What is NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)?
NLP starts with an an attitude of curiosity of how things work, and how we can improve results in the areas of life that interest us. The next step is to model people that are successful in these areas, which in turn leads to a number of techniques that we can use to improve our own and others’ performance in these areas.
What is NLP? Where and how did NLP start?
NLP started at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the early 1970s when co-creators Richard Bandler and John Grinder, together with a group of other enthusiasts, started modelling Virginia Satir (founder of Family Systems Therapy), Milton Erickson (psychotherapist and hypnotist) and Fritz Pearls (founder of Gestalt Therapy).
The early subjects were very effective in helping their clients overcome challenges and move forward to reach a much higher potential than they would otherwise have done so. Bandler and Grinder were intrigued, and wanted to understand how these people were successful.
Where did the name NLP originate?
The story goes that Richard Bandler was stopped for speeding and asked what he did for an occupation. Not having an immediate answer, he read from the titles of three books he happened to have in his car. A book on neurology, a book on linguists, and a book on computer programming – and hence the name Neuro-Linguistic Programming was born.
Despite this, the name fits well with many key elements of NLP:
Neuro – Referring to the mind and brain, and particularly how the brain takes in information through sight, sound, feelings, tastes and smells.
Linguistics – The importance of language, not only spoken language, but our non verbal communication, such as voice tone, rhythm, pauses, and volume.
Programming – The important role of habits, and establishing and building useful habits as well as reducing less useful ones.
NLP is a modelling, rather than a scientific, discipline
NLP is a modelling discipline. We explore great performance, model the the elements of that performance, and continually test and refine those models to ensure they work. Continual testing is an essential part of NLP. However, unlike a scientific discipline we’re concerned with what works and how it works, not with the theory of why it works. An advantage of NLP being a modelling discipline is that we’re likely produce results much faster, as we don’t have to prove the theory behind what works.
This explains the rather negative (and incorrect) view that Wikipedia has about NLP.
How is NLP different from many other development disciplines?
With NLP we explore our internal processes, as well as what happens in the external world. We explore elements such as values, beliefs, identity and our experiential experience, all of which have a significant impact on how successful we are.
What are the key applications of NLP?
NLP will help you develop your communication and influencing skills, including how we influence ourselves as well as others. It has very strong practical applications in coaching, health, hypnosis, leadership, sales and seduction.
NLP is a bit like Marmite, some people love it, some people hate it – why?
Many people love NLP because it helps them achieve real world results in both the short and long term. Some dislike it because because we explore change and growth, which can be uncomfortable, and someone people are genuinely frightened of change. In addition some NLP trainers make ridiculous claims for what they are doing, which damaged the brand. Luckily most of those trainers have now left the industry.
We offer a 3 session ‘no charge’ discovery phase, so that you confident that NLP is for you, before you start any of our certified programmes.
Can anyone learn NLP?
In theory yes, in practice no. We’ve found that anyone with a touch of ambition, courage, discipline and honesty/humility and who has done the due diligence to find the right trainer, will both learn, and achieve the benefits from learning NLP. Always speak to your training provider before signing up for a course.
I want to learn NLP, what do you offer and where can I start?
About Michael Beale
Michael is a Richard Bandler NLP trainer, NLP coach trainer, and Marshall Goldsmith stakeholder coach, with 30 years of business experience and 15 years’ experience running his NLP coaching practice.
What is NLP? – Seriously Interested?
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