In this article, we’re going to explore Dilt’s Logical Levels. We’ll discuss what they mean, why they matter and how you can use them to improve your business and professional life.
What are the logical levels?
The Logical Levels of Learning and Change (in short LLL) is a theory developed by Robert Dilts in 1983. It was originally based on Bateson’s Logical Levels, which can be used to help people understand how they learn and change. The model is made up of six levels. Each level builds on the previous one
The LLL model is often used in business because it helps companies develop training programs that align with their employees’ needs and increase productivity. But that’s not all. As a small business owner it can be of tremendous value as well. Because you can apply it on yourself. Understanding the structure of Dilts’ logical levels can help you take steps toward achieving your goals. Because it is a psychological/philosophical structure that helps you manage yourself and your organization.
Why is Dilt’s model essential for business owners?
Understanding the world of business, entrepreneurship and leadership is a lot like understanding the human body. You can’t just go in with a scalpel and cut out whatever organ you want in order to fix something. For example, if someone has high blood pressure and it’s caused by an enlarged heart, then simply reducing the heart size wouldn’t be enough because this would cause other problems. Instead, you need to address all the related issues such as diet and exercise that are causing excessive stress on the heart (and therefore increasing its size).
What I’m saying here is that there aren’t any quick fixes when it comes to building a successful business or being a great leader. Instead, it requires constant attention at each level of your organization so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Step 1. Define your business environment
The first level of the Dilts Model is the environment. The environment is what you see and interact with, which includes your office and all of the equipment you use to conduct business. It also includes people, who are part of your business whether they work for you directly or not. This level also includes any external factors that influence you or your stakeholders (e.g., laws or regulations).
Step 2. Define your business behaviour
Behaviour is the way we act on a daily basis and how we think and behave towards other people and ourselves, as well as how we handle our emotions.
Business habits are by far the biggest part of your behaviour in business. These habits can be broken down into two categories: good/productive or bad/unproductive. They are formed through repetition. They can be changed by using positive reinforcement techniques such as goal-setting. Or creating a reward system for yourself if you do something well or reach a specific goal (or even breaking bad habits).
Examples are getting up at 7am every day, eating lunch at 13.00 every day, and reading a business book once every week.
Step 3. Define your business capabilities
Capabilities are the skills, knowledge and resources that enable an organization to do what it needs to do. They’re the things that make your business unique and give you a competitive edge.
A good example of this is McDonalds, who have built their entire brand around their capabilities in fast food service delivery. They know how to make a burger quickly – and at scale – which makes them very efficient at feeding large numbers of people with little effort on their part (and minimal mess). This capability has enabled them to open thousands of locations around the world; they’ve mastered the art of quick service dining so well over time that they can now be found just about anywhere you might want a cheap meal in a hurry!
Capabilities can take many forms—they can include things such as intellectual property; specialized technology; patents; equipment; workforce skills (such as technical know-how); supply chain relationships; investment capacity; brand equity; loyal customers/clients/vendors/suppliers etc.
Step 4. Define your business beliefs & values
Beliefs and values are the foundation of your business. Like all other levels, beliefs and values can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive in nature. The key here is to bring them into alignment with what you want to achieve as a business owner: if they don’t support your goals, then it’s time to re-think them!
If you for example have a belief that people should pay for what they get, then it is likely that all your customers will be paying customers in some form or another. If, on the other hand, you believe that everyone should be able to get free stuff whenever they want it, then most likely only people who can’t afford to buy anything will be interested in buying from you—and they probably won’t buy very much!
Level 4 is where we sit down and figure out what our beliefs and values really are when applied to our business model; what do we stand for, why do we stand for it? What do we believe about ourselves as a company, about our employees and about our customers?
Step 5. Define your business identity
This is the level where you have the ability to see yourself and your business as a complete entity. It’s a critical level because it’s where you define who you are and how others view you. It’s also important because it’s where beliefs like “I am an excellent salesperson” get formed, which influence your behavior at all other levels.
Identity can be defined as the way a person or group sees themselves in terms of their own uniqueness, characteristics and social standing when compared with other people or groups within society (Dilts & Delozier 2000). Our identities are shaped by our experiences growing up; our life lessons learned along the way; successes achieved; failures overcome; goals achieved or not achieved for reasons beyond our control; relationships with others that impact us emotionally as well as physically (family members); and so on.
Step 6. Define your business purpose & mission
Why are you in business? What’s your purpose? What is your mission? If you’re struggling to answer these questions, try asking yourself why it is that you do what you do. Do you have a genuine passion for the products or services that make up your business model? Is there something bigger than yourself at play here—a true calling that drives not just how but why you operate each day?
The purpose of your business is the reason you started it. The mission of your business is what you want to achieve with that purpose. What are the results you want to achieve? What do you hope to accomplish with this particular business? In other words, what do customers get out of it?
So that’s it! I hope this article has given you some insight into what Dilt’s Logical Levels are and how they can help you achieve more success in your life.
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