Oct 9, 2008
- NLP 101: What is NLP? Part 2
What does Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) mean anway?
If NLP is touted today as the biggest thing to hit personal development since sliced bread, what does its funky name mean anyway?
Neuro refers to our nervous system, that’s the hardwiring inside our body that helps control the bits and pieces, linguistic refers to language, verbal and non-verbal, and programming combines the two to study how language programs us and vice versa.
Who Made It And How?
In the 1970s, a couple of strappling young men Richard Bandler and John Grinder did a study of some of the most effective therapists of their time. They sought out to find if they could model what it was that these therapeutic wizards did so well, so that they could produce the same results and pass on the methods to others.
From the study of these geniuses, they created a meta-tool in which other models could be made, and a guiding structure of useful beliefs and frameworks. Thus, the study of subjective experience and modeling excellence was born.
But I’m Not A Therapist, What Can NLP Do For Me?
First off, the original tools modeled from these therapists is already pretty powerful stuff.
For example, the Milton and Meta model, specific language patterns modeled after the father of modern hypnotherapy, Milton Erickson, and the foremost family therapist of her time, Virginia Satir, give us a very useful model for understanding and using language precisely to increase influence and direct change.
And now, 30 years odd on, NLP has gone on to model top salesmen, athletes, geniuses, leaders, musicians, and whatnots, and created specific techniques and models to re-create what it is they do that makes them do it so well so you can do it too, with useful tips, techniques and beliefs for powerful persuasion, emotional control, releasing of limiting beliefs, aligning your identity, memorizing names, creative planning and so on.
Wait A Minute, That Sounds A Bit Too Impossible
It’d be the height of silliness for anyone to believe that by modeling the genius of Albert Einstein, we could think exactly as he thought and create the next big theory of everything.
And may demons of stupidity be cast out of any NLPer who claims to do so!
NLPers are pragmatic by nature. When a new model or technique is created out of the ashes of genius, the question isn’t ‘is it accurate?’ but rather ‘is it useful?’. We can’t re-create the genius of Einstein in our own heads, but we can create useful models from studying his thinking processes to enhance our own.