You’re lying on an operating table awaiting brain surgery. Your surgeon arrives, introduces himself, gets his iPad out and searches YouTube for, ‘Quick Fix Brain Surgery’. At this point, what level of confidence would you have that you’d even survive the operation?
Come back here – I only asked you to imagine it!
If you were ever in the situation of needing brain surgery, you’d want a top brain surgeon who had completed years of study and training and who had had many years of in-depth experience. The reasons for wanting these levels of competency are obvious.
Apparently, we value study, training and experience – and are prepared to pay vast sums of money to people who have made an effort to gain professional skills.
So why do we often devalue our own worth by seeking quick fix superficial type training?
Or are we so arrogant that we believe we can gain skills more quickly than professionals by completing a 2-hour or 2-day course?
We con ourselves into thinking we’re too busy to do intensive training. And we rush out of our 2-hour training room or online course armed with new knowledge about our chosen subject, but often with little understanding of how to implement what we’ve learned.
Not all two-hour courses are poor
If you want to learn how to prepare a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation, a 2-hour course or webinar might be all you need to get you started. But in two hours you’re not going to get feedback on your slides or suggestions for improvement. You won’t get coaching on your delivery or the level of rapport you’ve gained with your audience. You’ll get the basics. Believe me, I know: I’ve done more short courses than I’ve had hot dinners – almost! While I often gain a little nugget from each webinar, if it whets my appetite I’ll sign up and complete a bona fide course. (I should have eaten before I wrote this article – I’ve just noticed all the food metaphors I’ve used!)
You need a lot more than knowledge to be effective.
In a quick-fix society, it’s easy to forget that to become proficient at anything, you need more than just knowledge: you also need practice – and a cognitive understanding of what works best in different contexts. The brain surgeon, the dentist, the lawyer – all have a combination of specialised skills that they use in various circumstances.
You wouldn’t dream of using a professional unless they had professional level skills
Organisations regularly promote staff to roles where professional people skills are required – without giving them the necessary training. They set people up to fail. If you have responsibility for developing people (for example as a team leader, manager, HR professional, teacher, parent, coach, executive, CEO, etc.,) then, in my mind, you have a professional people role. To do well in that role you need professional people skills. And professional people skills, just like other professional skills need to be thoroughly learnt and practised. A quick fix approach just won’t hack it. If you’ve ever had a horrible boss with few people skills, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Just because you have a title doesn’t mean you automatically have the skills – in the same way that owning a scalpel doesn’t make you a brain surgeon!
Everyone wants to be treated and respected as the individuals they are
To do that successfully, you need an in-depth knowledge of what makes people ‘tick’ and why everyone seems to ‘tick’ differently. Then, you need some practical skills to put the knowledge into action. Immediate feedback is invaluable so you can adjust and embody what works.
Professional people skills are encompassed in NLP Training
People sometimes ask me why NLP courses seem so long. They’re not long – they’re intensive. At the end of training, you realise how many skills and talents you’ve learnt, developed and reinforced.
If you could go to university and study NLP for several hours a week for a year or more you’d gain some knowledge ‘about’ NLP. However, it would be an academic, scholarly course rather than a practical, skill-building course. You won’t necessarily be able to use what you’d learnt in any real situation. What would be missing from the university course is the practice, the ongoing and immediate feedback, the layering of information, the practical applications. The expertise for which you pay other professionals big money.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is more relevant today than at any point in the past
Not only is NLP validated (finally) by neuroscientific research, it leads the way in delivering the practical components of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) the so called, ‘soft skills’ that seem so hard for people to master. These are the people skills that the best organisations seek out – even more so than IQ – yet are never taught. You’ll learn them on my longer NLP courses.
Why is NLP so important?
Its important because it uncovers what it is to be a human being. It’s about the mental and cognitive processes that drive our behaviour. NLP can also help us explore and improve connections; connection to ourselves, family, work and social, our community, our spiritual nature and our role as global citizens. It provides a structure to enable us to understand and evolve on behavioural and competency levels. You’ll discover what drives you – and what doesn’t. On NLP Practitioner training you’ll learn how to change limiting and often unconscious beliefs that hold you back. You’ll discover your mission or purpose, as well as techniques for living your life more fully.
Develop thinking skills
NLP also provides us with the tools to increase our flexibility in any area of life. Learning NLP will lead you to deepen your thinking processes. You’ll acquire increased wisdom and original thinking – instead of the repetitive thoughts that consume the majority of us. You’ll learn how to help develop others, so they resolve their own issues. Who wouldn’t want those strengths?
To use NLP properly and to become familiar with the skills, you need proper training, practice and feedback. You need to understand how and where to use each skill in your day to day life so that they make a difference to you and others at a fundamental level. You dont get this from just reading about NLP, no matter how good the book is.
Do yourself a favour
If you’re in any kind of people development role, please avoid a quick fix solution in this increasingly daunting training domain. Come and do some NLP training with me and develop the confidence, experience and expertise for which other professionals are admired.