What Difference Will NLP Make in Your Life

That depends on you. The story goes something like this:

Imagine really wanting some fresh coconut milk. You decide to go out and gather a few freshly fallen nuts. Now, how to open one…

No one can open a coconut with bare hands; you’ll need a tool. You look around for the first, obvious thing to use and, of course, pick up a big rock. You smash and bang for an hour until you are exhausted; this is a serious chore! Can it be worth the effort? Out of impatience, you drop a boulder on the coconut pulverize the thing. Milk spills everywhere. Nothing to drink!

Time to get smart. You pull out a hammer. With some practice, you find just the right spot to strike and learn to do so with precision. The nut gives way eventually. Success! You sloppily gulp fresh milk through the crack in the shell.

You’re now enjoying coconut milk so much that you want to drink freshly harvested coconut milk regularly.  A friend drops by with an idea that changes your entire approach. He sets up a vice to hold the coconut firmly in place, takes out a power drill, and puts a perfect hole in the top. In less than 20 seconds, you’ve got a perfect coconut milk dispenser. Now, you can drill several at a time and store them in the refrigerator! Things are getting pretty exciting.

From here, the sky is the limit. You could decide the feed the world precious coconut milk and start an assembly line. You’ll be using robotics, a milk filtration system, automated cannery equipment and the finest food manufacturing technology the world has to offer to churn out cases of milk every hour – a far cry from that big rock you used on day one.

Does NLP represent the power tools and technology?

Many NLP trainers would answer yes. There is a sense in which this is true. NLP is a great tool that makes most communication tasks so much more efficient and effective. In fact, many NLP trainers actually call NLP a power tool, representing the advancement of communication out of the stone age. With NLP as your tool, suddenly you can use your mind with more efficiency and precision and get predictable results. For so many, this is a revelation!

Through NLP filters, other people begin to make more sense, too. You start seeing why difficult people have been difficult, as if you had been pounding a hammer on the wrong part of the nut.

NLP is much more than a power tool, though. When you really get what makes NLP unique, you begin to evolve. In other words, you understand that NLP is not about the tools, although they are useful. At a higher level, NLP is all about context, or which tool to use when. In other words, there is a time and a place for the big rock as well as the power drill. Knowing the best tools available and when to use each one is the critical factor.

This is why the iNLP Center ALWAYS recommends personally interviewing your NLP trainer before making a decision about an NLP certification program. The trainer should be equally comfortable with a big rock, a hammer, a drill, as well as robotics and even the coveted laser-guided coconut missiles.

About Hope Bundrant

Hope Bundrant is the director and co-founder of the iNLP Center. She has a BFA from the California State University of Fullerton and has completed postgraduate education at Harvard Business School. Hope is happily married to Mike Bundrant and manages their circus of teenage monkeys. If you have questions, please contact her at hope@inlpcenter.org.
Comments ( 1 )
  1. James Taylor

    The coconut is an adequate metaphor, but does anyone really get moved by coconuts? Now the real gem in this article is the fact that it states in learning NLP you will understand (while not always agreeing with) why people do what they do. I have had training by several NLP trainers and one thing that the writers of this article did not inform you of is that it will take a lot of work and practice to understand what tool to use to open that coconut. In NLP they teach you there are 4 levels of learning the unconscious competence, this is where you are now, you don’t know what you don’t know about NLP, the conscious incompetence, After becoming an NLP Practioner you will know be in this place. I relate this to being in the desert with your arm stuck between two rocks knowing you must cut off your arm if you want to survive, or have surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to remove cancer. If you are a master practitioner you will have these tools. But to know which ones to use and how to use them eloquently I have only seen demonstrated by trainers. So if you are going to learn NLP be prepared to be in it for the long haul, spending tens of thousands of dollars and as many hours to get as competent as you will be told is possible to use NLP the way a surgeon uses a scalpel to remove that cancer.

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