Q1) What is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) about?
Neuro Linguistic Programming is the study of human subjective experience and the inter linkage between language and neuro psychology. NLP originated from the study of behavioral patterns of 3 of the worlds greatest therapists and which resulted in the construction of formal models of behavior and language. New techniques and models were (and still are being) developed.
Since the models that constitute NLP describe how the human brain functions they are used to reprogram this functioning. NLP is not a diagnostic tool. It can only be applied.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming was specifically created in order to allow us to do magic by creating new ways of understanding how verbal and non-verbal communication affect the human brain. As such it presents us all with the opportunity to not only communicate better with others, but also learn how to gain more control over what we considered to be automatic functions of our own neurology.
Q2) Definition of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience and what can be calculated from it.
Neuro: Nervous system through which experiences are received and processed through the five senses
Linguistic: Language and non verbal communication systems through which neural representations are coded, ordered and given meaning.
Programming: The ability to organize our communication and neurological systems to achieve specific desired goals and results.
Attitude: NLP is an ATTITUDE characterized by the sense of curiosity and adventure and a desire to learn the skills to be able to find out what kinds of communication influences somebody and the kinds of things worth knowing .... to look at life as a rare and unprecedented opportunity to learn.
Methodology: NLP is a METHODOLOGY based on the overall operational presupposition that all behavior has a structure .... and that structure can be modeled, learned, taught and changed (re-Programmed). The way to know what will be useful and effective are the perceptual skills.
Technology: NLP has evolved as an innovative TECHNOLOGY enabling the practitioner to organize information and perceptions in ways that allow them to achieve results that were once inconceivable.
Q3) What is NLP technology?
NLP is based on finding out what works and formalizing it. In order to formalize patterns Dr Richard Bandler utilized everything from linguistics to holography. He didn't just elicit peoples' strategies since when he started out there weren't any strategies, then. He invented them. Strategies are a model. A strategy is just that, a strategy.
It is important for people to make a distinction between a model and a technique.
A model (like Strategies, Submodalities, Anchoring, Transderivational Search, Chaining States, the Meta Model, Meta Programs, Semantic Primes, Semantic Density, etc.) will allow you to create new techniques. The techniques generated from these models are techniques, nothing more. When people discover what someone they consider to be a genius or expert does inside their head in order to perform a task exceptionally well using the models of NLP, what they've discovered is not a new model. It is a strategy. The sequencing of various aspects of the models that constitute NLP in order to change someone's internal representations is called a technique.
A model is a formal representation of behavior that allows prediction.
Models are most commonly used in physics, e.g., in order to predict the rate of distribution of one liquid within another as well as how much movement the added liquid will have if poured from 2 inches above a beaker with a 2 inch diameter.
The models that constitute NLP are all formal models based on mathematical, logical principles such as predicate calculus and the mathematical equations underlying holography. Furthermore, all of these models are generative, e.g., when challenging one Meta Model distinction, the answer will always be a surface structure containing further Meta-Model distinctions. They are also recursive, i.e., the model can be applied to itself.
These distinctions will help people understand the difference between what a model and a technique is.
Q4) How are the NLP building blocks such as calibration techniques, patterns in the language someone uses, predicates and Meta Model, eye movements and Submodalities, other analytical models such as Logical levels, Meta-programs, perceptual positions, timeframes, etc. used to observe experts?
These tools were not developed in order to observe experts. They were discovered by observing experts. They were developed in order to further evolve human consciousness to the point that people could replicate skills and have deliberate control over their own consciousness.
Nothing in NLP is analytical. It is all designed to be applied. If you do not know how to apply something that you learn as "NLP" then, it is either not NLP or you have had a bad teacher.
The best example of this misunderstanding is Meta-Programs. Dr Bandler has had people tell him that someone is a visual who sorts towards. That can't be true because if you ask a person to make a picture of themselves brushing their teeth with a toothbrush they just wiped their behind with, they probably won't move towards that.
Meta Programs describe how people sort through multiple generalizations. As such, they will tell you what lies inside and what lies outside of someone's generalizations about things like doors. When someone says, "Stupid door!", that gives you a pretty good idea about what lies outside their generalizations about what doors "are". If you then ask them how they know the door is "stupid", they'll give you an answer that will identify their "sorting style", i.e., "There's no knob," meaning that it can only be a not-stupid-door if it has a knob. If what they want is to be able to open more kinds of doors, then you have to teach them to sort for things other than just a knob in order to identify a door. That's how Meta-Programs work. They don't just describe someone diagnostically. They give you something to do.
NLP consists of models. By applying these models one can generate techniques. The models are patterns. As such, they will be true 100% of the time. That is why statistics don't apply.
Q5) What can I do with NLP?
There are many areas in which NLP has been utilized. Whatever your profession is, you can use NLP to build on whatever it is you are already doing.
Q6) What are typical NLP applications?
Collapsing Anchors, Visual Squash, 6-step Reframing, V/K dissociation, Change Personal History, Belief Change, Reimprint (all which are sometimes called NLP), are some of the techniques that were derived from applying the models.
Q7) Isn't NLP mainly used for therapy and that's where the procedures came from?
Dr Bandler has never once called anything he does a "procedure". He calls them techniques or exercises. It's important to emphasize that NLP is an educational tool, not a form of therapy. We don't do therapy. We teach people some things about how their brains function and they use this information in order to change.
Q8) What are the best products and applications for business?
Once again, it is important for people to understand the distinction between a model and a technique. To use "products" also seems slightly misleading as Dr Bandler personally has used more of these simple things in business environments. He has used everything from strategies and anchoring to the Meta Model and Milton Model. Using the model of NLP, understanding board meetings similar to understanding how a family functions.
Q9) What about enhancing creativity?
The more you want to become more and more creative you have to not only elicit other peoples' strategies and replicate them yourself, but also modify others' strategies and have a strategy that creates new creativity strategies based on as many wonderful states as you can design for yourself. Therefore, in a way, the entire field of NLP is a creative tool.
Q10) What about learning strategies?
Which learning strategies are useful in which contexts? What if we design new, more intense states and used those as the basis upon which we learn? All the models and techniques can be of use in many areas or professions. None of these areas are different from one another once you denominalize the words, i.e. "therapy, creativity, learning, business."
Q11). What is the best progression for learning NLP; is it to attend a Practitioner program, then a Master Practitioner , then a Trainer?
None of these are the only way to learn NLP nor necessarily the best for any one person. The learning strategy they engage in will determine how they learn, but as we know, those aren't set in stone.
It isn't necessary that people go in any particular order. Learning doesn't come in levels, because, if it did, you would all have to have Dr Bandlers’ personal history up to 1975 in order to use the Meta Model and that just isn't the case. There are also introduction courses, Design Human Engineering courses, business and personal consulting, Personal Enhancement Courses, NLP as an application to Hypnosis, Sales courses, etc.
Q12) What are the roots of NLP?
Any references to the early work can be found in the bibliography to The Structure of Magic Vol. I (Authored by Dr Richard Bandler and John Grinder).
These refer to some of the research that the authors used to develop NLP. Reading these books with a knowledge of what NLP is will show that they had something but didn't know what, yet. They took a few things from these and other places and formalized them into models which they applied.