Business NLP For Dummies®

Table of Contents

Business NLP For Dummies®

by Lynne Cooper


About the Author

Lynne Cooper facilitates organisational change and leadership development. With extensive business and management experience, she uses NLP to help business leaders bring about fast and sustainable change for themselves and their organisations. Lynne specialises in developing leadership skills and improving team working to maximise performance, working one-to-one, and with groups. Lynne is an NLP Master Practitioner, a certified Clean Facilitator and an accredited coach. She is director of Change Perspectives and a business trainer with PPD Learning Ltd.

Author’s Acknowledgements

I, like so many others, owe a huge debt of gratitude to the originators of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder and the many other NLP developers who have contributed so much to the field – Judith DeLozier, Lesley Cameron Bandler, Robert Dilts to name only a few. As a result of their work people, businesses and communities are achieving so much more – this book is just one example of these achievements.

Business NLP For Dummies is based very much on my own experience of taking NLP into organisations to improve individual and business performance. That would never have been possible without learning from, and being supported by, some of the most outstanding trainers in the field. Particular mention must go to Judith Lowe, James Lawley and Penny Tompkins. Special thanks too to my dear friend and colleague, Mariette Castellino, from whom I have learned so much, and all those clients who had faith in the difference that working with us could make.

Thanks to the team at Wiley, including Simon, Sally and Nicole, for guiding and supporting me through the writing of this book, and to Chris for his diligent and knowledgeable contributions. Particular thanks to Brian Kramer, whose insights and incisive questions added so much to the end result.

Many thanks to friends and family for their forbearance. They’ve been sorely neglected, but much loved, through the process of writing this book. And last but not least, thanks to Glen, Victoria and Chelsey, who have encouraged, supported and nurtured me with tea and cake in the long hours of writing.

Publisher’s Acknowledgements

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration form located at .

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Commissioning, Editorial, and Media Development

Acquisitions Editor: Nicole Hermitage

Publishing Assistant: Jennifer Prytherch

Development Editor: Simon Bell

Content Editor: Jo Theedom

Copy Editor: Sally Osborn

Technical Editor: Chris Howell

Publisher: Jason Dunne

Executive Editor: Samantha Spickernell

Executive Project Editor: Daniel Mersey

Cover Photos: © Tetra Images / Alamy

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Lynsey Stanford

Layout and Graphics: Reuben W. Davis, Sarah Philippart

Proofreader: Susan Moritz

Indexer: Claudia Bourbeau

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies

Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer Dummies

Kristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies

Michael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, Travel

Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies

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Composition Services

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Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


Today’s work places can be stressful places to be – at least for some. Businesses are continually working to adapt to fast-changing environments, to stay ahead and make profits. Not-for-profit organisations are repeatedly challenged by the demands of achieving more with less. Individuals work harder under the constant pressure to perform better and achieve more. And many people are dissatisfied with their situation and want change – a more fulfilling job, career, or income, or an improved balance between their personal and working lives. I’ve written this book because this is the kind of feedback I get on a day-to-day basis when working with people at work – and because my experience has taught me that Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) is a valuable approach to making the improvements and transformations that these people seek.

NLP transformed my own life, in particular my working life. I used NLP to get in touch with what I really wanted, and to develop the flexibility and skills to achieve it. At the start of my journey I would never have imagined that I would change my career and use NLP full time, doing work I love – coaching and facilitating others to make positive change at work.

NLP enables you to understand what makes you tick; how you think, how you feel, how you make sense of everyday life in the world around you and how to take charge of your life. Whether you wish to put in place a few subtle changes to your performance, influence or achievements at work, or to turn your whole working life upside down, you’ll find some fantastic tools in NLP to help you. I wish you well on your own personal voyage of discovery.

About This Book

This book takes you through the practical applications of NLP within the working environment, and guides you through exercises and techniques to refocus and streamline your thought processes. Whether you’re interested in improving your communication skills or polishing your leadership techniques, this hands-on guide gives you the tools you need to take control and achieve your goals within the work place.

If you are new to NLP you can discover a whole variety of techniques in this book to learn and use to achieve your elusive goals and make improvements to your working life. If you already have knowledge of NLP, I trust that you’ll find some of my ideas and approaches to using NLP in the work place new and interesting.

I have selected the aspects of NLP that I have found most useful in supporting people to identify new possibilities, take action and achieve more, in my work with organisations. I have structured the book so that you can dip into any chapter to discover some practical ways of using NLP to handle the specific challenges you face at work, including:

Improving your influence to achieve more

Leading and motivating others

Developing a vision – for yourself or the business

Coaching others to perform well

Accomplishing goals

Handling tricky relationships

Making effective change

You’ll probably find some new stuff in this book – things which require you to think and act a little differently to your normal way of operating. Take the opportunity to use the techniques and exercises I’ve given you to build your understanding and skill. In my experience, the best way to learn NLP is to experience it. Test it out for yourself, and notice any disbelief slip away as you find yourself getting results.

