NLP - Frequent Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about NLP

Define NLP succinctly!

This is a commonly asked question. And it's not an easy one to answer, because NLP covers such a wide field and has so many diverse applications.

The following are a few ways of defining it:

  • NLP is collection of personal development tools for improving your own and others' performance
  • It is also a collection of tools for effectively communicating with other people: a practical and pragmatic collection of insights and methods that can enable you to improve how you communicate with yourself and others
  • It was originally designed as a means of 'modelling' or creating very precise models of how people do things so that these skills could be taught to others.

In a nutshell...

NLP is a simple yet powerful approach to personal and professional development. It is based on the study of successful human performance in which the skills of very effective people are studied and then made available to others through NLP techniques.

These ‘techniques’ are presented in live interactive workshops. This means that a good NLP workshop is a valuable short-cut to more effective and successful living. In a few hours you can learn what may have taken others years to discover in a trial and error manner.

There is more information about what is NLP here.


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More frequently asked questions

The name was originally an attempt, just over 40 years ago, to come up with a name that would comprehensively describe the scope of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

It may not have been the best choice (one of the reasons why it's usually referred to simply as NLP), though. Yes, it's comprehensive. But, no, it's not necessarily comprehensible.

And that name has resulted in much misunderstandings, especially because of the inclusion of  i.e. the word 'programming' in the name - many people are put off because they perceive this to be about programming peoples' minds!

Incidentally, the 'programming' in the name refers to the mental and physical programmes which we use to do everything we do.  This is more fully explained on our about what is NLP page and you can read an article on NLP and that "P" Word here

NLP provides you with a way of making changes in your own life and in assisting others in doing the same. It provides you with

  • insights into how people think and behave
  • dynamic personal change techniques
  • advanced communication skills.

We have a page on the benefits of learning NLP.

Give me a few examples of how I might benefit from NLP?

You'll find more information about its applications here.

No, NLP isn't an intellectual process. On the contrary NLP is very behavioural. It is about what you do with what you know rather than what you know.

For example, you can do the entire 20 day NLP Practitioner Certification Trainingwithout reading any books on the subject other than the training manual. However becoming skilful with NLP does require lots of practise. And you can do this in your everyday activities and interactions with friends and colleagues.

No. You can obtain lots of benefit from attending a shorter training such as our NLP Core Skills as long as you recognise that merely attending is not enough - you also have to practise what you learn.

At an introductory workshop you learn techniques and you practise them. This is useful and interesting but if you want to gain maximum value from attending determine that you will devote a few minutes daily to applying what you have learned.

No. Nor does NLP make any claims to be scientific or to be based on studies that compare the average behaviour or responses of one group with the average behaviour/responses of another.

NLP is a model of what works in individual performance.

It is based on the working principle that if one person can do something then, given similar physical characteristics, anyone else can learn to do the same by modelling and integrating into their own repertoire the skills and attitude of the successful person.

While this working principle may or may not be literally true it leads to some quite remarkable improvements in personal performance.