How NLP Can Help You in Business

As human beings, we like to think of ourselves as social animals. But when it comes to managing other people, it turns out that this skill set is not necessarily intuitive. Effective management requires the ability to articulate both your own intentions and the larger intentions of the firm. In addition, managers must be aware of the patterns in their organisation and the shifts that need to occur to embrace change.

Anecdotal reports suggest that managers are aware when requests and orders are not filled correctly or in a timely fashion, but do not know how to identify what stops this from happening. This lack of knowledge can lead to complaints from staff about intimidation, micro-management, inadequate supervision, incomplete instructions, and lack of access to their managers.

Formal training in managing people is a relatively new concept and is often applied reactively when a manager becomes the subject of too many complaints. Most managers won their first positions by becoming sufficiently competent in their own field that they were promoted out of it to manage others. However, there are interventions that can be implemented to improve communication and create a more positive workplace culture.

One effective method to promote a questioning culture in the workplace is to encourage staff to ask questions of their superiors to clarify their understanding. This intervention prompts staff to ask for managers’ intentions and information to clarify unclear or unusual requests. Over time, the quality of communication improves throughout the organisation and dialogue becomes more acceptable. A built-in by-product is that more work is done in a timely fashion as staff are operating inside a known context.

Another intervention is to teach managers to identify and articulate their intentions to staff so work orders exist inside a frame of the firm’s direction. When this class of information cascades down throughout a firm, staff and managers at all levels carry clear representations of the firm’s direction and the destination and function of their own work and other related activity. Learning to identify and articulate intentions for all requests, instructions, and orders is a simple matter as the benefits become apparent to learners immediately.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming  (NLP) can also be a valuable tool in business to improve communication and identify patterns in an organisation. NLP can help managers analyse language patterns to understand how staff members are responding to requests and orders. By analysing patterns, managers can identify the various shifts that need to occur for an organisation to embrace change. It is possible to identify the priority functions, projects, and teams to work with to move quickly towards desired outcomes and goals.

In conclusion, managing people is a skill that requires conscious effort and effective communication. By creating a questioning culture and teaching managers to identify and articulate their intentions, organisations can improve communication and create a more positive workplace culture. Additionally, tools like natural language processing can help identify patterns and facilitate change. With these interventions, managers can become more effective in their roles and help their organisations achieve their goals.

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How To Use NLP To Prepare For Important Discussions

Every business telephone conversation or face to face meeting has a purpose. One party wants something from the other. It could be information, consent, agreement, ideas, permission, action or advice, to name the most common. Sometimes the instigator is clear about their outcome before the conversation and on occasion they are aware of one or more intentions for pursuing the outcome.

Not all outcomes are concrete and some are harder to pin down than others. But regardless of the level of clarity you have before a call or meeting, you can identify an outcome and an intention and prepare your frame first. This will save time and effort in the conversation and provide you with prompts to facilitate the other party’s thinking. You remain free to revise your outcome or your intentions if you learn something that changes the situation, while bringing your own well thought out take to the discussion.

Here is an example:

John and Gerry are management consultants. They live in different cities and work together on projects. John is managing a major project with an important and long standing client which is gearing up for another large project. Gerry has the lead in delivering the service and the client has had excellent results from their work to date. The client has a habit of putting off John and Gerry’s programs, sometimes for months to their own detriment, if allowed to do so.

Gerry has initiated a small project with a new client. The new client wants dates that clash with one of the major client’s programs. Gerry is going to call John to discuss possible alternatives. Gerry’s outcome for calling John is to apprise John of the situation and for them to find a way to service the new client without changing the large client’s dates. Gerry’s intentions are to have John fully informed and committed to whatever plan they produce, have both clients serviced and getting results, keep the large client on track with their committed dates and develop a relationship with the new client.

Gerry worked out his outcomes and intentions before he called John. First he considered his outcome. This is the answer to the question, What do I want from this call to John?

Gerry imagined what it would be like to end the conversation with all his questions answered. He would have a plan created with John. John and Gerry would know everything concerning the present state and future action and they would agree with the decisions they had made.,  Both clients would be serviced to a high standard. The large client’s dates would be preserved and John would offer the new client a range of dates that worked for them. John would confirm the new dates with Gerry later in the day.

Then Gerry moved to a different location and asked himself, What do I want those outcomes for? What will having them do for me?

Gerry experienced relief from the concern of discovering an unresolved double booking. Both clients being serviced appropriately would be good for those relationships and for business. Gerry’s relationship with John would continue to manifest mutual trust and collaboration. Business and friendship would continue to develop.

Finally, Gerry moved to a third location to consider the likely consequences of his outcomes. When he imagined changing the dates for the large client, immediately they put off the upcoming program for several months and then complained that their results were less than they expected. That was not acceptable.

When Gerry imagined keeping the large client’s dates, they duly attended the program and benefitted clearly and demonstrably. The promised future projects began to firm up. That was the desired consequence, but precluded working for the new client on their chosen dates.

As Gerry imagined the consequences of changing the new client’s dates, they remained unknown. The worst case scenario was losing the new client, but that would be acceptable as a last resort in order to keep the large client progressing. The more likely scenario had the new client accept alternative dates and have a satisfying experience with their program, possibly even ask for more in future.

