NLP For Dummies – It Is For Dummies
Imitation is not the road to real success. Only talent, commitment and hard work can help you. Yet, Neuro-linguistic programming is an approach to psychotherapy and organizational change, which is based on the assumption that patterns of behavior indicate the patterns of thought of successful people. The founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and linguist John Grinder held that (neuro) successful thought patterns were noticeably linked to the (linguistic) physical and verbal clues which led to (programming) successful behaviors.
They suggested that a model of interpersonal communication could be used to successfully modify behavior. Actually, almost completely subconscious drives impel people to achieve excellence, or to spend exceptional energies on services to humanity. People generally inherit such talents and energies. They do not acquire them through practice. External behavioral clues give little or no indication of why such people succeed.
NLP For Dummies – History of NLP
NLP uses obscure words to propagate their self improvement concept. After listening to the taped therapy sessions of the late Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls and of the therapist Virginia Satir, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, a linguist, developed a “meta model” for gathering information and challenging a client's language and underlying thinking. They believed that implicit in the behaviors of Perls and Satir was the ability to “challenge distortion, generalization and deletion in” a client's language. They suggested that Perls and Satir performed their therapeutic “magic” by using a definable language structure, which could be modeled, using Noam Chomsky's “transformational grammar.”
According to them, any complex human activity had structure, which could be “modeled.” They proposed models and techniques, such as "anchoring," "reframing," "submodalities," "perceptual positions," and "representational systems." Such models could be followed by people to achieve success. It was claimed that NLP was capable of addressing phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, and learning disorders. While NLP has not had an impact on academic psychology or mainstream psychotherapy and counseling, it has been adopted by some private psychotherapists, including hypnotherapists. It is being practiced in management training, life coaching, and self-help assistance.
NLP For Dummies – The Instinctive Quality Of Success
Success results from the many choices a person makes in life. Those choices exist within her mind. The system makes a choice within milliseconds by running through millions of possibilities. Before you speak a single word, your system evaluates your feelings, defines a concept, chooses words from a vocabulary of thousands of words, arranges them in grammatical order and modulates your vocal chords. All these are instinctual events, based on a wealth of internal wisdom. The success of Perls and Satir in their therapy sessions was based on their extensive experience in the field and their genius for analysis. Since they knew their subjects, their actions would flow with effortless energy. Without the knowledge, it is difficult to imagine how another person can follow a structured model to deliver successful therapy.
NLP For Dummies – Success Requires Creativity
Solutions to the problems in life are not always available immediately to the mind. You system has neural drives, which constantly search for answers within the knowledge available to you. Those drives are purpose driven. When you decide to move a piece on a chess board, sequences of motor impulses persist from the instant your hand picks up the piece, till it is set down in its new position. The motor codes of thousands of muscles issue precise instructions to meet your objective. Your hand does not wander off on its own. Neural drives operate in the minds of successful people to mine the extensive knowledge available to them. New contexts add new possibilities in their minds to provide innovative solutions. While one may learn from a great master through emulation, it is hardly possible to imitate the thought processes, which achieve success through an overall model of behavior. The claims of NLP to offer such models to achieve success in any field appear doubtful.
NLP For Dummies – Excellence Comes From Within
The legendary management guide Peter Drucker defined excellence as the ability to easily do something, which others find difficult. The easy intuitive availability of answers is crucial in the motivation of successful people. The wisdom in their words, the experiences they remember and even their social choices are all decisions and abilities of the system. Famous actors, statesmen and business leaders have access to the crucial physical and mental knowledge, which supports quick and effective decisions. Those choices carry them to the top. NLP suggests that their “specific models” and their “artfully vague” models can be used in combinations to induce trance and to deliver indirect therapeutic suggestion. NLP is being marketed as a business tool, with the claims that "if any human being can do anything, so can you."
NLP For Dummies – The Quality Of “Flow”
True excellence in any work environment results in “flow.” Flow is a state of mind, where people become totally immersed in their tasks and lose all sense of time. In this state, people work for the pure enjoyment of working and not for any external reward. Nature assists this process by releasing the neuro-modulator dopamine when a person copes with challenging tasks, discovering novel solutions. Dopamine makes him feel more alert, energetic and elated. People feel that they are in control of tasks, which are goal directed, provide feedback and give them a sense of meaning. Flow does not require you to be doing creative, or artistic tasks. It can be experienced even when analyzing data, or filling out income tax returns. The practitioners of NLP claim that they can train a person to assimilate only the positive skills of an excellent worker, by “setting up filters” in a “modeling” process. It is difficult to imagine any “modeling” process, which can assimilate the acquired intellectual and physical skills of a good worker.
NLP For Dummies – Emotions Contribute Persistence
Many people are successful, because they persist in their efforts, even after repeated failures. These people may not complete the job with speed and excellence. But, they bring extra-ordinary energy to a job. They persist with a single minded focus. They focus, because they are driven by strong emotions. Varying emotions are triggered by specific neural organs. Each subsystem triggers signals, which enable the achievement of a specific objective. A reptilian system initiates signals, which act to satisfy hunger and thirst. Anger and fear signals from the amygdala generate fight, or flight responses. The insula generates emotions like guilt and love, which act to support social cohesion. Each emotion offers an objective to the mind. Strong emotional signals compel people to persist in their tasks. NLP assumes that by using a model, which tracks another's eye movements and language, an NLP trainer can shape the person's thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It is difficult to believe that you can imitate the deep motivating emotions of a dedicated worker, by tracking his eye movements and imitating his speech patterns.
