An Introduction to Neuro Linguistic Programming


Welcome to part 1 of this NLP and life coaching foundation level course.

NLP is a way to develop physical strategies that combine aspects of behavioural psychology, linguistics, hypnosis, modelling and common sense. NLP is a powerful vehicle for personal and business change, used by many thousands of people around the world. It is getting more and more popular every year.

It's about exploring attitudes that lead to success, modelling top performers, and integrating the resulting techniques into your business and personal lives. A success strategy for life and business.

Applications from early NLP work are now found in many areas of personal performance development including coaching, sales, leadership, change management, and personal development.

NLP is an amplifier that enables you to develop or improve the skills that you already have and achieve your individual outcome-focused goals and transform business results.


NLP can help you to achieve better business and personal results on a consistent basis as well as enjoying greater satisfaction in life generally.

NLP is also about letting go of some things that hold you back from being more effective and changing your relationship with the things that do.

It can help you to stop analysing and learn to trust your natural processes. You may be surprised that when you connect fully with your senses, you take in more useful information from the outside world.

As a result of training in NLP delegates can:

  • Gain significant career enhancement
  • Start their own successful businesses
  • Resolve internal conflict
  • Overcome frustrating barriers in their personal and work relationships
  • Gain greater confidence to explore and move towards their goals
  • Unlock their potential and take control of their life
  • Help individuals direct their life or business in the direction they want it to go
  • Successfully implement significant business change programs.


NLP is different from other development approaches in that:

  • it is modelled from individuals who were experts at helping others change. It is not an abstract theory but a set of tools derived from practical experience
  • it takes into account how we connect to the world through our sensory experience and how we store and change that experience through our minds and bodies
  • it is highly effective at connecting conscious and unconscious resources, leading to you discovering ‘untapped potential.’ NLP combines logical, sensory, emotional and intuitive thinking so you reach your goals more easily
  • NLP is as much about ‘unlearning’ and ‘letting go’ of what you’ve previously learned and that is getting in your way, as having to learn a lot of new material.



This means triggering the appropriate mood through physical change or mental preparation. In NLP we train you to manage your state through the careful replaying of memories, adjustments in your physiology (posture, walk, hand gestures), and by addressing any unhelpful beliefs you may have regarding your performance. The first action an NLP Practitioner does when working with a live client is to eradicate their limiting beliefs and and set some outcome-focused goals.

We also train you to recognise your habits and the effect these may have on the people you interact with.


The goals we have in our professional lives often differ from things that are truly important to us as rounded human beings. In NLP we help you to phrase your outcomes in the most exciting and genuine terms.

What is most important in NLP is that goals can be described in sensory terms. This means that a goal is grounded in the physical world and has emotional resonance.

The purpose of a goal is to set a direction that is motivating. The route and the end point are likely to vary many times along the way.


This is an honest connection and open communication between two or more people.

There are many types of rapport and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want to connect to a person, then a state of rapport is appropriate, whereas if you don’t want to be influenced it is best to break rapport.

A basic exercise for exploring rapport in NLP is the natural process of ‘Matching and Mirroring’. People that click with one another often begin to display similar postures, gestures, and language traits. You will play with matching each other’s behaviours to show how this changes the depth of your communication. We explore this further in the course.


This means understanding what you’re doing now to achieve, or to sabotage, your goals. It’s about being able to elicit information and determine the detailed sensory sequence that people go through in performing their everyday actions.


What will take you from where you are now to where you want to get to? NLP provides numerous tools for helping you acquire any internal and external resources needed to achieve an outcome. This is a common strategy NLP practitioners use on themselves, their clients, individuals and businesses.


This is an imagination exercise that develops a detailed connection between the session and the action needed in the real world to bring about the desired result. It involves imagining carrying out the next smallest activity that, when successfully completed, moves you towards your goal.


We show you how to conclude and close an interaction with reference to the issues raised in the beginning. This reinforces the positive elements of the session in a way that you are likely to remember and put into action. While you are closing the interaction it is important to emphasise that the learning will continue out in the real world.


Alongside the typical framework set out above, there are a number of factors that are important at every stage. These are:


A label for things that are important to you at a core level. These may be very different to corporate values and can be generalised and superficial. A discussion of your values will make it easier for you to connect with what’s important. Values you hold close to your heart and believe are important to you.


These define the criteria by which your values are met in the outside world. In NLP we ask you to explore what has to happen for your values to be met in real life. Let us say, for example, that one of your key values is ‘trust’. We would get to


These are assumptions about the world which either help or hinder you in achieving an outcome. With NLP training you explore ways of changing your beliefs when you decide it is in your interest to do so. Beliefs are things we believe to be true.


All our knowledge and experience is acquired and organised through our senses. Understanding how we react to different situations is a key for personal change.

In NLP our senses are sight, hearing, feeling, taste and smell. Sub-modalities are identifiable qualities of these senses – such as light and dark for sight.

One NLP technique for coping with unpleasant and hindering memories is to change the way they present themselves within our minds. For example, we may ask you to change the colour of the memory, to push it into the distance, or to make any voices comical. This then changes the effect it has upon your state, potentially turning a once unpleasant memory into something neutral or even funny.


In NLP training you will learn to unlock creativity and gently set a direction through language borrowed from the world of hypnotherapy. This is why hypnotherapy is always included on most NLP courses.


NLP includes exercises that look at events and experiences from different points in time and perspectives of time. This is very valuable in planning and rehearsing for the future.


Stories have a unique structure and can stimulate our conscious and unconscious thinking by conveying complicated information about ideas, states and strategies.


In NLP, these profiles are used as a way of predicting a person’s general preferences for relationships to people and events. They can be used to increase rapport, influence and persuasion.


This is the heart of NLP: the process of systematically coding and transferring attitudes and strategies from one person to another. Emulating characteristics that successful people have shown in order to get results in defined areas and combining both logical and intuitive approaches.


NLP is for anyone who wants to explore getting better results at work or in their personal lives.

The creators of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the mid 70s, referred to NLP as 'an attitude and a methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques.'

The attitude they are referring to is one of curiosity, a 'how do they do that attitude?' – or more precisely a 'how can I do that?' attitude.

Attitude will get you moving, but won't get you the results. To get results you need a methodology.

The methodology that they created is called 'modelling.' Modelling is an NLP term for a precise way of copying, where you find someone who is excellent at what they do, ask them questions (elicit information), observe them and adopt what you have learnt very specifically. In brief, to model someone you would observe:

Physiology – what they do with their body

Language – their use of words

Thinking – how they construct their inner reality.

The NLP Practitioner level is a working introduction to the cornerstones that make up NLP. The core purpose of this is the application of the technology to human relationships, be that within oneself, another or between groups of individuals. As such, NLP Practitioner is a personal development course as well as training in how to use this technology with others.

I am delighted to be able to share with you the fantastic work of students gone by. This piece of work was completed by student Hayley Austin just a few months after she enrolled in this very course.

Hayley Austinlifepurpose.pdf

At this introductory stage I am pleased to be able to share the first professional article I wrote on NLP. This was over 10 years ago and written and published by the Life Magazine Group. I still write today for this magazine.

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