How to use NLP, the Process

  1. First, pick a location to use as your ‘Outcome’ space.
  2. Consider your outcome. What would you be experiencing if you had what you wanted, as if in the present in real time. Let it develop as you become aware of the detail. Where are you? In what context? What are you doing, seeing, hearing with your outcome recently achieved?
  3. When your outcome is clear and real, take a step back from your outcome and consider your intention. This is the answer to the question, What do I want my outcome for? or What do I want through having my outcome? or If I had my outcome, what would that do for me? Allow the intention to become apparent.You may not have considered what an outcome could do or enable for you before. The intention is different from a reason. Reasons are the answer to questions starting withWhy’ and answers starting with ‘Because’. If your answer starts with ‘Because’, go back to the question. The answer to intention questions usually starts with ‘To be X’, ‘To experience X’, ‘To have X’ or ‘To do X’.Your intention is usually more abstract than the outcome.
  4. When you are clear with your intention and you have the experience of it as if you were living it in real time, return to the outcome. Then take a step sideways into your future, to a time in the future when you have had the outcome for long enough to have become aware of all the consequences of having it. This could be days, weeks, months or years, depending on what your outcome was. Consequences include costs, benefits and collateral events.
  5. If the consequences of having your outcome are the same as your intention, you have an outcome worth pursuing. If the consequences are unacceptable, you can change your outcome before you start to implement it. Return to the intention and find a different outcome that will lead to it. Then check the consequences of that outcome.

When you use this process to prepare for business meetings and telephone conversations, you can clarify your thoughts in advance so you can frame your requests, questions and proposals concisely and effectively. The process works to develop partly formed ideas, plans, possibilities and imaginings into workable projects where the consequences suit or to drop unworkable ideas before any costs are incurred. Use if freely on your own outcomes and intentions and to guide others through their own outcomes and intentions.

About Outcome Intention and Consequences

This process works by providing a context where you can engage your intuition to gather information and create frames for your outcomes. Each position is placed in a separate location to allow clean association into the outcome, the intention and the consequences, one at a time. As you stand in each of the three positions, as if you were there in real time, your unconscious resources (personal history, knowledge, abilities, experiences) are cued by the context and marshalled to bring appropriate information, memories and patterns to awareness to flesh out the experience and develop the outcome, intention and consequences. That is, each position in the process provides a frame in which to develop your content. Although the consequences are in the future, when the context is provided, you can use your unconscious resources to extrapolate the consequences from the outcome.

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An Interview with Geoff Wade, NLP In Business

Geoff Wade, CEO of Onirik wholeheartedly believes that NLP has transformed the way he approaches life. Indeed he claims that his exploration of NLP has taken him on a personal revolution where he has transformed his attitude to life. He feels far more aware of and connected to his own self and others with whom he interacts on a personal and professional level.

Currently Geoff heads up Onirik; a highly successful change management consultancy that works with companies and their employees to improve their margins.

Using NLP modelling as a core business competency Onirik’s change consultants replicate the capabilities (states of mind, communications and behaviour / process patterns) of top performers in their clients’ companies and transfer these capabilities to others who need them in order to achieve similar performance. This makes a marked difference to clients’ results.

Time and again Onirik has helped clients achieve outstanding results, results such as 280% improvement in sales in one company, 117% in another, 415% in another; exponential improvements as a staff of people replicate the capabilities of top performers.

Geoff firmly believes the use NLP as a core change management competency is key to Onirik’s success in the market.

Like Geoff all of his senior change consultants have graduated from Inspiritive; Australia’s leading NLP training provider and like Geoff most of his consultants are graduates of Inspiritive’s 10970NAT Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming programme the only post graduate NLP programme offered in Australia.

Their integrity and teaching of how to model and see patterns in people’s communication, states of mind and behaviours is far superior, rigorous and comprehensive than any other provider I have trained with. Their graduates are competent in seeing and understanding people’s patterns and in their ability to model and replicate to achieve success. That is also why my senior consultants are all Inspiritive graduates – it ensures I have quality, skilled NLP specialists working with me“.

And Geoff knows all about quality and integrity when it comes to NLP. Over the years he has trained with a range of providers as he has developed and evolved his own practice and he feels that Inspiritive stands apart from all others.

Indeed he rates the company so highly that he has brought the Collingwood’s on board with him to consultant on numerous client projects when he has needed specific expertise that they offer.

Does he feel his training and learning is complete? An emphatic no is the answer.

From Geoff’s experiences and learning thus far he believes there is always more to develop and evolve when it comes to NLP. Over the years he has worked at continually fine-tuning his own practice and intends to continue to do so as he learns from his day to day modelling as well as by observing how his team members identify patterns and create models.

When asked to summarise what NLP has to offer users Geoff offers the following personal experiences and insights;

  • It has helped him improve his relationships and communication on all levels, both personally and professionally.
  • It has helped him cultivate razor-sharp thinking and learning, he feels far more connected and aware on conscious and unconscious levels.
  • It has improved his critical, creative and lateral thinking and has enabled him to take his problem solving to a whole new level.
  • He has more choice and options available on a daily basis, personally and professionally as he communicates in a far more emotionally intelligent, connected, aware manner.
  • He has developed a real ability to identify and learn from all sorts of patterns presented through relationships and communication with others in daily life allowing him to identify, learn and duplicate models.
  • His thinking strategies and cognitive understanding have evolved to ensure accelerated learning in his chosen field.

As Geoff puts it, NLP has the ability to revolutionise your life, as has been his experience. He looks forward to how that transformation continues to evolve.

*Geoff, has completed the Graduate Certificate NLP at Inspiritive. To learn more about this qualification and how you too can obtain it click on the Learn More button below.

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