NLP For Dummies – The Role Of The Amygdala
The amygdala is an organ in the brain, which triggers fight, or flight responses to avoid pain. Love and compassion are emotions, which sense the pain of others. Jealousy and envy are emotions, which feel pain, when confronted by competition, or failure. The organ remembers past pain through neural plasticity and long term potentiation (LTP), which set off persisting “speed dial circuits.” These circuits cause normally neutral signals to appear to be the potential cause of pain. The amygdala triggers avoidance behaviors, which seek to lessen pain.
The system focuses persistently on the objectives of the dominant emotion, which could be fear, anger, compassion, or envy. The system returns from any diversion to a single goal, which seeks to avoid the remembered pain of these emotions. When these emotions lead to positive results, people are said to be dedicated. When they lead to antisocial results, people are called fanatics. If NLP “models” could “filter” out the negative emotions, the world could become a far better place!
NLP For Dummies – The Role Of Facial Expressions
Bandler and Grinder's hypotheses in NLP was that a successful person's preferred sensory mode of thinking could be revealed by observing eye movement cues and “sensory predicates in language use.” Researchers suggest that a significant portion of human communication occurs through non verbal methods, such as body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. But, these do not reveal the processes, which make a person successful.
Facial expressions merely indicate the emotional state of a person. Paul Ekman suggested that 11 major emotions could be discovered from facial expressions – amusement, contempt, contentment, embarrassment, excitement, guilt, pride in achievement, relief, satisfaction, sensory pleasure and shame. Imitating the feelings of a successful person appears to be a circuitous way to emulate her success.
NLP For Dummies – The Role Of Body Language
The skills needed to effectively communicate with a person require a high degree of awareness of body language. These clues indicate the attitude and state of mind of a person, indicating aggression, attentiveness, boredom, relaxed state, pleasure, amusement, and intoxication. Yawning could indicate sleepiness, a lack of social interest, or an attempt to change the topic.
Mirroring the body language of another person is supposed to enable better communication with the person. Crossing her arms across the chest is supposed to indicate that a person is placing an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. Most such clues are typical for all people. They hardly indicate the thought patterns, which make a person a successful businessman. The knowledge of body language clues may help the businessman achieve success in the essential value proposition, which has led to his success.
NLP For Dummies – Talent, Commitment, Hard Work
The characteristics, which make a person successful are preset in the nervous system. Some people have great skills and talents. Others are loving and compassionate by nature. Still others find immense pleasure in the products and services, which their jobs provide to people. Such people become successful. The large majority of people are not so fortunate. They choose a career by accident. They pay little conscious attention to their work, which is usually a matter of unconscious habit. NLP will not help them to become successful. They can evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses and choose a career, which appeals to their passions, or where they can be excellent. They can learn on the job and bring excellence through continuous study and practice. NLP is hardly likely to help them.
This page was last updated on 01-Jan-2014
For my peace of mind, I earmarked 20 minutes for meditation on the terrace. With my eyes closed, I sense my hands on the chair and feel the numbness in my feet.
I feel my breath flowing through my nose, my throat, my chest and my stomach. I can hear the chirping of birds, the phut phut of auto rickshaws, the occasional roar of a truck and the insistent hooting of horns.
When I open my eyes, I see a pale moon over two hundred thousand miles away. I see the nuclear fires, blazing for millions of years in the pale globe of the setting sun. A star millions of miles away in space.
I can see green shoots coming up on a tree, watch the dives and swoops of birds, the great circles of the hawks and flocks of birds flying home for the night.
Diffused light from the sun reflects off a parrot on the tree and enters my eye through a pinhole opening. I sense the bustling mood of the bird, even though it is smaller than a drop of water in my eyes.
All these things are seen and felt by me in a few brief minutes. In the distance, is the head of a man seeming to be no bigger than a pea. Yet, that head too sees and feels such things. Ten million people in this great city see and feel in ten million ways.
My mind wanders to a misty view of postwar London; an exciting glimpse of Disneyland. An awed view of Tiananmen Square. The looming Himalayan ranges. My mind takes me to distant galaxies.
It carries me into the heart of millions of invisible neurons, where electrical charges flash thousands of times a second powering my contemplation. I see the campaigns of Julius Caesar and Alexander. I feel the longings of Jehangir.
Already my mind has taken me to palaces, battlefields and even the stars. And yet, the 20 minutes hang heavily on me. If I lost everything, but can just see and feel, in just a few brief minutes, my mind can travel the world, or imagine the cosmos.
Life has already blessed me
with over twenty million waking minutes. I have an infinity of time
on my hands. Have I a right to expect more from life?
I really loved the self improvement plan post. Its great food for thought and the steps are actually actionable as compared to many other self help sites out there.
Joe Glen USA.
As a clinical therapist, I have found your site very useful!
I love it. ...
Andrew Montgomery USA.