Will NLP techniques pave the way to your ultimate success?
Let’s think this one through. It may be that NLP techniques are more like personal development tourist attractions. They serve as a wonderful introduction to the culture but don’t teach you what the locals know.
NLP techniques were developed by modeling the psychotherapy greats of the time like Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and others.
These therapists were singular in their respective fields and produced incredible results with people. Bandler and Grinder brilliantly deconstructed their methodologies, turning the communication patterns of these unusual practitioners into NLP techniques and models that are now accessible to the rest of us. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
Some NLP techniques have become famous, like the NLP phobia cure. It works like a charm with simple phobias and therein lies the rub. Because some NLP techniques work nearly every time, it is easy to assume that all of them do. However, this is not the most unfortunate assumption about NLP techniques.
The devastating assumption about NLP techniques, widely taught in our NLP practitioner training, is that they represent the true potential of NLP. In fact, the techniques are the least useful aspect of what NLP has to offer.
NLP techniques are fine as stepping stones while learning about unconscious processes, non-verbal communication, intentional use of language, how the mind works and so on. As a nice added benefit, NLP techniques often deliver personal change.
NLP techniques do not represent the true potential of NLP to change your life, however. The real potential of NLP lies in the way of thinking and being in the world that flows from the heart of NLP, which is the ability to see and understand the deepest aspects of communication and inner life.
Once you understand these fundamental building blocks of subjective experience (amazingly, not taught in schools, churches or in most homes) you can create whatever you want.
Learning NLP techniques is like buying a guidebook, going on vacation to Italy and learning a few simple Italian phrases. Good morning. My name is… How are you? I am hungry. Excuse me. Do you speak English? Where is the train station?
Once you have mastered 20 phrases like these, you may be able to get around Rome a little easier, but you are far from fluent in the native tongue.
Unfortunately, many who learn a few NLP techniques believe they have mastered NLP. Many popular NLP trainers fall into this category. They position NLP as a set of magical techniques and promote it as a quick fix to life’s toughest challenges. It’s like claiming a two-week vacation to Italy will turn you into an Italian.
If you move to Italy and immerse yourself in the culture, over time the language will begin to sink in. Not only the language, but the customs, history and daily habits of the locals will expand your awareness like no guidebook or 2-week vacation ever could. Then, a whole new world of experience opens before you.
In time, you are speaking Italian fluently, without needing to translate the words in your mind. You even begin to dream in the language. The language and culture have taken on their own meaning for you. When you return home, you are a different person with a much broader perspective on the world that would not have been possible otherwise.
In the latter experience, you haven’t just learned so many Italian words and phrases. You’ve learned a new form of communication. You can combine words and phrases, often with all of the subtlety and nuances that a native speaker uses, to form the precise meaning you want. More than that, you’ve made new friends and adopted a new culture that will forever influence your life.
The unconscious mind and non-verbal communication patterns represent a second language for all of us. Learning a few techniques is like a guidebook version of NLP. This is fine for personal development tourists but not for tour guides.
To get an in-depth education in NLP, consider an NLP Practitioner training. This will give you an excellent training of the most popular techniques and teach you how to use them to improve your life and those around you.