NLP Background and Concept

Neuro-linguistic Programming is a concept developed in the 1970's by Richard Brandler and John Grinder from California USA. It is the claim that there is a connection between neurological processes, language and learnt behaviour (programming). Their claim was that NLP could 'cure' a number of physical and psychological conditions such as depression, phobias, allergies, learning disorders and even the common cold.

Scientifically NLP has widely been discredited and has been claimed to be based on an outdated understanding of how the brain works (neurology) however the process and learning behind the research can be used successfully in goal setting.

NLP Core Concepts

NLP is split into 3 core concepts

  1. Subjectivity. We all experience the world in different ways and therefore develop subjective understandings of our experiences. We perceive the world using our 5 senses, sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. We then develop an understanding of our surroundings and experiences which we verbalise using our own language. Our behaviour will then be modified depending on our subjective experiences.

  2. Consciousness. Within the understanding of NLP our consciousness is split into conscious and unconscious components. The unconscious component being referred to as the unconscious mind.

  3. Learning. NLP uses an imitative method of learning - called modelling - which claims to be able to reproduce an exemplar's expertise in any situation.

Despite the origins of the technique being scientifically discredited, the core of the NLP technique shares many similarities to the process life coaches use when attempting to help clients develop their life goals. These include, in very basic forms, building rapport, digging deeper into the unconscious mind, gathering information about a specific problem or goal and using specific, scientifically proven techniques to develop an action plan for the client to be able to achieve their desired goals.

Furthermore, the client is encouraged to 'step into the future' and vividly imagine the benefits (or negative outcomes) of a certain goal or behaviour in order to affect current behaviours. This technique is now regularly used by coaches and is now proven to lead to greater success than without visualisation techniques.

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Jenni Donato

Jenni is an Award-Winning Mindset Coach & Business Strategist, host of the 'Mindset & Method' Podcast and founder of Altitude - a 6-month immersive coaching experience with 30 business growth experts.