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NLP provides people with a methodology to model outstanding performances achieved by geniuses and leaders in their field.
A key element of NLP is that we form our unique internal mental maps of the world as a product of the way we filter and perceive information absorbed through our five senses from the world around us. For example, imagine five strangers witnessing the same road traffic accident. Each of those pople would provide a slightly different witness statement, according to their own unique mental map. One, who always used his indicators, might notice one of the cars had failed to indicate. Another, who regularly drove too fast, might perceive the speed of the cars involved in the accident as quite slow, whilst another might say they were speeding.
Each individual has established their own unique mental filtering system for processing the millions of bits of data being absorbed through the senses. Our first mental map of the world is constituted of internal images, sounds, tactile awareness, internal sensations, tastes and smells that form as result of the neurological filtering process. The first mental map is called ‘First Access' in NLP.
We then assign personal meaning to the information being received from the world outside. We form our second mental map by assigning language to the internal images, sounds and feelings, tastes and smells, thus forming everyday conscious awareness. The second mental map is called the Linguistic Map (sometimes known as Linguistic Representation).
The behavioural response that occurs as a result of neurological filtering processes and the subsequent linguistic map.
Neuro Linguistic Programming began it's life in the early 1970s when an Associate Professor from the University of California, Santa Cruz, John Grinder, teamed up with an undergraduate, Richard Bandler. Both men had a fascination with human excellence which charted a path for them to model behavioural patterns of selected geniuses.
Modelling is the core activity in NLP, and is the process of extricating and replicating the language structure and behavioural patterns of an individual who is excellent at a given activity.
Grinder and Bandler began their NLP quest by modelling three people, Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. These people were outstanding as professional agents of change, working in the domain of therapy. All three, Perls, Satir and Erickson, performed their ‘magic' from a perspective of unconscious excellence. These three geniuses did not present Grinder and Bandler with a conscious description of their behaviour. Rather, the modellers (Grinder and Bandler) unconsciously absorbed the patterning inherent in Perls, Satir and Erickson, and then provided a description.
With little direct knowledge of each of the speciality of Perls, Satir and Erickson, and little knowledge of the field of psychotherapy on the whole, Grinder and Bandler over a two year period set out with enthusiasm bordering on fervour, to explicate selected portions of the geniuses' behaviour. They coded the results of their work in language-based models using the patterns of transformational grammar as the descriptive vocabulary. Through NLP Modelling Grinder and Bandler made explicit the tacit skills of Perls, Satir and Erickson, and NLP was born.
The training courses Bandler and Grinder conducted in the mid to late 1970s proved that the NLP models were transferable to others, meaning the learners could us the NLP models successfully in their own work.
So where NLP began it's life as a means of modelling excellence, training courses soon became a very active part of the NLP adventure, followed by NLP application where NLP trained people apply their NLP tools for commercial and personal benefit.
NLP modelling is the art of making explicit the set of differences present in someone who is excellent at a given activity compared with someone who is mediocre at the same activity. NLP modelling is by far the highest skill level in NLP. NLP modelling can be used to capture patterns of excellence present in anyone in any context.
An NLP Practitioner can employ his/her skills as an agent of change working with individuals, groups, or companies, or even global organisations and governments. As a technology, NLP has an amazing track record for instigating fast and efficient change in individuals and groups.
Many people study NLP to help them become more effective in their chosen field. The patterns can be employed across a wide area of applications ranging from fields as diverse as education, team building, sales, marketing, personal development, leadership and coaching. Wherever there is human interaction and growth potential, NLP can be used to develop and enhance performance.