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What is NLP?

Included on this page:
  • What is NLP ... about
  • A brief history of NLP
  • So what is NLP really (a metaphor)
  • Business applications: call center, hiring (job fit), coaching
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a model for achieving excellence in human behaviour and communications.

While NLP has been around since the late 1970s, many of the ideas and beliefs underpinning the model have only been acknowledged as valid through recent advances in neuroscience - brain scan technology and neural imaging.

Now that neuroscientists have provided evidence of how decisions, emotions and behaviour work ... NLP offers a deeper understanding of how non-verbal communications reveal thoughts, feelings and intentions ... And even more, how words, images and other sensory impressions can be used to empower, tap inner resources, manage emotional states and change personal behaviours.

If you've already completed a training in NLP, have you ever tried to explain to a friend what it is What you spent ten or more days of your life learning? Not easy to explain in 25 words or less, is it?

It's much easier to say what NLP is about ...
  • NLP is something you practice - a way of being and interacting with the world - that increases ResponsAbility and activates more of your potential.
  • It's about having more fun everyday of your life, taking control of how you respond to life's pressures and enjoying the process of excelling and living up to your full potential!
A Little History
Keep in mind that NLP has a number of specialized branches and the following information represents only one way of explaining this discipline we call Neuro-Linguistic Programming. 
NLP developed as a model for understanding and enhancing human behaviour. Creating excellence and ResponsAbility. It began with the study of people who consistently achieved excellence within their professions—individuals recognized for their outstanding performance.

Studies date back to the 1970s and have included experts from fields as diverse as psychology, professional sales, negotiation, music and the arts, sports, medicine, education and the military.
Over time, NLP evolved into a protocol for modeling excellence and creating a blue print others can use to replicate that excellence.

NLP begins with a set of beliefs shown to nurture excellence in any field. Then adds an Aladdin's Cave full of tools, techniques and practical applications that make it easy for people to change—in ways they choose. 
Be clear on this point. The PROGRAMMING in NLP is about you having the ability to change your own mental programs. The only person you can change is you. There is a mistaken belief that NLP is about programming or inappropriately influencing others, and while that belief may sell a lot of books it is simply untrue. If you miss-use NLP, sooner or later and usually sooner, people will feel it – and you will lose their trust. Without trust relationships wither. 

The techniques and applications have been refined and honed over the years by thousands of people from all walks of life—business and finance, medical and scientific fields, sports, education, coaching and training, music and the arts.

Some people consider NLP the ultimate resource for effective communications, because of the powerful insights it provides on how people think and make decisions. And today you can find elements of NLP in many popular seminars and books.

So whether you'd like to be more effective managing yourself or coaching and training others, promoting products and services or simply selling concepts and ideas, NLP offers many valuable resources you can use to achieve higher levels of performance.
NLP is used by many of today's top achievers and business gurus. Charismatic leaders, speakers and authors, sales professionals, executive coaches, mediators and negotiators very often have one discipline in common. They have been trained in NLP and use it as a resource for achieving more personally and professionally.
So What Is NLP... really?
NLP is first a mental modela way of looking at and thinking about the world—that expands choice and taps into powerful personal resources.

NLP includes a growing collection of specific skills, techniques and practical real-world applications you can use for more effective communications. And you can change mental programs – unconscious habits running your behaviour – so that you achieve different and better results.

The computer analogy is useful for explaining mental programs, like software running in the background, and responsible for much of our behaviour.

And just like a computer hard drive, from time to time significant events occur that distort our ‘mental’ software. We're susceptible to thought viruses and indiscriminate programming.

NLP gives you the ability to update, delete or replace programs that no longer serve you, just as you update your computer software.

Yet an even better metaphor might be a rain forest. Science has shown that the human brain and nervous system is dynamic – capable of changing, growing and adapting in ways we are only beginning to understand – with capabilities far beyond the tasks we ask of them.

The Knowing-Doing Gap
Have you ever thought about the gap between knowing and doing?  Most of us know what we need to be doing to enjoy more success. Yet conscious understanding hardly ever guarantees success. The real challenge is in actually getting ourselves to do what we know needs doing. And doing it consistently.
Neuroscientists estimate that up to 95% of our decisions, emotions and behaviours are the result of unconscious mental processing. We simply use conscious thinking to justify our actions and generate plausible reasons for why we do what we do. 
Hidden Resources
The key to making better decisions, learning and changing easily, is in working with the unconscious mind.  The field of NLP has been teaching people how to harness the power of their unconscious minds for over thirty years – long before many would even acknowledge the concept. Thirty years to model, test and refine techniques.
1If you'd like to gather your own proof we recommend work by Joseph Le Doux and Thomas Damasio, both authors and internationally respected neuroscientists.

So how would you be feeling if ...

  • You had the power to develop new software, new mental programming for yourself?

And what if ...

  • You had the ability to ‘uninstall’ old programs and delete files that cluttering up your mental hard drive?

When you learn to use NLP it's like getting the source code — the keys to your own personal programming.

With NLP you can create your own software and achieve more of the success you want. Some people would say NLP is a sure route to the personal mastery described by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline.

Business Applications Of NLP
Organizations training call center managers and customer service representatives in NLP communication skills see the following improvements:
  • CSRs who have this specialized training are better at gathering the critical information needed to resolve complaints or sell additional services.
  • And are able to quickly neutralize anger and emotional outbursts.
  • Customer satisfaction levels show dramatic improvements and sales volumes increase.
  • Call handle time is reduced.
  • CSRs feel better better about themselves and are able to manage job stress more effectively.
When a chemistry company used NLP motivation and behaviour assessment interviews during recruitment they were able to achieve a better job fit over all.
  • Predicting a candidate's behaviour in an organizational setting, enabled them to match the person with functional demands and the working environment.
  • Employee retention went up.
  • Productivity increased, stress was reduced.
  • Cooperation among teams and between individuals improved.
Sales professionals using motivation and behaviour questions quickly create deep levels of trust, while identifying what really matters to each customer.
  • They uncover the unique emotional triggers for each client.
  • They learn to use the language of action,’  specific words that will create compelling motivation in each customer.
  • As a result, sales increase.
  • And relationships are strengthened as clients feel their needs are truly understood.
Executive Coaches using NLP accelerate their clients progress towards realizing their full potential.
  • Outdated beliefs and fears that may be blocking performance are dissolved easily and comfortably!
  • Unwanted habits are replaced with new empowering behaviours.
  • Their clients resolve internal conflicts that in the past may have caused them to spin their wheels, draining their energy and wasting time.
  • Both Important and Urgent tasks are handled with comfort.
  • Their clients' have more energy and motivation to move toward their goals for the future.
Innergize Training Certification Programs follow the American Board of NLP guidelines and include concepts and techniques from Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Psychology,™ (HNLP™)

HNLP™ adds concepts from studies in Quantum Physics plus a large helping of Ericksonian hypnosis to standard NLP content.

Still have questions? Visit our FAQ page or give us a call.


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