Although it has been around for many years, Neuro-lingusitic Programming (NLP), the so-called 'science of human excellence', is only now taking off in the business and IT world and it is doing so in a big way.
One reason for the growth of interest is that having tried all of the process-driven
initiatives of the past, many IT leaders, teams and companies
are realising that future success all comes down to people - to
awakening their true potential. Companies that do this release
a powerful force.
However, just as in IT, many people hide behind confusing terminology and strange language, so do exponents of NLP.
NLP is the study of the structure of personal experience. According to one
of its creators, Richard Bandler, it was created to allow us to
be our very best by devising new ways of understanding how verbal
and non-verbal communication affect the human brain.
Translated into English, NLP provides us with tools to be the
very best we can be. There are three areas of modelling, beliefs
and goals that we can put into immediate effect in It and business.
Modelling is simply this: find a person, team, project or company that has reached where you want to be, find out what they did to get there and do what they did.
It's a clever word for copying and if you think that's cheating, I agree - so cheat with pride!
By their very nature, benchmarking and best practice provide
us with the best thinking of a number of people, which many are
In other words, we will be as good as everyone else doing the
same thing, which these days is not good enough.
Modelling opens us up to what pioneers have already achieved
and how they did it. It enables us to break away from the rest
and start playing success mind games.
Our beliefs govern our lives - when we believe something is true, we see and experience the world in that way.
We must choose our beliefs with care and be aware that no event has any meaning, other than the meaning we give it.
We can use this to alter our unhelpful beliefs and give more empowering meanings, by asking better questions.
The strongest single question to ask is this: " How does this event help me/us to achieve our aim?" This is especially helpful with projects.
On the theme of failed projects - how much time is spent focusing on problems, dangers and risks?
I know some teams that spend a half-day every week focusing on what might go wrong and much of their budget is on contingencies in case of failure.
Unfortunately, our minds do not think in negatives and so, what we focus on,
we naturally move towards.
It is powerful to ask a positive question - do this consistently,
watch success become automatic and see your world change.
NLP and many other leaders in human potential have examined why people so often fail to achieve goals.
The reason is because we have been taught in the future tense, for example, "We will have trusting relationships in my team."
The downfall of this is that it is always going to happen, rather than happening
The phrase "As if" is powerful and it says that the quickest way to make something happen is to act as if it has already. Reality will catch up.
In this case, "We have trusting relationships in my team" will, if taken on
board and believed in at a deep level, make it happen.
Why? Because when we believe something is true, we see the world that way and it becomes reality.