Welcome to our You Must Learn NLP Blog. We are putting this together to help share the value of NLP. So many people know NLP as a communication tool, or a personal growth field, or as a coaching modality.

In the past 24 years, what we have learned – above anything else – is that NLP is a hard concept to explain!! And this is because it is so extremely versatile! We have chunked our blog posts into 5 categories: NLP for Communication, NLP for Personal Growth, NLP for Business, NLP for Health and Using NLP with Others.

We know that our students that get the most out of learning NLP have a great understanding of how they will be able to use it in their life.

Our intention is for you to find so much value in NLP and it becomes a MUST for you to learn. We hope to see you in our NLP Classroom very soon!

Deal with difficult people easily

What makes people difficult? What we find mostly is that people are labelled as ‘difficult’ when they are different to us.

Everyone has a different Model of the World – and sometimes difficult people have a vastly different model than we do. In general life, we see people either avoiding or trying to challenge the difficult person. NLP looks at it a bit differently.

If someone is different to us and there is resistance in our communication, NLP sees this simply as a lack of rapport. So, to deal with that difficult person you can spend a few minutes building rapport and starting to understand where they are coming from.

Additionally, NLP has a few extra tools that will help you to be able to associate into that other person to gain an even better understanding of where they are coming from. A tool called Perceptual Positions will help you to look from your perspective, their perspective and a true observer perspective to gain a better understanding from various points of views. We also look at what the Positive Intention is behind any behaviour and understand this to be a part of a person’s filtering process.

With the use of rapport, understanding a person’s beliefs, values, positive intention and even by stepping into their shoes – handing those difficult people becomes a very easy task. In no time, with NLP, you’ll become the person who can get along with everyone very easily

Get to Know Yourself

How well would you say you know yourself? Interestingly, the majority of your patterns of emotions, behaviours, and beliefs are largely unconscious – and are simply a part of what we do and how we act and how we behave. But, what if each and every thing you do is based on your programming? Would you know all of those programs? Or do you think you live life on auto-pilot?

If you’ve ever heard anyone say something like “oh, that’s just how I am” – this is a loud alarm that really says, I don’t really know myself – I just do whatever happens and call it fate.

We tend to underestimate the importance of knowing ourselves. Many of us go through each day reacting to events and just getting by rather than making choices based on who we are and what we want. One of the most common remarks we hear from our students after they begin to learn NLP is “I truly understand and know myself more now – so now, I can respect my model of the world”.

In NLP, this is a presupposition or assumption – to respect another person’s model of the world. But, first and foremost, NLP will help you to understand and respect your own.

Your Model of the world is made up of your history, memories, values, beliefs, concepts, imagination, and something we call meta programs – which are unconscious filters though which you make sense of your world through. With NLP, you will learn not only more about what is important to you, what you belief, how your behaviours help or hold you back – you’ll also be able to figure out why you do what you do. You’ll learn how to change what isn’t working for you and enhance what it.

Unfortunately, not knowing yourself well can lead to confusion and wasting much time with indecision second guessing. However, when you know what motivates you, how to make better decisions, what is important to you and how to change aspects that hold you back, something magical can happen. That something magical is that YOU can not only better understand yourself, you can become your own best friend!

Find out what motivates others

We humans are funny creatures. We tend to treat others how we want to be treated; which kind of makes sense – when it comes to morals, ethics and human needs. However, when it comes to what motivates us, what we believe or what we do, each of us is as different as our fingerprints.

With NLP you will learn how to identify what motivates other people – from a communication standpoint, this is useful information. If you are a manager, parent, coach, teacher, personal trainer, doctor, or really, anyone who wants to motivate others this skill will come in handy.

The motivations of people is largely dependant on their values and beliefs. Some various motivations might be things like time, money, gratitude, energy, touch, affection, love, responsibility, freedom, health or a multitude of other possibilities.

With NLP you will learn questioning and observation skills which will help you to identify the motivational drivers of others.

