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Should I try to make NLP techniques work?

(32 Posts)
cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 11:24:11

I recently went on a work course teaching communication skills. It turned out to be mainly based on NLP, which I wasn't expecting at all. There was a lot of stuff on preferred representational systems and predicates which I couldn't really relate to my own experience at all (of myself or of others). I found it hard to imagine how I would use the techniques - I'm not sure I'd be able to concentrate on the particular words that people are using as well as the meaning of what they're saying, or at least, not easily. I'm also not really sure how reliable the theories are. Should I put in the effort to try to use the theories, or ditch them?

bubblewrapped Fri 28-Jan-11 11:26:14

what is NLP?

deepdarkwood Fri 28-Jan-11 11:27:54

Sounds like you went on a rubbish course to me :-) Lots of NLP is very accessible (she says, vaguely trying to actually remember any...).

Were they talk a lot about auditory vs visual vs kinesthetic and all that jazz? I find that one quite useful...

atmywitssend Fri 28-Jan-11 11:29:20

When I was working I found lots of NLP techniques useful. Give it a go!

cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 12:06:37

bubblewrapped - neuro-linguistic programming. I would explain, but only have a mickey mouse understanding myself - you'd be better off googling.

ddw - yes, it was the auditory / visual / kinaesthetic stuff. We were given a 5 question test to work out which style we favour - most people were mixed. I keep trying to remember to listen out for predicates, but I haven't spotted one yet...

deepdarkwood Fri 28-Jan-11 14:22:50

For me a big part of how I use it is just about being aware that people work in these different ways - and therefore to harness different modes when talking to people/trying to get the most out of them. I find I only spot it with people I talk to for a reasonable amount of time - and usually not through the classic verbal 'I see what you mean' vs 'I hear what you're saying' stuff - much more through how they tend to want to express themselves (eg drawing diagrams vs talking, at the most basic)
DH is very visual (I am not at all) and when I was helping him prep for interviews, we struggled, as I'd want him to think about how to rehearse and talk through his answer. When he used mindmaps/little pictures to remember what he wanted to say he suddenly 'got' it - and got the next job he interviewed for smile

cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 15:23:26

That stuff makes sense to me, and I think it would be very helpful to me to consider more how different people process information and make decisions.

But the stuff about the verbal cues - it seems like the idea is that all of the metaphors and cliches we use have to be taken literally, which just feels odd. Plus I'm really not sure that I can focus on the words being used and actually listen to what is being said at the same time.

venusandmarzipan Fri 28-Jan-11 16:34:33

cornflake it is interesting reading your posts - you use the following words / phrases:

expecting, relate to, hard to imagine, not sure, able to concentrate, not really sure, explain, understanding, makes sense, I think, consider, the idea etc

This would suggest to me that you have a preference for internal dialogue, which is different from auditory because it is more about how you talk to yourself.

If I was going to respond to you I would ask whether something I explained 'made sense' to you, or 'what do you think of' that idea. The questions I would use would be easier for your brain to process (if that was your preffered hbait of thinking) so you would find it easier to respond.

If I asked you whether it 'felt OK' or if you 'saw' what I meant, your brain would have to translate it into youor preferred style for you to process the information easily.

Many NLP courses do not teach the 'internal dialogue' mode although it is one of the more frequent ones.

fwiw, I think that it is useful to understand the concepts of NLP in terms of communicating with others, so you can understand that other people have different ways of processing information, and therefore why sometimes communication difficulties arise. However I've seen unskilled people try to match their style to other people and it is just plain wierd.

I'd suggest just having some fun with it, and noticing things. If you come across someone who has a strong preference you might be surprised at how often they use words associated with thier preference. Aklso if someone has the same preference as you, you may find it very hard to notice at all because it will all appear to be very natural.

pointydug Fri 28-Jan-11 16:48:59

What bollocks.

NorthernGobshite Fri 28-Jan-11 16:52:05

I think NLP is a load of shite. Emperors new clothes shite at that.

pointydug Fri 28-Jan-11 16:53:49

Indeed, northern.

These theories make big bucks. Look at all these training courses for starters. Ker-ching.

