NLP Demystified – Calibration

The purpose of this topic is to be an ongoing series of posts that attempts to demystify some of the esoteric and obscure terminology in NLP.  It may also serve as a way for NLP’ ers to talk to other humans about the intrinsic concepts of NLP so other non- NLP’ ers may understand more easily.


A few days ago I went into my local shop ( I live in a village ) and as I was buying a bottle of wine I noticed the shopkeeper wrinkled their nose and stared for a moment too long. Interesting, I thought as I walked out. It was one of those unusually warm and sunny days that the weather report had once again got wrong.

Later that same evening I returned to purchase another bottle and the shop keeper said “Have you been eating garlic?”  You see, I am currently experimenting with a herbal intestinal cleansing diet of which a large proportion is eating fresh and raw food stuffs.  I am normally quite a comparatively high consumer of garlic and because of my current diet am eating raw garlic ( grated of course ). “Yes indeed” I replied.

It seems my local shop keeper had identified a rather powerful tang of garlic about my person on my first visit. ( the twitching nose and facial expressions ) and on my second visit took the opportunity to check their initial insights and observations.

In a nut-shell this is calibration. The detection of some ‘thing’ in this case me reeking of garlic ( I dont smell this on myself as I am so used to it ).

So one explanation of calibration is the detection of  some repetitive pattern in some context. Here the pattern is ‘me stinking of garlic’ ( YUM ) and the repetitive context is me buying from our local shop.

This is a simple definition, as it should be. What is noticed repetitively and is then verified is the result of calibration; noticing repetitive patterns of behaviour/actions etc

One Response to NLP Demystified – Calibration

  1. Hi Nigel,

    Great post! I commented on it on my blog at


    Steve Bauer