Before you’re introduced to NLP, you may want to know what the heck it is. The short and accurate answer is that NLP is Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Still not clear? According to the authors, “NLP is the art and science of personal excellence.”
NLP targets communication and learning skills that we all already have, then refines them to provide us with more choices and more ways in which to use them. Introducing NLP begins with a focus on three key skills: recognizing what you want, honing your senses so that you’re able to notice what you’re getting, and becoming flexible enough to change your trajectory when needed.
The ‘neuro’ refers to a fundamental theory that all behavior stems from our neurological processes – the five senses. The ‘linguisitc,’ of course, refers to communication. And ‘programming’ teaches us how to coordinate and organize ideas and actions so that we are better able to achieve the results we want.
If it seems that some people are psychic, able to determine in advance the best investments or coming trends, able to convince others to follow their lead or accept their propositions, it is likely that those people are masters of NLP. According to authors O’Connor and Seymour, “it’s not so much seeing more than others as knowing what to look for.”
Introducing NLP is a how-to guide that aims to teach the practical skills such as creating rapport with others, understanding and harnessing body language, and learning strategies, and effective persuasion techniques. Perhaps the most important skill explained in this book is how to recognize which system of thought other people are using; by knowing that, we are better able to adjust our own strategies.
Understanding how others operate is crucial to almost every endeavor, either in business or in personal relationships. Of course, it’s also important to understand ourselves; Introducing NLP offers a full chapter of explanation about how our state of mind arises and how we can direct it in ways that are more supportive of our goals.
Language, of course, is a powerful tool to have at our command. Wars have started over misunderstandings, and opportunities have been lost through the same lack of communication. Whether you’re in politics or sales, struggling with a tempestuous spouse or with uncooperative co-workers, the techniques of NLP are helpful for addressing conflict, reaching compromises, and convincing others of the value of your opinion.
This is not nearly as complicated as it first sounds. Introducing NLP gives some quick tips (reinforced by scientific explanations of how they work) such as: “The unconscious mind does not process the linguistic negative and simply disregards it. A parent or teacher who tells a child not to do something is ensuring the child will do it again.” In other words, stick to positive statements; rather than ordering your child to stay away from the busy highway, go with ‘be careful.’
Introducing NLP is the best starter kit for anyone new to this topic. O’Connor and Seymour produce a nice balance of science and practical applications, spreading their examples across a wide variety of fields. The layperson will easily pick up on how NLP works and how to incorporate it into everyday interactions. Introducing NLP may be the most important read for anyone looking for a way to turn their lives or businesses around. I plan to use it to take over the world.