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NLP the secret tool of Champions and Superstars.

Many people have asked me to summarise what NLP is, so over the next few weeks  here is my take – feel free to correct me or add to this by posting me your comments.

In the mid 1970’s a new communication technology began to evolve. It was called NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming – it was the brainchild of Richard Bandler a mathematician and John Grinder a linguist and expert in transformational grammar.

In 1974 Bandler and Grinder began to develop a model based on the theory of transformational grammar, and the language patterns used by some renowned communicators,  Fritz Perls (father of Gestalt Therapy), Virginia Satir (renowned family therapist) and the legendary Hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson.

Grinder used his language knowledge and combined it with Bandler’s mathematical modelling skills to model what effective therapists did to create change.  Drawing on guiding principles from earlier works by Gregory Bateson (famous for developing the “Double Bind” theory of schizophrenia and for being the husband of Margaret Mead) and Alfred Korzybski (“the map is not the territory” – author of Science and Sanity), Richard  Bandler and John Grinder focussed on modelling Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls, and Virginia Satir, they analysed and distilled the most successful and effective patterns from each expert and created a workable, and repeatable system to deliver consistent results.

In the beginning NLP was applied by therapists (considering it’s development roots).   The tremendous value in NLP is that it provides methods and models which teach a practitioner to successfully model other things. Soon NLP made it’s way into applications covering negotiation, persuasion, sales, management, sports modelling, teaching, and coaching.

Many people created spin-offs and rip-offs from the original tenets of NLP and it has grown up to become a major recognised sector of the self-improvement industry.

NLP is based some assumptions (known as presuppositions). Consider assumptions / presuppositions as rules which are founded on primary or core beliefs.  Kind of like a spam filter in your e-mail.  Every message goes through that filter – therefore the more configurable the filter mechanism is the more options you have to determine what is acceptable or not.

Presuppositions are very much like an internalised personal charter that keeps conscious attention span on the right.  These presuppositions define the ecosystem forms the basis of virtually all NLP techniques.

Richard Bandler famously proclaims NLP as “an attitude, backed by a methodology, which leaves behind a trail of techniques”.  Most NLP’ers only know of the techniques and miss out on the subtleties of the true methodology.

Richard Bandler has also said that he created NLP so he could do whatever he wanted (probably without interference from the myriad of rigid self-serving regulatory bodies).
In the past years of maintaining my skills through NLP Training I have noticed that Richard approaches trainings so as to “install” the “NLP attitude” by inspiring and encouraging a mindset of unadulterated flexibility.  He ravages your conscious experience (in the most fun filled way) with fables and stories, and covert unconscious communication to produce a more flexible mindset. Attitude (your mindset and your state of mind) is paramount, and influencing to maintain an efficient mental state and attitude defines the discipline of NLP.

To summarise NLP is based on presuppositions and the attitude attained through the use of presuppositions.

Over the next series of posts I will be presenting a short abstract of the 21 or so core concepts which help one to understand NLP.

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