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Posted on April 19, 2017 – 02:50 am

NLP is best learnt experientiallyI 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 training program 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 trainer.

Let’s address the key ideas.

  1. Comprehensiveness of the training program. NLP is best learnt experientially 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 exercise 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 multiple contexts. 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.
  2. 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 years practicing the constituent patterns of their domain of expertise to acquire expertise. 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.
  3. Quality of course content. Does the program teach NLP? That is a provocative question. 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 it’s 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 NLP. 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.
  4. 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 trainers. When I started learning NLP in ’79 I read all the books that...


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