Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been described as “The Study of Human Excellence“. It is a set of principles, models and tools for communication, learning, and change. In the 1970’s Richard Bandler and John Grinder created a mathematical calculus that enabled them to extract the pertinent information necessary to model three outstanding therapists; they were Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls and Dr. Milton Erickson. Fortunately, for those of us who have learned NLP, they translated this complicated formula into easily assimilated techniques, that enlighten and enlarge our very human experience on Planet Earth.
For instance, we begin modeling others at an early age. Many times, we choose “idols,” whom we model: a teacher, a movie star, an athlete, or perhaps someone who has triumphed over an incredible challenge. Some of the “how did they do that,” questions Bandler and Grinder might have asked themselves were: “What are the thought processes, the beliefs, physiology, communication patterns of these people who do something exceptionally well, or have overcome some difficulty?”
If NLP were to teach you to observe people in a different way, see through the surface they present, hear what they are really saying, know how they feel, deep down in their core, would that be of interest to you, now?
Through NLP training you will quickly learn to take these observations, model them, adapt their formulas and begin to maximize your own potential. Similarly, if you excel in one particular area of your life, you can apply your formula to areas where you are less excellent.
NLP is used in virtually every field where EXCELLENCE is the goal, including medicine, business, public relations, psychology, therapy, education, sports, the arts, as well as in day to day living.
Really, is there any area in your life where you would choose to be less than EXCELLENT?
Some basic NLP terms are:
1. Anchoring/Triggers: The principle by which any stimulus or representation (internal or external) connects to, and triggers a response. (Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?)
2. Representational Systems: The way we access our world through our five senses, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory and olfactory. If we lacked all five of these, we would have no way to relate to our environment, inside or out.
3. Sub-modalities: Distinctions within each representational system that create the smallest building blocks, or in other words, all the pesky details of our thoughts. Most sub-modalities vary continuously, as if controlled by a dimmer switch.
4. Strategy: A set of explicit mental and behavioral steps used to achieve a specific outcome. It is how you know when it’s time to do something, buy something, love someone, etc. For instance, you might see a new computer, feel the keyboard, think about it for a while to see if you really need it and then you might buy it. Or not.
5. Language Patterns: The observation of our choice of words and how it affects the way we represent and respond to our world. Can you see what I’m saying? Am I making myself clear? Everybody feels the same way, or does that smell fishy to you?
How does NLP work?
First, are two of the primary principles of NLP: “I am in charge of my mind and therefore, I am responsible for my results” and “People have all the resources they need in order to change.”
These are very empowering beliefs.
They allow you to regain control of your life (“Who is driving your bus?”) and remind you of your intrinsic excellence (“You are more than you think you are, much more.”).
The techniques used in NLP work on a neurological level, a true mind-body connection, so that the changes occur easily and effortlessly and have lasting effects.
A friend of mine recently reminded me of a very funny verse about behavior: “I don’t mind it, ’cause I am behind it…it’s the people in front that I jar!” So, there we are, sometimes making some very strange choices in our thinking.
How many people have you noticed looking outside of themselves for all the answers, playing the excuse and scapegoat game? Have you ever done that? Well, if you’re like the rest of us, the answer is a resounding “YES!”
NLP puts you in the powerful position of being “at cause” and therefore, in control, in all aspects of your life. It literally short-circuits a “pity party” and turns it into a “victory celebration.”