Meta Programs and the LAB Profile®: What’s the difference?

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by Shelle Rose Charvet
(find the orignal post at SuccessStrategies.com)

Since 1998 I have been certifying consultants, trainers, coaches and executives from around the world to use the LAB Profile (Language & Behaviour Profile) in business and other organizations. Highly-skilled people attend this program because they know it will dramatically increase their ability to help clients solve difficult problems as well as create a unique opportunity for their careers.

There are now over 300 LAB Profile Consultant/Trainer Certification graduates from around the world. “How strange,” I thought, given that NLP is used so much by trainers, facilitators, consultants and coaches, even if they don’t mention NLP. “Why haven’t more people been using the LAB Profile and contributing to the ever-increasing knowledge base, especially since the LAB Profile has become the accepted way of teaching Meta Programs in many countries?” So I asked some questions and here is an unscientific sample of what I heard on some NLPers’ beliefs about Meta Programs and the LAB Profile:

  • Meta Programs are the same thing as the LAB Profile.
  • I already studied them and know what I need to know.
  • They are just filters and who needs more filters?
  • Nice to know but there are no practical uses for them.

What!? I was shocked! And all these years I have been using the LAB Profile along with my NLP skills to create a very lucrative practice helping organizations and people.  Some Examples from my consulting business:   Assisted a manufacturer to avoid a strike and get the first 5 year contract with their union in the history of the company; Decoded specialized LAB Profile market research to develop successful advertising strategies; Transformed entire call centre representative behaviour to stop the bleeding of customers from an insurance company; Helped negotiators to increase revenue by millions of dollars by changing their behaviours with their customers. Appeared on national television using the LAB Profile to decode election strategies for the general public. In short, my NLP and LAB Profile skills have made my fee irrelevant in the market place. My customers are willing to pay whatever it costs to take advantage of the insights and skills afforded them by these skills. Perhaps the information has not been getting across to NLP-based trainers and consultants, so I would like to correct some misunderstandings.

What are the Differences between Meta Programs and the LAB Profile?

Meta Programs, originally developed by Leslie Cameron-Bandler (now Lebeau), describe what information a person takes in or gives out. Are they filtering for information, place, person, thing or activity? Do they notice sameness, similarities or contrasts? And many, many more filters. When I learned these patterns in an NLP Master Practitioner program in Paris in the 1980’s, they are rarely connected to how to detect them and what to do once you know the patterns. I did learn however that some patterns were better than others; it was better to be internal than external, better to approach than avoid etc., a belief I have since rejected. I was fascinated by the information at the time, but also thought there was nothing one could do with the information. In 1984 I translated Rodger Bailey’s LAB Profile manual into French when I working in Paris. I was immediately struck by the differences between his model and the standard NLP Meta Programs. I chose to use and develop the LAB Profile rather than any of the other psycho-metric profiling tools because of its simplicity, accuracy and usefulness. While the LAB Profile was based on the original Meta Programs and Noam Chomsky’s deletions, distortions and generalizations, only the LAB Profile consists of:

  1. A reasonable number of patterns to learn,
  2. A methodology for detecting the patterns, and
  3. A specific set of Influencing Language to match each pattern.

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Rodger had also discovered some practical applications. This was something I could actually use. At the time we included the LAB Profile in a program called “Managing High Performance Teams” and I began to explore what else could be done with it.

On top of this several people have used the LAB Profile as a research topic for their Master’s or Ph.D. theses. Several psychological profiling tools have been developed using the LAB Profile to use with individuals and teams. (See Jay Arthur’s NLP Personal Profile, Patrick Merlevede’s IWAM, Arne Maus’ Identity-Compass and Jaap Hollander’s MPA Mind-Sonar) All of this information on what uses trainers, consultants, facilitators and coaches are doing with the LAB Profile is irrelevant if people won’t give it a try for themselves. I wrote the book Words That Change Minds quite a few years ago to describe the Patterns and give information on how to use them for a few practical applications. But that was only the beginning. Since then, we have discovered many more practical applications for consultants and trainers. Imagine being able to understand, and predict people’s behaviour using a rigourous, empirical and scientific method for motivation. The LAB Profile is an exciting alternative to standard problem-solving approaches which our customers have all heard before.

But don’t believe me. Check out my books Words That Change Minds and The Customer is Bothering Me at www.theShellestore.com


ABNLP Shelle Rose Charvet LAB


Shelle is a sought after trainer in the art of influence & persuasion – specifically what motivates and demotivates people.

As a recognized world expert in the Language and Behaviour Profile or ‘LAB Profile’ Shelle trains people to recognise and use 13 distinct meta-programs categories that effect motivation and performance.

Shelle is a speaker at the ABNLP 2017 Australian NLP Conference taking place in Sydney, 25-26 February and she is also presenting her LAB Profile Practitioner Training 27-28 February.