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Saturday, 16 May 2015
NLP is best learnt experientially
Experience will teach you not to park your car where there is yellow flag - it grows in wet ground.
NLP is best learnt experientially
I recently responded to a discussion question on a forum
where a question was asked
about the criteria for choosing a NLP training course.
Here is my response.
Comprehensiveness of the particular
and the attitude/state of the NLP student.
I would also suggest another couple of ideas to consider
when choosing a NLP program,
the exactitude of the course content and skill of the
Let’s address the key ideas.
Comprehensiveness of the training program. NLP is best
as Grinder and Bostic state “A pattern presented belongs
to the presenter,
a pattern discovered belongs to the discoverer”.
Courses where the trainer/s creates a context and
experience where the student
embodies the desired pattern as a by-product of that
and then through skilled facilitation ‘discovers’ the
pattern is an ideal way of learning NLP.
The course participants are more likely to take ownership
of the pattern
and are more likely to generalize that pattern into
This approach to training NLP takes more time.
It also takes a lot of skill by the trainer to do this
type of training well.
The attitude and state of the student.
Taking NLP patterns and applying them actively in the
world is in my view a terrific way
to develop skill. In the research from the branch of
psychology that studies
expertise and expert performance they have what is know
as the 10,000 hour or 10 year rule.
Which states that experts spend about 10,000 hours or 10
the constituent patterns of their domain of expertise to
Of course they are referring to ‘perfect practice’ as in
‘perfect practice makes perfect’.
Naturally having exquisite models of excellence and high
quality explicit models makes a difference.
Quality of course content.
Does the program teach NLP? That is a provocative
Most NLP courses teach some NLP and unfortunately many
teach other material that simply isn’t. Over the 34 years that I have been
learning and applying NLP
there has been a gradual increase in content models
introduced and taught in NLP programs.
NLP is a model creation endeavor.
And for a model to be part of the body of NLP it must be
created from patterns.
The form / content distinction is paramount in whether a
models and its constituent patterns
are part of NLP or not. Unfortunately, Bandler and
Grinder lost control of NLP
and frankly some trainers don’t know what is and is not
Read Whispering in the Wind by Bostic and
Grinder and our paper on The New Code of NLP;
A paradigm shift in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
The skill of the trainer.
Personally I think it takes a good 10 years of
disciplined practice in NLP to become a skilled trainer. The best trainers that
I know in the NLP community have multiple descriptions of NLP.
One way to get that is to study with a variety of skilled
When I started learning NLP in ’79 I read all the books
that had been published to date,
and repeated my practitioner and master practitioner
trainings with different trainers
and different training organisations. In my case that
involved travelling overseas.
My partner Jules Collingwood and I continue to attend at
least one NLP training
with other trainers each year. Either travelling to do so
or by bringing trainers
to work through our training organization.
I have been attending or sponsoring Grinder/Bostic
programs since 1984.
As well as attending or sponsoring programs with other
These ideas were part of the motivation for Jules and I to develop and accredit
through the government a formal post-graduate
qualification in NLP
our 22133VIC Vocational Graduate Certificate in