Over the years we often have people asking about the “trick” to learning NLP well. I think the “trick” is to work with the way our brain codes your learning experience, creates understanding and insight into subject matter. The key to mastery is “familiarisation” of the skills that you are acquiring. This means you need to practice, practice and practice some more. In fact you need to practice in a specific way, and here is the low down,
based on training and our own learning experience:
Focus on applying NLP on yourself first, and others second!
Before you start applying NLP to others, please do it to yourself first. Along the way to self mastery, you need to build up some critical skills to be effective. We call them the Critical Skill Builders:
- Your ability to manage and work with your own emotional state
- Your ability to build rapport rapidly with yourself and others
- Your ability to calibrate people’s unconscious signals accurately and testing them
- Your ability to self evaluate your own performance from 3rd and identify what needs to change
Notice the “difference that makes the difference”
- Have first hand experience with the pattern. Use all patterns on yourself and understand the impact for you. Specifically what worked and what did not work and how can you make it work.
- Practice the Pattern, not just Repeating it. Practice with an attitude of wanting to know how to work a pattern for the best results. Practice means learning by noticing differences every time you apply a pattern and making adjustments to refine your skills for the next iteration of applying the pattern. If you do the same thing over and over again with no understanding of what needs to be improved, than that is repeating rather than practicing. Repeating a less than useful version of a pattern is just re-enforcing a bad version.
Stick to these principles:
- It is not the content or the story of an issue or situation that is important. It is the process that people get themselves into the situation or issue that is important. So, real NLP patterns focus on the process not the content (for example, individuals opinion of what is right or wrong or their interpretation of a situation or about people who are involved). It is the process that is important not the content.
- Respecting other people’s “map of the world”: NLP is designed to help people to create options, not take options away or imposing what we think is right. So the key to bear in mind is that we use NLP techniques to provoke responses that can generate more options in life. Rather than imposing our map of the world to others and you need to apply it in such a way to enable people and yourself to make the right choices. This means keeping your own content to yourself, please.
- Mind and body are integrated. When applying NLP to self and others, it is important to calibrate congruence and incongruence. If you applied a technique and thought it worked with no evidence, then, how do you know it worked? Congruence must exist in all output channels.