NLP: Up To New Good In The World

neuro-linguistics Jun 10, 2000

Many people have never heard of Neuro-Linguistic Programming at all, and for those who have heard of NLP, they may not have a full understanding of the positive impact it can have in their life, both personally and professionally.

Beginning with the very basics, “Neuro” refers to neurology; how the brain works. There are consistent detectable patterns in the way each of us processes our thoughts. “Linguistic” refers to language. We are always communicating through verbal and non-verbal expressions of our thinking patterns. “Programming” refers to the changes that we each can make once we recognize and understand our patterns.

NLP began in the early 1970’s when John Grinder, a linguistics professor and Richard Bandler, a mathematics and psychology student raised the question: “what is the difference that makes the difference between someone who is merely competent and someone who excels at a specific skill?” This led to their modeling of the unconscious competence of three therapists: Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls. The outcome of this study led to the discovery that there are identifiable patterns that could be precisely defined and taught to others for elegant duplication.

NLP is both a technology and a philosophy. There are principles of NLP that have been modeled from systems theory, natural laws and from people who consistently achieve human excellence. A few of the principles are:

  • “There is no failure, only feedback.” Whatever we do gives us a result. It may not be the exact result that we were looking for. However, by not blaming ourselves or others, we can learn from the experience, find additional solutions or options and improve on our next outcome.
  • “People work perfectly.” When people go to a therapist, many times they go with the attitude that they are broken in some way, flawed or defective. No one is broken or wrong. They may not be getting the results that they desire, and it is simply a matter of finding out how they function now, so their behavior(s) can be effectively changed into something that is more resourceful or desirable for them.
  • “The map is not the territory.” People respond to their individual map of reality, not to reality itself. We do not experience life directly; we “re-present” it to ourselves through our map of reality and our modalities of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.

So, how can this technology benefit you? In business, NLP skills enhance communication, refine rapport building, and improve goal setting and productivity. Applied to health issues, NLP can assist in maintaining a healthier working force.

Additionally, NLP provides processes to help with the understanding and healing of physical and emotional illnesses. For those in the helping professions, NLP provides a powerful modality for personal change work with clients. If you are seeking skills for your own personal change work, NLP offers processes to assist you in freeing yourself from limiting beliefs, fears and internal conflicts.

In the world of education, perhaps some of us presuppose that children and adults already know how to learn and that it is only necessary to provide the information for them to learn. NLP offers practical strategies, based on how each of us learns differently, to improve on our ability to take in information and use it effectively. Difficulties with spelling, for example, can be resolved easily.

I have heard it said on more than one occasion that people wish that their mind/body came with a manual so they could do life more effectively. I believe that NLP could be that very owner’s manual.