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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!

Learning NLP is, or should be, different. Why? Because NLP is about what you can do rather than what you know.

Can you learn NLP from books or online courses?

Skill with NLP is quite different to knowledge about NLP. You could read dozens of books and still not be able to skilfully use NLP.

Let's say to wish to become a skilful horse rider. Well, there are lots of books available on the subject so you could read lots of books without ever even meeting a horse and within a few weeks become very knowledgeable about horse riding - you'd probably amass more information about horse-riding than many people who have been riding all their lives!

But an hour on a horse and with a skilled riding coach would provide you with more skill in riding that all of your reading or online study.

NLP is a set of insights and skills with which you can actively use your mind + your emotions + your body to run your own life more successfully - and to communicate with other people with extraordinary effectiveness.

Learn NLP 'live' and interactively

Learning NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is an active personal and professional development experience.

Everything you learn needs explored and practised and discussed with other people. And it needs on-going coaching from a professionally trained NLP trainer who will enable you to develop your own style of NLP - a style that matches your personality.

And, as a thinking and discriminating adult, what you learn needs to be discussed and questioned with the trainer and your fellow learners - rather than meekly accepted because it comes from and 'expert'.

Do books have any value?

If you know absolutely nothing about NLP they can be valuable. That said, there are a few online NLP sites, such as this one, which provide free and indepth information about NLP to enable you to decide if it's something of interest to you.

Once you have decided that you'd like to pursue things further it's time to stop reading and begin doing - by attending a good NLP course. We have 7 tips for selecting an NLP course here - and before committing yourself be sure to check that they offer a money-back guarantee.

Many people first encounter NLP through books. Nevertheless about 1 in 3 of those attending our trainings have not even read an NLP book before attending. When asked by would-be participants we suggest that they first attend the workshop and then do the reading - the books will be more valuable and will make a lot more sense afterwards.

If I cannot attend a live workshop...?

If you do not currently have the opportunity to attend a live training then using books and audio recordings can be better than nothing - if you adopt a proactive approach:


Select books which offer lots of examples and practical exercises since these will keep you actively involved.

Do the practical 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!

Be thorough

Read something - try it out with a few different people - then re-read it to deepen your grasp. 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. 

Learning NLP in a workshop of training

There is a huge available selection of NLP training courses and workshops. This raises the question of what type of training to select.

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.

One 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 designed NLP Core Skills to provide the ideal learning experience.

In NLP Core Skills training you experience 5 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 end of the second day of the training programme! And you can read what participants have said here.



With our NLP Core Skills course you get a two-day money-back guarantee. If you are not convinced that the course will benefit you we will give you your money back. Just let us know any time up to the end of the second day and we will refund your course fee - plus accommodation fee if you've stayed on site. And we will do this promptly, in full, and without question.


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More information about NLP

NLP - what's in it for me?

How to learn NLP

7 tips for choosing an NLP training provider

NLP Core Skills - our course in the New Forest

What people have said about our courses


By Reg Connolly, Director of Training, Pegasus NLP









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