NLP in Business

It may be that you have a vague awareness of NLP...but why does this field still carry such relevance for business?

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NLP in Business

What is it (the general gist)?

It may be that you have a vague awareness of NLP and you may even have used some techniques adapted from the world of NLP. But what is it and why does this field still carry such relevance for business?

NLP provides models and techniques to systematically review and respond to the subtleties of success. NLP (originally called “Meta”) looks “above and beyond” and asks “about” the way we each “subjectively” approach our interactions with each other and our environment. Yes you got that right, the subtleties, not the obvious stuff, the small nuances that really matter, the things that you may not have even noticed.

NLP works with the brain: developing our sensory awareness (neuro), the distributed mind: questioning the structure of our interpretation (linguistic), and the body: re-patterning our language and behaviours for healthier interactions (programming).

Why is it useful in business?

Well for a start… Techniques span the conscious and unconscious – surfacing discoveries about how and why our intention, attention and actions influence our results. This is why you can have a BFO moment when NLP Coaching… (BFO stands for Blinding Flash of the Obvious)… Those moments where you say: “Ahhhhhh… that’s why… Now I get it!” Or… “Ooooooh that’s how…. It all makes sense now!

Being able to extract “the difference that makes the difference” enables high performance – taking coaching and reflection beyond analysis of surface level transactions.

Who in your business is this for?

NLP is an essential addition to the skillset of leaders and HR managers, internal coaches and trainers, providing practical methods to enable individuals and teams to tap into their deeper potential. The wide scope of this field enables flexibility to navigate complex and varied relationships.

NLP supports organisational development in a range of ways including:

Leadership and HR

From setting strategic direction through to identifying fundamental behavior expectations, NLP models help with aligning your business activity to organisational goals providing frameworks for managing performance and positively influencing group and individual motivation.


Learning how to use language in a way that provides universal appeal encourages a variety of stakeholders to pro-actively fulfill their role in achieving collective wealth. The language models used by NLP practitioners acknowledge how words and phrase structures influence us both at a conscious and unconscious level.


Ensuring the message intended is the message received. NLP helps identify how, why and where miscommunication can arise… and what you can do to counteract this. Attending to subtle non-verbal and verbal communication cues can make the difference between clarity and confusion, transparency and opacity. NLP skills take your emotional intelligence to a new level.

Decision Making

In turbulent times decision-making capability is a key leadership skill, discovering more about the personal mechanics of decision-making; for example, how do we know what we know and where do we place emphasis when it comes to making cogent choices can resolve inertia through developing the ability to work more confidently with non-certainty. An awareness of (and emphasis upon) systems ecology can encourage greater accountability and use of professional judgment.

Motivation and Team Dynamics

Acknowledging how motivation really works, the subjective nature of values beyond a tick box exercises, reveals different approaches to encouraging combined efforts towards shared goals. Connecting with individual core values can allow employees to bring their full energy and attention to their working environment.


Addressing rapport blockers relies on finding common ground. This can be achieved through using multiple perspective methods taken from the field of gestalt, identifying the higher intention behind less functional behavior tendencies and eliciting belief structures to resolve conflict.

Presence and Personal Influence

Using powerful state management approaches to tailor interpersonal impact, when leading, coaching, presenting, negotiating, facilitating, creates more authentic conversations. Perceived status can aid or inhibit connection and engagement, NLP techniques inform what we can each do to develop flexibility in this area.

Stress and Anxiety Management

Learning how thoughts and emotions inter-relate and developing techniques to rewire less helpful patterns, helps to build resilience. Putting in place healthy mind / body routines promotes wellness and self-regulation during highly challenging times.

Pro-Active and Progressive Insight and Action

Whilst the list above targets several areas “resolving / addressing” when things are less than desirable… As a technology NLP is primarily about modeling success.

So in as much as NLP tools can be used remedially, NLP Professionals working within businesses predominantly recognise that at some level, the client already has the resources required to be successful and for this reason NLP supports a coaching culture. The role of the in-house NLP professional is to provide the tools, listening and targeted questioning to surface the appropriate insight and to share models and techniques to encourage clear communication, motivation and self-sufficient teams.

Interested in training to become an NLP professional? Search our database for ANLP Accredited Trainers and NLP Trainers as well as our Events listings to find a training happening near you.

Lizzi Larbalestier
Lizzi Larbalestier (member article)

Executive Coach, NLP Trainer, mBIT Trainer and mBIT Master Coach