>> Aug 9, 2012
‘Have you heard of NLP? I asked a friend of mine the other day. ‘What’ ? ‘N….L….P,’ ‘no, never heard of it’. Though it does not seem to have reached general public awareness, NLP has been around for just on 30 years. An internet search of those three letters will find, NLP websites, NLP books, NLP counselors, NLP business coaching, NLP cd’s and dvd’s.
The three letters stand for Neuro Linguistic Programming. Neuro, meaning our thinking, Linguistic, our language and Programming, referring to the way both of those program our personality and how our personal program can be changed for the better.
The founders of NLP are Richard Bandler, a mathematician, and John Grinder, a linguistics Professor. It is nearer to the mark to say these two ‘discovered’ NLP, because it is something we all do. One of their basic discoveries was that we all have a preference for one of three personality types: visual, auditory or kinesthetic(feeling). Our leaning towards one of these comes out in our speech. A person who thinks in pictures is more likely to say ‘I see’ or ‘I’ll look into it. An auditory person will say ’sounds good to me’ or ‘that rings a bell’. Kinisthetic people want to ‘touch base with you‘ and they often make decisions based on a ‘gut feeling’. These are not hard and fast rules, but research has shown that we all seem to operate out of one of these styles much more than the others.
Coaching supremo, Anthony Robbins, began his career with NLP. After doing the training he began using it, at $1000 an appointment, to help people overcome personality problems such as stage fright and phobias of various sorts. His book,’Awaken the giant within’ is still available and very handy as a laymans guide to NLP. Bandler and Grinder also successfully applied NLP principles to the needs of psychiatric patients and personality problems at the beginning of their work.
The business community was eventually attracted to NLP because the trained NLPer can perceive another persons predominant personality style in detail ,and adopt that style themselves to gain better rapport and hopefully a profitable business relationship.
A novel way to see one part of NLP in action, is to watch people being interviewed on television. Messrs Bandler and Grinder found that eye movement is connected to thinking. Visual people will look up when thinking of what to say next. Auditory people look from side to side and feelings people look down. Careful watching of people looking directly at the camera in interviews (not announcers who are reading a prompt) shows clearly what personality type they are.
A lot more is involved with NLP than has been mentioned here. Its growth is due largely to the fact that it works. Results with afore mentioned psychiatric and personality needs has been quite spectacular, with cures happening in days that years of other treatment had not helped. On the business side, many training organizations exist and many books are available.
Guest article by Joel Mayer about Coaching and Performance training, for one of Sydney’s leading business coaches