Set yourself up for more business success

Regardless of what kind of ‘business’ you are in, NLP can help you set yourself up for more success. It doesn’t matter if you own a business, are a receptionist, sales person, parent, artist, coach, trainer, shelf stocker – you are in charge of your mind. A couple of years ago Sarah completed our NLP Level 1 trainings with zero intention to use it in her job because “well, I’m just an admin”; her intention was simply to help herself to communicate better, run her mind/body more effectively and improve her relationships. Well, she did all of that – and more!

With NLP, you’ll not only learn a superb goal setting tool, you’ll also be able to adjust your behaviours, thoughts and beliefs to match the outcome you want. Sarah learned that in her personal life, when she was focusing on what she wanted and when she addressed any blocks or limitations that were stopping her she was able to easily move through them. So, she decided to try her hand at using NLP at work.

She set a Success Goal – her first goal was for others to give her verbal feedback about her improved performance. In reality, she didn’t change her performance at all – she changed her attitude toward her performance! In turn, she began getting positive feedback. Her next goal was to get a promotion to a Senior Administration role – within a few months, she got that! Sarah continued on to the Level 2 NLP training and she learned about the Disney Planning Process and she decided it was time to fast-track her work success, since she hadn’t prioritised it earlier in her career. She’s recently been promoted again, this time into the marketing department of her company – she is working directly for the Senior Manager, learning a lot and using her NLP skills every day in her work, and for herself at work.

What you put your mind to, you can achieve – and with NLP you can make sure your success psychology is aligned with what you desire!

Understand the mind/body connection

One of NLP’s presuppositions states that the mind and body are connected therefore effect each other. Now suppose you realise this, but tend not to pay attention to it. When you feel hungry you eat, when you have a head ache you might take an aspirin.

Not that this is wrong, but what if you learned to listen to your body and to find out what it is wanting you to pay attention to. Imagine your headache is the only way your mind can get you to shut off. You get the outcome of down time but in a   painful way. When you know the body communicates constantly then you can listen in a way you hadn’t before.

NLP has amazing processes to get in touch with your own mind/body connection. It’s one of the most important things you can do in your life for yourself.

Find out how a person is processing information

To make sense of the world, our first filtering system is based on our five senses – what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Automatically when something comes into your conscious or unconscious awareness it triggers an internal response which ultimately leads to an outcome or behaviour; and eventually the mind stores the event as a memory.

Our memories then act as filters for future reference and for filtering the world around us.

Interestingly, the mind not only stores the whole memory, but also stores components of the memory in different ways. NLP has tapped into an idea and concept that was originated by American Psychologist William James in the late 1800’s. He hypothesised, and later identified that when our eyes move in different directions, we are actually accessing different types of information.

It seems that our brain dissects a memory and stores the visual, auditory, kinaesthetic (feeling) and internal dialogue (your own self talk) as separate components which add to our filtering process.

So, through watching someone’s Eye Accessing Cues you are able to identify how a person is processing information – if they are making a decision for example, based on what they see, what they hear, what they feel or the logic they are telling themselves.

This non-verbal information helps in communication in a few ways.

First, it allows you to ask better questions; if you observe someone looking to their Auditory Recall space while saying “I can’t do that” – you can ask “who told you that?”.

Second, it will help you to help others move out of stuck states; if someone is having a hard time creating goals and imagining the future and you see their eyes in the kinaesthetic space, you can ask them to look into the visual area and begin to dream and imagine.

Third, it will help you to identify key strategies for decision making and more. If I am wanting to influence someone in a positive way and while they are making a decision I see their eyes move to their internal dialogue area, I want to appeal more to their logic. On the other hand, if their eyes move first to the kinaesthetic area, I may want to appeal more to their emotions.

Not only is watching a persons eye movements a great tool for improving communication by understanding how someone is processing information – it’s a great party trick that everyone should have!

Create more internal awareness

Sensory acuity is a great skill to have with others and the world around you, it is also an exceptional tool to have for yourself. Too many people don’t put their own needs first and they don’t recognise when their mind/body are communicating to them.

