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What is NLP?

15 March 2011

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As a trainer of NLP for Business I often get asked to explain what NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is. 

NLP is not a thing; NLP is a methodology that identifies the different components of the way we process information through our senses to create our behaviour.  In other words what we think, what we say and what we do. When we change what we think and change the language we use behaviour changes.

In other words instead of running our brains on 'auto pilot' we are consciously ‘thinking about our thinking’. NLP is the collection of techniques and skills by which this is achieved. 

It is now understood that we create our behaviour by how we think. What I mean by this is that our neurology sends signals to our physiology and we create the different states by which we approach everything we do. We do this by what we see, hear and feel both in the external world and in our mind. 

For example if you have to give a business presentation and you don’t like doing this your thoughts will create a physiological state that affects your breathing, your voice, your posture. You are focusing on yourself and your self-talk is running a soundtrack telling you how awful this experience is. The outcome is not a very pleasant experience for both you and your audience. 

Now a lot of what you are doing is inside your mind. You may imagine a hostile audience, forgetting your subject, people laughing at you ….bla bla bla bla …(you fill in the blanks)…. However when you change the intention of the outcome by thinking about how well the presentation will go and how useful the information you are talking about is for your audience you create a more resourceful and dynamic state and create a far more powerful result. 

You do this by imagining seeing yourself confidently presenting, the audience being focused on the information you are giving (stop focusing on yourself) you run motivating self-talk in a good tonality.  By doing this you take yourself into a great physiological state. 

By changing how you think about the situation an using different language the outcome will change.

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