An Introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming


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, 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
  • Learn to direct their life or business in the direction they want it to go
  • Successfully implement significant business change programmes.


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’. Behaving with integrity and trust would be important here. The biggest conflict is found when somebody is doing a job of work "often a sales job" where they don't believe or value the product they are selling. This causes a lot of internal stress and inner conflict that creates a negative output.


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, 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.

What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is the art and science of excellence, derived from studying how top people in different fields obtain their outstanding results. These communication skills can be learned by anyone to improve their effectiveness both personally and professionally.

It is directly applicable to a diverse spectrum of fields such as communications, business, sales, education and therapy.

NLP began in the early 70s as a thesis project in Santa Cruz, California. Richard Bandler and his professor, John Grinder, wanted to develop models of human behaviour to understand why certain people seemed to be excellent at what they did, while others found the same tasks challenging or nearly impossible to do.

We can use modelling as described above to replicate excellence both in our personal and professional lives. Imagine how powerful it would be if you could get all your staff performing as well as your top performer. Your results would increase ten fold.

Research tells us the average 10 man sales team is made up of 1 star performer, 3 good performers 3 average performers and 3 performers. Imagine the impact on team morale, performance and success if all 10 performances improved to the point where all 10 team members were performing in line with the team’s top performer. This is real and happening every day now in companies where they are deploying NLP techniques and strategies with their leaders, managers and teams. The same modelling concept works for all.

Inspired by pioneers in fields of therapy and personal growth and development, Bandler and Grinder began to develop systematic procedures and theories that formed the basis of NLP. They studied three top therapists: Virginia Satir, the extraordinary family therapist, who consistently was able to resolve difficult family relationships that many other therapists found intractable, the innovative psychotherapist Fritz Perls, who originated the school of therapy known as Gestalt, and Milton Erickson, the world-famous hypnotherapist.

Their goal was to develop models of how it was that these people got the results they did. They sought to identify and model the patterns that produced these results and then to teach these models to others. These three gifted therapists were quite different personalities, yet Grinder and Bandler discovered some underlying patterns that were quite similar. These patterns became the underlying structure of NLP, with names like: meta-model, sub-modalities, reframing, language patterns, well-formed outcomes and eye accessing clues.

The phrase "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" describes the process of how personality creates and expresses itself. Put simply, we are all made up of a neurology that conveys information about our environment to our central nervous systems and brains. Since we are also meaning creating creatures, we translate these perceptions in our brains into meanings, beliefs and expectations. As we continue to grow from a rather "critter brain" baby into a more complex adult human, we tend to filter, distort and magnify the input we get from our environment such that it matches the elaborate program we evolve to explain our life experience.

The infant passes through "magical thinking" and various other stages of development, on its journey into becoming an adult. We may even carry with us the "suffering contracts" we made as children in unworkable attempts to love and heal the family. The study of how we do all this, the kinds of meanings we make from our perceptions and the internal programming and external behaviours we have set up to explain, predict and make sense of it all – this is what the core of NLP is all about.

We all have our unique "maps" of reality. We are a complex and unique mix of inborn genetic potential, and the moulding effects from the people and experiences of our lives. Science has now proven that emotional and social development is at least equally as important as is the cognitive development of the growing infant and toddler, and for adaptability and success later in life.

We humans store the memory of our life experience as sequences and montages of visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory representations. When we load up a particular sequence pattern from our memory banks that matches some previous powerful experience, we get to relive the experience of the event or situation (the Vs and As that produce the Ks) . These visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, etc sensory systems are the "modalities" in NLP.

Each modality has sub-modalities, which define the characteristics and properties of the information coming from each sensory channel. Visual has brightness, colour/ B&W, motion/still, fuzzy/clear, degree of transparency, to name a few.

Auditory can be fast/slow tempo, rhythmic, stacatto, loud/soft, tin can/stereophonic,...

Kinaesthetic can have the full range of emotional experience, but also considers texture, rough/smooth, temperature, impact, duration, subtlety...

By playing with the adjustments or "volume knobs" of these sub-modalities, we can dial in different meanings into our brain and neurology that literally change our experience, and sometimes our memories. It is thought that since the human brain/body is generally aspiring towards higher evolution, that human neurology often reorganises itself in resonance with a more elegant way of functioning, when the system is offered a new experience that offers a choice in addition to the old, patterned way of doing things.

A skilled practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming can help your system have experience of new choices, from which you can incorporate or discard resources, insight and healing.

Replaying old patterns in new ways and adjusting sub-modalities is a classical NLP methodology for assisting clients to be free of problematic habits and phobias. Adjusting sub-modalities can have the effect of defusing an overwhelming challenge or obstacle.

Today, NLP has grown in a myriad of directions – hypnosis and behavioural personal change work, structures of beliefs, modelling personal success and systems of excellence and expertise, business coaching and sales training.

Professional NLP practitioners today run successful private coaching practices working within the coaching, personal development and therapeutic arena. The main reasons private clients seek out the professional help of an NLP practitioner include…

  • Public speaking
  • Stage fright
  • Parenting skills
  • Allergies
  • Phobias
  • Trauma
  • Breaking bad habits
  • Stress management
  • Overcoming irrational fear
  • Eradicating limiting beliefs
  • Weight loss

When we are experiencing being a particular state, we are also loading up a specific supporting pattern of interconnected neural pathways and circuits that coordinate in specific ways to generate certain specific experiences. The blueprint that guides and coordinates the construction of our experience of life, seems to be clusters of beliefs which are expressed through the sequences and collages of Vs, As, and Ks we store in our memory system.

Business Processes and Modelling

Today many are using NLP concepts and processes in areas as diverse as developing business plans and getting clarification of client needs to modelling successful business leaders to be able to teach their methods to others.

Neuro-linguistic programming offers tools to the business world that can increase the effectiveness, health and communication skills of people who need to work together.

By getting a "well-formed outcome" statement about the business goals and plans of the organisation, effective business strategies can be designed and created or modelled from the people or project solutions that have been successful in the past. Effective communication skills can help managers more clearly interact with upper management and communicate with and inspire that manager's employees. By upgrading employees' interpersonal awareness and communication skills, team projects can proceed more elegantly and with less stress. Salary reviews can become deeply meaningful strategy, goals clarification and feedback sessions.

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