If you have a strong desire to make your team more effective, to communicate effectively between members of staff and departments…
If you feel a need to “get through” to staff and customers more powerfully improving performance and having a more successful conflict resolution.
If you want to invest in your personal development and boost your ability to persuade, negotiate and sell…
If you have a requirement to make better presentations, and motivate and share your vision while overcoming objections and obstacles…
It’s time you considered Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to enhance your business.
NLP and Business
Many leading businesses, including the following, are already using NLP to take their businesses to the next level:
- Paddy Power
- ESB Networks
- Mercedes Ireland
The diversity of those businesses incorporating NLP into everyday practice is a testament to the techniques and approaches inherent in NLP in that they can be used in any industry sector, including:
- Small businesses
- Multinational organisations
- The private sector
- The public sector
- Self-employed individuals
But why? As Michael O Leary of Ryanair, confirms:
“NLP allows a higher level of customer and employee satisfaction enabling business to deliver the desired world class service levels.”
So, how can NLP boost your business? Let’s begin with the development of NLP itself…
The Story of NLP
Before we explore the many benefits NLP bestows on business and interpersonal relationships, it’s worth looking at how NLP was devised…
In the early 1970s Richard Bandler, a graduate computer programmer from the University of California, became fascinated by the many schools of psychotherapy prevalent at the time. With his practical background in computer programming, he looked closely at psychotherapy and drew the conclusion that for making predictable changes in people, most psychotherapy simply didn’t work.
However, he observed that two therapists consistently and reliably make changes in people: Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls. Richard set about studying their work.
It was no easy task. The first problem Richard encountered was that neither Perls nor Satir could account for their successes, claiming they relied on their intuition to guide them. Undeterred, Richard began a painstaking study of their methods. After many long hours he began to notice similarities in the language they used and the body language they employed. From these studies it became clear to Richard that their intuition had a definite, identifiable structure.
He took his observations to his Professor, John Grinder, an expert in linguistics, and together they worked out the structures in language and body language that helped people change the way they were not only thinking, but feeling.
Richard turned his attention to the work of the leading medical hypnotist Milton H Erickson. He combined Erickson’s use of language with that of Satir and Perls. And with that, a highly effective tool for personal change was born… Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP.
What is NLP?
The name Neuro-Linguistic Programming says exactly what it does. Through the use of language and body language it enables practitioners to change the thoughts and feelings about themselves and those around them in a predictable way. It enables a practitioner to shift people into receptive emotional states, while getting the raw data of the message across.
An NLP Practitioner is able to study what an individual is doing at both the conscious and the unconscious levels, and then either:
- Replace unhelpful behaviours with another, or
- “Install” useful behaviours into others and themselves
What Richard Bandler devised was an incredibly powerful mind tool that could bring about changes and improvements in others at a pace unprecedented in the therapy community. The ramifications of his discoveries would influence hundreds of thousands worldwide personally and professionally.
NLP For Your Business
NLP was initially devised to help in therapeutic scenarios, which is why it is regularly used to cure phobias, decrease anxiety, reduce stress and overcome neuroses. However, the ability to identify the ways that people are thinking and feeling, and to ethically make changes to those states, also makes it ideal for business.
Bandler began studying the ways great business communicators got their message across. He studied how people motivated themselves and others, how people presented more effectively, and how they powerfully persuaded others. These skills, too, he realised, were transferable.
Here are just a few ways in which NLP is being used in a business context right now…
NLP approaches communication on many levels. Employers worldwide already see the benefit of developing interpersonal skills with emotional intelligence training. These include principles that recognise and use powerful language patterns to empower. It also includes training to make the most of the non-verbal sides of communication – how to fine-tune your senses and become more sensitive to others in order to achieve successful outcomes.
NLP isn’t just about improving the individual employee, it’s designed to make you a better manager because you are more tuned in to your staff and more aware of the way that you are communicating.
Very often people are unaware of the assumptions they make in the language they use and are thus unaware of how those assumptions make other people feel. Shifting the way you communicate can make people feel happier, more at ease and more motivated. All of these benefits feed into the running of the company, making people feel more valued and committed to their workplace and their colleagues.
Leadership can also be enhanced by enabling you to properly work out and communicate your vision for the business and its staff. This positively affects morale and productivity.
NLP can be used to deliver internal training and presentations.
For example, one aspect of NLP teaches you how to reduce stress levels when speaking in public. Fear of public speaking is the world’s most common phobia, and people with massive talents and much to give often find public speaking to be a stumbling block.
Once you are comfortable in front of others, however, that is only the beginning of how NLP can be used. Because people with NLP training are aware of the way their emotional state affects and influences the state of their audience, NLP trainers are shown how to bring their own state to an optimal level and thereby bring the audience along too.
Specific use of body language, and spoken language, combine to make a far more powerful effect on the audience, sweeping away the “death by PowerPoint” experience that is far too prevalent in the boardroom. Instead you can make a real impact.
Improving Personal Effectiveness
NLP can change long term behavioural patterns. In the workplace, colleagues understand each other better and are more equipped to respond adequately to each-others’ and customers’ needs and desires. Home relationships retrieve a sense of meaningful dialogue and a new kind of perception. Well-functioning relationships are obviously vital to the success of any business or personal life.
Confidence and Presence
Utilising all or a combination of NLP techniques will lead to greater confidence and presence, maximising your ability to communicate more concisely. They allow you to identify and be clear about what really matters to you and create compelling goals:
- Master your emotions – calmly collate relevant information under pressure
- Remain calm, focused and thorough at all times
- Feel instant confidence and motivation – maximise your presence in business situations
- Remain self-assured during critical negotiations
- Use language with greater precision – clearly articulate your views and ideas with pinpoint focus
- Create compelling and persuasive arguments
- Change unwanted behaviour in yourself and others – manage teams more effectively
- Motivate and inspire staff everyday
Sales, Negotiation and Persuasion
Most people don’t recognise that there is a particular structure to the way that positive negotiations work. The “inoculation” of clients against doubt, the reframing of objections, sharing of a vision, the goal setting, the setting out of a positive course of action and enthusing people to follow that course are all included in the techniques taught in NLP training.
All of this comes from being able to recognise the particular state which the client or partner is currently in, and shift them to the desired state of agreement and approval. State awareness of yourself and others is absolutely central to closing a deal.