What is Neuro Linguistic Programming?

One of the many questions I get as a lifecoach is: can you explain to me what neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is? Programming sounds nice! Does it mean that you are able to programm me so I won’t smoke anymore and get on with my to-do list even thought I feel like procrastinating again? In a way I could say ‘yes, i can’, but to be honest the results of any technique I use depends on the openness of the coachee to share personal information and the willingness to work on their issues. Let me tell you a bit more on NLP and how you can recognize NLP in daily life.

Who created NLP?
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience and what can be calculated from that. Furthermore NLP is predicated upon the belief that all behaviour has structure. The founders of NLP are Richard Bandler and John Grinder. They were studying at the University of California in Santa Cruz in the late sixties. They have put great energy in modelling succesfull people in fields like gestalttherapie, psychotherapie and hypnotherapie. What they have modelled are techniques, used by these therapists, with which they had booked many results with their clients.

NLP is an effective communication model
Since the late sixties NLP has been put into practice by people in business and health -orientated areas.
NLP offeres techniques to communicate more effectively, models to outline your goals and strategies to achieve these goals. Besides techniques on the behavioural level NLP offers a set of techniques to work with belief systems. With belief systems I refer to limiting thoughts which can be quit annoying while putting effort in achieving your goals. For example, one can be totally frustrated by working with a particular someone, in the office, who has a negative attitude and this has a negative effect on your own productivity. By using NLP it is possible to have another perspective on what you think and what you feel. Limiting thoughts can be changed to desired thoughts to make an even more bigger leap towards your goals. As a LifeCoach I use the total set of NLP techniques to guide you towards your personal goals.

NLP in daily life
While I was studying NLP practitioners in 2006 I realised that some people naturally use NLP techniques. These people didn’t even know about NLP, but they were succesful in conversing with business and personal relationships, because they were ‘backtracking’. Backtracking is a technique you use when listening to the person with whom you have a conversation. While you listen, you now and then, repeat words or a whole set of words, to make clear that you are attentive to the person’s story. A result of using ‘backtracking’ is that it encourages the other person to tell you more.

Another example is of someone I know who mirrors in a natural way. He is a real natural. The mirroring is not only limited to arms and legs, but he plays with facial expressions as well. We all mirror now and then. When we mirror we do this, because we like the person we talk to. We stand in a certain way with our arms wide open and we see the other person do the same. They are not doing this on purpose, but because they are leveling with you in a non-verbal way. Maybe they do mirror you on purpose, because they have studied NLP, but that’s is a different story. As a LifeCoach I mirror my coachees to make them feel more comfortable.

If you have any more questions about NLP, please feel free to contact me by mail or phone, orchidoflife@gmail.com and +31(0)6 42804038.

Yours sincerely,
Chungmei Cheng

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