I’ve just come back from NLP training, or ‘Neutro-Linguistic Programming’, for those not in the know, held at Regent’s College, London.
There’s no one generally agreed definition of NLP, but our trainer from the NLP School summed it up as ‘a set of concepts and tools designed and proven to increase personal effectiveness’.
And it explores the brain, the senses and the thoughts, reactions and behaviours we are ‘programmed’ with.
Its origins lie in 1970s California as part of an investigation into therapy and over the years the models and techniques have found their way into the business arena.
NLP can help PR professionals present to clients, create practical, workable plans, sell and influence, improve staff motivation, improve communication skills and help you understand other people’s decision making strategies.
On the course we looked at several ‘presuppositions’ that NLP practioneers can be guided by and some seem to fit well with PR agency life, including ‘Anything can be accomplished when the task is broken down into small enough chunks’ or as Brian Beech would say: ‘How do you eat an elephant?’.
The presupposition ‘You cannot not communicate’ also rang true, that even in silence we give away some kind of message to our state of mind and ultimately, just like a brand, it is our responsibility to determine how we are perceived by others.
Many of the presuppositions and techniques used in NLP are thoughts or concepts that as PR practitioners we already try to follow or perhaps find easier than most. However others, such as learning to listen more to each other, are perhaps more alien concepts to some in the industry…and I think there’s definitely a place for it within the PR arena to improve client and colleague relations.