What is Neuro Linguistic Programming (or NLP)?
Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP is also called the Art and Science of Excellence. NLP has its roots in studying excellence and then converting the result of these studies into easily installable processes. This process is called Modelling.
What is Modelling?
Sachin Tendulkar, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Anthony Robbins are some of the names whom people treat like Gods in their fields. There are millions of people who aspire to become like at least one of them. They are from different fields with one common denominator – Excellence. NLP Modelling is the study of this excellence.
Who did start Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
NLP was found in 1970’s by Richard Bandler, whose background was in mathematics and gestalt therapy and John Grinder, whose background was in Linguistics. They modelled top therapists of the day namely Virginia Satir (Family Therapy), Fritz Perls(Gestalt Therapy) and Milton H. Erickson(Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy).
The NLP field later attracted many other people with exceptional quality to model others like Leslie-Cameron Bandler, Robert Dilts, Steve Andreas, Tad James, Michael Hall to name a few who furthered the process of modelling and refining the techniques and content.
What does Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) mean?
The term neuro-linguistic programming has got three components:
Neuro: the neurology or brain system. The neurological system regulates how our brains function.
Linguistic: The linguistics define how we interface/communicate with others and ourselves. The linguistic also means the unconscious communication like body language, eye patterns etc, which are not in our conscious control.
Programming: The strategies (i.e. programs) which we use to create our individual models of the world or run our behaviors. These programs can be improved, strengthened or altered as we may like using existing NLP Processes or by modelling new processes.
Who regulates NLP?
NLP falls in open domain. All NLP Techniques are in public domain. There is no regulatory body for NLP.
Doesn’t that dilute NLP content?
Unfortunately, yes. However this is how all open source stuff works. Very soon people are able to find out who is teaching genuine techniques and who is teaching the diluted versions.
How can NLP help in various professions?
NLP has found its use in all professions wherever human excellence is required. Below are some of the ways it can help you in your profession:
Coaching: If you are a coach, you can use NLP Processes to coach your clients and charge higher fee
Therapy: NLP started with modelling top therapists of the day. Hence there are a lot of techniques in NLP which can be used in the context of therapy. If you are a therapist, you can use these techniques and linguistic models to resolve many issues with lesser efforts, lesser discomfort and in lesser time.
Counseling: If you are a counselor, you can use NLP’s language models to drive rapid change with lesser efforts.
Business: If you are a business man, you can use NLP in your negotiations and drive results in your favor.
Sales: Almost all effective sales programs use NLP underneath them. If you are a salesperson, you can use NLP to improve your conversion rate.
Studies: NLP has several techniques to accelerate learning. If you are a student, you can use these techniques in your studies. NLP also provides you with techniques to remain calm and maintain focus in stress free way.
All in all, NLP helps you do more with lesser efforts. You save on time and mental effort. The results are achieved with less discomfort, lesser efforts and in lesser time. Thus you are able to charge higher fee for your services.
Is it a new field?
No, it is no more a new field. NLP was found in 1970’s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Major work in NLP happened in first couple of decades.
Is NLP spiritual thing or does it fall in spiritual/metaphysical domain?
NLP is not spiritual stream, but it has got applications in spirituality. NLPers have done significant work on Maslow’s Hierarchy which has got self-actualization as the highest level. Hence there are techniques which help you in self-actualization.
Apart from this NLP has some of the processes derived from Transactional Analysis.
Hence NLP touches spirituality from personal development and change work perspective. However, there is no discussion beyond that in spiritual domain (For example The God, Journey of the soul, levels of consciousness etc are not discussed) in NLP.
The people with spiritual bend of mind however find it really useful to use some of the NLP Techniques to enhance their awareness and sort things out in their lives.
Where to learn NLP from?
NLP is learnt experientially. Books/Online courses should be avoided if you are a beginner. Even the best book in NLP cannot replace an experiential training. However once you have attended NLP Practitioner or Master Practitioner Training – you must visit the NLP Literature.
Where do I start my NLP Training from from?
The first step is attending NLP Practitioner Training. This is a 40 hours training through NFNLP. Other bodies have different requirements. Some trainings are shorter others are longer – some even stretching upto 28-30 days. We recommend NFNLP trainings as they are of right length and simple content.
The next step is attending NLP Master Practitioner training. It is a 32 hours training through NFNLP. Again the length varies with the training bodies. NFNLP Master Practitioner is of the adequate lenght as most of the content in NLP is covered in the NLP Practitoner training. The master practitioner teaches the advanced language patterns and more methods of reprogramming the subconscious covertly. The longer master practitioners covered by other boards essentially repeat the most of the NLP Practitioner content – which is sheer wastage of time.
The third step depends upon what you want to accomplish. If you want to become a coach then you must attend NLP Coach training, which is a minimum one day program as per NFNLP guidelines after attending the master practitioner. However at NLP Minds we have added one more day to the training as we emphasize on the business mindset and also give additional business related tools to the new coaches. Also our content keeps evolving – and we may add some more days to the training in future. Again some other bodies give the NLP Coach certificate if you pay extra, immediately after attending NLP Practitioner training – i.e. without any separate NLP Coach training. This in our view is a great disservice to the client. The coaches holding such certificates are not able to do justice to the clients and in most cases get out of the business very soon.
If you want to become a NLP Trainer – then you should the Train the Trainer training conducted by NLP Minds. This is mandated to be 5 days training as per the NFNLP norms. The other boards/institutes may have 1-2 days of NLP Trainer training. Also some institutes/boards offer the Trainer certificate after a participant completes the master practitioner or they have phony TTT programs (just few hours to 1 day crash courses etc). This in our view is again a great disservice to the client. In our view the trainer is like the pilot of a high tech airplane. The pilot has to be thoroughly trained in handling different situations. Also in NLP Trainings – the trainer is the most important factor.
What is the difference between NLP Coach and NLP Trainer?
The NLP Trainer can conduct NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner programs and issue certificates to the participants. These certificates come from NFNLP USA with Dr. William Horton’s signatures and the place for the trainer to sign on.
The NLP Coach works in different capacity. The coach offers 1:1 or group sessions to the clients and charges the fee for leading them through the transformation. The coach does not need to conduct the NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner workshops. The coach usually blends NLP with other modalities to provide high value solutions to the clients.
An example is – the NLP Trainer may work with the Training staff of a company which is looking for the certification credentials for its staff. At the same time another NLP Coach can work with the executives and senior management to resolve the behavioral issues and achieve peak performance. These executives have no need or want for a certificate. All that they want is to take the company to the next level by removing blockages.
The trainer earns through the volume. The coach earns by offering quality ROI to the company or individuals.
Both need different attitudes. A trainer gives content to the participants. A coach helps clients elicit content from the client’s past experiences and helps them remove the blockages. A coach usually does not give content. Simplest example is – A trainer will teach phobia cure technique to the participants. A coach will use (not necessarily teach) the NLP Phobia Cure technique to help his clients resolve say stage fear.
Which is better – NLP Coach or NLP Trainer?
Depends upon your requirement. If you are an executive coach or already a Life/Wellness Coach or even a therapist – and want to take your coaching/therapy to next level or add coaching to your services – then you should go for NLP Coach certificate. A trainer certificate may not hold much value to you. However you can get advanced presentation skills if you attend the NLP Trainer course.
However if you want to conduct the NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner workshops – you must attend the NLP Trainer program to be eligible to sign NFNLP Certificates. In addition you may go for the NLP Coach certificates as that will give you enough content to hold NLP Coach programs as well.