mind tools personal development neuro linguistic programming nlp representational system olfactory
In NLP Olfactory is one part of the Representational System. An example is: “Smelling how great that apple-pie smells!”. Or maybe a more nasty one: “It smells like dogshit!”. There are legions more. Just say only think about food and the smell of it and a legion of examples will popup.Olfactory is relating to smell or the sense of smell.

Olfactory events, smell you experience are accompanied most of the time with Kinestethic events. The smell of a specific product will give you a specific feeling. Therefore Olfactory breaks down into two parts: Internal and External. An example of Olfactory Internal is that you start to remember how you felt when you entered grandma’s house and got the smell of freshly baked cookies, a hint of cinnamon and other powerful herbs. Are the cookies here now? No they are not. You just remember a situation that is good to you and you can smell those nice cookies again!

 

Some Examples

An example of Olfactory External is more direct, here in the now! Imagine when you walk on the street and you smell someone BBQ great meat. Immediately your thoughts are like “Hmm, I can have a piece …”. Read the following words as an example for what we are about to tell you: It smell’s good, great aroma, sour smell, I can smell the victory, I smell fear, sweet, pungent, fresh, stale, putrid, chemical, burnt. As you already notice, all of these are examples of the Olfactory part of the Representational System in NLP.

An excercise

Most important, an exercise you can start to listen to the language an other person outputs. What is he or she talking about? Is this person talking in Olfactory mode? See what happens when you start talking back in Olfactory mode, to build up Rapport. And even more interesting, what happens if you answer in another part of the Representational System? Your job is to investigate. As one of our teachers used to say: “Be that nutty professor”. See what works for you and see what does not.

Another exercise is to make lists of Olfactory words. Just to exercise your recognition system for the words that come to you. And when you have a hundred or maybe more, start to classify them in Internal and External experiences. And as a highly subjective experience and exercise; are those words Remembered or Constructed?  Remember that the quicker you are with this tool, the more it becomes useful in your daily life!

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