Conventions Used in This Book

To help you navigate through this book, I’ve set up a few conventions:

Italic is used for emphasis and to highlight new words or terms that are defined.

Boldfaced text is used to indicate the action part of numbered steps.

Monofont is used for Web addresses.

What You’re Not to Read

I’ve written this book so that you can easily understand what you find out about NLP in a business context. Although after all this work I’d like to believe that you want to scour my every word, I’ve made it easy for you to identify material that you don’t absolutely have to read. This is interesting stuff, and you’ll benefit from it, but it’s not essential reading:

Text in sidebars: The sidebars are the grey shaded boxes that appear here and there. They share personal stories and observations, and flesh out the bare bones, but you can skip them if you wish.

The stuff on the copyright page: Well, of course, read it if you will, but if you’re like me, you’ll not get excited about the legal stuff and reprint information.

Foolish Assumptions

In writing this book, I made a few assumptions about you. I assumed that you work – maybe you have your own business or are employed by a large organisation. I’ve also assumed that you are attracted to this book because you’ve heard something about NLP (you may even already know and work with NLP concepts), you’re curious to learn more, and you’re interested in personal or business improvement. Learning more about how to use NLP effectively at work will be indispensable if any of the following apply to you:

You want to improve your own performance at work.

You have a vision – a dream career, job, or income – that you just can’t seem to reach.

You want to improve business performance.

You find other people are often the biggest barriers to your success.

You want to take back control of your working life.

How This Book Is Organised

I’ve divided this book into five parts, with each part broken into chapters. The parts structure helps to keep related material together. The table of contents gives you more detail on each chapter, so you can dive in wherever you want to.

Part I: The Difference That Makes the Difference

This part is where you get the basics on understanding and using NLP in a business environment. I introduce you to the NLP thinking behind engaging with and influencing others, increasing your flexibility to get the results you want, setting and achieving goals, and applying the principles of NLP to overcome barriers to success in the work place.

Part II: Building Working Relationships That Work

An important NLP concept is creating advantage through excellent relationships and effective influence. Part II gets up close and personal with the business of communicating in business, from understanding how other people’s thought and speech patterns work through to building rapport and maximising influence in the work place. I also delve into how to manage emotional states and motivating others – and yourself!

Part III: Leading People to Perform

Wouldn’t your working life be a whole load easier if others would just do what you wanted them to? This part gives you the tools you need to help your work colleagues perform to the max. I explain the importance of emotional intelligence in driving people’s responses, how to inspire and enthuse others, and how to effect change in difficult relationships. I also cover the value of well-constructed feedback and positive coaching in supporting and developing employees to perform at their best.

Part IV: Achieving Business Excellence

This part focuses on how to use NLP to effect real change in a business environment. Starting from the creation of a vision colleagues will want to buy into, and how to generate fast and sustainable change, I go on to explain the value of generating the sort of well-formed outcomes to which they will want to aspire. I also let you in on the secrets of modelling the strategies of those who have already met with success.

Part V: The Part of Tens

If it’s a For Dummies book, it has a Part of Tens, and this one is no exception. Here you’ll find ten business benefits to using NLP, tips for using the principles in everyday situations, and run-downs of the best in NLP resources and books. The works, in other words, on the works.

Icons Used in This Book

The icons in this book help you find particular kinds of information that may be of use to you:

Tip.epsThis icon highlights practical advice to put NLP to work for you in work situations.

Remember.epsThis icon is a friendly reminder of important points to take note of.

anecdote.epsYou’ll find this icon beside stories relating real-life experience of NLP in action in business. Some are real; others have their names changed; while others are composite characters.

trythis.eps You’ll find this icon highlighting things that you may like to experiment with to start to translate the theory into action for yourself, and to build your NLP skills.

Where to Go From Here

You don’t have to read this book from cover to cover, but you will benefit greatly if you capture it all at the pace and in the order that’s right for you. Use the table of contents to see what you are attracted to first. For example, if you’re keen to improve your business relationships , try Chapter 6 first. Or if you’d like to hone your coaching skills, turn to Chapter 12 first. One of the common themes of this book is flexibility, so feel free to approach the book in whichever order works for you.

Part I

The Difference That Makes the Difference

697573 pp0101.eps

In this part . . .

Welcome. The chapters in this part deliver the basics on understanding and using NLP in business. I introduce you to the NLP skills you need to engage with and influence others and increase your flexibility to get the results you want. I also show you how to set and achieve goals and apply the principles of NLP to overcome barriers to success at work.

Chapter 1

Achieving Business Excellence with NLP

In This Chapter

Getting familiar with NLP

Discovering NLP business benefits

Achieving more with NLP

Taking charge of your career

Influencing others

Building a career, getting an interesting job, and finding opportunities to progress are important to most people. After all, you spend a huge amount of time at work. You hope that your career brings personal development, fulfilment, and, of course, the means you need to live a comfortable life. Yet sometimes your working life falls short of your expectations and hopes.

