The intellectual origins and psychotherapeutic applications of early NLP are widely documented. Indeed, NLP was created from the detailed study of the natural language used by eminent psychotherapists of the 1970’s and the inherent processes and techniques they used to generate transformative change in their clients. NLP’s unique and specialised beginning is well understood by those who have paid attention to this impressive method of thinking about thinking. As a result, I am often asked about the modern-day applications of NLP and how it can be woven into the everyday hustle and bustle of fast-moving corporate life. Can NLP be an effective catalyst of performance enhancement and prospect acceleration in business?
The answer is simple. YES!
Contemporary NLP has evolved significantly from its extraordinary birth, reaching a maturity that has practical applications across the breadth of the corporate world. The practical innovation of NLP has been driven forward primarily by the ABNLP School of NLP. The ABNLP accredits and regulates all Quest for Success Ltd trainings. They have taken a very academic foundation and created something so compelling and useful that it is being incorporated into the working processes of corporations both large and small internationally. The demand for NLP thinking in Business is getting greater and greater and anyone who knows NLP is increasing their value day on day.
What follows is a brief and by no means exhaustive description of just some of the areas where NLP can be powerfully applied in business contexts.
NLP in Leadership
An excellent leader is inspirational, motivating, understanding, supportive, influential and a really effective communicator. They ignite passion in those around them and encourage people to perform at their best. A leader must provide those around them with a model of continuous personal and professional development, whilst accepting feedback and sacrificing self for others when appropriate. There is humility within each leader, enabling them to gain fulfilment through the success of others, which in turn reflects their own accomplishment.
Great leaders are great because of how they lead and that's through emotional content. Everything they do and everything they say compels the people around them emotionally. Leadership is about the ability to drive a collective of positive emotions in a direction which produces optimum results. It is also about the resonance of the leadership style with those who are being led. The leader must demonstrate an honest empathy in order to really resonate with a whole team.
Developing and growing the ability to connect with a team at the emotional level begins with an understanding of self and the capability of being in control of the products of your own mind. A congruent self is the ideal platform from which to launch an excellent leader.
Learning how to understand others and to lead them in a way that resonates and connects at a deep and lasting level is the ultimate outcome of applying the thinking and principles of NLP. It's true that some leaders are born, we believe that they can also be created with a new way of thinking and new learning which dives fathoms into the understanding of how thinking creates behaviour.
NLP in Sales
The key to success in any business is successful selling. Contrary to popular belief, successful selling can actually be really easy, after all, selling is just about giving information and using a framework of proven techniques.
Sales which have longevity create the ultimate success for your business, that means repeat purchasing. A customer will only return and promote your services or products if they feel that they have been treated fairly and respectfully and have experienced value for money. Selling ethically is about making it easy for someone to purchase something that they need.
The old concept of the 'hard sell' has had its day. Today, customers have so much market choice, that how they are sold a product or service becomes paramount. Selling to a script disenfranchises more customers than it engages. People buy from people and satisfaction from receiving a personalised sale adds significantly to the perception of value for the client or customer.
Whether you sell over the telephone or in person, an understanding of the buying psychology of your customer is a key which unlocks the many doors to sales. If you understand your customer, how they like to communicate, how they receive and process information, what their needs are and how they make the decision to buy, then you can sell with a refreshing openness and honesty that will generate customer loyalty for years to come.
Using the compelling NLP 5-Step Process, your sales team will be empowered to make it easy for their customers to buy something that they both need and want, taking performance measures to the next level.
NLP in Influencing and Negotiation
The most common pitfall when thinking about how we influence people to our way of thinking or in negotiating a particular outcome is that the result always has to be one of win - lose in our favour. This approach is much less about influencing and negotiating and more about manipulation without ethics or ecology. Modern NLP is very clear about non-manipulative application and all Practitioners of quality work with a binding code of ethics.
To participate successfully in an elegant negotiation, the negotiator must begin with a win - win mind-set. There is always a highest positive intent which is shared between two or more negotiating parties. The skill of reaching a shared agreement is embedded within the ability to find this highest common ground and then to agree the finer detail from there. Some very simple NLP technologies will guide you to conflict resolution very quickly and with a great deal of elegance and ecology.
Changing what someone believes is an incredible art and science. Ethical influencing is charged with bringing alternative thinking to someone's awareness in the knowledge that the new thinking will be beneficial to them, whilst enabling them to retain the gift of personal and independent choice.
Influence is created through the skilful use of language which can be tailored through an understanding of a person's starting position and how they like to receive and process information. If new information grinds vehemently against the person's belief and values system, then they will either not be influenced or will feel very uncomfortable within the linguistic exchange. NLP holds the appropriate technologies to influence within a person's belief and values system and enable them to expand their thinking capacity by considering new alternatives.
