What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)?
Given below is a synopsis of what NLP is:
The “Neuro” equals your neurological system: The mind, nervous system and how we think. How we experience the world through our senses and how this is transferred into our thought processes, both consciously and unconsciously. From here the neurological system is activated and your physiology, emotions and behaviour accordingly.
The “Linguistic” is the use of language, how we use it to encapsulate and make sense of our experiences in the world, and how we communicate that experience to others. In essence, it is the study of how the words you speak and your body language influences your experience.
The “Programming” refers to how you mentally sequence your experiences. This consists of your internal processes and strategies (thinking patterns or programme coding) for how you make decisions, solve problems, learn, and evaluate which in turn motivates you to achieve your goal. NLP can show you how to recode experiences by reorganising your internal programming to obtain the outcome you want.
In essence, NLP is “the study of the structure of your subjective experience”. In the book “NLP for Dummies”, it gave the definition of “The way to understand what makes you and other people tick”. Either one of these two definitions is a good description, however another way to consider NLP is “A Practical Philosophy Of Being”.
When we have an external experience, we take this information in through our senses of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. We try to make sense of it in the form of memories of past events and attitudes towards these, and how we believe the world works, as well as our values, and so our beliefs. With this processing, and with the way we perceive the world to be, we are also constructing our own world and thus, creating our reality. This gives meaning to our experience, and creates an “internal representation” in our mind of that experience. An emotional feeling is also created from the experience. This in turn can affect our physiology or physical state. Or indeed, it may work the other way round, our physiology or physical state can affect our emotional state. Either way, our internal representation, our emotional state and our physiology then result in our behaviour. We have in essence, “modelled” our life from our experiences and created our own map of the world. …..
NLP doesn’t change the world – it simply helps you change the way you observe and perceive your world. NLP allows you to build a different or more detailed map that helps you to be more effective. It gives you an understanding of patterns of behaviour so that you can consciously stop doing what gets in your way and begin doing more of what helps you achieve your goals and desires.
Modelling excellence is a theme because so much of NLP is future orientated and applied to creating change for the better – whether that’s a better qualified individual, a better quality of life or a better world for the next generation. It was designed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler in the 1970’s and holds at its heart the basic presuppositions of NLP as developed by them.