NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming provides us with a wealth of techniques for improving our thinking, communication and behaviour.
The origins of NLP come from the observation and modelling of exemplars – people who were excellent at what they did and then replicating this to get similar results.
In business our ability to understand what works is crucial to our success. To get you started here are seven of the observations or techniques that we can replicate as managers to help us become even better at what we do.
1. Create a compelling vision to inspire others
Before we can begin to lead others we need to be clear in our own minds where we want to go as a business and as a team. If we don’t know then we can’t expect others to follow.
2. Build a rapport to develop a climate of trust
Without a real connection with the individuals in our team we may be just a figure head that our title says people have to follow. This is only compliance and will only get you so far. To really access the power of the brains and capabilities of the team we must engage with people as people.
3. Gain insight into the way people think
People give us clues everyday into what they are thinking and how they are thinking. Practitioners of NLP listen carefully to language, they observe body language and behaviour to help them understand what might be happening. That and actually asking our colleagues provides us with a real opportunity to get the best out of them.
4. Use perceptual positions to obtain a fresh perspective
Putting ourselves into the position of others is common particularly in the customer care and hospitality industries. This helps us appreciate what it is may be like for the other person. Perceptual positions develops this idea further by encouraging us to look at situations from other positions. This may include that of the observer or ‘fly on the wall’ which enables us to easily see both sides of the story from an objective viewpoint.
5. Model others as a template for excellence
A powerful technique for managers is to focus on what everybody is good at and then learn how they do it. Like the founders of NLP, observe and ask people who are good in a particular area the sequence of events and what they are thinking at each stage. Creating a model of this process and then replicating it across the team can reap real results.
6. Access useful internal resources in challenging situations
An excellent coach knows that most of the time, the coachee already has the resources she needs to succeed. The secret is in helping the other person to find them. Accessing the feelings, strengths and confidence from previous achievements enables us to apply them in different situations.
7. Understanding other people’s values
Motivation is often driven by our personal values. Understanding what is important to people in terms of their work will help us to create an environment where they can flourish. If having the responsibility to get on with a task without interference from their manager is important to them, then consider how you can give them the space to do this.
One of the maxims of NLP is to look at life with a sense of curiosity and to ask yourself why something works or does not work. Develop your own sense of curiosity and see how it can open the world of possibilities.
Senior Management Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)