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NLP Definition

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Neuro Linguistic Programming – What is NLP?

The core of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), is encompassed in the NLP definition:

A study of excellence and a model of how individuals structure their experience.

Neuro Linguistic Programming was originated by John Grinder and Richard Bandler in the mid 1970’s. They modelled therapists and communication experts of the time like Dr Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls. Their goal was to discover ‘excellence’ in their techniques; finding the differences that made the difference for the client. The outcome of these early studies were a series of tools and processes that enables quick and lasting resourceful change in clients.

NLP focuses upon the detail of how we communicate (externally and internally), how we process, store and recall this communication, and how we can change and empower this communication to achieve the results and goals we want.

The Presuppositions of NLP form a foundation and common understanding between the Coach and the Client to create the environment, expectation, and intention to achieve the desired outcomes.

These techniques are appropriate for all of us involved with performance development, whether that be personal development, in therapy or medical professions, in teaching, sports, business, relationships and so on.

For a comprehensive definition of neuro linguistic programming terms, please browse the NLP Glossary page.

Neuro Linguistic Programming defined:

  • Neuro – This is the nervous system (including the brain) through which external experience is processed internally, stored and recalled for future use in the present and future. External experience reaches us through our five senses – sight, sounds, feel, smell and taste. NLP works by changing the way in which we store, recall and process remembered external experience – working on the Neurology, ‘how’ we do it, rather than psychology that focuses upon ‘why’ we do it.
  • Linguistic – Humans have developed large frontal lobes that enable us to process external communication and internal thoughts through language. Language plays a significant role in how we code the external experience. As the brain cannot process all the information coming in, we distort, generalise and delete information, leading to an Internal Representation of the event – Language plays a significant role in this processing, and how it affects our behaviour and results.
  • Programming – Our behaviour is not only determined by the stored memories, it is also significantly about the way we process this information – what thought strategies we use to make decisions, actions, etc.  We run ‘programs’, or ‘sub-routines’, processing and comparing past experience with current events. NLP discovers and empowers these programs that we run in our neurological systems in order to achieve our goals.

Neuro Linguistic Programming can be considered both a Science and an Art;

a Science, as it has evolved by study and research into how we think and which intervention techniques actually produce changes

an Art, as each person is unique, and an NLP Practitioner will adapt the techniques and process to enable the client to get their desired outcome.

Further NLP Definitions:

  • An accelerated learning strategy for the detection and utilisation of patterns in the world (John Grinder)
  • A set of tools and methodologies to enable self empowerment
  • How we use the language of the mind to consistently achieve our specific and desired outcomes
  • The study of the structure of the subjective experience and what can be calculated from that and is predicated upon the belief that all behaviour has structure
  • The study of excellence – absorbing how excellent people and organisations achieve brilliant results and then modelling that to replicate excellence
  • An attitude and a methodology, which leave behind a trail of techniques (Richard Bandler)

Presuppositions of NLP

NLP also embraces certain NLP Presuppositions that facilitate change and empowering attitudes of mind for life and achieving excellence;

  1. Respect for the other person’s model of the world
  2. All behaviour and change are to be evaluated in terms of context and ecology (study of consequences of self, others, society, planet – the larger system)
  3. Resistance by a client is just a sign of a lack of rapport – become a more flexible communicator
  4. People are not their behaviours – accept a person and change the behaviour
  5. Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have available to them – ALL behaviour is motivated by positive intention
  6. The most important information about a person is their behaviour
  7. You are in charge of your mind, and therefore your results
  8. People have all of the resources they need to succeed and to achieve their desired outcomes – it is unhelpful emotional states that get in the way
  9. People respond to their experience and not reality itself
  10. All procedures should increase wholeness
  11. There is only feedback – NO failure, just feedback
  12. The meaning of communication is the response you get (regardless of the what message you thought you delivered)
  13. All procedures should be designed to increase choice
  14. The law of requisite variety – the person with the greatest flexibility will control the system

NLP Definition – Neuro Linguistic Programming.

All Learning and Change is Unconscious

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