How best to learn NLP…
For many people school learning sets the standard by which they assess all future educational opportunities.
In school we engaged in a fairly passive process of absorbing information from the teacher and from books and then proving our ability to retain this information by regurgitating it once again at an examination!
However learning NLP is, or should be, different.
NLP is a behavioural process. It is not about acquiring information but is about how you do things. In fact, you can read hundreds of books - and there are, literally, hundreds of books available on NLP - and still not be doing NLP.
...NLP is a set of insights and skills...
...with which you can actively use your mind and your emotions and your body...
... to run your own life more successfully...
....and to communicate with other people with extraordinary effectiveness.
Ideally, learn it 'live' and interactively
Learning NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is, ideally, an active personal and professional development experience in which everything you learn is explored and practised experientially and is interactively discussed and questioned and challenged with fellow participants and with the course trainer.
Additionally, since it is a behavioural and attitudinal process rather than a mechanical skill, NLP is best learned where you have on-going coaching from an experienced and certified Trainer of NLP.
Books and tapes
Many people first encounter NLP through books (although on average about 1 in 3 of those attending our trainings have not even read an NLP book before attending).
Books are good as an introduction to the subject and are especially valuable, after you have attended a live workshop, in supporting and extending your learning experience.
However you cannot thoroughly learn NLP from books - anymore than you can learn to swim or drive a car through using a book or video or audio tape.
How to learn from books and audio recordings
If you do not currently have the opportunity to attend a live training then using books and audio recordings can a useful beginning. Select books which offer lots of examples and practical exercises since these will keep you actively involved. And do the exercises!
Avoid the temptation to keep quickly flipping through the pages looking for more and more knowledge! Use the examples to engage your imagination and the practical exercises to develop the skills.
And avoid NLP-indigestion! It's a great and exciting subject - with a virtually unlimited range of applications. So the tendency is often to rush out (or to your keyboard) and buy more and more books. Don't!
It is better to stick to two or three and to practise what you encounter in these. Take a few days on each subject. Say three or four days practising Rapport then three or four on Representational Systems. Then some days on recognising commonly occurring Anchors. And so on.
Then when you have spent a couple of months at this either start again on Rapport - or find a good workshop and discover how much more there is to even one of these topics than can be covered in a book!
Forget about trying...
Forget about trying to ‘get it right’! In true NLP we are not concerned with absolute right answers but with
trying things out
It is the best way to learn. After all, that’s how you learned to speak your native language so effortlessly!
There is a huge available selection of NLP trainings and we have included an article on how to select a good NLP Training here.
Next question is do you select a short introductory workshop, an 'application workshop' or a longer introductory workshop? Here at Pegasus NLP we have tried running them all and they each have their benefits:
Short introductory workshops: Usually one or two days, they offer a brief glimpse of the potential and you do not have to commit a lot of time and money. The disadvantage is that they may not be very good value for money because in a day or two you can do little more than skip lightly along the surface of the material - and you will have to re-visit the material if you subsequently decide to do a longer certification training.
Application workshops: Here you discover NLP through applying simple concepts in a particular area such as managing stress, feeling more confident, or communicating more effectively. They can be excellent and provide you with some specific tools to begin applying right away. A down-side is that they have to be quite techniques-oriented to achieve the advertised result and many of the more sophisticated NLP techniques only work really well if you have in-depth training in the core essentials such as sensory acuity, calibration, rapport, etc. They work really well if you have already had at least some grounding in the core techniques.
Longer introductory workshops: Having experimented with short workshops and applications' workshops as introductory trainings we at Pegasus NLP designed a training experience at the end of the 90's which we believe provides the best of all worlds.
In our NLP Core Skills training you experience 6 days of thorough, fun-filled, hands-on training and coaching in the essentials of NLP and in some of the more sophisticated techniques. As with all of our trainings you have our money-back-in-full guarantee. This means that if the training is not right for you you get a full no-questions-asked refund - up to the second day of the training programme!
NLP Core Skills is also Part 1 of our full-length, full-syllabus Practitioner Certification Programme. After doing NLP Core Skills you can, if you wish, complete the Practitioner Programme by attending Part 2.
Click on these links for more information about NLP
Why learn NLP
How to learn NLP
Where to learn NLP - and how to choose a training provider
NLP Core Skills - our course in the New Forest
What's special about Pegasus NLP Trainings
What people have said about our courses
How we integrate NLP with outdoor activities