NLP in Public Speaking
Speaking in public is one of the greatest fears or phobia in the world today. Standing before an audience of 2 or 2000 instils complete dread into the hearts of millions. We have heard a ubiquitous belief that a great presenter is someone with natural charisma and that charisma isn't something that you can learn. The truth is that charismatic speakers can be created though the adoption of some very powerful, yet simple techniques.
Perception is Projection. Your audience will feel whatever emotional state you are feeling when you present yourself to them. If you feel nervous and uncomfortable, your audience will feel the same. Any presentation must always begin from a positive and useful internal state. This is the foundation that differentiates an NLP based approach. You can teach someone all the tricks and traps you like, if they are not in a positive state, they will never conquer the wizardry of public speaking.
Learning how to prepare yourself to deliver a presentation and, just as importantly, how to prepare your audience to receive your message is the answer to the mystery of great public speaking. A powerful presenter skilfully involves the whole audience, ensures that everyone connects with the information offered, whilst remaining in total control throughout.
The psychology of response is a key understanding to engaging an audience. The meaning of your communication is dictated by the response you get back, so elegant language usage is paramount. Non-verbal communication can also direct the success of a presentation, your physiology can often speak more loudly than the words that you use. Physiological control and targeted movement can take your audience on a journey that words alone could not.
NLP in Recruitment
Introducing the perfect person into the appropriate organisational role is critical to ultimate performance and the success that follows. The selection of candidates who will produce optimum performance in a specific role begins long before the applicant reaches the interview panel. The position must first be rigorously profiled in a way that describes the tasks and responsibilities of the role and the personality type of peg that will snugly fit the vacant hole. Skills and techniques can be learned, specific personality traits are unique to the individual and of far greater value.
Advertisements for a vacant position must also use carefully constructed language patterns which fully reflect the type of candidate required. If the advertising copy is created in a manner which specifies personality traits within the language paradigms, you will receive far less applications from unsuitable job seekers.
Matching the person to the role is achieved through an understanding of that individual's unique personality traits and working preferences. The candidate can't describe these traits accurately within their interview environment, simply because they are not consciously aware of them. Personality traits must be elicited in another way.
There are many standard, widely used psychological profile tests that an employer can ask the candidate to complete. Please be aware that these standard and generic tests have a couple of inherent flaws. Firstly, they are often employed incorrectly and used to put a candidate in a box from which they will never escape. Secondly, a seasoned test taker knows how to manipulate the answers consciously in order to compile the most appropriate output. To really understand how a candidate likes to work and what motivates them, an employer needs to reach far deeper into the psychology of the candidate.
Elicitation of Meta Programmes, which is taught at NLP Master Practitioner level, gives the employer and unparalleled insight into the basis of a candidate’s personality and working preferences. By learning how to administer and interpret the outputs of a very simple set of questions, the recruiter will know more about the candidate than they consciously know about themselves. The Meta Programmes tool we will offer to you is easy to learn and quick to deploy and does not require any knowledge of complex psychological process to interpret.
Imagine the return on recruitment investment if every candidate you recruit is the best candidate, has longevity within the company and operates at 100% efficiency at all times.
NLP in Efficient Teams
An effectively functioning team operates in the same smooth and connected way as the movement of a fine Swiss time piece. It only takes one cog to fall out of alignment for the whole mechanism to fail to fulfil its intended function. Shared values and goals are the key to a well-oiled system which performs with metronomic consistency.
Any high functioning team requires a rich blend of personality traits and working preferences so that there is a perfect cog for every pin. It is the underlying values that require alignment for the team to tick along nicely.
Values elicitation, negotiation and alignment, taught at NLP Master Practitioner level, enables a dis-functional team to be brought together to form a congruent collective with shared purpose. Decision making and negotiation will become easy and effortless and innovation and creativity will abound.
NLP in Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal Skills is a wide-ranging topic which embraces the whole process of personal interaction and engagement. NLP provides a sharp focus on individual skills which enable people to connect with other people.
Understanding how we, as human beings process information is a key learning which leads towards the ability to connect on a deep level with anyone. An appreciation of internal process then opens doors to understanding individuals and how they personally create their model of the world. Unlocking the secrets of how someone represents the outside world internally enables us to tailor our communication accordingly, so that it becomes resonant at the highest level.
Forming long lasting connections is not only about the language we use, it's also about the non-verbal communication that we often create at the unconscious level. If you've ever had someone misinterpret your communication, it was probably more to do with what you said to their unconscious mind which gave them a feeling that you didn't intend them to have.
Consider that every time you speak, you change the way someone feels. In building customer relationships or alliances with colleagues, this becomes a very important factor. NLP Practitioner training will take you from wherever you are now, to a stunning mastery of communication.