With NLP and sensory acuity skills, you will also learn to tune more into yourself. You’ll be able to listen and trust your unconscious mind more, notice more of your intuition, be clearer in your mind and more determined in your way of being.

What we’ve found is when our students start to apply their sensory acuity skills with themselves, they begin to better respect their own model of the world and start to give them what they need. Imagine really being able to understand what you need from yourself!

And guess what, those little aches and pains, or a headache, or hunger when you’re stressed, or the need for a cigarette, or depression or anxiety – all of that is your body’s way to communicate to you. Won’t it be great to have the tools available to truly be able to listen to yourself in a new and more powerful way!

Get to Know Yourself

How well would you say you know yourself? Interestingly, the majority of your patterns of emotions, behavoiours, and beliefs are largely unconscious – and are simply a part of what we do and how we act and how we behave. But, what if each and every thing you do is based on your programming? Would you know all of those programs? Or do you think you live life on auto-pilot?

If you’ve ever heard anyone say something like “oh, that’s just how I am” – this is a loud alarm that really says, I don’t really know myself – I just do whatever happens and call it fate.

We tend to underestimate the importance of knowing ourselves. Many of us go through each day reacting to events and just getting by rather than making choices based on who we are and what we want. One of the most common remarks we hear from our students after they begin to learn NLP is “I truly understand and know myself more now – so now, I can respect my model of the world”.

In NLP, this is a presupposition or assumption – to respect another person’s model of the world. But, first and foremost, NLP will help you to understand and respect your own.

Your Model of the world is made up of your history, memories, values, beliefs, concepts, imagination, and something we call meta programs – which are unconscious filters though which you make sense of your world through. With NLP, you will learn not only more about what is important to you, what you belief, how your behaviours help or hold you back – you’ll also be able to figure out why you do what you do. You’ll learn how to change what isn’t working for you and enhance what it.
Unfortunately, not knowing yourself well can lead to confusion and wasting much time with indecision second guessing. However, when you know what motivates you, how to make better decisions, what is important to you and how to change aspects that hold you back, something magical can happen. That something magical is that YOU can not only better understand yourself, you can become your own best friend!

Take Things Less Personally

We make decisions in a nano-second. These decisions are based on our history, our memories, our beliefs and other filters. Some people are programmed to take everything personally – to make some sort of meaning about what someone did or said and make it about them.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with this unless it creates a conflict and interferes with confidence, self-belief or your identity. Our patterns of emotions, behaviours and thoughts were programmed in long ago; and NLP has tools to help us change patterns that don’t work for us.

While its all well and good to say to someone, “don’t take it so personally”, it is a completely other thing to not take it personally. We have beliefs that uphold our behaviours, and to change or alter a behaviour, we need to change a belief or concept about ourselves.

Sometimes these beliefs don’t make any logical sense – which is because beliefs are not always logical. They connect somewhere in the past – but may or may not be relevant in todays world. For example, a person who got praise for doing well when they were little; or another person who was criticized and punished for any discrepancy may both form a pattern of taking things personally.

One size does not fit all when it comes to patterns, beliefs or programs. What is for sure, if you take things personally and that creates an interference, that pattern comes from somewhere. NLP will give you the insight into where it came from and how to change it.

There is a wonderful Polish Proverb that we tend to relate back to NLP and our personal control: “Not my circus, not my monkey’s”

Improve Your Recruitment Strategies with NLP

Employee retention can be greatly improved by hiring the right people in the first place. Unfortunately, too many old school recruitment techniques are still being used. I (Heidi) cringe whenever I hear “what do you think your strengths and weakness are”, or “give me an example in a previous job when you X”. Capability and behaviour based interviews don’t always find the best candidates for your roles.

Recruitment generally works by soliciting resumes, looking through those resumes for someone who has the skillset or background that you are looking for, and when you get them in front of you, during the interview you’re looking for ‘are they the right fit’.

What does that mean? The right fit? Is that skills or person? Skills can be taught, mindset is a harder thing to train. Have you ever seen the most competent and skilled person hired for a job, but they still didn’t fit somehow? That’s mindset.