Heroine Fri 28-Jan-11 16:56:12

I think you mean 'I welcome NLP as a valuable set of additional information I can use to work out if my internal dialogue is a load of glistening jewels of inspiration. Emporer's wonderful new perspective jewels at that' Northern..

LadyBlaBlah Fri 28-Jan-11 16:56:16

NLP sucks

Steaming turd

mutznutz Fri 28-Jan-11 16:56:49

Sorry I can't stop laughing at the irony of you taking a communication skills course and not explaining what 'NLP' is in your OP grin

cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 16:58:20

venus - that is interesting. We didn't really cover the internal dialogue stuff at all, although we did get a list of predicates that included internal dialogue, and they were the words that I related to most strongly. However, that may just be because they were words like think, know, process, question and decide - and I'm an accountant, so those things are pretty much what I do.

(However, in terms of learning, I'm quite visual - if I learn information, I tend to know whereabouts on the page it was. And when processing information, I like to think out loud, batting ideas off someone else.)

"However I've seen unskilled people try to match their style to other people and it is just plain weird."

This is where you really hit the nail on the head - this is what I'm scared of. That I go into a meeting with someone senior, make a clumsy attempt to match their style, and get laughed out of the room!

NorthernGobshite Fri 28-Jan-11 16:58:27

heroine, I like!

I work in field where NLP is well used and loved by hippy wafters and I personally think its utter tosh. Tapping? I ask you!
Each to their own, but I object to it being sold as a treatment for people with serious psychological problems.

cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 17:00:50

Ah, I see I've cross-posted with some balancing views. wink

mutz - I didn't explain because a) I don't know that much and b) anyone who doesn't know probably wouldn't really be able to advise me.

pointydug Fri 28-Jan-11 17:04:42

cornflake, do you have to go and try to match people's styles? Why on earth would you do that if you feel so uncomfortable about it?

Ditch them. Give them no credence.

And well done, you are obviously no bullshitter. That's an advantage to being an accountant. Tend to be very very sensible people.

cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 17:18:20

pointy - well, no, I don't have to. But I went on the course because I recognise that not all my colleagues like to be talked to very, very sensibly, and I was hoping to learn some new tricks!

My initial reaction was that it was woo, and I did challenge the trainer at several points (and probably really annoyed the rest of the people on the course). But I don't want to dismiss the idea entirely just because it hadn't already occurred to me...

lololizzy Fri 28-Jan-11 17:18:39

i couldnt have lost weight without NLP. although it didnt work in the very long term but i guess its something need to keep up daily

cornflakegirl Fri 28-Jan-11 17:21:12

lolo - don't get me wrong - I'm not dismissing NLP - I believe quite a lot of it is borrowed from respectable scientific disciplines. wink What sort of thing was it that you found useful?

lololizzy Fri 28-Jan-11 17:26:48

it was doing Lighterlife. At least i think it was NLP! it was addressing issues and helping with cravings..mind over matter type stuff. Changing how you view stuff.Thought patterns, breaking negative thinking etc. It was very empowering without meaning to come over all hippyfied! I couldnt have done it with the sachets (diet packs) alone..no way (as failed doing the same with other systems eg Slimfast or Cambridge) it was the 'mind stuff' that helped me.
I really want to do it again this yr. (i did keep the weight off successfully last time until an accident changed everything)

lololizzy Fri 28-Jan-11 17:28:17

a lot of it was about something called 'crooked thinking'. I loathed it all initially and labelled it as mumbojumbo however you have to attend weekly sessions regardless of your views. It started sinking in/making sense and it was that that got me through it, without a doubt.

munstersmum Fri 28-Jan-11 17:29:54

I'm with NorthernG.

Once had a pharmaceutical sales rep try to use his clearly new NLP skills on me. Yep it was weird. So weird in the end I said something because he was making a prat of himself in front of his area manager who was also there.

People who use it to gain advantage over others are undermining their own integrity - awaits flaming smile

lololizzy Fri 28-Jan-11 17:33:42

arrgh me too, munstersmum...reps coming into my shop..they make such arses of themselves..one was actually trying to sell an NLP course and was very persistant! i told him i knew that he was actually trying to do NLP on me to persuade me to do the course..he looked aghast and slunk out

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