NLP - Legs and Pillars
There is a lot written about NLP. Some of it is useful, some of it fanciful and some of it, to be honest, misleading.
Once branded as a kind of 'magic wand' NLP has done what NLP had to do - and that is 'evolve'. However, at its core, there are some long-standing ideas and principles upon which the approach is based. These have been called by previous writers - the 'legs' and 'pillars'.
The 'legs' upon which NLP stands or falls can be summarised thusly...
Outcomes : Sensory Acuity : Behavioural Flexibility
NLP has an 'outcome' driven philosophy. Simply put it is an approach which relies upon the creation of clear goals and targets for any behaviour or practice. This principle which is directed towards future outcomes can also be directed towards the past. By reflecting upon past outcomes (results) it is possible to explore the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that produced them.
Sensory acuity is simply about the ability to notice changes within the physiology of self (and others) which are linked to shifting emotional, mental and behavioural states. NLP describes behaviour and indeed targets in sensory based language.
In general terms the individual with the ability to adapt to change is likely to be the most successful. So developing behavioural flexibility is clearly an asset.
These 'legs' upon which NLP stand are probably best seen as the key attributes of the NLP Pracitioner in that they have the ability to guide their clients into defining 'well formed outcomes' through their use of sensory based descriptions and observations whilst, at the same time maintaining a high degree of fexibility in their own approaches and behaviours.
The Pillars of NLP, derived from the above, can be described as the foundations upon which NLP is based; the key steps towards personal success.. .
YOU - your emotional state, your resources and your skill level, an awareness of which is a vital starting point
The PRESUPPOSITIONS - The Principles of NLP, the ethos or philosophical attitudes within NLP. We will explore these elsewhere, but include ideas such as 'the map is not the territory'; 'people have all the resources they need within their own physiology' and so on.
RAPPORT - The quality of relationship with yourself and your world. Rapport can be considered as a 'state' of conscious and unconscious connectedness.
OUTCOME - Knowing what you want, and being able to state it clearly which allows you to define actions. A clearly defined target, without any clearly defined actions is simply an idea waiting to be born.
FEEDBACK - How you know you’re getting what you want; evaluating outcomes based on action.
FLEXIBILITY - If what you are doing ain’t working do something else. Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” - whilst the word insane may be a bit strong, such a belief is one doomed to create frustration.
Dr Alan Jones PhD, FRSA