Dear Reader

What is NLP and how can it help you? People seem to either love, hate or are completely baffled by NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) based on their past experiences. Some of you will be familiar with NLP, some of you might not have heard of it before. This edition of Inspire will hopefully serve as a brief introduction or a reminder of some key points.

See right hand column for:

  • Learning more about NLP through short courses, taster sessions and recommended books.
  • Positive news: How one man helped 33,000 children! And pass on a compliment, make others smile.

Best wishes

Melanie Greene

What is NLP and how can it help you?

What is NLP? – There are many different ways of describing NLP, one I use is….

Neuro - how we use our mind

Linguistic - how we use language to influence our mind

Programming - how we use language to programme our minds.

Here are some definitions I have heard people use when trying to explain NLP:

  • noticing what happens, noticing what works
  • modelling success
  • studying and replicating excellence (bench marking)
  • being curious, asking: “How do you do that?', ‘what is the difference that makes the difference?'
  • about adding strategies, rather than taking away
  • increasing choices and options
  • ‘the Alexander Technique for the mind'.

And all of the above are true. NLP is about understanding how small changes in how we represent things in our mind, through our thoughts, pictures and messages, have a powerful impact on how we feel, behave and ultimately how successful we are.

Are you aware of the thoughts and pictures you have in your head and the impact they have on your behaviour and performance? Is the impact positive or negative?

‘Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone shows his image.' Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Is NLP about eye movements? This is a common question that I am asked as people have often heard about this and think that is what NLP is. However, NLP is about modelling success in a host of different arenas, therefore there are now a wide range of techniques and models that come under the banner of NLP. The techniques I use myself and introduce to clients are the ones that came out of my NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner programmes that I attended over 10 years ago, plus others I have learned along the way. I have also adapted many techniques to make them easier to use.

Over the years I have referred to a number of NLP techniques in Inspire and there are also NLP techniques in my book, ‘Master Your Inner Critic, Release Your Inner Wisdom'. However, as with my training programmes, I do not necessarily label them as ‘NLP', they are just useful models and techniques to use.

‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.' Mahatma Ghandi

What do you believe? I thought I would share with you some of the presuppositions that NLP is based on. A presupposition is something that you believe or suppose to be true. As you read them just notice your reactions to them. Some will resonate or clarify what you already believe, others you might disagree with. What we believe will influence how we view the world, interact with others, and even ultimately how successful we are. Here are a few of the NLP presuppositions:

  • People respond to their map of reality, not to reality itself.
  • Rapport is meeting individuals at their map of the world.
  • Communication is both verbal and non-verbal, both conscious and unconscious.
  • You cannot not communicate. You are always communicating in all three major representational systems - visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic.
  • The meaning of the communication is the response it elicits.
  • There is no failure, only feedback. Every experience can be utilised.
  • Every behaviour is useful in some context. Every behaviour has a positive intention.
  • Your current behaviour is the best choice possible for you at this time.
  • It is easier to change yourself than others. To change somebody else, first change yourself.
  • People are doing the best they can, given the choices they believe are available to them.

Which ones resonate with you? How do they help you in your work and your life? Which ones do you question or find hard to believe? What would it be like to live as if you believe them?

‘If you want to be happy, practise it every day.' Robert Anton Wilson

The uses and misuses of NLP – On day one of my NLP Practitioner training programme (it took five, four day modules), the trainer answered people's concerns about the misuse of NLP. He used the example of a knife, which can be used for many positive purposes: to eat, to carve beautiful things but, in the wrong hands, it can be used to very negative ends. And certainly NLP, like anything, can be used in both positive and negative ways. I have certainly met people who have had very bad experiences of NLP being ‘done to them'. For me the big difference in terms of the good use or misuse of NLP, is if someone who is trained and uses NLP with others, practises what they preach, and uses the ideas and techniques themselves. This then leads to an authenticity in what they do. Also my approach is to provide techniques that clients can use themselves, rather than doing NLP to others. My aim is to work with you to enable you to learn to use the techniques yourself.

