Reading time: 2 minutes Sep 25th 2010

I have been asked by a number of people to explain NLP in as simple a way as possible. At the Irish Institute of NLP, we do this on our practitioner course through a mixture of stories and the interaction that happens between myself and Brian (Colbert) on stage. Brian and I have worked together for so long that our double act helps convey the true spirit and attitude of NLP.

So, how can I deliver an adequate explanation in a blog? Well, here goes.

NLP is about how you can communicate more effectively with yourself and others. You communicate more effectively with yourself by learning to think in more productive and effective ways. You communicate more effectively with others by understanding how others think and how you can influence how they think.

NLP involves having an attitude of determination, curiosity, a great sense of humour and a belief that anything is possible. It’s important that you realize that while you can’t always determine what happens in the world, you can determine how you think about it. It’s also essential to remind yourself that most of your limitations exist only in the mind.

NLP is a set of skills that enable us to think in more useful ways. We do this by realizing that our way of thinking about the world is just our way of thinking and we can change it. We do this by finding out how we represent our thoughts through the internal images we have or the way we talk to ourselves. Then by changing the way we represent things, we can change how we feel about them. For example, if you have a phobia of spiders and you learn to change how you think about them, you feel differently about them. There are certain tools and techniques that enable you to condition yourself behaviorally so that you think about things in the new way consistently.

NLP is also a set of communication skills that allows you to create connections with others, make them feel really good and influence and persuade people. When you learn how language and beliefs work, you can uncover powerful questions and language patterns that can help you to change beliefs through the way you use language.

Coaching involves helping you to figure out what you want, where you are now and how you can get from where you are to where you want to be. It involves finding out the things that get in your way and figuring out solutions to them. Often the biggest obstacles reside in our own minds and therefore we can use many NLP tools in overcoming them.
Of course, there is a lot more to NLP than all this but hopefully it’s given you a simple understanding of the main areas. To learn about NLP, join Brian and myself on one of our courses with the Irish Institute of NLP http://www.nlp.ie/


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