F.A.Q’s – NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
What Is Neuro Linguistic Programming?
The short and simple answer?
NLP is the study of Human Excellence.
Other definitions include:
- The science of success.
- The study of the structure of subjective experience – how people know what they know and do what they do.
- The Science of Programming your own brain
All behaviour has structure
NLP is based on the belief that all behaviour has structure. Once you understand that structure, you can transform unhelpful or destructive behaviours into useful new behaviours so you (or others) can be your best more often.
And now you’re probably none the wiser!
While all these definitions are accurate, they also make NLP sound very vague, grandiose and all encompassing. That’s not very useful when you’re trying to figure out if it’s something you’d like to learn more about! Browsing the NLP Articles on this site will give you specific ways that NLP might apply to you, your life and your own experiences. One thing is for sure, the more you know NLP the more you’ll find ways to use it in the various facets that make up your life.
Components of NLP
A look at the individual components of NLP make it clearer how NLP might be useful to you.
Neuro The central nervous system, the mind and body.
Linguistic Language. This includes verbal and non verbal language. It incorporates how you ‘re-present’ external information in your mind through pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells and self talk.
Programming How patterns, for example, emotional and behavioural patterns, are created.
Neuro Linguistic Programming So a fuller definition of NLP is, how the relationship between your mind and body, (Neuro) is affected by your language (Linguistic) and how you can programme your own brain (Programming) to be more effective.
How Can NLP Be Used?
NLP can, and is, being used in just about every facet of human endeavour.
Since it was developed in the mid 1970’s the use of NLP has expanded exponentially. The reason for such huge growth?
While many people who haven’t been exposed to NLP often think it’s a type of therapy, nothing could be further from the truth. Here are just SOME of the ways NLP is currently being used.
You can learn to be more influential and to have better control over your psychological and emotional states. Learn what really makes you ‘tick’ and what motivates you. Then you can replace unwanted behaviours with behaviours that reflect who you really are.
Use NLP to ‘programme’ yourself for better performance. That could involve:
- creating powerful motivation to practice regularly
- using submodality techniques to visualise better performance
- identifying and changing any negative beliefs you might have that could be holding you back from being a top performer
Managers and Team Leaders
You already know that everyone is different. NLP will show you HOW people are different and teach you ethical ways to improve your people skills. You’ll learn how to motivate and get the best from each person in your team. You can learn personal leadership skills so you behave authentically and feel aligned with your purpose as well as your own and company values.
It can be frustrating when clients don’t follow through with agreed commitments. As a coach you can use NLP to find out what ‘mental blocks’ are preventing a client from achieving those commitments. You can use NLP to literally remove those blocks – without doing therapy!
You can learn to use language in a way that totally motivates your clients. You can use specific questioning techniques to uncover issues much more quickly.
You can incorporate NLP into your practice by identifying unconscious processes that might be contributing to dis-ease. Many NLP techniques completely resolve health issues without the need for medication.
NLP will add another level to your professionalism and save you diagnostic time.
Teachers and trainers
You can improve your teaching or training delivery using NLP techniques which increase your training flexibility and achieve better results.
Advertisers, marketers and sales professionals
Use NLP to successfully sell products and services incorporating language and persuasion skills, rapport building skills etc etc.
Please see the information on NLP Practitioner Training to get a deeper insight into what is taught and how it can enhance your career and relationships – including the one you have with yourself 😉
I've heard that NLP is a bit unconventional. Is that true?
I guess at the time NLP was first developed in the early 1970’s it would have been considered very unconventional – even radical! The concepts challenged people’s ways of thinking and ideas about how long change should take.
But that was 40 years ago and today you would be amazed at just how many organisations are using bits of NLP in their training programmes.
You might be surprised that there are now millions of NLP Practitioners worldwide using NLP to enhance all aspects of their lives, including their careers.
It is an extremely wide and deep body of knowledge that is constantly expanding as more and more people use it and increase its potential.
Nowadays NLP is commonly used to enhance performance in sports, management, leadership, advertising, business, armed forces, health, education & training, personal development and coaching. In fact in any endeavour that involves people!
The techniques are in the main, quick and efficient, generating positive change that lasts. How would you not want to use something that has such wide application?
How does NLP fit with coaching and mentoring?
NLP fits very well with coaching and mentoring
In fact NLP connects very well with most skills you already have, giving you a greater depth of resources. Using coaching as an example, NLP gives you extensive development tools and techniques to help you assist others.
You might use NLP to overcome any stumbling blocks or personal hang-ups that might be preventing a client from succeeding. For instance sometimes, although someone might dream of success, they may also fear, on a deeper level the consequences of that success. This results in self-sabotaging behaviour. No matter how much coaching they receive, until that fear of success is identified and dealt with they are unlikely to achieve their dreams.
NLP gives you several ways of handling this kind of issue.
Similarly, what happens if a very personal concern arises in a coaching session or the client becomes upset? It may not be something that would normally be handled in a coaching situation yet an NLP Practitioner will have many holistic, compassionate options to help the client resolve those issues – without doing therapy.
But don’t think NLP is just for overcoming issues. There are a myriad of ways NLP will enhance what you’re already doing well.
Can NLP help me in my job or career?
The short answer is YES!
Using NLP would enhance the way most people perform in their jobs and careers. Read how some NLP Practitioners are using their skills.
How NLP will help you specifically, depends what your job or career is, as there will be many NLP approaches that can help. SOME examples:
- You might want to be more confident in certain situations, such as when giving presentations.
- The ability to develop more influence and rapport with an important client may be valuable to you.
- It could be useful to change a limiting belief you have about yourself or your ability so you can live life more fully.
- Understanding how people who work for you or with you process information, or how they maintain their current behaviour allows you to coach them to better performance.
What is anchoring?
Anchoring is a naturally occurring phenomena which is connected to classical conditioning.
Here’s the technical version: A stimulus (trigger) in one sensory system evokes a response or state previously associated with that stimulus.
Here’s a human example: Hearing an old song (auditory system) may cause you to feel romantic (kinesthetic system).
In NLP you can learn anchoring techniques so that you can be in control of your emotional state.You can read an article about anchoring here. Or actually listen to a short audio (4 minutes) where I’ll take you through a basic anchoring exercise to create a state of confidence.
What is a strategy?
A strategy is a way of sequencing thought processes to achieve a desired outcome.
NLP is famous for having developed ways of isolating these processes to establish how successful people do what they do. Once defined, the strategy can then be taught to others or, if it is not useful, changed.
The NLP spelling strategy (modelled from excellent spellers) is a simple and easily learned strategy resulting in immediate and dramatic improvement in spelling ability.