A Brief History of NLP

NLP formally began in California in the 1970s, though, like all schools of thought, its roots stretch further back than that – notably to the philosopher and anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1910 – 1980) and the linguist Noam Chomsky (born 1928). NLP started as an investigation into therapy. 1970’s California was the birth-place of many of the therapies in use today – other therapists such as Carl Rogers and Eric Berne were of huge influence on the two founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder.

Bandler was interested in why some therapists were more effective than others, and transcribed sessions conducted by two top therapists, Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls. He was looking for clues as to what made them so successful (‘What is the difference that makes the difference?’ to quote Bateson). Grinder helped Bandler analyse these transcripts, using his expertise in linguistics: between them, they spotted patterns of ‘intervention’ which they codified into the first NLP tool, the Meta Model.

The next modelling exercise was with Milton Erickson, the noted hypnotherapist. The learning from this both confirmed the power of the Meta Model and gave rise to the second NLP tool, the Milton Model.

From its therapeutic beginnings, NLP developed in many different directions, modelling excellence in other fields, such as business, politics and sports. It has allowed itself to be influenced by many bodies of knowledge, from cybernetics to person-centred therapy. Thinkers such as Robert Dilts, Judith de Lozier, Stephen Gilligan and Steve and Connie Rae Andreas have created a remarkable range of powerful models and techniques.

NLP has not been without critics. It has been associated with exploitative stage hypnosis shows and dodgy selling techniques. However, the vast majority of NLP has always been, and continues to be, used in a caring, positive way by individuals keen to improve their own lives and the lives of others around them. Our training is firmly in this tradition.

NLP School has worked with hundreds of successful companies and organisations over the years – of all types and sizes, and in virtually every industry. We’ve taught people with every job title imaginable, and none. We see managers, teachers, parents, business leaders, health workers, artists and authors, coaches, human resource professionals, entrepreneurs, you name it. All have a common goal of using NLP to enhance their work life, professional and personal relationships, and how they feel moment to moment.

NLP for Business

NLP is widely respected by leading employers and has found its way discretely into many courses on presentations, planning, sales and team building, often without being credited by name. Why not study the ideas and techniques behind such training, and at the same time learn how you can apply them to whatever set of business activities you choose? You can use NLP to:

  • Create rapport with customers, partners and staff
  • Align work with values to build motivation and loyalty among customers and staff
  • Set clear, practical outcomes
  • Plan effectively
  • Detect people’s decision making strategies
  • Improve your skills in public speaking and presentations

NLP for Personal Development

In personal development, NLP is an ideal way to address a personal issue, or build strengths in both familiar and unfamiliar areas. NLP offers a cognitive framework, a supportive environment and practical tools that can help you in many ways. You can use NLP to help:

  • Resolve anxiety and negative feelings or habits
  • Create healthy relationships
  • Have more influence over change in your life
  • Communicate in a variety of contexts with diverse people
  • Bring out the qualities of the individuals around you
  • Develop realizable plans

NLP for HR and Training

More and more organisations today are recognising the added value that NLP brings to a variety of business activities. Whether it’s increased sales, improved customer or staff relationships or better communication (internal and external), NLP can help you bring these about, using practical, tested tools. NLP will help you to:

  • Add depth to your training by working on beliefs as well as behaviours
  • Get the most out of your investment by making learning sustainable
  • Access powerful techniques for bringing about change
  • Provide practical ways for your people to achieve peak performance
  • Enable your people to communicate more effectively and persuasively
  • Learn coaching methodologies

NLP for Sales

Sales is a business area where NLP is often used. NLP will help you to:

  • Listen effectively and create ‘rapport’ and empathy
  • Understand customers’ listening styles and adapt to them
  • Use persuasion techniques ethically
  • Spot these techniques if they are being used unethically by others
  • Embed confidence when facing challenging sales situations such as a ‘big pitch’

NLP for Teaching

If you are in the teaching profession you already value and have developed the ability to
impart information so that people learn. NLP will help you build these skills even further.
Outside the profession, many of us are involved in helping others learn. Assisting a
colleague or employee to take on a new task, raising children and making presentations
are all forms of teaching, and NLP will develop your skills in them. NLP will help you to:

  • Identify people’s natural learning styles
  • Develop your flexibility in presentation
  • Lead learners to the best state of mind to absorb and assimilate information
  • Overcome blocks to learning
  • Make learning easier and faster via presuppositions and language patterns

NLP for Management and Leadership

NLP is widely used in management training and coaching. It is clear and practical,
focusing on outcomes and results rather than requiring people to master complex
theories. NLP will help you to:

  • Get on the same wavelength as staff
  • Understand people’s communication styles and adapt to them
  • Set clear, reachable targets
  • Build, maintain and motivate teams
  • Understand your own values and priorities, in and beyond the workplace
  • Learn practical methods of using values for self-motivation & the motivation of others

NLP for Coaching

Our trainer is the author of How to Coach With NLP, published by Pearson in 2010. Many coach-training programmes borrow from NLP or use it as a base, and our NLP courses
have attracted many coaches seeking to deepen their understanding of their profession.
They find that the presuppositions of NLP integrate into the belief system that works well
to create effective, caring coaches.

