NLP is a subject that many people still haven’t heard about and those that have don’t fully understand what it is. I’ve had several discussions with friends, colleagues and readers of this blog recently about the value of studying NLP and whether it’s worth the investment, both in terms of time and money. Obviously, when faced with this decision myself I thought it was highly valuable, which is why I pursued the training all the way to the level of being certified as a trainer of NLP even though I don’t work as a trainer professionally. I’d like to share a few of my reasons for choosing this path.
I was first introduced to NLP by a very close friend of mine who took his practitioner certification in London while he was studying psychology. He immediately sparked my interest with his recount of his training and I started searching for all the material I could get my hands on related to NLP. This lead to me reading several books on the subject, watching anything I could find on YouTube and reading what was available on the Internet in general. It wasn’t for a few years that I decided to seek formal certification training.
My objective was always focused on how I could use NLP in my career and personal life to help me achieve my goals more efficiently. I can’t say this objective has changed much over the years. Personally, it was never really a search for a new career path. Not that a career in NLP wasn’t a very attractive alternative, I just feel that the business sector is a better fit for me and I wanted to know how I could make my current life path better using the techniques offered by NLP.
What Interested Me
The particular school of NLP that I studied at combined the training package with Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy and Coaching. This combination was excellent for me personally and I enjoyed each part and how they fit in with the others. Now most of the NLP techniques were first created for psychologists and there are some very specific techniques for therapy that can be used with others or yourself. The benefits of these techniques are clear, and the objective is always to solve problems immediately as opposed to traditional psychology that believes the process needs time to be effective.
What I found particularly interesting was how many of the tools of NLP could be ported to other areas such as business. Specifically, NLP techniques can have a massive effect on management and leadership, sales, presenting, negotiation, communications, team and individual development. All of these NLP techniques can be used in everyday life as well in areas such as parenting, relationships, socializing and networking, self-development, etc. In fact, I would go so far as to say the many applications are so fundamental that they will have an impact on every aspect of a persons life.
This is a really broad statement to make and the fact that NLP offers tools that are so fundamental enables it to be true. For example, here are a few really fundamental techniques taught by NLP:
- Sensory Acuity which is the ability to calibrate on physiological characteristics of people so you can understand when changes are going on in their thinking or emotional state. You can know before they tell you (if they tell you) what impact you are having on them.
- Rapport is a naturally occurring state of trust and openness between two people that allows you to have the least resistance when sharing ideas. People tend to feel rapport with certain people and not with others based on the existence of shared commonalities. NLP teaches us how to consciously build rapport with people on purpose and at will. This helps to ensure that ideas will be received less critically and helps to build trust.
- Communication techniques of NLP, or the ‘Linguistics’ part of the triad, is my personal favorite area of study. Effective communicators are effective because they use language well, they communicate their ideas fluidly, and they deal with resistance efficiently. NLP has modeled many powerful communicators and as a result has a rich set of techniques that, when employed properly, can enable you to become a very effective communicator in virtually any situation.Obama is well documented for using NLP and Hypnotic language patterns very effectively in his pre-election speeches. Some people have even accused him of manipulation for using these techniques, but in my opinion, that’s the same as accusing someone cheating when they solve equations because they have studied math. As a politician he should learn to speak well, as we all should.
These are just three very fundamental techniques that NLP offers that are usable in every aspect of our lives. I can’t think of a single person that wouldn’t benefit from learning the basics of just these three things. Of course NLP has many more tools and techniques to offer, but I thought these three were fundamental enough to show the value of this fascinating field.