With NLP, we look at a variety of unconscious filters that you can easily identify while talking to another person – and we match those to the filters that might be required for the job, the workplace, the team and the way the person will be managed.

Instead of asking about a behavioural aspect, ask instead “tell me about an aspect of your current/past job that you truly enjoyed” – this will give you insight into the persons mindset. From NLP you will gain skills and knowledge about how to create a recruitment plan for your business to ensure the right-minded person with the right skills is being hired.

Create Success with NLP

We are sure you’re successful already, which is what you should be! But what if you could really get to know yourself in a way that would help you to create even more success in your life?

With NLP, you will learn about your unconscious filters which connect directly to your success strategies. Some of these include your motivational drivers, what you are pulled toward or pushed away from, compelling instincts of counting or discounting, patterns of flexibility, emotional intelligence and more.

We know that when you know better that allows you to do better. So, not only will you be learning more about what makes you tick – we will be identifying anything that might hold you back from creating success in your life. Limiting beliefs, behaiours, self-talk, etc.

NLP also contains tools to help you to identify and create goals, along with a plan of action to take steps to achievement; all while managing your state and psychology. You probably already have some ideas of what success means to you; with NLP you can bring even more of that into your life!

Manage Your State or Mood

Unless you work in a silo, alone with no one else around, it is useful to have your emotions and mood in check. From an NLP perspective, your mood and emotions at any point in time is known as your state, and it changes regularly.

If you are managing or leading people, selling, influencing, helping or otherwise working with people, your state is important.  Studies have shown that the moods of others can easily be passed from person to person – and negative emotions win out over positives ones nearly every time!

If you want others around you to be upbeat, positive, creative or productive – then it would make sense that you would want to be the model of that yourself. Now, let’s face it – it’s not possible to always be in a good mood. In fact, bad moods are useful.

Anger, frustration, challenged, sad, worried – they are all useful in some context. In the right context, anger demonstrates that you are setting boundaries, that your values have been dismissed or a line of some sort has been crossed. But to hold onto anger for hours, or days is unusual to everyone who come into contact with you – including yourself.

You are in charge of your mind, and therefore your results. NLP will help you to be more aware of the states you are having – and when they are being unproductive for you or for the people around you. And, more importantly, how to change the state you are experiencing to transform it into something that is more useful and resourceful.

Build Your Confidence

The confidence a person feels is an important factor in how they present themselves to the world. Generally, you have confidence about something that you do; for example, you might be confident that you can drive a car or confident to read a book, or confident to do you job. On the other hand, if you are not quite skilled at something or if you have conflicting beliefs about your skills you might have a lack of confidence. Examples of this may be – you don’t feel confident that you could climb Kilimanjaro, or you may not be confident to run a marathon or write a book.

Sometimes a lack of confidence is based on a lack of skill; and rightly so. If I’ve never played the violin, I can’t be confident in my skills of playing it. Sometimes however, a lack of confidence comes from a limiting belief, missing value or other internal conflict.

To build confidence with NLP, you will first need to get specific on what kind of confidence it is and then identify what stops or blocks you from having confidence in that area of life. NLP contains many tools to help you to change beliefs, align values and even clear conflict that may be standing in your way. You can even build or add extra resources you may need to boost your confidence, like self-belief, tenacity, resilience or self love.

Additionally, NLP is based on modelling. If there is an aspect in your life that you are confident about, we can map across your confidence from that aspect of life onto another. This may come in handy if you lack confidence to ask a girl (or a guy) out on a date, but you have confidence to ask a stranger for directions.

You are in charge of your mind – so, when you get your mindset right about your confidence, anything becomes possible!

Regain control of your life

Have you ever felt out of control or like you were no longer in charge of your life? Perhaps its felt like you are on a never ending loop of sameness.

NLP has a presupposition that says you are in charge of your mind and therefore your results. With NLP, you can truly start to harness your life and be the leader, not just a participant.

Often times we find that when people feel out of control, they are either wandering through life without a plan or a goal, they are aimlessly following others hoping someone else has their answers, or they are holding onto the reigns of life so tightly they have gotten stuck and can’t move forward.

