Dianne Lowther

Dianne started learning NLP because she wanted to improve her influencing skills in her corporate role. She became a Master Trainer in 2009.

Dianne Lowther

In Dianne's words...

I have a Batchelor’s Degree in Psychology and have been involved in Learning and Development for most of my working life. I started out in High Street fashion retailing and part of my role as a Store manager was to train my own team. It didn’t take long before I realised that my job satisfaction was coming not from beating sales targets but from seeing my people develop.

There followed two corporate Training Manager jobs, leading to my exploration of Accelerated Learning and then – in 1992 – to becoming a Practitioner of NLP. I think I was very fortunate not only to discover the kind of work I wanted to do at a very young age, but also to have discovered the best toolkit for personal development (ie NLP) when I was not yet 30 years old.

I first started learning NLP because I wanted to improve my influencing skills in my corporate Training Manager role. I quickly found lots of applications for what I learned and completed both Practitioner and Master Practitioner by 1994.

I then spent several years immersed in NLP, attending courses, assisting NLP Trainers, reading NLP books and practicing the techniques on myself on a daily basis. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ian McDermott, Sue Knight, John Overdurf and Julie Silverthorn, who all allowed me to be part of their training programmes at different stages in my learning.

By 1996 I was ready to take the NLP Trainers’ Training. I did this mostly to improve my skills as a trainer and to find out how to apply NLP to group learning.  At that stage I was working for a small training consultancy and I wasn’t thinking of teaching Practitioner programmes. I thought that if I passed the certification process it would be a bonus!

It was a big programme and I met lots of people who had only started learning NLP in the previous 12 months, many of them had no training experience and most no experience of running a business. The feedback to me throughout the three-week programme was consistently positive and I discovered that my purposeful and thorough style as a trainer lent itself well to teaching NLP. Other people seemed surprised that I wasn’t planning to set up in business straight away.

So, after achieving my NLP Trainer Certification, I founded Brilliant Minds. At that time the trend in NLP training was very much towards cutting down the number of contact days spent in gaining a Practitioner qualification and most people seemed to regard it as a step towards becoming a coach or therapist. I realised that no-one was offering a thorough, in-depth training in how to practice NLP in a corporate environment in order to achieve bottom-line results.

I focused on teaching NLP to business people and I developed a comprehensive 20-day NLP Practitioner programme. I ran a slightly shorter version in-house for West Midlands Police and also for Schaeffler (UK) Ltd, a manufacturing company in the automotive sector.  Both delivered spectacular results and the programme at Schaeffler won a National Training Award in 2009 because of the concrete difference it made to the profitability of the business.

In 2009 I also achieved my Master Trainer of NLP certification. Putting together the portfolio of evidence as part of that process was very interesting. I realised I’d done my 10,000 hours and was right to be confident in my skills and experience.  

I started experimenting with different formats. I realised that there were a lot of directors and senior managers who wanted to learn what I had to offer but who couldn’t take too much time out of the office. So I set about creating an NLP programme that would deliver everything you need to use NLP for business results. I took out all the therapeutic applications and focused on the bits that I knew people had used to good effect. I took out anything that I knew wasn’t strictly relevant and concentrated on practical skills that appeal to common sense and commercial sense.

The result was a 4-day workshop. It went at a breath-taking speed (by my standards) but participants said it really opened their eyes to what’s possible. I decided to focus on this format and stopped running the 20-day Practitioner programme. In fact, I stopped running public programmes at all. Running the 4-day programme in-house for corporate clients we added competence assessment and individual coaching to create what became known as simply ‘The Brilliant Minds Programme’.

In 2011 I qualified as a LAB Profile Trainer. This added a whole new dimension to what I can offer my clients as well as – over a period of several years – leading to opportunities to present the LAB Profile Practitioner programme in Singapore and Mauritius.

Also in 2011 I was approached by Icon Books to write a book for their popular ‘Introducing…’ series. ‘NLP for Work; A Practical Guide’ was published by Icon Books in 2012.

In 2013 I was invited to join the NLP Leadership Summit.  I’ve always been grateful for the opportunity to work alongside this amazing group of NLP ‘Elders’ but I was totally unprepared for the breakthrough that came during the NLP Leadership Summit meeting in January 2018. Talking to one of the guests, a new NLP Trainer who was right in the middle of running her first ever Practitioner training, I heard myself say “I think teaching NLP Practitioner is the best job in the world”.

Later that evening, I reflected on my words. They were true, they still are true. So in 2018 I decided to start offering a public NLP Practitioner programme again and, on the basis that I want to deliver the best learning I can for my clients, I reinstated the 20-day programme.  For me, there is no substitute for a ‘proper’ Practitioner programme. Sometimes there really isn’t a shortcut to success.

And teaching NLP Practitioner really is the best job in the world.  For me.