NLP in communicating change through storytelling.
For centuries, storytellers have been revered and respected for their wisdom and insight. They have been held aloft as people who inspire and as ambassadors for change which seemed almost magical. There is a lot to learn from the storytellers of days gone by as we inject the magic of metaphor into business communication.
Stories or metaphors, which are simply stories with an underlying meaning, install messages at the unconscious level, offering a profound level of understanding connected with your communication. Stories, when designed properly and with a specific focus, create a form of mental imprint which serves to mold perceptions and gently touch the unconscious mind. When we tell a story, we take the listener back to a much simpler time in their lives, before the challenges of building great business acumen even entered our perception. When things are presented in simplistic terms, they become easier to understand and we begin to form connections, often incredibly complex in nature.
The most effective stories that we can utilise for business understanding and change are stories which tell a truth. Truthful narrative acts just like a tuning fork which when sounded resonates with the unconscious mind, tuning it in to your message and beings to push up against the boundaries that enclose constricted thinking.
Pacing and leading the behaviour and state of your audience becomes really easy through the clever use and delivery of metaphor. News which could be viewed as negative can be delivered as a positive progression through the use of storytelling. The impacts of organisational change can also be smoothed and presented with clarity when delivered in this way. Stories are powerful facilitators of change and understanding once you have learned how to construct and deliver them for the greatest impact possible.
NLP in Training Trainers
Training with impact and charisma is both an art and a skill. The ability to communicate complex ideas to a wide-ranging audience with different communication processing systems and levels of knowledge is a honed skill and a skill that can be learned.
The most excellent trainers have the capability to train both the conscious and the unconscious mind simultaneously. Participants therefore retain the information offered to them more easily and utilise new skills and techniques through the creation of revised internal processing. Each participant must be allowed to learn in exactly the way their brain wants to learn, rather than experiencing a sheep dip approach which is devoid of relevance and resonance.
Understanding how to recognise variations in learning style is paramount when training groups and each training must be carefully designed to offer a compelling interaction with everyone attending. The detail of a trainer’s preparation adds enormous difference to the results of the training and the quality of feedback received. Constructing each topic delivery in a precise manner and in a sequence that will resonate with everyone is just one of the amazing techniques that NLP can deliver to you.
A trainer must also have the ability to control their own emotional state and that of their group of learners. Well-honed sensory acuity enables the focussed trainer to notice even the slightest shift in the state of even a single individual. If state shifts to a less resourceful position, then the trainer must react immediately or lose the participant completely. Your training pound is important and too many of these pounds are wasted because of trainers who have not been exposed to the correct resources to carry out their job to the best effect. A well-trained trainer will make those training pounds work.
NLP in Coaching
A coaching relationship is a developmental on-going interaction between two people, the Coach and the Coachee, which assists the Coachee to develop their capabilities, achieve their goals and objectives and produce successful results.
The Coach facilitates change through verbal and non-verbal communication. The coach will ask searching questions which will act as a catalyst to new multi-dimensional thinking with greater depth and breadth. The Coachee will have the time and space to reflect and learn, looking inwardly and focussing on self. The coach may provide explanations, metaphors and a guiding focus, whilst ensuring that the coachee takes responsibility for their own personal development. Coaching is an interactive process and can incorporate practical exercises and tasks to cement in new learnings and encourage growth. The Coach promotes and supports their Coachee's growth, learning, professional development, and personal bench-marks, whilst the Coachee retains responsibility.
The coach will both challenge and support whilst stimulating exploration of undiscovered avenues of thought and encouraging self-expression. The Coaching moment is coachee-centred with complete and total focus on the development of excellence and personal organic and dynamic transformation.
The overall purpose is to provide help and support for people in an increasingly competitive and pressurised world to take responsibility and control of their own learning and development in order to:
• Further develop their skills
• Improve their performance, reaching for optimum levels
• Maximise their potential
• Transition elegantly through periods of change
• Proactively become the person they want to be
• Confidently manage difficult relationships
• Live the life they want to live
• Maintain their wellbeing and health
• Find balance
• Create their future by achieving their objectives and goals
Coaching with NLP enriches the process beyond levels typically seen in the personal development profession.
I hope that this insight to how NLP can be applied practically to modern business environments has informed and perhaps surprised you. A tool for the few has transformed into a way of thinking for the masses. If you believed that NLP has nothing for you, then perhaps you should reconsider and discover what thousands of others have benefitted from over many developmental years of continuous innovation.
If you would like to register your place on one of our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Trainings and create a toolkit for yourself that will make you completely indispensable in any business environment, then simply click ‘Course Schedule’ and you will discover everything you need. On graduation you will earn higher fees, higher wages, generate more business and receive the respect and empowerment that you deserve.
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