Not only will NLP help you to identify what you want; NLP will help you to find out what is truly important to you, what is within your control and help you to create a plan of action to create more success in your life.

Sometimes we have beliefs, emotions, thoughts or other people in our life that hold us back. You will gain valuable tools to change and patterns which are not working in your favour so you can take back control of life. And, sometimes we haven’t yet given our self complete permission to be in charge.

When you can start to define what control means to you – both the positive and negative attributes of it and you begin to be aware of what you want and what might be standing in your way, NLP will help you to easily bridge the gap and fully regain control in your life.

Enhance Your Self Love

The things we do for ourselves do not always result in self love. In fact sometimes they result in self sabotage or self-confusion or self-doubt.

Most people do love themselves and evidence of this may show in the way they care for themselves. For instance, they get things like haircuts, clothes, holidays, cars, parties, drinks, as they seek and give love. In other words, they take care of their outer self. But they often neglect or even badly treat their inner self.

There is an NLP presupposition that says every behaviours has a position intention. Using NLP you can discover the intention for the way you behave, respond or act. This will allow you to find better ways of reaching your positive intention and getting it in alignment with what you truly intend. There are methods and tools to recover choice and change your behaviours and beliefs.

NLP also says that you have all the resources to succeed. These resources may not be apparent; in fact they may be covered by negative thoughts or beliefs. So when we learn how to recognize them and begin to use these resourceful gems our inner self begins to change. When you do this you will find that balance and you will find the answers, attract love and esteem, balance and harmony into your life which will truly enhance your self-love.

Create Rapport Easily

Rapport is the unconscious connection we have with other people. When we have rapport it is easier to communicate (even to disagree), understand them and help to influence or create a stable relationship.

Neurologically, we get connected to others through what we see, hear and feel. Neuro Transmitters known as mirror-neurons start to identify when someone is similar to us; therefore, in NLP we use this to an advantage.

By matching and mirroring another person (or many people) you can purposefully trigger the mirror-neurons of someone else as you become like them for just a few moments. In simple terms, the unconscious mind of the person you are communicating with sees or hears the similar behaviours or traits and fires of a neurological signal telling the body/mind “ah, this person is like me. I like people who are like me!”

A few things you can match and mirror are body movements like the crossing of legs and arms, tilt of the head, a lean in or back, where the body weight is centred, volume, pitch and speed of the voice, key words, experiences and concepts. Now, there are tips and tricks to building subtle rapport – if you overdo it you’ll get caught, and if you underdo it, it won’t be effective.

Separate behaviour from intention

When you judge another person (and let’s face it, we all judge other people), do you judge them based on the behaviours you have observed or the intention of those behaviours?

Interesting question isn’t it? Most likely, you are basing your decision, judgement or assessment of someone on the behaviour you have witnessed. But, what if you were to understand that people are not their behaviours?

Think about a bad behaviour you recently did… maybe you exhibited anger, or didn’t go to the gym, or told a white lie.

Do those behaviours make you that person? Are you an angry person? A lazy person, a liar? No. Those are your behaviours, not your identity.

But, most of the time, the only thing we, as outsiders have to go on, is what we can observe – and that is most often someone’s behaviours.

Did you know however, that every behaviour has a positive intention? That’s right – with NLP you will learn how to identify the positive intention behind any behaviour; your own or someone else’s. This information will give you an understanding and insight into a person’s beliefs, choices, filters, decisions and capabilities. Once you have a better understanding of what is happening unconsciously to create the behaviour you’ve witnessed, it makes it a lot easier to empathise, not judge, communicate and generally understand another person.

Understand Others

In every single situation we filter what is going on around us and inside of us based on our personal history, our memories, our beliefs, our values and many other various unconscious filters (Meta Programs). Once we filter an event, we automatically distort, delete and generalise it to make sense of it for ourselves. This is what is known as our Model of the World.

This filtering process explains why you and your very best friend can have very different understandings of the exact same thing- because you have filtered it differently.

