What is NLP and what are the Benefits?

NLP is the accronym for Neuro Linguistic Psychology or Neuro Linguistic Programming. Professional hypnotist from Calgary Faith Wood elaborates on what exactly NLP is.

Most people have heard of the term NLP or Neuro Linguistic Psychology (sometimes referred to as  Programming), but many simply don’t understand what it is or, more importantly, how it might benefit them personally.

NLP is often explained by stating that it is a compilation of Neurology, Psychology, Linguistics and Cybernetics.  Unfortunately, that means very little to most of us.  So let’s simplify things:  NLP is the study of ‘HOW’ things work rather than ‘WHY’.  NLP was founded on the belief that ‘success leaves clues’.  NLP looks at what is working, how it works and then teaches others how to follow those clues and strategies to acquire success for themselves.

NLP has formed the basis of many best-selling books on understanding and working with people, setting and reaching goals and overcoming barriers to success.  Tony Robbins, the self help guru, is famous for presenting ideas through the application of NLP.  So are the teachings of the ‘Millionaire Mind’ (Part of Harv Ecker’s Peak Potentials Training.  Presidents Clinton and John F. Kennedy were able to successfully adopt the NLP techniques which contributed to their public perception and enhanced their political careers.

None of us can make a change in the world without first making a change within ourselves.  Students of NLP learn how to use patterns in human behaviour, particularly those patterns generated by successful people, to make critical changes efficiently and effectively.  These patterns allow individuals such as high performance athletes to maintain concentration and focus.  High performance business people are able to recognize key information and act upon it quickly and accurately.  Brilliant communicators simply have the ability to match their messages precisely to any situation.

Using NLP, we are able to notice patterns in other people, identify what makes them so successful and then adopt the strategies that are working for ourselves.

NLP presupposes that:

  • People are always communicating
  • The meaning of the communication is in the responses that you are getting
  • People respond to their interpretation of reality rather than reality itself
  • People always make the best choices available to them
  • Every behaviour is useful in some context
  • Every experience has a structure which means anything can be accomplished if we break it down into small enough pieces
  • People already have most of the resources they need
  • There are no ‘failures’ in life, only outcomes

In summary, some of the greatest benefits to acquiring the skills and strategies related to NLP (the what’s in it for me approach) are in maximizing your own potential. By adopting these strategies you are learning to develop the skills of a highly effective communicator; you will become more powerful in your ability to communicate; have the ability to remove obstacles to your own learning and most importantly, uncover the tools which allow you to develop a strong and powerful belief in your own abilities.

How can learning NLP benefit Me?

I have always dreaded the question – What is NLP? (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Not because I don’t understand it, but how do you explain a process of strategies that is so diverse and ever-changing while bringing it into a context that is easy to understand and meaningful?  It is a bit like asking someone to explain how 1 + 1 = 2.

Well, let me start by suggesting this:

Do you know that you have total conscious control over that voice in your head?
Did you know that if it nags you or criticises you, you can change its tone of voice to be anything you want. If it sounded really soothing and supportive, would you be more inclined to listen to its advice? If it sounded really excited and enthusiastic, how do you think you would feel? Try it out now …. .In a really critical, harsh voice, say, “That was rubbish, you should have known better”. Next, use a really kind and supportive voice to say “Hey! That didn’t work so well, what shall we do next time?”

NLP is practical. It is a set of models, skills and techniques for thinking and acting effectively in the world. The purpose of NLP is to be useful, to increase choice and to enhance the quality of life. The most important questions to ask:  ‘Is it useful? Does it work?’

NLP is the art and science of personal excellence. Art because everyone brings their unique personality and style to what they do, and this can never be captured in words or techniques. Science because there is a method and process for discovering the patterns used by outstanding individuals in any field to achieve outstanding results. This process is called modelling, and the patterns, skills and techniques so discovered are being used increasingly in counselling, education and business for more effective communication, personal development and accelerated learning. NLP gives us a structure and a language for sharing intuitive knowledge. We can use it to model the expertise of anyone who excels at anything.  In its purest form, it is all about personal excellence and is characterised by a curiosity about people and how they move through the world.

NLP was not created in a cave in Tibet; it was created by modelling real people like you. Therefore, you already know how to do everything that NLP can teach you. What you may not achieve right now is consistency, and this is the main area where people benefit from NLP training. There are many things that you do better than anyone else on the planet, and there are many things that someone else does better than you. By “better” I mean more easily and with more consistent results.

On the whole, the people I’ve seen go through Practitioner training often describe it as a transformational experience. Just don’t assume that everyone wants to be transformed.

After reading this you may decide that NLP is something you would like to learn more about. You may even decide to become a certified NLP Practitioner. If this is the case then spend some time choosing a trainer who you are personally comfortable with, as the Practitioner course is a very personal experience. It is not a load of stuff to learn, it is an experience to work through and reflect upon. You will not be taught anything, but you will be given many opportunities s to notice what is happening and learn from your own experience. You will, of course, learn about the tools and techniques of NLP, but these are only the results of NLP – they are not NLP in themselves.

NLP is a practical skill that creates the results we truly want in the world while creating value for others in the process. It is the study of what makes the difference between the excellent and the average. It also leaves behind a trail of extremely effective techniques for education, counselling, business and therapy.  As an educator, imagine the incredible value of being able to spot the genius inside your student’s minds and elevate their sense of self-worth.  Would their life be richer with a few techniques designed to create consistent flexibility in their thinking and decision making.