What is NLP?
NLP was created in the early 1970’s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. They were fascinated by what enabled some individuals to create results that surpassed those of all others. At first they studied the field of therapy, there were three people that were renowned for getting dramatic results in very short periods of time; they were the hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson, the creator of gestault therapy, Fritz Pearl and Family Therapist, Virginia Sirtir. They used modelling techniques to discover what they did to create results, they modelled their physiology, how they used their body. They modelled their internal thought processes and the way they structured their language, when they communicated with their clients. When Richard and John used the model they had developed for themselves they got the same results as those they modelled. From this they created a toolbox of techniques that they called NLP.
Although created by modelling therapists, NLP has applications beyond the field of therapy. You could say therapy is a form of persuasion and influence. A therapist enables someone to change their mind about something they have held onto for many many years. NLP has been described as an attitude and a methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques. The attitude is one of curiosity and experimentation. Curiosity that drives you to discover how someone does something and then a willingness to personally experiment, to discover what would happen when you did it. The methodology is the very same modelling that created NLP in the first place. These then provide a set of techniques that produce specific results for yourself and others. I’ve also heard NLP described as software for the mind; you have the most powerful computer on the planet between your ears and no one gave you an instruction manual. Imagine buying the most powerful PC on the market at the moment and when you unpacked it there were no instructions. So many people think that their brain runs them rather than them running the brain. NLP methodologies teach you how to use your brain, how to run your mind so that you can get the results that you want consistently.
It has been estimated that we received 310,000,000 bits of information every second of the day. If we were to try to be consciously aware of all that information we’d go crazy, we’d be so overwhelmed. Your mind filters the information as it comes in. We filter the information in three ways: deletion, distortion and generalisation. Let me give you some examples, for instance, you are probably not aware of the feeling of your right shoe on your right foot, well at least you weren’t until I mentioned it. Before I mentioned it your mind asked “do you need to be conscious of that information right now” and probably you didn’t so it deleted that information from your awareness. This is also what is happening when you can’t find your keys anywhere until someone shows you they are right in front of you all the time. For some reason your mind literally deleted the visual information coming into your eyes, in communications this is happening all the time. For example can you remember a time when you said something to someone and they acted as if you never said it. They probably deleted what you said, children are good at this. The distortion filter literally changes the information coming in making something of it that its not.
A great example of that is when you wake up in the middle of the night convinced the noise you hear is a burglar. You search the house and there’s no one there – you then realise that the sound is just the central heating system in your house cooling down, just like it does every night. For some reason this time, your mind distorted it so well your heart was pounding with fear but it wasn’t real. In communication distortion is the reason for someone reacting in a totally unexpected way to something you said. They literally created a whole new meaning for it. Now generalisations are the filter we use to create all isms …. Isms like ageism, sexism, racism etc. What happens is that someone does something and we generalise the behaviour across the all the people of the group that they belong to, tip offs to generalisations are words like always, everybody, never, everyone, no-one every time.
Doors are a great example of generalisations. Have you ever tried to push and or pull a sliding door? You can’t figure out why you can’t open it then all of a sudden you realise what you’ve been doing. How many of your generalisations prevent you from opening the door to get what you want? We all have different ways of filtering information and no one lives in quite the same world as you do. With all this going on its amazing that we manage to communicate with each other at all. Have you ever wondered why the people we are closest too, our parents, loved one, our children let alone our business associates are so difficult to communicate with.
NLP teaches us how to recognise our own and others deletions, distortions and generalisations enabling us to cut through the tricks the mind play on us. This is just the beginning , we haven’t even scrapped the surface with what is possible To find out more and speak to a trainer please complete our form, we are happy to answer your questions and also to give you some practical advise and general information.