Everything we do, every behaviour we have, every decision we make and everything we say is based on this filtering process. It is understood that the majority of our filters were built or created during our Imprint Stage. According to Developmental Psychologist, Dr. Morris Massey, between the ages of 0-7 is the Imprint Stage where we have very few filters in place and we start to create our beliefs, values and various other programs based on the people, environment and conditions around us. It is during this timeframe that the majority of our filters are created.

If I have a friend who is very clingy and wants to check in with me on a more-than-regular-basis, a few questions and some observations may be able to tell me that this friend has a fear of being abandoned. Now, I may not know why, and in my friendship, the why isn’t important (even if I want to know!). What is important is that I can understand that this is a real fear for my friend and I can be an even better friend by respecting her need to be with me.

NLP will provide you with many tools to understand each aspect of another person’s Model of the World. You’ll obtain listening, observation and questioning techniques that will allow you to identify a person’s beliefs, values, habits and unconscious patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours. With enough experience, you’ll be able to understand more about a person in 30 seconds of observation that you may be able to do now with a 1 hour interview.

When you can understand someone in a vaster and deeper way, you cannot only communicate more effectively with that person; but the underlying relationship becomes deeper and stronger. This understanding of others will help you to truly respect their model of the world.

Develop more self-worth

Are you worthy? Have you ever felt unworthy? Worthy of what you may ask? Anything you desire… worthy of love, happiness, a great job, money, time, peace, freedom, a life well lived – anything you desire.

What if, as a newborn you have all the self-worth you need. Think about that, a new born child is not concerned about how much time, money, effort or value they have.  They don’t have to do anything to receive love, food, care, shelter or clothing. They just have to be.

But, for some people, this changes overtime and the concept of self-worth becomes conditional. Conditional on doing a good job, getting good grades, being a good child, being quiet, helping others, making someone else laugh or safe. Conditional self-worth can be detrimental in many ways; a person may create the need for external validation from others, a self-concept that is dependent on external factors or even a belief that they are simply not worthy of what was granted to us upon birth.

With NLP, you will be able to identify beliefs or conditions placed on your self-worth and create a change to these unconscious factors in life. If when you were born you didn’t have to do anything at all to be worthy, what it be like if the same were true for you now?

You will be able to unharness any conditions to your self worth and elevate your own worth to natural levels of being and worthiness. Just like when you were born!

Improve Your Physical Health

Do you realise that your mind and body are connected, and affect each other? Do you also realise that it is the unconscious part of your mind that is responsible for every bodily function you have? This includes the beating of your heart, digestion of food, body temperature regulation, chemical and hormone production, even your hunger pangs and blinking of your eyes.

Most people take for granted that the body is always doing what it is supposed to do; without giving it much thought (unless it is not functioning or doing what they want), and they take it for granted. When there is an issue people often look outside of themselves for answers and if their body does not co-operate they blame it. We often meet people who become clients or students who have physical health issues that they have gone to see doctors, specialists, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, osteopaths and more – and often the external treatment doesn’t work because it is inside factors (psychological) that is creating the issues.

NLP is well known for its benefits in health and healing. In fact, NLP has many methodologies and tools that get your mind and body communicating so they know what each one wants and needs and how to go about achieving these. For example – if you knew that the migraines that you have are actually trying to get your attention to tell you that you need to express yourself more, wouldn’t that be a wonderful piece of information? Or, if your stomach ache or anxiety was your bodies way to communicate its desire for you to change how you handle stress – could you use that information?

NLP will provide you with tools to understand what your unconscious (or automatic self), is doing and what it is programmed to do. Through a variety of NLP tools, you’ll be able to align your beliefs, change behaviours, communicate with symptoms, work directly with your chemical and hormone production to ensure optimal levels of production, while creating and maintaining neurological pathways that will keep you in beneficial health.

Learning and using NLP will give you the ability to manage our conscious thoughts and behaviours. As you learn how to communicate and manage your mind you then improve your physical health in ways that will be long lasting with beneficial effects.