The objectives of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) are based on four pillars. They generate a huge variety of ways and fields in which it can be applied, with the ultimate goal of achieving appropriate rapport, which allows any professional to adjust their work to benefit them, whether it be personally, educationally, therapeutically, or in any other area.
The Main Objectives of NLP
One of the principle objectives of NLP is identifying what our “map of reality” consists of and finding the proper way to take action in its regard in the interest of making the changes necessary to increase our possibilities of successfully reaching our objectives.
We must also remember that, to work with NLP, we must have the following characteristics: be prepared for action, be actively curious, have a lot of perseverance, have a scientific mentality that drives us to explore what is behind every behaviour, have a deep desire for change, and have the motivation to achieve the objectives that we set for ourselves.
Three words encapsulate all of this: CURIOSITY, EXPERIMENTATION and FLEXIBILITY.
The Pillars of NLP
There are four main pillars that underlie the entire structure of NLP:
Rapport is the main factor to bear in mind with regard to all of the communication and changes related to NLP. It is a term taken from clinical hypnosis and refers to the harmonious and intense relationship that exists between the hypnotist and the person being hypnotised. Generally, and in the field of NLP, “rapport” is understood to represent the harmonious relationship established between any two people.
Naturally, in order to access information from the person with whom we are going to work, we must be completely in tune with them. It is fundamental to establish good rapport.
To ensure that this person feels comfortable, accepted and understood, we should try to identify with them as much as possible. In order to accomplish this, we should respectfully imitate their movements in order to create harmony between them and us, paying attention to aspects such as breathing rhythm, gestures, tone of voice, pace of speech, posture, etc. This must be done with subtlety, ensuring never to mock or tease. The process of imitating another person like this is called PACING. The person will be able to see themselves reflected in us like in a mirror, which works to create kinship and continuity.
Once we have established a relationship, our mission will be to direct the client so that they follow us unconsciously, thus producing the changes that we were striving to accomplish. This second part is called LEADING, which is a fundamental part of working with NLP. There are different factors that we must gauge in order to build rapport and know how to use it to guide the client toward their goals.
2. SENSORY AWARENESS
It is essential to maintain an open mind about our senses so that no detail that is being communicated to us goes unnoticed when we are working with NLP. We must pay close attention not only to verbal communication, but also (and fundamentally) non-verbal communication.
3. OUTCOME THINKING
Before we leave our homes to go to any particular location, it is of utmost importance that we know which direction to take, since it is directly related to our objective. In the same way, before beginning the process of change, we must be conscious of our objective, the goal we are trying to achieve, and define it as clearly and precisely as possible. This is how our body and mind will focus on making decisions that will help guide us toward our objective most effectively.
4. BEHAVIOURAL FLEXIBILITY
As a rule, the more flexible an individual is when it comes to their behaviour, the more likely they are to succeed. Logically, if we want to change, we must have the ability to modify the way that we act. One of the fundamental premises of NLP is therefore that if we do not change the way that we behave, our results will not improve.
The objective of NLP is not to change our reality, but to modify the map that we use to perceive reality. This will allow us to perceive it in a different way, geared towards becoming happier or more effective.
Applications of NLP
NLP can be applied in a wide variety of fields: personal beliefs, sales, interpersonal communication, education, therapy, health, etc. It achieves rapid and effective changes since it:
- Facilitates communication in general which is just as applicable in the sales world as it is in the field of business because it relates to leadership and people management. It is also very useful in the educational field for this reason.
- Facilitates access to resources that the individual may not have even been aware they possessed or to ones they were not taking advantage of. It allows one to reach objectives that previously seemed completely out of reach.
- Improves health as it helps one overcome negative emotional states (depression, phobias, etc.) and it facilitates giving up toxic habits (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.). It strengthens self-confidence which allows one to overcome introversion and even complex and traumatising situations.
- Increases creativity and facilitates the ability to study and concentrate.
- Exchanges negative beliefs for positive beliefs which liberate one from limiting behaviour.
- Helps with professional development. A wide range of professionals, from doctors to psychologists to entrepreneurs to educators, can use NLP to reach their desired results with the speed and efficiency characteristic of the approach.
Stay tuned for our next NLP post on how to build rapport!