Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Following almost a year of self-study, I am now a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). It sounds frightfully posh, but it’s just another technique to add to my coaching toolbox!
NLP is not just for coaches. Anybody who is tasked with bringing out the best in others can use NLP techniques to be more effective. This basically applies to every business owner, manager or executive who has a team of people reporting to them.
So what is NLP, and how does it help individuals reach their full potential?
NLP makes use of three areas:
- Neurology: the mind, and how we think
- Linguistics: how we use language and how the language we choose to use affects us
- Programming: how we sequence and process our actions to achieve our goals.
While most business coaches are able to help clients achieve their business goals by focusing on core business fundamentals such as marketing, sales, finances, performance indicators, etc, this approach fails to recognise the softer issues and the head space of the business owners, managers and employees. It’s easy to implement a tried and tested strategy or model and apply it to the business. However, in my experience, the major obstacles that business owners need to overcome is in their heads.
Similarly, managers or business owners are often able to assist and guide their team members with systems, processes and knowledge gained from experience. All too often the challenges are not technical or systemic, but a result of attitudes, beliefs and misguided behaviour.
Benefits of NLP
With NLP techniques, coaches (and managers) are able to understand the reality of how a client (or employee) thinks. By changing the language he uses, we can change his beliefs and his approach to challenges.
NLP is effective because it is first and foremost based on outcomes. These outcomes or goals provide a map to follow. Secondly, NLP gives you sensory acuity – an awareness of others that provides much more information from people than they intend to give. With this additional knowledge, we are able to communicate and influence behaviour more effectively.
Apart from the new skills and techniques I have at my disposal, NLP has helped me define why I am so passionate about coaching. Coaching links the world of dreaming with the world of reality. It’s about engaging your imagination and finding practical ways to implement it in the real world. The reason why so many people approach us for coaching is because there is a dissonance between their dreams and reality.
One of the major benefits of NLP is its speed. Results are often instantaneous. If you are currently grappling with a challenge, or a dream that appears to be getting no closer to reality, give me a call and change the way you think!