What Is NLP? 


"Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

NLP is the study and application of extremely persuasive communication methods and systems which can be used internally or externally.



NLP: A Science of Persuasion


Neuro: Meaning nerves and the nervous system

Linguistics: The use of language

Neuro-Linguistics: The branch of science and medicine concerned with how the nervous system influences language and how language influences the nervous system

Programming: Carrying out a planned sequence of actions to get a pre-planned result.  Also refers to how we program our minds and bodies to create consistent results; either positive or negative

Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Using language in a systematic and pre-determined fashion to achieve a planned result or outcome.

Neuro-linguistic Programming was created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler who met each other in  1970 at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  It was there that they joined forces by combining Grinder's linguistic skills and Bandler's creative genius.

Bandler and Grinder were interested in studying the thinking and skills used by highly effective and successful behavioral therapists. 

In particular, they studied the methodology and results of Virginia Satir, a famed family therapist, Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy and Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist who produced astonishing results using hypnosis.

Bandler and Grinder analyzed the written and recorded work of these famous therapists to discover what accounted for their consistently positive results.

What distinguishes NLP from other fields of behavioral change is that it is concerned only with how people do things, not why they do them.

For example, a person is shopping for a car.  A salesman approaches them and the potential customer immediately become tense because they have had a previous bad experience with a car salesman. 

If the sales person were not trained in NLP, there is a good chance they would most likely try an approach that would cost them a customer because they would focus on the customer's "why" (the customer doesn't like salesman) rather than the customer's "how" they don't like salespeople.

A sales person trained in NLP however would be able to use certain techniques that will change the customer's perception and therefore change the customer from not-willing to willing to be open to buying.

Another example is in the field of education.  If someone is having difficulty learning a new skill, the NLP approach is to be curious about what they are  doing, specifically, to make it difficult to learn rather than wondering why they are having trouble.

Let's say a child has a spelling difficulty and the parents have tried everything but nothing has worked.  So, they figure there must some sort of "why" it's not working.  The answer is not "why" but "how".  How is the child trying to learn? 

I (Devin Hastings) had a client in Florida who had a child with this problem and I shared with her some basic NLP information that literally changed her child's spelling test scores from failing (20's and 30's) to high passing (90's) in one week! 

What changed for her child was how he was attempting to learn.

Now, since NLP is essentially the utilization of persuasive communications within oneself and with others, it was only natural that NLP could be applied to areas other than behavioral therapy.

NLP has been successfully applied in the following areas:

bullet Business
bullet Public Speaking Success
bullet Communication Skills
bullet Sales
bullet Sports Performance
bullet Corporate Transformation
bullet Accelerated Learning
bullet Memory Improvement
bullet Personal Development
bullet Teaching & Education
bullet Relationships
bullet Directing and Controlling Your Thoughts & Emotions
bullet Courtroom Effectiveness
bullet Emergency Rooms
bullet Hospitals

In conclusion there are two points to understand about NLP:

1) NLP is a powerful behavioral influence methodology because it enables a person to use their mind in a much focused and results oriented manner. 

2) A person who has studied NLP can also influence others in a profound and often surprising way.  This is because a student of NLP has a deep understanding of how the mind works and this knowledge gives them an influence advantage that is remarkable.

If you are interested in studying NLP for sales, please click here.

If you are curious about the advantages of becoming a certified NLP practitioner, click here.

Click here to return to Become A Certified NLP Practitioner

Or, take the 4-hour class, Getting What You Want With NLP

Good Article!  How To Eliminate Self-Sabotage with NLP

Top of Page