Outsourcing to an NLP Professional

So you have a business and with it comes the usual structure… directors, managers, business units, support functions, people, systems, processes… etc etc

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Outsourcing to an NLP Professional

So you have a business and with it comes the usual structure… directors, managers, business units, support functions, people, systems, processes… etc etc

You have it all mapped out … right?

As a decision maker you might well wonder when it comes to external skills procurement what an NLP professional might offer that differs from an in house trainer.

There are many differences of course, none of which dismiss the considerable value offered by your in house training experts… but let’s chunk up a little….

In the world of NLP one of our core attitudes is: The Map is not the Territory.

Now this can be a throw away phrase, but really think about it for a moment. As NLP professionals this is at the front of our minds day in day out, it is our business to question.

How much of your day do you spend with a lazy sense of consciousness, a sort of semi-awareness based largely on familiarity. There is no judgment implied in this, it is highly typical that when we develop routine there can be a “dialing down of our senses”… or certainly a reduction in questioning.

It is how it is… and whilst we might tweak and refine, largely our creativity (when we have been within a system for a while) diminishes… Unless we actively exercise new ways to promote curiosity we can take our reality for granted or collude that we are as awesome as we will ever be.

NLP is all about modeling excellence. You may very well already be performing exceptionally, but are you optimizing all aspects of your complex business ecosystem?

NLP models draw out the difference that makes the difference. Using a range of techniques and a highly developed level of awareness to “notice things” an NLP professional offers questions “above, beyond and about” the territory you inhabit, not simply the surface level interactions you experience, which make up only a small part of the map you navigate life and work with.

Map and Territory - How do they differ?

A MAP is static and only a representation of how things were at the time it was created… we consciously and less consciously create internal maps about people, situations and the world at large. Maps are how we make sense of things and they are useful… to a point.

TERRITORY is something altogether different – it is the terrain, the climate and weather, the mood and manner, it has contrast and depth of field, it is here, now and transitional. Terrain carries subtlety and complexity and accounts for far more of a lived experience than a map ever could… when considering inter-personal territory we can, for example, fail to look beyond patterns of behaviour within ourselves and others, or misread the “internal weather forecast”… and let’s face it, it is these deeper structures that unearth true potential.

It is likely you have spent time and energy developing all aspects of your business particularly the people to enable them to thrive… you may even have carried our values exercise and staff engagement programmes… so why might you look outside your business to invite an external perspective when you might feel that you have the resources in house already?

For starters… You don’t know what you don’t know and it can require a specialist to help you discover new insight. As a leader you will have experienced the benefit of stepping back to observe situations… The same principle applies to outsourcing and particularly when that outsourcing involves a professional with a well developed NLP skillset.

As an NLP Trainer with a background in HR, I speak from a place of organisational experience and whilst I acknowledge that NLP is only one of many modalities I use, it has to be noted that NLP as “the study of the structure of subjective experience” is a diverse methodology, one which explores the system between so many occupational psychology models that it can create flexibility within business unlike other fields.

Many HR directors I work with find that they are stuck within one or two models… Maybe they have a love of transactional analysis and I hear language around the business relating to ego states and scripts, perhaps they have dialed into particular emotional intelligence measures or psychometrics and I find teams discussing particular type dynamics or traits in terms of scores, labels or colours. When it comes to organisational development / practices, its possible that they are advocates of Agile disciplines or Lean principles… etc… All of which have their place… and… here is one of the biggest differences I believe an NLP professional offers…

Laws of Requisites…

There are two parts of this law to consider (both are essential).

The law of requisite variety – this suggests in the context of training that the more tools and approaches you have the greater your potential positive influence. Many leaders and L+D professionals are like magpies, they will research and collect CPD attainments or read books on how to be a great leader. Telling you with pride who they have recently read or how large their bookshelf is. Some will excel and put their insights into practice… others will hold onto disparate pieces of knowledge never fully gaining the potential that was offered within the author’s pages or rigidly following guidelines until the principles they learned become constraining rather than enabling.

The law of requisite knowing – this is about knowing what intervention (if any) at any point in time will make the difference and how to personalise and apply the insight. Imagine having hundreds of tools available but not knowing which to use? Or imagine having tools that aren’t really fit for purpose? Maybe the way you use the tools you have isn’t quite working or you never really learned how to make the most of your toolkit.

So how do NLP professionals apply the law of requisite variety and knowing?

NLP mastery requires a development of outstanding levels of awareness and ability to suspend judgment. NLP professionals will no doubt have worked with lots of businesses yet we recognise their territory is not your territory – even if you share common ground. Whilst you may have patterns that are similar to others, you are not them. We work with you to find solutions that are subjectively relevant and collectively healthy. Often we won’t even label the approach we are taking as NLP.

NLP is a practical methodology (like dancing or surfing, you cannot gain elegance from a book alone) it is in the “doing”… and NLP professionals who have developed real expertise recognise this. Whilst NLP practitioners are introduced to a large range of models and approaches spanning everything from habit creation to core beliefs and sense of identity, emphasis is placed upon interconnections and system ecology this level of awareness and connectedness is a unique quality that NLP brings to the table.

Ask yourself:

  • What might you be missing?
  • Are you optimising all the resources you have?

If your answers are “possibly some things” and “possibly not” – then you could benefit from working with an NLP professional if you aren’t already.

If your answers are “nothing” and “yes” – then you will definitely benefit from working with an NLP professional.

NLP professionals can work with leaders and teams to create progressive insight and action from strategy creation to performance leadership.

NLP trainers can work with HR teams providing training to build in house NLP skillsets to support career development and enhanced coaching practices.

Explore this website to find NLP professionals and for more information on ANLP Accredited Trainers.


Lizzi Larbalestier
Lizzi Larbalestier (member article)

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