Are you in the service business? Are you helping people for a living? Our brain contains over sixty filters that drive and determine your client's preferences in how they think, feel and ultimately, act. These roots of our motivation are called Meta Programs. Check out the video or read the transcript below to find an overview of a few internal filters demonstrating how to use them to motivate your clients, whom are all driven differently. 

By the way, there is no right or wrong. One Meta Program is not better than the other. They are just a representation of how we are all different when it comes to what drives us.


If your clients are motivated Toward pleasure, you will motivate them by setting goals and frequently creating new ones. They are generally forward thinking, positive energy, drive, and may endeavour too many new initiatives at once. Keep them focused on one goal at a time, remind them of their goal regularly and they will thrive.

If they are motivated Away From pain and risk, provide them with lots of safety cues, as they like to make sure everything is secure before moving forward. They love solving problems, they focus on the downside and prefer to fix and improve what they struggle with instead of trying new strategies. They will perform with encouraging words like: "think about how great it will feel when you have this figured out".


The client with an Internal filter will rarely ask for advice, help or opinion. Even if you tell them they are doing great, they are the only judges and will instinctively know when they have performed at their best, or not. They can stay motivated with little or no praise, they will disregard your advices and will thrive when you empower them to choose when they feel they did enough or trust them to let you know when they feel they can handle more.

Your clients with External filter need outside evidence to know how well they are doing in order to stay motivated. Give them constant feedback and remind them they are doing great at every task. They will be seeking advices from you and constant reminder of their performance in order to make progress.


It is frequent in many industries to think that our clients need to constantly be exposed to the new “latest and greatest” in order to stay motivated. It is true for your clients with a Difference filter. They like frequent and drastic change and will be excited with new methods and concepts. They may require for you to become creative when it comes to basic foundational task.

Clients with a Sameness Filter will rather like things to stay the same. They are empowered when relied on to complete repetitive activities that they remember from session to session. They may not be willing to try new strategies.

20% of the population is driven by Difference, 5% by Sameness, 10% by Difference with exceptions. No need to re-invent the wheel with most of your clients as the bulk, 65%, is located in Sameness with a few differences. So stop changing things up because you think they want something new. They may not.


Clients with a Specific scope will stay with you if you offer them lots of details and spot small mistakes they can work on. They will want to know in details what each session will include while your clients with a General filter will prefer a global overview of what you will work on. They may get frustrated with too many details so stick with a big picture approach.

If you are interested in learning more about Meta Programs, I highly recommend the book: Words That Change Minds – The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence by Shelle Rose Charvet. She is the International Queen of Metaprograms.


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Connie - August 14, 2020 Reply

Great information Nathalie. Always a pleasure hearing you speak at conference.

All the best and stay safe
Connie Yelland

    Nathalie - August 14, 2020 Reply

    Thank you Connie! Hope to see you this weekend at canfitpro?

    Keep spreading your energy!


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