So let’s start with the old favourites!
Some people say it is “how to use the language of the mind to achieve a specific outcome”. Some say it is “an attitude of curiosity and a willingness to experiement that has left behind a trail of techniques.” Others will go a step further and say it is “NLP is the study of human experience, communication , thinking, language and behaviour. NLP is about noticing conscious and unconscious behavioural patterns. Its
about modelling excellence and understanding the process in how we communicate to ourselves and others.”
All these definitions have some merit if you know something about the concept to start with. If you don’t, then you are probably not that much further forward.
I have always liked to define it as an instruction manual for the mind. It allows you to understand the processes (or programs) that you run in your neurology and make changes to anything that isn’t working very well.
What it is not is just a pile of techniques as some people in internet forums seem to believe. I wouldn’t mind a pound for everytime I have seen “I know someone who does XYZ” – what technique should I use?”. I tend to get a little grumpy when I see these type of comments because the person asking the question is displaying a distinct lack of knowledge of the concept of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
The thing is if you have the instruction manual then you can begin to understand the processes within the mind and the question “how do you do what you are doing?” needs to be answered to identify how, perhaps, the programming has gone off the rails.
NLP is not a magic wand. It is a two way process – whether you are working in business, therapy or coaching you work with a person. You cannot do NLP on a person! You cannot make people do things they don’t want to do!
Uses of NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming
In business, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) can assist you understanding other people better so that you can adapt your communication style to fit in with their model of the world. It will assist you building great rapport with everyone and since rapport is the basis of all effective communication, this is somewhat important! It will help you understand how they make decisions and consequently you can adapt your ‘pitch’ to once again fit in with their model of the world. It can help you remove those limiting decisions that perhaps are holding you back (such as “I am not good at selling”) and it can help you understand the values of the person you are working with – (values are what is important to an individual) and once again, you can then change your approach to make whatever it is your selling relevent to the client.
In therapy, NLP is used VERY effectively to help a client change unuseful processes without delving into content. This is very different from therapies like counselling which depend on the client talking about their past, often traumatic experiences, in detail. In our world we do not need the details of the experiences and consequently our processes are much more comfortable for the client. Think about this. If your “Microsoft Word Program” stops working on your PC it is highly unlikely that it has anything to do with what you have written in the word documents on your computer (the content). So you fix the program and, this is what we help our clients do with Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
So put simply NLP ,or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is an instruction manual for the mind which will allow you to be a more effective communicator and to make changes in any internal processes that are not working very effectively.
Clear as mud!