What is NLP?
Or Neuro-Linguistic Programming? Or even Neurolinguistic Programming?
NLP is a bit like an 'owners manual' for your brain!
At school and college we learned wonderful things like history and geography and algebra but we did not learn much about how to feel good or to have great relationships. That's where NLP comes in.
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 'extra-ordinary' effectiveness.
NLP is an ever-growing collection of information and insights, backed up by a huge range of mental NLP Techniques that can enable you to improve how you think, behave and feel - and assist others do the same. Becoming skilled in NLP will enable you to:
do whatever you already do reasonably well, even better
acquire skills and attitudes to do what you cannot do right now, but would like to be able to do
think more clearly
communicate more effectively with others
manage your thoughts, moods and behaviours more effectively.
We have an article here on the benefits of learning NLP and here are details of our NLP courses.
NLP: the study of success
NLP has been variously described as the technology of the mind, the science of achievement, and the study of success. It is based upon the search for and the study of the factors which account for either success or failure in human performance.
For over thirty years NLP explorers have studied or modelled the behaviour and thinking styles of particularly effective and successful people in business, education, sales, therapy, sport, and personal development.
The results of this work are nowadays presented in workshops and extended trainings which, in effect, provide shortcuts to more successful living - you learn in hours what may have taken the experts years to discover by trial and error.
How is it possible to be an idiot... or an expert?
At our Pegasus NLP courses we consider that the question how is it possible to be an idiot or an expert? expresses the essence of the NLP attitude and skills. This is because with NLP we can identify the attitude and the skills that produces either type of performance.
In a practical and very down-to-earth way we are able to use NLP to:
- Identify the 'ingredients' of excellent performance i.e. what it is it that they do that is different from less-expert people
- Systematically introduce these 'ingredients' into our own performance using NLP techniques and...
- ...equally important, we can look at the ingredients of less-than-successful performance, in ourselves or in others, and use NLP to change or replace these.
NLP - that name!
The name Neuro-Linguistic Programming was invented in the early 70's as an attempt to describe in a succinct manner the scope of this extensive body of insights and skills:
Neuro refers to how the mind and body interact
Linguistic refers to the insights into a persons thinking that can be obtained by careful attention to their use of language
Programming refers, not to the activity of programming, but to the study of the thinking and behavioural patterns or programmes which people use in their daily lives.
The name is a bit of a mouthful and is certainly not NLP's strongest asset. By trying to be too comprehensive it has ended up being somewhat off-putting, either because it sounds complicated or, worse, that it sounds sinister (many people initially think the 'programming' part of the name suggests that NLP has something to do with 'being programmed'!).
But the name Neuro-Linguistic Programming has been around for over 35 years so it looks like we are stuck with it. Which is why it is generally abbreviated to the initials NLP.
You could say that NLP has become successful not because of the title but in spite of it: let's face it - if something with such a weird name can become this popular it must be good - because the title does it no favours at all!
Is all 'NLP' the same?
Definitely not. Which is unfortunate for anyone trying to figure out where to learn NLP. The quality of NLP that you get is dependent on with which organisation and how you learn it.
Even terms like NLP Practitioner or NLP Master Practitioner are unreliable since there are no universal standards.
For example, the title 'NLP Practitioner' was originally an indication of how skilled in NLP as person was - and until about the mid-90's gave a pretty reliable indication. Then commercial pressures (a.k.a. the desire for greater profits) led to a new type of NLP training: ' fast-track' or 'accelerated' NLP training in which a person can attain this title without having to prove anything - they can simply spending 6 or 7 days in a conference room and get a 'certificate' at the end.
The same applies to the title 'Master Practitioner of NLP'. One person may have learned their skills as part of an audience of hundreds, or over as little as 6 days, and have received the certificate merely through attending. Another person may have the same title and learned their skills in a small intensive group of 15 people, over as much as 18 days, and only after having undergone a thorough assessment of their skills. (See also this article 'not all NLP is the same!' and our the High Ropes and Low Ropes activities)
We are offering a completely biased view!
These are not objective comments.
In Pegasus NLP we are, of course, prejudiced. That's because we train people in the thorough manner - and we do this because, even though it is not nearly as profitable, it results in our Practitioners and Master Practitioners being highly skilled. (You can read what people have said about our courses here)
That's why we are Founder Members of the Professional Guild of NLP - we helped form the Guild back in 2003 to fly the flag for uncompromisingly high standards of NLP.
The fast track people may counter this quality argument by telling their customers that they will learn from extraordinarily wonderful trainers, that they will learn through hypnosis(!), and they they will learn a special 'advanced' form of NLP.
Our customers can see through this form of marketing. As a result they tend to be a pretty savvy bunch.
They are, as the Pegasus NLP by-line suggests, people who like to think for themselves!
What people say about our courses
'I didn't know anything about NLP before the course. I found the whole experience constantly enlightening, fascinating, stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable. I met new people who helped broaden my knowledge and outlook and attitude. It was a truly changing experience in a wonderful and non pressurised way.
Really made me think about me and how I react to others and I am a better person for it ... and hopefully people around me will benefit from that! It will complement my coaching perfectly.' Vivienne Goldstein, Personal Development Coach, UK (3 August 2009)
'This is the first course that I did not nod off on or get bored and after the first few days - I switched off my blackberry. A major result. The course was thought provoking, stimulating - life changing - not in the dramatic 'ride off in to the sunset' sense but in terms of how I perceive myself, how I perceive others, my personal beliefs and desires, my general well being and my work/life balance.
The first comment I have already received is that I seem calmer - that is excellent progress when you consider my high stress working life and busy personal life. Charles Buckingham, UK (3 August 2009)
'It was the best course that I have ever been on (and I have been on a lot of courses!). I have learnt more about what motivates me and others whilst on this course than any other previous course or study. The team activities really consolidated my learning in a way that surpasses any other learning that I have undertaken.
Four weeks after the course I feel refreshed and invigorated. I returned to work full of optimism. I strongly believe that by participating in the Core Skills course I gained a new perspective about how humans think and communicate. This will help me become more effective in my personal and and my working life.Gail Sherwood, Tutor, UK (8 August 2009)
Click here for more comments from participants
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