What on earth is NLP?

Neuro linguistic programming! What a scary title! Until you discover what it really means. Basically, NLP is the study of people; how we use language, how that affects the way things that get stored in our brain, and how the brain controls the behaviour we demonstrate to other people.

The Beginning

Although NLP started in the field of academic research, it has now become a very practical school of thought. It can be used on personal level to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, to build up motivation, to eliminate fears and phobias. It has also has discovered simple ways to overcome stress and eliminate the negative effects of bad memories. The originators, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, summed it up very well by saying that it would help people to have better, fuller, and richer lives. It soon became an effective and rapid form of psychotherapy, where it dealt with a range of problems such and such phobias, depression, psychosomatic illnesses etc. It is also used in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was quickly realized that there were potential applications to life in general. Particularly in business where people skills were becoming more important. It enabled employees and managers to become more confident when dealing both with clients and each other. People also improved the effectiveness of their communication due to a better understanding of the effects of particular language constructs.

How to Learn NLP

There are many ways of learning about NLP. The Internet is full of books CDs, DVDs and courses from all over the world and this presents The beginner with a problem. How do you decide which is the best action for you to take? Well the easiest is probably to find some basic introductory level material on the Internet. This can range from introductory videos, articles, pod casts etc. You can gain a lot of knowledge from these sources but there will come time when you need a mentor. There are two basic reasons for this. One is that you only have your experience to base your findings on and, two, you don’t get any feedback from a book. Think of it like this, you could read about the Sahara Desert, you could see films about the Sahara Desert, you could get maps of the Sahara Desert. But when you wanted to actually explore the Sahara Desert you would probably feel more comfortable if you had an experienced guide. The guide can point out the best way through uncertain territory, can suggest new ways of approaching things, and can give you real world examples of how NLP theory can be applied.

It’s Easy

Some people may think that all this is going to be so hard to learn. Well let me surprise you – it isn’t! Because of the way NLP is usually taught it covers everyone’s individual learning style by incorporating theory, practice and review techniques in most lessons. Another interesting thing that I was impressed with was that you can use NLP techniques to help you learn NLP. All good training courses will encourage you to sort out hang ups and problems that you may have, within the classroom exercises so that you’re ability to learn new things becomes easier. And the learnings will stay with you for ever. The aim of good NLP training is to reach a stage of what is called unconscious competence, so that you will have learnt things so thoroughly, (by actually doing it in a controlled environment) that you will almost be able to do it without thinking.

What Next?

And what next, you may be wondering? Well you just keep watching this blog because I will be building up a wealth of material that will take you from the basic ideas to more advanced methods and then you can decide which direction to go in next. I can only wish you bon voyage and even though you may be a plumber, an engineer, an estate agent, an accountant, a doctor, a nurse… It doesn’t matter. What ever you do for a living, you will be able find ways to help you get on with life and people better than you ever did before you started studying NLP. May I you wish a great life!!

Written by nlpman
retired NLP Master Trainer,Life member of International NLPTrainers Assoc, nlpman.eu

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