Using NLP in Business

A brief encounter started with the phrase, “I didn’t realise NLP could be used in business”.

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Using NLP in Business

Posted by Dianne Lowther on

At the NLP Conference in 2019, a person approached our stand.  They paused for a moment to read our banner, then looked me in the eye and said, “I didn’t realise NLP could be used in business”.

It’s difficult to say which of us was most surprised!

I quickly recovered my state (of course!) and we had a brief conversation.  The person actually wasn’t greatly interested in how NLP is used in business because they were a therapist.  Fair enough.  They made me think, though.  I couldn’t help wondering how many people had learned NLP as a personal development tool and hadn’t realised how valuable it is in business.

Start with the basics…

If business needs people to be focused and productive, needs employees to put their energy into achieving goals, what better tool than the Well-formed Outcomes pattern?  It’s far superior to SMART goals, because it flushes out the secondary gains and focuses our attention on what is under our control.  If you manage other people, ensuring they have well-formed outcomes will make a big difference.

Most people have to interact with others as part of the working day, so everyone can benefit from learning about Rapport, Pacing and Leading.  Actually, let’s go right back to the most fundamental principle – the map is not the territory.  Respect for alternative maps of the world is vital in a diverse workforce.  It’s all very well having an exemplary Diversity and Inclusion policy but if nobody knows how to communicate with people who think differently from themselves, you’ll never see any real benefit from the diversity.

Becoming more sophisticated…

Even a rudimentary knowledge of the Meta Model can be an asset for anyone at work.  Just recognising the extent of deletion, distortion and generalisation that goes on in an average business meeting and being able to intervene with a well-chosen question can defuse disagreements, avoid misunderstandings or even save money.  And knowing something about the Milton model can help you avoid putting your audience to sleep in an important presentation!

I could go on.  And on.  Every time I teach NLP Practitioner to the kind of senior business leaders that are my audience, I’m delighted to hear how they take the tools and apply them in their own environment.  Often the applications are completely new and go beyond the examples given in the classes.

The reality is, a lot of business leaders are using NLP.  But now I think of it, it’s not really surprising that people don’t know about it. They tend not to talk about it and when it’s done well, it’s practically invisible.

Dianne Lowther
Dianne Lowther (Member post)

nlp for business, nlp for work, executive NLP, people skills for IT Professionals