Communication Skills

11 Really Useful NLP Techniques


What does NLP Mean?

NLP, short for Neuro-Linguistic Processing, is a model for communication, which uses lessons from Cognitive psychology to bring about changes in behavior. Richard Bandler and John Grinder developed NLP.


The main NLP techniques


1. The 'meta model': This was the first NLP model. basically it means that to effectively deal with a challenge you are facing, ask yourself 'How do I manage to do that?'


2. Dissociation: Identifying the main emotion/s which are stressing you out, then looking as an observer from outside at the whole situation playing itself out, and playing it backwards repeatedly until you get what and why was something bugging you. Going through it backwards continuously brings catharsis (change).


Dissociation is very helpful in dealing with your hesitation in certain areas.


3. Content Reframing: Basically, this means looking at a possibly bad situation as an opportunity - 'Fired from job? No hassle, it was a dead-end job anyway. I will learn and do some side project and get back in the game in time.'


4. Self-anchoring: Being able to instantly change how you feel. A rough example is of a person who knows biting tongue or pinching oneself heard enough helps in beating the lie detector, as the mind is busy thinking about other things than listening to the questions being asked.


Changing your mind at will by pegging your behavior to a desired memory or a situation from the past. A rough example, smiling during a tough time because you have anchored to your thoughts to a happy time in your life, for example when your child was born.


5. Rapport: Finding a common ground with other people. It often starts with something as simple as mirroring the other person's actions, then agreeing to the person's interests etc. And, of course, listening intently to whatever the person has to say, repeating last words, nodding, making constant eye contact, nodding etc.


6. Belief Change: To be more accurate, change from limiting beliefs. NLP says there are three kinds of limiting beliefs holding us down.

- Beliefs about cause (Faulty logic);

- Beliefs about meaning (This is how the world works); and

- Beliefs about identity (I am not built for this)


To change your limiting beliefs, get facts, positive facts about the situation, and compare them with the existing negative thoughts. Or, find a totally opposite belief than your existing limiting belief, and live the new belief for five minutes. It is like meditation. NLP says doing this for 30 days straight will help change our mindset.


NLP techniques to help deal with anxiety


7. Swish technique: Similar to the anchoring (see above) technique, where you changed the scenery in your mind, like we swipe through images on our smartphones. 'I don't want that feeling. I want this feeling.' And look at the image in your mind that makes you feel better.


Both anchoring and swish techniques are used by public speakers to deal with the anxiety, getting in a favorable state of mind when going in to give the speech/presentation.


NLP techniques to improve performance


8. Doing/seeing it before you do it: This technique is favorite with sportspersons and successful people, where they imagine they have succeeded/won the game, and then work it backwards, thinking of all the right things they must have done to get at success, and listing those things.


Marketers use this technique to bring their prospects into a frame of mind where they can see the consequences of using/not using a solution like what you are offering.


9. Start Before You Start & Finish Before You Finish: People use this NLP technique to finish their tasks/projects. When you have had enough fo working at problem, get up and say 'well, that's it for today, I have had enough for the day'', and then you get up and then get back to the work saying ,'One more thing...'. And this is how great works were done. One more thing...


10. The Milton Model: A sort of verbal hypnosis made famous by Milton Erickson, who spoke even normal sentences ('The sun is very bright and hot today') in a very vague manner ('The big neighborhood star is especially hyperactive today'), causing people to look at the problem in new ways. 'Being artfully vague' - It is like reframing the problem, in many ways.


NLP techniques to study better


11. Motivation model: Get into a frame of mind where we see the consequences of not studying hard/studying hard, and then use these consequences to drive us to sit down and go through the material.


By now, you must have realized that NLP is about changing behavior by changing our visualization patterns in our minds. NLP is nothing but 'imagine that...' kind of personal improvement technique. Just visualize, get into a different frame of mind, and you are gold. Your focus determines your reality, right?


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