“Politics is too important to be left to politicians.” NLP hadn’t been invented when that was said, so the quip had to be about the business of government instead.
Actually, it’s misleading to say “hadn’t been invented,” because neuro-linguistic programming is an innate process taking place within us all the time. The creators of the subject gave expression to it, and gathered and developed techniques for usefully influencing what happens. If they hadn’t, we’d have ended up making the discoveries again and calling them something else.
If you’ve barely heard of NLP, here’s a quick answer to two common questions…
Why the complicated name?
Well, there’s some folklore suggesting it was a spur of the moment thing.
What does it mean?
We form habits or patterns through repetition of what we think, say and do. Some of those habits work well for us and some of them don’t. Typically some that used to work for us don’t any more or we may wish to learn something new. In either case, by understanding and changing the patterned behavior, we can improve our outcomes. NLP is a powerful way to do that. And that essentially is it.
NLP is primarily seen now as a coaching discipline, centred on the self, with a whole world of books and courses – a rather closed one, some would say. That’s a pity, because we need to make use of the knowledge more widely, such as in relationships of all kinds. And that’s why it’s too important to be left to NLPers, who in organizations, typically hesitate to be explicit about their knowledge, and end up using their skills implicitly.
There’s a problem with that…
Organizational performance depends on organizational learning and that in turn depends on team learning and dialog. Individual learning isn’t enough. So keeping NLP under wraps prevents the organization from benefiting. And some problems won’t be solved without it.
A cult topic to one generation is normality to the next.