NLP can change lives. No question about it. But some workshops, and especially those in the high-energy, revivalist, ‘we teach through hypnosis’ camp, could do with having a sort of health warning attached as in ‘NLP could damage your relationships.’
For example, let’s say Jack is like most of us. He has high and low moods, is slightly neurotic with various fears and irritations, is sometimes chatty and sometimes withdrawn, is sometimes confident and sometimes doubts himself – in other words he’s a reasonably normal human being.
Jack also knows he could do more with his life and he decides that a quick dollop of NLP is just the thing for him. So he say’s goodbye to Jill, with whom he’s lived for some years, and heads off to his ‘transforming experience’ NLP workshop.
Some days later a transformed ‘born again’ NLP fan returns to Jill. Now he’s wears this continuous smile, he urges her to ‘get into state’ and feel good, she can’t have a moan any more because he ‘positively reframes’ everything she complains about, and he begins using NLP techniques to change her into what he decides she ought to be.
Now Jack is so different that Jill feels she has lost the Jack she knew and has to get to know a new version – or not…
NLP is definitely great stuff. A very powerful, easily learned and easy to use body of insights, principles and skills. But having the skills does carry a responsibility and that’s why we have the NLP Principles.
And if an NLP workshop is purely techniques-based rather than principles-led then the participants are being short-changed. This is a risk with the shorter ‘fast track’ NLP Practitioner workshops where there simply isn’t enough to pay more than lip service to the principles and certainly not enough time to assess whether participants have integrated the principles into their use of NLP.
During our own NLP Core Skills 6-day workshop we emphasis the need to use NLP in a manner which respects the other person’s right to live their lives their own way (which can include not even liking NLP!). At the end of the course we suggest a number of ways of avoiding being an NLP Bore – which included the recommendation that participants do not ‘practise’ their NLP on their own family but simply influence through walking the talk i.e. lead by example.
(This is the first in an occasional, and not always serious, series about the things that make some people NLP Bores – or NLP Tyrants. Why not leave a comment with your favourite NLP Bore behaviour…)