Another key feature of NLP is the principle of transferring skills into different contexts. Great coaches are able to create trust and relationship with their clients, yet often find it difficult to market themselves. How can approaches which are effective in one context be transferred to those which seem more of a struggle?

Coaches have told us that they’ve found NLP very useful in many ways, such as:

  • Understanding and communicating non-verbally
  • Noticing and utilising language patterns
  • Developing rapport and creating an atmosphere of possibility
  • Creating change rapidly and elegantly
  • Using the tools and techniques of NLP in a coaching environment

Coaching skills are also increasing valued within organisations and many managers are expected to play a coaching role as part of their job. Our NLP Practitioner course provides a supportive environment in which to learn core coaching competencies.

NLP for Entrepreneurship

NLP can provide valuable tools to help face the challenges of starting, running, and perhaps eventually selling a business. You can use NLP to:

  • Overcome unhelpful beliefs about risk and luck
  • Examine fears about leaving conventional employment and going it alone
  • Build and readily access your capacity to generate new ideas
  • Create and use a full entrepreneurial ‘skill-set’
  • Ensure that your priorities and those of your business do not trip each other up
  • Clarify and stick to your long-term strategy
  • Create and stick to tactical plans
  • Finish the job; too many start-ups start well but fade away

NLP for Health

Mainstream medicine is becoming increasingly positive about the link between thought, behaviour and health. Numerous studies show behaviours like eating patterns, emotional reactions like anger and thinking patterns like pessimism have been shown to directly affect health. That is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

You can use the tools that NLP provides to change the thinking patterns and the behaviours that they initiate to improve the health of yourself and others.

Whether you are a health professional or simply want to improve the way your health impacts your life, NLP has a great deal to offer. NLP will help you to:

  • Lower general levels of stress
  • Plan for a healthier life and stick to that plan
  • Manage your mental state: learn to enter relaxed mental states that aid recovery and to react differently to stressful situations
  • Change unhelpful beliefs about body shape and other inherited conditions
  • Change habits and behaviours that damage your health into ones that sustain it

NLP for the Charity Sector

NLP School values the work of not-for profit organisations and offers a 50% discount to registered charities. The challenges facing organisations today are also keenly felt in the third sector. NLP has valuable tools to use with all of your stakeholders. We are the leading NLP provider to this sector and have significant experience of presenting relevant content to organisations ranging from the British Red Cross, Cancer Research and WaterAid through to Youth Net and Girlguiding UK. Use NLP for:

  • Psychological techniques to encourage active fundraising
  • Management and leadership tools utilising a shared ‘vision’
  • Rapid stress releasing techniques that are used widely for distressed clients
  • Conflict resolution
  • Powerful coaching and therapy models

NLP for Consulting

Neuro-linguistic programming is the study of human excellence, with a focus on communication and change – fundamentals of effective consulting. NLP can help you to:

  • Hone your coaching skills: many UK consultants are studying NLP to broaden their offering to clients.
  • Extend your existing range of influence and deepen your connection with clients and colleagues.
  • Communicate more effectively and persuasively as you influence and support individuals, groups or organisations. NLP is ideal for project management.
  • Build rapport and help people solve problems, develop strategy and creativity.
  • Create outcomes which have the maximum chance of success.
  • Generate business from existing clients and referrals

NLP for Marketing

NLP looks at human behaviour, our own as well as others, and from a marketing and advertising perspective gives a wealth of NLP tools to use.

Conversely, if you’d like to avoid getting your own buttons “pushed” without your consent, you need to know where they are. NLP can help you with:

  • The language of influence – learn language patterns that reach out
  • Avoid pitfalls – maintaining integrity, and communicating in a way that fits you
  • Manage your state during important meeting, presentations and pitches
  • Embedded Commands – get your audience to subconsciously agree to and consciously act upon commands you can use in your advertising, conversations, or correspondence.
  • Adapt to different contexts, individuals and audiences – including hostile ones
  • How to model success

NLP for Sports

NLP is now part of many professional coaching regimes. Whether you are a professional athlete, an occasional amateur, a team coach or just a coach to your kids, NLP can help you improve performance and also get greater enjoyment from sport. You can use NLP to:

  • Manage mental states and access ‘the zone’
  • Set and meet performance goals
  • Change self-limiting beliefs about performance
  • Model and learn from leaders in the field
  • Rehearse skills and performances mentally
  • Believe that every bad scenario can be overturned; the difference between fighting on and throwing in the towel

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