There are several popular definitions of NLP, many of which lack the precision required by some readers and all of which do contain the 'essence' of NLP practice and philosophy.
In so many ways NLP is about the 'attitudes' individuals bring to aspects of their lives; the pre-conditioned (expected or anticipated) behaviours to challenging situations and how we get the results we do.
NLP IS ...
The Study of Subjective Experience - it deals with the way the individual perceives, understands and relates to the world.
The Modelling of Excellence - it is based upon the notion that behaviour and performance is linked and can be modelled
About Intra and Inter Personal Communication - it focuses on how individuals communicate with themselves and others
A Mind-Set for change - it focuses on find solutions, rather than re-stating problems
It is about our individual thought processes - it explores how people organise their thinking, feeling and behaviour
It is about behaviour and goals - it deals with linking behaviours to clearly defined goals or outcomes
It is about all of these things - and more.
NLP is about developing an attitude to change which explores patterns of thoughts, feelings, values, attitudes and behaviours which either support that change or not.
If change is supported it teaches how to do what you already do better...
If change is not supported it explores how you can do what you do more effectively...