What is NLP and how can it help me?
The roots of NLP are in looking at how people do what they do and how they create excellence, breaking down the way they do things and being able to create the same result for ourselves.
What is NLP?
In NLP we look for and pay attention to patterns - speech patterns, but mostly non-verbal behaviour. In the discovery of another person's unique patterns, we can see how they get the results or outcome that they get and how they create an outstanding performance.
We can also see patterns that are not helpful and can help people to change these patterns and create new ones that are more helpful, patterns that serve you well and take you to where you want to be. These patterns can be from any of the five senses: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic (feeling), taste or smell. The aim is that we come to the world in as neutral a state as possible, so that we don't impact the situation negatively with what we think is about to happen or the way we're about to feel. Then we can direct the patterns instead of hanging on to patterns in the 'wrong' situation.
NLP is about structure - the structure of how we do what we do. Everybody could have a structure that is 'excellent' if it is used in the right way. For example, take a negative experience with your boss at work, and you tell yourself: ‘I hate it when he/she makes me feel this way’. The truth is that you had a negative encounter with your boss and only you can make yourself feel in any way. So, you can choose to feel it in another way, to break the pattern that a negative encounter with your boss makes you feel in a certain way that is negative. How do you want to feel?
NLP is about helping unique people with unique interventions in unique situations in a unique way. People love to be told the answers to questions such as ‘what do I do in this situation?’ However, they need to find the tools to answer those questions in themselves for the result to be effective for them in that situation. To change their belief system that X = Y, to a different system where X means whatever is most empowering or effective for themselves.
When something unpleasant happens, you could choose to get upset, or you could choose to respond differently. Say, for example, you didn’t get a promotion you wanted. You could be upset because you didn’t get the promotion or you could think ‘Ah well, I did get feedback about how I can improve my skills and I wouldn’t have had that without going for the promotion, and at least they know I am keen to progress’. When someone breaks a dinner date you could be annoyed or think ‘That’s good, I have time for myself and will get to bed early and read that book I’ve been trying to make time for.’
How can NLP help?
NLP encourages us to look for excellence - it’s an amazing way of experiencing life. When you look for people behaving in outstanding ways, you will find them and enjoy it! If it’s something you would like for yourself, look deeper at precisely how they do what they do and see if you can take those actions and get the same results. If you don’t get the same results, what did you miss?
Perhaps you didn’t start with a belief that you could be great at that task. Imagine you are great and just don’t realise it! What would happen if you did have that belief? Presuppose that you are a great leader, doing things that great leaders do.
If you can spot greatness in someone else, you’ve got it in yourself - or how would you recognise that quality in someone else? By the same reasoning, if you find someone difficult to deal with, it is likely that that ‘difficult’ trait is one that you share in some way. When you put a gap between that person being ‘difficult’ and yourself, you give yourself the opportunity to see it in a different way. You can give yourself the opportunity to experiment with other ways of experiencing it.
You will likely have heard at some point in your life the expression that someone has ‘got out of bed on the wrong side this morning’. What effect might it have on you if you got out of bed on the other side tomorrow? Or if you crawled under the covers and exited at the bottom of the bed?!
Reflecting on thing starts to change the circuits in your brain and can open you up to different ways of seeing the world and ways of being in the world. If it doesn’t work, change it.
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About Caroline Stagg
I help leaders, creatives & entrepreneurs unlock their potential, discover work they love, and harness their natural skills & strengths for better results with less effort.
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