What is NLP?
NLP stands for “Neuro Linguistic Programming”, which is a methodology designed to study, model and train individuals in human excellence.
• Neuro = neurological; that is, to do with the mind, its thinking and the nervous system.
• Linguistic = language and communication; that is, their use, the understanding and the influence of words both internally and externally.
• Programming = the structures, processes and habits running our behaviour.
Another way of describing NLP is as your own personal toolbox for accessing and influencing the human mind.
Imagine the infinite possibilities available to you if you chose to learn the techniques that would enable you to copy the inspiring presentation skills of your manager, train you to recreate the imagination and drive of your CEO, and teach you how to develop similar skills to that of a top salesperson.
Through NLP you can fully understand how the human mind works, what determines its thinking and behaviour, and how you can learn to influence it.
Learn how other people organize their thoughts and feelings to produce the results they do. Understand the motivation, strategies and programming behind human behaviour, and obtain the skills necessary to allow you to recognize, model and recreate the techniques that will deliver all the options and outcomes of your desire and choosing.
A brief history
Created back in the 1970s by the curious and questioning minds of Dr Richard Bandler (then a student psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz) and John Grinder (an assistant linguistics professor), NLP’s original purpose was to provide an answer to these simple questions:
• How is it some people excel at certain things, when others do not?
• What makes them different and what is it that they are doing differently?
To begin answering this, Bandler and Grinder fused their already extensive knowledge and began developing a methodology that would study the “language of change”. They focused on three unique individuals: Fritz Perls, a psychotherapist and founder of the Gestalt School of Therapy, Virginia Satir, a talented family therapist, and Milton Erickson, a world famous psychologist and hypnotherapist.
At that time, each of the three therapists was considered a genius within their own chosen field of Change Therapy, and all retained a common theme that set them apart from their peers, in that they were all well known for being able to establish change within even the most difficult of patients, creating successful cases where other therapists had failed.
Bandler and Grinder observed, recorded and modelled the work of this magical trio and, by carefully studying their specific use of language, behavioural thought processes and actions, the two researchers identified certain patterns and structures, that, once copied, would allow other individuals to produce similar astounding results (a process that would later be known as “modelling human excellence”). These findings were then compiled and delivered through Bandler’s Master’s thesis and later published as The Structure of Magic.
The foundations for a whole new school of therapy were now in place, and the methodology that is now known as neuro linguistic programming came unintentionally into creation.
As with many things, NLP has subsequently undergone its own natural evolution and is now trained, studied and used the world over. Countless books have been written on the subject; institutions have been established; further techniques, theories and structures are continuously identified and developed; and today NLP is recognized as one of the most effective and influential tools used in personal, social and corporate contexts.
How can NLP benefit you?
The world today is dramatically and constantly changing, with individual, client and management expectations operating at a very high level, and tolerance for failure at an alltime low.
If you want to survive, cope and excel in today’s corporate environment, then you must be prepared to continuously develop certain skills and maintain constant behavioural flexibility. NLP can teach you to understand why, when and how to go about achieving this.
Soft skills are becoming an ever more essential ingredient in today’s market, and the old cliché, “people buy people”, has never been truer.
People don’t like to be sold to, they like to buy, and in this book not only are we going to teach you how to have individuals buying into you, but also you are going to learn how to improve your overall performance within every function and aspect of your life.
As you journey through this book, we are going to introduce you to the specific NLP techniques that will teach you how to obtain the excellence that you desire and need for:
• Confidence, motivation and inspiration.
• Meetings and interviews.
• Competing for advancement in your career.
• Winning and closing deals.
• Time and people management.
• Presentation skills that have clarity and impact.
By understanding the thinking behind all behaviour, you will gain insight into how your beliefs, values, habitual structures and perception of life can have positive or negative influences upon how you choose to interact with the world, and the effect you have on it and it has on you.
It is not life itself that limits us, but rather our own limited beliefs, expectations and perceptions of the choices that are available to us.
We rely upon our minds to provide us with everything we need to survive, function and interact with the world and life in general. The mind provides us with an identity and a belief system; it creates our dreams and our values, learns the necessary skills and gives us the understanding that supplies our lives with existence and meaning. In this chapter we will learn how our mind is structured, how we process thought, create our habits and perceive the world around us. We will learn how to look upon life in a way that unlocks our choices and gains us access to the power of our own creativity.