For many people how we learned at school sets the standard by which we gauge all future educational opportunities.
But traditional school learning is a fairly passive process: we absorb information from the teacher and from books and then demonstrate our ability to retain this information by regurgitating it once again at an examination!
Learning NLP is, or should be, different. Why?
Because NLP is about skill rather than information. It’s about what you can DO rather than what you know.
Skill with NLP is quite different to knowledge about NLP. You could read dozens of books and still not be able to skilfully use NLP. (I know. I tried it for a few years once I first came across NLP in 1979).
You can read books on horse riding – without even meeting a horse.
Stick with this reading for a few weeks and you’ll become very knowledgeable…. about horse riding. You’d probably acquire more information about horse-riding than many people who have been riding all their lives!
But an hour on a horse and with a skilled riding coach would provide you with more skill in riding that all of your reading or online study.
NLP is a set of insights and skills with which you can actively use your mind and your emotions and your body to run your own life more successfully – and to communicate with other people with extraordinary effectiveness.
Learning NLP needs to a very active personal and professional development experience in which what you learn
And, because you are a thinking and discriminating adult learner, everything needs to be discussed and questioned with the trainer and your fellow learners – rather than meekly accepted because it comes from an ‘expert’.
If you know nothing about NLP reading is valuable. That said, there are online NLP sites, such our own, which provide free and in-depth information about NLP to enable you to decide if it’s something that will be or interest and of value to you.
If you decide that you’d like to take your NLP journey further it’s time to… stop reading! Now is the time to begin doing – by attending a good NLP course. We have 7 tips for selecting an NLP course here.
Many people, myself included, first come across NLP through books. That said, around 1 in 3 of those attending our own NLP courses have not read an NLP book before attending. When asked by would-be participants we suggest that they first attend the workshop to get the hands-on experience and then do some reading afterwards. The books will be more valuable and will make a lot more sense a live workshop.
If you do not currently have the opportunity to attend a live training then using books and audio recordings can a good second choice – if you adopt a proactive approach, as follows:
Select books which offer lots of examples and practical exercises since these will keep you actively involved.
Do the practical exercises!
Avoid the temptation to quickly flip through the pages looking for more and more knowledge! Use the examples to engage your imagination and the practical exercises to develop the skills.
And avoid NLP-indigestion!
It’s a great and exciting subject – with a virtually unlimited range of applications. So there can be a temptation to rush out (or to your keyboard) and buy more and more books. Don’t!
Read a little about a particular NLP topic – then try it out in practise. Then re-read it to deepen your grasp. It is best to stick to two or three pieces until you’ve developed some skill with these. So take a few days on each subject. Say three or four days practising Rapport then three or four on Representational Systems. Then some days on recognising commonly occurring Anchors. And so on.
Here in the UK you have is a huge, even bewildering, selection of NLP training courses and workshops. This raises the question of what type of training to select.
Here at Pegasus NLP we have explored running them all. And they each have their benefits:
Short introductory workshops
These can be from a few hours to a couple of days. They offer a brief glimpse of the potential and you do not have to commit a lot of time and money.
Their disadvantage is that they may not be very good value for money since they are often marketing events for the more expensive advanced courses. So you get glimpses of tantalising pieces but without time to go into things in depth.
Here you discover NLP through applying simple concepts in a particular area such as managing stress, feeling more confident, or communicating more effectively. They can be excellent and provide you with some specific tools to begin applying right away.
One down-side is that they have to be quite technique-oriented to achieve the advertised result but many of the more sophisticated NLP techniques only work really well if you have in-depth training in the core essentials such as sensory acuity, calibration, rapport, etc. That said, they can work really well – especially if you have already had at least some grounding in the core techniques.
Longer introductory workshops
In the 90’s we experimented with running short introductory courses of two days. But in 1999 we decided to instead provide a more thorough immersion in the essentials of NLP. We called this programme NLP Core Skills and we have been running it a number of times a year since them.
In NLP Core Skills training you experience 4 days of thorough, fun-filled, hands-on training and coaching in the essentials of NLP as well as some of the more sophisticated techniques.
Importantly, you do not have to commit yourself. We offer a full money-back guarantee. This means that if the training is not right for you you get a full no-questions-asked refund – and you have until the end of the second day of the course to make up your mind! And you can read what participants have said here.
With our NLP Core Skills course you get a two-day money-back guarantee.
If you are not convinced that the course will benefit you we will give you your money back. Just let us know any time up to the end of the second day and we will refund your course fee – plus accommodation fee if you’ve stayed on site. And we will do this promptly, in full, and without question.
By Reg Connolly, Director of Training, Pegasus NLP