In Neuro-Linguistic Programming, this method is called Chunking Up and Down. There are two main versions of the Laddering method.

Version 1 Method

Version 1 is about levels of abstraction. To move up a level, from the specific to the more general, you ask:

  • “What is this an example of?”

To move down a level, from the general to the more specific, you ask:

  • “What are examples of this?”

Version 2 Method

Is about outcomes and how to achieve them. It is also about setting your outcome at the most appropriate level for its successful achievement. You move up the ladder of outcomes by asking:

  • “And if you had that, what would that give you?”

and down the ladder by asking:

  • “What do you need in order to get or achieve that?”

In some circumstances, it can be useful to ask:

  • “Why?” or “Why else?” to move up the ladder, and
  • “How?” or “How else?” to move down the ladder.