NLP can seem like a ‘cure-all’ remedy
In old cowboy movies there was always some well-dressed salesman selling Dr Feelgood’s Miracle Cure from the back of a cart or carriage. From sweaty feet to coughs, and from indigestion to hair loss, no matter what the problem – Dr Feelgood’s Miracle Cure was the remedy. And unfortunately NLP can sometimes sound like the cure for everything as well.
I say unfortunately because NLP such a huge field that when people try to condense what the NLP technology can do into a sentence or two, they come up with vague definitions that are all but meaningless to people who don’t even know what the letters stand for. (By the way NLP is the short version of Neuro Linguistic Programming.)
The NLP definitions include:
- ‘The study of human excellence.’
- ‘The science of programming your own brain.’
- ‘The study of subjective experience – how people know what they know and do what they do.’
And now you’re none the wiser!
While all these definitions are accurate they also make NLP sound very vague, grandiose and all encompassing. Not very useful when you’re trying to figure out if it’s something you’d like to learn more about!
Sometimes it’s much easier to hear about specific ways that NLP might apply to you, your life and your own experiences.
One thing is for sure, the more you understand NLP the more you’ll find ways to use it in the various facets that make up your life.
Examples are much more useful – and interesting
Here’s how some of my NLP Practitioners or coaching clients have used NLP to improve their lives. I’ve given some specific, individual examples. Obviously each person mentioned below (whose names have been changed to protect their privacy) learnt a lot more than is shared in the examples. A LOT more.
Jenny is a 32 year old mother of 2 preschoolers
She used NLP rapport processes and specific language patterns to get her children off to sleep quickly and easily, where before they would not settle.
Martin is an engineer who had been promoted to managing a team.
He was defensive and couldn’t get his team to listen to him and do what he asked. Martin used NLP listening skills to better understand his team and targeted questions to get to the root cause of the problems and the reasons for them ignoring his requests.
He used the NLP anchoring technique to make sure he felt relaxed and confident when he talked to his team, whereas before he was worried and uptight. These comparatively small changes made a huge and positive difference to his relationship with his team, and productivity was greatly improved.
Margot found it difficult to connect with her boss and vice versa.
They would get frustrated with each other to the point where Margot was considering another job. Margot became aware that she needed lots of information from her boss in order to do a good job for him. Unfortunately her boss only gave Margot an overview of what he wanted, avoiding the detail.
Because Margot enjoyed details, whenever she spoke to her boss she made sure she gave him a chronological, blow-by-blow account of what she’d done, believing she was being helpful. He responded by getting annoyed and impatient and asking her to ‘cut to the chase’.
By recognising these differences Margot learned how to ask specific questions so she could get the information she needed to do her job well. She also mastered the ability to give her boss an overview of what she was doing so he stopped getting annoyed. This left them both with a greater understanding of each others needs and a better, more productive relationship.
Chris couldn’t talk to a group to save himself.
It was holding him back in his job where he was required to make presentations to staff and company clients. As a result of learning some NLP, Chris was able to change this situation dramatically. Firstly, he altered the way he thought about himself in front of an audience. He’d always imagined himself stuttering and stumbling and looking really uncomfortable.
He changed these pictures he’d made in his head – but of which he was previously unaware – to more positive and inspiring pictures that made him feel good.
He changed his self talk by using encouraging words, and he also used the NLP anchoring technique to settle into a powerful and energised state. He was subsequently able to relax and to actually enjoy talking to groups of people and started getting great feedback at his presentations.
Jeremy (his real name) overcame a debilitating fear of public speaking
While attending the Inside Your Mind Course Jeremy learnt ways to overcome stage fright.
At his next speech he sang – yes sang!
You can read Jeremy’s testimonial here (scroll down to Jeremy’s photo)
Brenda is a nurse in the ICU.
She learned the power of language. She learnt she could change how she was feeling by changing her language. She could help her patients heal quicker by using different, more empowering language and focusing her own thinking on them healing quickly.
Phil got a new job.
By using NLP rapport, anchoring and listening techniques in his interview, Phil aced it. He felt great all the way through the 1 hour 15 minute interview and commented that he ‘just knew’ he had the job from the responses of the three interviewers. He later found out that he’d beaten 73 other applicants to win the job.
Mary and Rob improved their relationships
Mary and Rob had a very stressful relationship with each other, and almost non-existent communication with their 16 year-old twin boys. In a few days, they learnt to understand how they (Mary and Rob) were contributing to the problem. Instead of trying to make their boys change, they subtly altered how they related to them and to each other.
The twins began voluntarily telling their parents where they were going, what they were doing and when they’d be home. The boys also started helping out around the house. The atmosphere at home became much more relaxed and Mary and Rob retrieved their relationship with each other and with their offspring.
Tracey improved her 8 year old’s self esteem
She also helped him score top marks in a spelling test using the NLP Spelling strategy. Previously he’d always scored poorly in spelling, hated English and became very uptight before any spelling tests.
Rodney got his perfect job
He had had three jobs in fourteen months and was beginning to think there was something wrong with him. He identified his work values and what those meant to him. He realised none of the previous jobs had encompassed his values. He subsequently got a position that met all his work values and was still there three years later.
Carol learned to tap into her ability to tell stories
She used and developed this ability to help her counselling clients turn around their lives.
Brian identified a belief that was negatively affecting his relationship
He changed the belief that had been preventing him from having a fulfilling relationship with his wife into a more empowering belief, that transformed their marriage.
Wendy had a phobia of snakes
She overcame this using the phobia cure on her NLP Practitioner Training and later on helped many others overcome phobias of various types using the same process.
Paul learnt the NLP Allergy Relief Process
He helped many people recover from allergies to wheat, milk, pollen and animal hair, amongst other things.
Jim had had an allergy to garlic for 35 years.
Both garlic and onions turned him into a very sick puppy. This made for a very restrictive diet and considerable worry when dining out. I did the NLP allergy cure with him on the second day of training. He can now eat garlic and onions and says the cure was worth more than the price of the whole course.
It’s important to know that each of these people learnt many other skills and techniques.
They made countless positive changes by learning NLP and in the process integrated it into their everyday lives. NLP became part of who they are rather than something they ‘did.’
In addition, course attendees were amazed by the huge and seemingly magical changes that they noticed in those around them. As one participant commented, “I must say it’s very peaceful in my house and I am getting everything done, without yelling and screaming, and the kids just can’t understand it.”
If every change people made while learning NLP could be logged and recorded, NLP would begin to sound just like Dr Feelgood’s Miracle Cure. And that’s the problem. Once you have learned NLP you’ll find so many applications for it and get so excited about its potential that, you too will have difficulty giving a simple explanation to the inevitable questions such as, “What is NLP?” and, “How can NLP help me?”