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An intro to NLP in business

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

Have you ever heard business people talk about neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and wondered what they were on about? For a while, NLP was a fashionable buzzword and many business gurus positioned themselves as NLP practitioners. Although the initial buzz may have died down, it remains true that the adoption of basic neuro linguistic programming skills can improve business communication, relationship-building, creativity, and goal-setting. Imagine being able to harness the benefits of NLP as an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy and maximize your potential in the business environment.

So what is NLP?
So let’s start with an introduction to NLP – developed in the 1970s by American psychologists Richard Bandler and John Grinder, NLP posits the idea that a person’s cognitive, sensory, communicative, behavioral, and emotional faculties can be consciously ‘programmed’ to achieve personal excellence.

So consciously programmed doesn’t necessarily sit well with me as a phrase – ‘enhances your ability to think, feel and respond differently’ does and this is exactly what NLP enables you to do.
Imagine having a team of people all with the ability to think, feel and respond differently to situations whether in communication with existing customers, potential clients or in strategic planning meetings with colleagues.

So what’s the impact in the business world?
NLP provides a selection of powerful tools and skills which can be used to enhance personal performance and impact in many fields which are particularly relevant in business. Many of the techniques used in NLP provide a grounding for persuasive and successful negotiation, as an example.

Other areas totally relevant to business are NLP’s ability to improve rapport-building, goal-setting and achievements, innovative thinking and to provide a better understanding of the needs and motivations of customers.

So the business benefits are?
NLP is intended as a means for unlocking personal potential and improving performance. It achieves this by removing the psychological barrier – such as fear of failure – that would normally inhibit us from testing our abilities in situations outside our normal comfort zones. By providing the confidence to overcome beliefs that would normally limit us NLP creates a ‘safety net’ that allows us to perform outside our perceived comfort zones, achieving more than we previously believed we were capable of. Since the personal performance of each employee is the bedrock of business productivity and success, applied correctly NLP can improve staff confidence and morale, increase team performance and productivity and in turn improve customer satisfaction.

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