What is NLP?

What is NLP? Michael Beale explains in this video.

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. This is a modelling approach that offers a toolkit of techniques for dealing with life’s opportunities and challenges. It is a very pragmatic discipline, concerned with bringing results into the real world.

NLP says that we create our own reality

One key NLP belief is that we all build our own maps of reality.

These maps, or worldviews, are filtered by our senses, experiences, beliefs and neurology. This means that many of the challenges we have are based upon our perceptions of the world, not the world itself. See more: mental maps and worldview, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

If we can help people improve the way they take in and use sensory information we can help them improve their performance.

NLP allows us to add structure to the otherwise abstract world of the senses.

We have to notice, to listen and be aware of what (and how ) people see, hear and feel. Understanding our senses and their effect upon ourselves and others helps us to develop useful strategies for guiding behaviour. Great NLP is about leading and guiding ourselves and others. It is not about telling, tricking or forcing; it is about exploring what is constructive for both parties.

With all that in mind, my personal definition of NLP is as follows :

NLP is an exploration of how we think, communicate and act. How we can emulate and improve upon great performance across a wide range of activities, and transfer what we’ve learnt to others.

A Brief History

NLP was created more than 40 years ago by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. They studied and worked with Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls – some of the most talented psychiatrists and therapists of the day. They took a different approach to the majority of the academics of the time in that they focused on bringing about measurable change, rather than merely theorizing.

They wanted to know the psychological strategies great performers used – what they did and how they did it. They devised means for modelling these strategies so others could replicate their performance. This became the initial model of NLP.

It was then continually tested and refined with their clients. As different groups heard about its benefits it spread across a whole range of human endeavours, including coaching, art, sport and business.

The next section explores your adventure: The NLP Adventure Starts


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What is NLP Section Index

1: What is NLP | What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (This page)
2: The NLP Adventure Starts
3: Mental maps and world view
4: Cognitive Dissonance
5: Confirmation Bias
6: What does NLP offer?
7: Do I need a coach?
8: Get the most of this guide?
9: Exercise
10: Summary


What is NLP | What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

What is NLP | What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?