Unconventional NLP Practice – Practical Issues

The final category of objections are all practical concerns.

  • People (will) think I’m weird
  • Didn’t work on ‘real’ people
  • No-one I know wanted me to ‘work’ on them

“People (will) think I’m weird”

When you think about it, some NLP-related behaviours can seem quite odd. Do you remember the first time you experienced ‘the swish’ for example? Or took someone into a hypnotic trance?

Those behaviours are okay within a seminar room or in a therapeutic or coaching environment. They are ‘formal’ change behaviours and belong in a formal setting. However, if you think about what is really going on in each case, you will probably realise that there are informal versions too.

Putting aside the techniques for now, think about all of the NLP skills – anchoring, meta model questions, eliciting states, reframing, etc, etc. All of those are natural behaviours we each do regularly. It’s just a question of practicing the skills in the right contexts. Then it will be more natural – for you and for others too.

“NLP didn’t work on ‘real’ people”

There’s a curious notion that the people you trained with are somehow ‘in on the secret’ and therefore more susceptible to NLP in some way. They are informed and therefore more at ease. They know what to expect and are therefore expecting the required result. This is true to some extent, but it’s not the whole story.

Many of the NLP skills work better if the ‘subject’ is not aware of them. Take rapport, for example. It works best as an unconscious skill that is directed consciously. You decide to get rapport, to fall into the same rhythm as the other person and trust your unconscious mind to do that. However, if you – or they – suddenly notice (“Good heavens, we’re walking exactly in step…”) it can weaken the unconscious effects of the rapport and suddenly you’re not in step any more.

Many of those who struggle with NLP outside the seminar room do so because they are creating a strange space for those with whom they are trying it out.

Anything preceded by a statement like “let me try out this really cool mind thing on you – it’s NLP” is naturally going to create a strange atmosphere. With that strangeness can come discomfort and a degree of resistance.

By contrast, suppose they practiced eliciting states instead – by telling funny stories until they got a laugh or even a smile. Or suppose they used their meta-model questions to clarify what was going to happen later that evening. No strangeness, no resistance and no problem. Just common-sense NLP.

“No-one I know wanted me to ‘work’ on their therapeutic issues”

This practical concern is a subset of the ‘NLP is Therapy’ misunderstanding I dealt with earlier. To stop thinking about NLP as a series of therapeutic techniques is possibly the most powerful shift in thinking you can have from that point.

Put the techniques aside for now and focus on skills because it should now be really obvious that opportunities to practice your NLP skills are literally everywhere.

What Next?

In response to these common needs, I’ve created a series of simple exercises which you can practice in the background during your day. The focus will change each week, so your skills will continue to sharpen.

nlp-skills-chart

How Exactly Does It Work?

It’s really simple:

  • There is a new area of focus each week.
  • You will get a short review lesson of the relevant background information on Day 1.
  • Each weekday you will receive an email which briefly outlines the exercise of the day.

The initial version of the program is called NLP Practitioner Integration. It lasts eight weeks and you can sign up here: http://www.nlppracticegroup.com/nlp-practitioner-integration/

Enjoy your practice!

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