least note that you are only asking the properties, not the content.

Because submodalities are qualities of sensory perception. Interpretations are complex secondary evaluations of perceptions and their meanings. In other words, submodalities are the way how we encode, store and decode experiences we have in our life.

Some exercises

Furthermore you can easily exercise these submodalities. In addition, you can make a list for yourself as you write down all the properties of a specific event. For example take a mildly sad event. In addition, do the same for a great experience and start to compare the two events. It tells you something how you encode some mild bad event and how you feel when you re-experience a great happening in your life. After practicing this, life will never be the same again!

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