Personal Development: A Brief Introduction to and History of NLP
Neurolinguistic Programming

Personal Development: A Brief Introduction to and History of NLP

NLP, short for neuro-linguistic programming, is a paradigm that links communication, psychology, and personal development. It provides a toolkit that allows the average person to adopt the habits of successful people, enriching themselves along the way.

Like all paradigms, NLP starts with a few necessary assumptions. The first is that human beings cannot access a raw or objective reality, if such a thing exists. You can only experience your own subjective reality, because the world is filtered through your thoughts and senses. Additionally, NLP is based on the belief that everything is interconnected-from your mind and body to you and other people to all systems in the universe.
Because NLP rejects both the concept of an objective reality and the idea that parts of a system can be studied in isolation, it is hard to test these theories the way you would test a pill or vaccine. However, many people have observed the effects of NLP techniques in practice.

When you adopt NLP methods, I think you will find you are able to establish a rapport with other people more easily, your thought patterns are more positive, and you are better able to tackle your personal development goals. When incorporated into a sales strategy, NLP communication techniques can help you tap into what customers really want and more effectively meet their needs.

Now, to better understand NLP, it is useful to briefly cover its history.

NLP was developed by Richard Bandler, a psychology student, and Dr. John Grinder, a linguistics professor, in the early 1970s. They worked together at the University of California, Santa Cruz, under the guidance of Gregory Bateson, a linguist, social scientist, cyberneticist, and anthropologist.

Bandler met Grinder while running workshops based on Fritz Perls' Gestalt therapy, which focuses on personal responsibility and communication between the therapist and the client. Grinder started using what he knew about linguistics to analyze how Bandler, who modeled himself after Perls, handled therapy sessions.

Together, Bandler and Grindler began to focus on how very effective communicators, including Perls and hypnotherapist Milton H. Erikson, managed to influence other people. They did so by creating models of how the use of language in therapy can inspire personal development, which they first published in a book called The Structure of Magic Volume I in 1975. Over the course of several more books, the pair expanded on these models, eventually linking them together in the meta-model, which would form the basis of NLP.

It is this blend of information from different fields and practical observation of great communicators that makes NLP powerful. When you use NLP techniques, you can make the knowledge gained in these different fields work in your favor, helping you establish a rapport with others and further your own personal development.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can use NLP in your everyday life, I am qualified to help. I am a licensed Master Practitioner of NLP, member of the American Board of NLP, and experienced life and business success coach. To book a free half-hour coaching consultation with me, please contact me now.
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