What is NLP? Why should I care?

What is NLP – some clarification…?

1) NLP is the study of excellence – what knowledge, skills, attitudes and actions are evidenced by those who have achieved success in a specific area.  NLP involves thinking strategically; consider the following strategic thinking competencies:

  • systems perspective – consideration of relationships, context and quality rather than objects, objective and quantity
  • intent focused – knowing your outcome and not being distracted from that outcome
  • thinking in time – holding past, present, and future in mind when making decisions
  • hypothesis driven – scientific method incorporating both creative and critical thinking
  • intelligent opportunism – being responsive to good opportunities

2) NLP provides tools and skills for the development of states of individual excellence, but it also establishes a system of empowering beliefs and presuppositions about what human beings are, what communication is, and what the process of change is about.

3) At another level, NLP is about self-discovery, exploring identity and mission. It also provides a framework for understanding and relating to the ‘spiritual’ part of human experience that reaches beyond us as individuals to our family, community and global systems.

Summary:  NLP is not only about competence and excellence; it is about wisdom and vision. 

NLP is based on two presuppositions:

1.  My map is not reality – humans can never know reality, we can only know our perception of reality.  We respond to the world primarily through our senses.  It is our neuro-linguistic maps of reality that determine our behaviors and that assign meaning to those behaviors.  The only limits or empowerment we encounter is based on our map of reality and not actual reality.

2. Life and the mind are systemic – our body, society, and universe form a complex system and subsystem which all interact and influence each other.  No one part can be isolated from the system itself and the system seeks a state of balance.

Wisdom and ethics do not derive from having the one ‘right’ or ‘correct’ map of the world, because human beings would not be capable of making one. Instead, the goal is to create the richest, most detailed map possible that reflects the systemic nature of us and the world we live in. The most effective and successful people are those whose map of the world allows them to perceive the greatest number of available choices and perspectives.

 NLP is a way of enriching the choices that you have and perceive as available in the world around you. Excellence = many choices. Wisdom = many perspectives.

Why should I care…?

Success leaves clues and if we study those who have achieved success we can follow their path through the labyrinth of distractions and false starts to the fastest path to success.  NLP is all about modeling excellence.