Do you want to learn more about NLP? – The books listed on the right hand column are a good introduction to NLP and their applications. Also see the right hand column for information about the types of NLP courses available.

Do you want an NLP Taster Session? From time to time I run NLP Taster Sessions within organisations, for business or professional networks. If you are interested in organising such an event for your organisation or network then click here to email me and we can discuss this further.

Do you want an NLP workshop focussed on a particular topic? In my training courses NLP can be applied to a range of topics from assertiveness, people management and stress management to goal setting and creating success at work. If you are interested in finding out more click here to email me and we can discuss this further.

‘Most people see what is, and never see what can be.' Albert Einstein


For more information about how we can assist you or to discuss anything in confidence please call Melanie on 01865 377334 or click here to email me. For more information about Grovelands visit our website by clicking here.

Ways to learn more about NLP

Nowadays there are a host of people doing different types of training. You can attend short programmes applying NLP to leadership, team working, communication skills, etc. and these can be a good starting point. I attended a number of evening taster sessions, which got me interested want wanting to learn more.

If you want to do an NLP Practitioner training course my advice is to ask around (I am happy to discuss this with you). Although there are the one or two week, ‘quickie' Practitioner programmes, my experience of doing the training over a five month period (four days a month) meant I could really assimilate it into my life, which resulted in it becoming quite a life changing experience.

Do you want an NLP Taster Session? If you would like to run a NLP Taster Session within your organisation, business or professional network, then click here to email me and we can discuss this further.

Recommended books on NLP – These are books I have personally found useful.

Thorsons Principles of NLP - Joseph O'Connor & Ian McDermott. - A very quick and easy to read introduction to NLP.

NLP at Work - The Difference That Makes The Difference In Business - Sue Knight. A comprehensive look at applying NLP to work.

Manage Yourself, Manage Your Life - Ian McDermott & Ian Shircore. This looks at applying NLP techniques to getting the most out of your life, from work, relationships and day to day living.

Heart of the Mind - Engaging Your Inner Power to Change - Connirae & Steve Andreas. This books looks at the more general applications of NLP from knowing what you want, motivation and resolving grief to asserting yourself

Easy Being - Making Life As Simple and As Much Fun As Possible - Diana Beaver. Again a book looking at all the different applications of NLP.

NLP & Health - Joseph O'Connor & Ian McDermott. A comprehensive, practical book looking at all aspects of health from The Placebo Effect, the immune system, stress, pain and pleasure.

An encyclopaedia of NLP - If you've heard of an NLP term, model or technique and you don't know what it is visit this website by clicking here which provides a comprehensive encyclopaedia of NLP.


Positive news – It has been a few months since I have passed on any positive news stories, but my quarterly edition of Positive News has just arrived and I thought I would pass on a few stories. To subscribe and get your own copy go to the Positive News website by clicking here

Making every penny count – Greg Mortenson was nursed back to health in a remote Pakistan village after getting lost having failed to climb K2. He noticed that the children did not have a teacher or anything to learn their lessons with. He vowed to repay their kindness. Fundraising seemed to go nowhere until one school sent £380 in pennies, the idea caught on and so far 3,000 schools and organisations have donated pennies helping more that 33,000 children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. See the Greg Mortenson website by clicking here and the Pennies for Peace website by clicking here.   

Pass on a compliment – If you are a Brit you will either love this or hate it and think it far too American, but I liked it and watching the video clip made me smile. Brett and Cameron came up with the idea of giving away free compliments, and asking people to pass a compliment on and create a smile. Kodak heard about them, sponsored a tour bus and they have been going around parts of the US. Brett says: ‘I really just wanted to cheer people up. Everyone looks at the ground as they walk around and I wanted them to lift their heads and smile.' See the website by clicking here


To order a copy of: Master Your Inner Critic, Release Your Inner Wisdom, click here to email me for an order form. £8.99 plus £1.00 UK P&P.


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