So, what is NLP in a nutshell?
Neuro (the brain) Linguistic (how we converse with our brain) Programming (our behaviours)
NLP is often referred to as the “Software of the Mind”. It is all about process. We rely on our senses to gather information about the external world. All of our experiences are a result of what we see, hear, feel, touch and smell. We process this information in a way that is unique to each individual on the planet. In doing so, we create software programs that run on “automatic” until we learn a new program that is better. Once we do this, these sensory experiences are turned into a picture, a sound or a feeling inside our minds. These pictures, sounds and feelings are then run through a series of filters. These filters are our memories, attitudes and values. These filters then pass the pictures, sounds and feelings onto an even more powerful group; distortion, deletion and generalisation which can really cause major errors in our behaviours.
Everyone interprets situations through their own perceptions, thereby creating their own reality. Each person will create a different “map of the world” – it is this map which has errors and has to be redrawn with corrections using rapid NLP techniques.
Presuppositions of NLP
- The map is not the territory. We respond to our own internal reality, not reality itself.
- We respect each other’s model of the world.
- Aim to increase choice. The more choices you have, the freer and more in control you are.
- People make the best choice they can at the time
- People work perfectly. No one is wrong or broken. People carry out their behavioural strategies perfectly, but the strategies may be poorly designed or ineffective.
- All actions have a purpose. Behind each behaviour there is a positive intention. It may be pleasure or avoidance of pain.
- The meaning of your communication is not simply what you intend, but also the response you get.
- We already have all the resources we need or we can create them.
- Mind and body are connected and form a system.
- There is no such thing as failure, there is only feedback.
- The person or element with the most flexibility in a group or system will have the most influence.
- Modelling successful performance leads to excellence.
- All processes should lead to integration and wholeness.
- If you want to understand, act. Real learning is in the doing.
Neuro Linguistic Programming – a longer definition…
About 99% percent of the time I mention what I do, I get the same response – what is NLP? It’s actually a really tricky concept to put into words. There are just so many parts of life it touches. There are also so many benefits to almost anyone who walks on the earth. Well, below is a fairly descriptive explanation however, please bare in mind that NLP needs to be practically taught from master to apprentice. It cannot be learned just by reading a book!
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a combination of communication, personal development, and psychotherapy. The name comes from the neurological processes (“neuro”), language (“linguistic”) and behavioural patterns learned through experience (“programming”). These can be changed to achieve specific goals in life. The programming of exceptional people can be “modeled” using NLP techniques. Anyone can use NLP to achieve accelerated results.
NLP can rapidly treat problems such as limiting beliefs, phobias and fears, depression, OCD, allergies and learning disorders. There are many people in the world who after discovering NLP, solved there “problem” overnight and their years of seeing a psychologist ended instantly. NLP is widely used by professional sports people (Tiger Woods), world leaders (Barack Obama) and entertainment figures (Anthony Robbins). It is still a contentious area in science today as it seems to produce positive and permanent results that do not support the numerous “permanent medical diseases” in society today. It also means that a lot of pharmaceutical medications become redundant once these medical problems disappear. Those that have lived and breathed the success of NLP see that it is simply not a good “business model”, i.e., it makes no money because there are no ongoing medications or therapists required after a person discovers NLP. This is one of the possible reasons why it is still not widely recognised or understood.
NLP is widely used by professional sports people (Tiger Woods), world leaders (Barack Obama) and entertainment figures (Anthony Robbins).
There are three main components that make up NLP:
Subjectivity: We experience the world subjectively or through our own filtered understanding. This is then represented through the five senses and our language. Most people operate from one primary sense, e.g., visually (I see what you are saying) or auditory (I hear what you are saying). Behaviour can then be changed positively or negatively by manipulating the subjective representations.
Consciousness: Whilst other psychotherapies only operate in the cognitive state, NLP uses both unconscious and conscious states to change behaviors. By administering NLP in the unconscious state, the new thinking/modeling can bypass the cognitive filter without distorting the result through subjective understanding and limiting beliefs.
Language: NLP operates with the understanding that our language is part of our subjective interpretation of the world. Change our language and the words we speak and our patterns can change rapidly. New neural pathways are formed after previous boundaries are blown. Well-formed thought patterns can be changed and replaced via NLP techniques instantly and permanently.
Using NLP in almost any area of life will accelerate your results, whether positive or negative. The job of an NLP therapist or coach is to utilize NLP techniques to assist the client in successfully reaching the desired results quickly. Therefore, it is important that the issues or limiting beliefs are first checked ecologically (how the current structure has kept this pattern of thinking in place) before removing via NLP.
In addition to therapeutic uses, NLP can be applied to other fields including persuasion (politics, sales, etc.), negotiation (relationships etc.), and management training (career progression etc.,), sports, teaching, coaching, team building, and public speaking.