What is NLP?

A Brief Introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming

• Skills for Professional Excellence
• Paths to Personal Development
• Tools for Exceptional Communication

Several phrases accurately describe NLP...

“NLP the study of language and how it affects us.”

Language affects how we think and respond. The very process of converting experience into language requires that we condense, distort, and summarize our experience. NLP provides questions and patterns to make communication more as we intend. NLP teaches us awareness of how language affects us through implicit and embedded assumptions. Since advertisers, the media, and politicians use language to convey their messages, learning about language through NLP can also add awareness and consumer protection for your mind!

“Learning NLP will give you skills for improved communication.”

One of the principles of NLP is that we are always communicating, and most of our communication is other than words. The questions become: "What are we communicating? Is what we intend to convey the same as what the listener understands? If not, how do we recognize the cues and adjust?" NLP de-mystifies the communication loops at home and work and gives us practical tools for becoming highly skilled communicators.

“NLP teaches how to model excellence.”

NLP processes are a result of discovering how experts or excellent leaders do what they do so well and teaching those skills to others. Modeling skills are at the heart of NLP. Learning the specific components of how others do something well will provide you with new options. One example, the NLP spelling strategy, is modeled from naturally good spellers and is easily taught to children and adults. Other examples abound in education, business, health, sports, and personal life.

“NLP teaches new ways to use our brains.”

NLP describes, in very precise terms, the images, sounds, and feelings that make up our inner and outer world. How do we know what we know? How do we do what we do? For example, how do you know that a pleasant memory is pleasant? How do you know when to feel scared or happy at certain times? How do you like or dislike something? How do you learn a subject easily, or not? Sometimes people describe NLP as “software for our brains.” NLP is about how we “code” our experiences. When we understand the specific ways that our brains make distinctions, it is easier to make changes, learn, and communicate effectively.

“NLP is the study of internal experience.”

NLP is a tool to understand how an individual makes sense of the world. NLP studies individuals' experiences: how they perceive the world around them and how their brain makes specific distinctions for them. It does NOT assume that we all do this the same way. In NLP we know that each person has a unique style of learning, perceiving, and responding to the world. NLP is inherently respectful of differences.

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Updated December 12, 2016, © 2016 Lindagail Campbell

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