NLP And Personal Development (5 of 5)

Last week’s post got a bit longer than anticipated but I hope you enjoyed reading it to the end. I didn’t want to break it up.

Examining yourself or your state of mind or when evaluating options, there is a very simple and very effective way of doing so: watch yourself from an external perspective. Visualise the situation you are in, or use your actual situation in the now, and look at it from a 3rd person’s perspective. Imagine your ‘eye’ is sitting in the left upper corner of the room, watching you how you interact with people and how you use gestures. Sounds freaky, doesn’t it? Consciously watch yourself and adapt your behaviour. See how you build rapport by mirroring people, and how they react to you mirroring them.

When mirroring people you pretty much do what they do: they scratch their right ear, you scratch your right ear; they cross their legs, you cross your legs. Try not to be too obvious doing it and try it out over time. Once you can do that, you can try to play around and lead them (pace and lead) by changing your position in order for them to change theirs. That means they either consciously but most probably unconsciously feel more comfortable looking at a mirror image and are tuned into what you do. The same is true for language. Start using some keywords like ‘you know how that feels’ and they might answer to ‘I feel the same’ rather than ‘I can see the same’. You start using the same lingo (auditory, visual, kinaesthetic) to describe what you are talking about. This makes it easier to get along with someone. Using questioning techniques, open or closed, you will be able to direct people easier once this rapport has been built.

I guess that is where the misconception comes from that you can influence anyone with NLP. Whilst you can, it is not that you can brainwash someone by just sitting there and talking to a stranger. So do not worry.

I suppose NLP gives you a lot of tools, and you can choose when to use them. Whether it is to evaluate a situation, a behaviour, your values, priorities or how you interact with others. NLP seems to have a lot of things for whatever situation. However, NLP is one of many tools out there and I believe that a combination of good tools works better than one tool on its own.

Bandler, one of the founders of NLP, combines it with hypnotherapy. Others never speak about NLP but use it on a daily basis, solely based on common sense. And I use it unconsciously conscious 😉

NLP for me is a tool kit. Similar to transactional analysis (TA, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis) which I studied a while back to look at communication patterns. Another big part of my tool kit is Emotional Intelligence (EI) on which I wrote a paper for my MBA.  The paper examined a lot of books and essays on the topic and whether the idea of EI is new to management and leadership theories.

I concluded, and still would, that EI is more or less common sense and that any leader or manager should be aware of their emotions towards themselves and others. Another outcome was that EI would have an impact on staff morale and working environment, but to my mind the term is a bit overhyped as emotional awareness is nothing new. A competitive advantage can only be achieved in combination with other techniques like NLP, TA etc.

Please pick and choose whatever works best for you, adopt what is important and helpful for you and apply daily.

I truly hope you enjoyed the chapters and publications over the past almost 2 years.

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