NLP – or Neuro Linguistic Programming – has been around for about 25years. A body of knowledge that was originally put together by Richard Bandler and JohnGrinder, many have since invested years of experience and training working with people tocreate what has evolved into a science. And as a science, it has been recognized as one ofthe singularly most powerful tools that supports rapid and profound change in humanbehavior. Here’s what a couple of journals have to say about NLP:
NLP may be the most powerful vehicle for change in existence…
NLP could be the most important synthesis of knowledge about humancommunication to emerge since the sixties.
NLP cannot be dismissed as just another hustle. Its theoreticalunderpinnings represent an ambitious attempt to codify and synthesize the insights oflinguistics, body language and the study of communication systems.
(NLP) does offer the potential for making changes without the usualagony that accompanies these phenomena… Thus it affords the opportunity to gainflexibility, creativity and greater freedom of action than most of us now know…
Training and Development Journal
… real estate brokers and salespeople use Neuro-Linguistics toenhance their communication skills and provide them with more choices when working in adifficult situation. … it shows how we make sense of the world around us andcommunicate.
Real Estate Today
Peter Senge introduces the concept of personal mastery in his book TheFifth Discipline. NLP provides the ‘how’ to achieve this.
Sue Knight, NLP at Work: The Difference That Makes a Difference in Business
We are long past the point of debating whether or not NLP works. The juryis in, and the results are outstanding!
Learning NLP is not so much discovering a new way of doing things, butbecoming able to recognize not only what we are doing but how we are doingit. This awareness, coupled with the techniques that NLP has produced, gives us both theinsight and the practical skills to change our lives. Not only can we make the choicesthat change the course of our lives, we can easily and with grace also change ourbehavior. And we all know what it’s like to want something, even to commit to something –and be undone by our habits. If this sounds familiar, then maybe NLP is for you.
NLP gives us both the context and the techniques to be able to noticedifferent things, and to notice things differently. Think about being able to look at aforest — and then, to distinguish a pine, from a maple, from a cedar. Without theknowledge of NLP, there is only forest. Those finer distinctions elude us. And frankly,sometimes it is useful to be able to distinguish which of those trees would best suit ourneed in the moment: a pine for its majesty; a maple for its syrup; and a cedar for itswonderful aromatic properties. A cedar closet produces a different experience than onemade of elm.
NLP gives us the tools to be able to notice ourselves. We are a culturethat prides itself on our conditioned capacity to notice things outside of ourselves,particularly the rules, and to mold and shape ourselves accordingly. We are quick to payattention to what someone else has done or said or worse, what they haven’t done or said;and we are quick to notice what someone else is doing; and particularly who’s fault it is.And even with all this training, how successful are we at changing other people? Not very!NLP gives us both the context and the tools to begin to notice ourselves, for a change(both literally and figuratively!). Given that the only thing we have any control over isourselves, that may not only be the most practical place to start – it may be the onlyplace.
NLP: the language may be new to you, but the things that NLP representsare as old as time. And we’ve been doing these things naturally and by habit, since to doso is the nature of being human. Wouldn’t it be more useful to be able to know howwe’re doing what we’re doing, so that we know how to do something else if we sodesire? Perhaps something more powerful, more respectful, more revitalizing? Somethingwith more dignity, honor, integrity?
If you choose to explore NLP, shop around. We often recommend some basictexts that are relatively free of the jargon of NLP. Seymour and O’Connor’s books aregreat; as is ‘The Magic of NLP Demystified’ by Lewis and Pucelik. These will give you anidea as to how far your interest will take you. Talk to people, too. Ask for clientreferences from your prospective trainers so that you can talk to the people they’vetrained. Feel free to ask your trainers some of the tough questions, and then listen well.Ask them: Why did you choose NLP? What has it done for you? How are you different as aresult of your experiences teaching NLP? Where are you still growing with NLP? Look for atrainer who is a living model of what NLP teaches; who behaves like the kind of personthat you want to become. It’s not about the ‘right trainer’ or the ‘wrong trainer’: it’sabout the right trainer for you. Find someone who is not only technically sound andwell-credentialed, but who feels right to you when you talk with them. And, finally,choose a trainer that leaves you feeling good about yourself. After all, when you go home,the trainer stays behind.
Make no mistake – making changes in your life will have consequences. Yet,what you often fail to recognize is that NOT making changes in your life already hasconsequences – you get more of what you’ve got. How much do you like what you’ve alreadygot?
Your life is up to you. Are you equipped to handle it?
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