Neuro-linguistic programming provides some of the leading tools in the field of persuasion.  These tools can have a major impact when used correctly, which in turn can help you accomplish phenomenal results.  But what NLP tools can not achieve is to help someone manipulate another person against their will.

NLP, much like hypnosis, can achieve great results when used with integrity.  I have heard many people say things like “don’t NLP me” or “NLP is manipulative” but the truth is, no one can be forced to do something they don’t want with NLP.  Hypnosis has the same negative reputation, but legally it’s not acceptable to use the defense “I was hypnotized, and forced to do it against my will”.  This is because the courts have proven long ago that hypnosis can’t have this effect on people.  And neither can NLP, which works on many of the same levels as hypnosis.

What you can do with NLP is help people to be less resistant to your ideas. NLP tools like rapport building, strategy elicitation, identifying and utilizing someone’s representational systems, and identifying their meta-programs can help someone to stop being overly critical to a new idea.  This is done by building a friendly bond between the two of you (or more as the case may be).  However, once you have built a solid level of rapport, and used the other NLP tools I mentioned to format your message in the most easily ‘digestible’ terms; you can still only be successful at persuading someone if your idea or offer has real value for that person.

So yes, adapt these wonderful and effective tools into your portfolio of sales, negotiation and general persuasion tactics.  But don’t forget to spend the necessary time to create a proposition or a position that has real value for the people you are communicating with.  Because if you want to manipulate someone’s mind, your best chance is to blow them away with a great idea!

Let me know how NLP has supported you as a persuasion tool in the comments below.

(Image by Plurp)