Showing posts from May, 2012

Is NLP more manipulative than other forms of influence?

A discussion in a LinkedIn Group of which I am part recently slammed NLP.  It was one of those conversations where people were happy to be certain about  what was wrong with something they didn't know and hadn't experienced.

Of course, there's a lot of stuff out there that I don't much like about NLP. Everything from speed seduction to trainers who use the F word in the training room. I don't like the rants, the pseudo-science or the arrogance that has been part of the way NLP has presented itself in the world. I really don't like the disrespect for other approaches and academic disciplines.

It's a little like saying I don't like LinkedIn Groups because some of the discussions sometimes contain opinions that are offensive or insulting.

There are lots of people who use NLP in ways that I find distasteful and more who are just not very good at using the techniques of NLP (all of which come from the observation of techniques in more intellectually respecta…

How to practice NLP

When you take a course in NLP, you are awarded a certification that calls you a practitioner.  If it said "practicer" would you be more likely to see the connection between practicing and NLP? NLP is not something you learn so you can know it. It's something you learn to practice so that you can do it over and over again.

What is the advantage of practicing? You get better.  If you practice NLP, you get better at managing your own state and influencing the states of people around you. That's pretty useful. It means that other people will have fewer opportunities to push your buttons or interrupt your (useful) patterns and you will have more choices about who and how you want to be in different situations.

Choice requires two things: intention and skill. The intention is an indication that you are prepared to make an effort to make something change. The skill is a tool you use to change something inside or outside yourself. You develop it through practice.

So how can …

What to do when you're feeling a little blue

It's the night before the week begins - this week starts late in Canada. All of the bbqs and family gatherings are over for the moment. There's tons to look forward to as summer begins, and tons of work to do, and exactly 24 hours in each day.  There's a tiny sense of melancholy as the fireworks go off in the night.

What to do when you're feeling a little blue?

It's always a good idea to start by noticing what you're actually feeling. Give it a name, or map it in your body by noticing it's presence in your physiology and senses. If you're just a little blue, allow yourself to be just a little blue.

Now ask yourself: what is this good for?  If a good friend sent you a message you didn't quite understand, you'd work at it a little. The part of you that's feeling blue is a good friend and there's a message there if you pay attention to yourself. There's something you want that seems just out of reach. Noticing it will help you decide wh…

When can you count on serendipity?

Serendipity is one of my favourite words. It's fun to say, and it's fun when it happens.  These are two good things.

It's a sneaky concept, the idea that you can find good things by accident. It sounds unintentional and unreliable.  Often, that's true.  But there are some loopholes and using them I find that serendipity is a good strategy for opening up or digging down into new possibilities.

Here's an example of serendipity at work.

On the Saturday evening of the first weekend of NLP Practitioner training, I wanted something new to read, so I downloaded a book to my ipad. The book was Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. If you click on the link, you'll see that the description is for a fantasy book about time.

Time is, of course, a key concept in change management and we held an event last week that included jazz musicians and discussion of time, timing, and getting into sync. So it's not surprising that this was the Terry Pratchett I decided would be a fun …

Perspective, achievement and happiness

Let me tell you about my afternoon. I had lunch with a friend and one of the things we talked about was Monet's water lily paintings and the difficulty of knowing the difference between staying on the surface and going deep. Then my sister sent me a text to say my niece is crawling. And not long after that I began to watch a TED talk that suggests happiness is a matter of perspective and control.

There seems to be a theme here.

We sometimes talk about things slowing to a crawl.  Once you can walk, crawling is cumbersome and slow and undesirable.  But. . .  when you have been stuck in the places other people choose, then crawling means freedom and movement and fast, fast progress.

When I am working with clients, I listen to what they say and often offer back their own words, sometimes with an opportunity for amplification. I'll take them seriously and literally, and clients will suddenly hear themselves differently because I have sent back what I have heard. They will look &q…

The noise in my head

I am fresh back from a week on the beach, and my head is NOISY. On my week off, I read 4 books and worked on my own book, and made wild mindmappy notes on several other major projects. Now I'm back and behind in some ways and open to change and there are people to meet and wow, it's loud in here.

Now I have a choice.

I know how to make it quiet and I know that quiet feels good. Part of what I am doing in writing this post is reaching for some quiet so I can feel productive.

I have been reading Imagine by Jonah Lehrer.  It contains a useful reminder that what feels good and what looks productive and what really works might all be different. I can look productive and feel good in the quiet.  The noise is probably making me better.

It's like covering the entire wall with post-it notes and pictures and diagrams in many different shapes and sizes and colours. The wall reminds me that everything fits.  In my head, that wall sounds noisy and dissonant. It's the dissonance, th…