Making a success of your working life and achieving your professional goals and dreams depends on more than your qualifications, experience, and job-related skills. These days, getting on at work relies on exceptional communication skills and the ability to flex and change continually. Understanding the principles and tools of neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, can help you become an excellent influencer, as well as acquire the self-awareness and techniques to adapt and change to achieve your aspirations.

If you’re ready to take charge of your life at work – and to stop allowing your fortunes to be dictated by bosses, colleagues, employers, customers, or anyone else – then this book is a good place to start. Find out more about the value of NLP in business in this chapter, before moving on to discover dozens of ways to put its principles to use in the rest of the book.

Reprogramming the Mind for Success

Making change happen at work often seems difficult. Have you ever found that, no matter how much you try, you’re still frustrated in your efforts to make things better?

Maybe you’ve been so determined in the past that you worked harder and harder, yet still didn’t get what you wanted. This experience isn’t so surprising, certainly if you subscribe to a core NLP premise, explored more in Chapter 3, that:

Remember.eps If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

So in order to get a different result, you probably have to make some changes and find alternatives to your tried-and-tested actions and responses to people, situations, and challenges. At the heart of NLP is the idea that if you continually seek new choices and try different things, you achieve what you want.

The fact that you’re reading this book suggests that you may well be ready to make some changes. Throughout the book I show you how to use NLP to discover the drivers of your thinking and behaviour. You can discover how to detect the patterns and habits that you hold unconsciously – and realise when these patterns and habits are very useful to you, as well as when they aren’t.

Think of your brain as a bespoke computer, programmed to run you. As with any software program, you only notice the bit that comes up on the screen. The detailed and sophisticated program is running behind the scenes, out of your awareness. You may not realise that some of this software can be deleted, installed, or upgraded to get far more effective results. The same can be said of your unconscious mind. After you start paying some attention and observing how your mind is working, you have the choice to delete, upgrade, or install whichever bit of ‘thinking software’ you desire.

NLP offers you the keys to unlocking your own potential. Reprogramming your mind for success is in your hands. Removing previous limitations is inevitable. Your dreams become your goals, and they’re goals you can achieve.

Remember.eps You can’t change other people. All you can change is yourself and how you respond to other people. When people around you are ready to change, you can use many of the tools and approaches you discover in this book to coach and help them. Turn to Chapter 12 for more on coaching others.

Defining NLP

One of the first challenges to face when discovering NLP is the name itself. Neuro-linguistic programming sure is a mouthful.

When you break the name down into its component parts, however, the relevance of each part becomes clearer:

Neuro relates to your neurological system: how you use your five senses both to experience the outside world and to create your internal world by remembering and imagining. Your conscious and unconscious thought processes activate your nervous system, which influences your physiology (breathing, posture, movements and so on), how you feel, and what you do and say.

Linguistic refers to the way people use language to make sense of their experiences, to talk to themselves, and to communicate with others. Everyone has distinct patterns in how they use language, and these patterns provide tremendous insights into people’s thinking.

Programming is just like computer programming, only relating to the human brain. A program – for a computer or in your brain – is a succession of steps designed to achieve a particular result. Your personal programs lead to the results you get and the impact you have on yourself and others.

Since its introduction in the 1970’s, NLP has been defined in many different ways. The following sections delve into what exactly NLP is – and isn’t.

Studying and observing

Leaders in the field of NLP most commonly describe NLP as the study of the structure of subjective experience, which is a very obscure way of saying studying how individuals think and behave. Studying and observing very precisely what human beings think, say, and do is the cornerstone of NLP, giving insights into the internal workings of people’s minds. Understanding how someone does what they do well allows you to create a model of that capability so you can replicate their excellence. You can also detect how you, or someone else, is managing to create the results you don’t want – and then make changes to achieve your aspirations and goals.

NLP gives you skills and tools to find out how others achieve great results. You can build models of others’ capabilities and try them out for yourself. In addition, NLP originators Richard Bandler and John Grinder (see the nearby sidebar ‘The origins of NLP’), as well as many others in the field, have developed and created a wealth of models and techniques for creating change and influencing effectively.

Even more definitions

The scope of NLP extends beyond business-specific skills and techniques and has led practitioners to develop many other ways of describing NLP’s essence.

Some definitions focus on NLP’s strength in the area of communications and define NLP as:

The art and science of communication.

A communication model based on working with patterns of thinking, language, and behaviour.

The key to successful communication.

A set of powerful influencing strategies.

Other definitions are concerned with excellence and define NLP as:

A behavioural model of outstanding talent.

A methodology for replicating behaviour that generates exceptional results.

A user’s manual for the brain.

Still other definitions focus on achieving goals, considering NLP as:

A process by which you can achieve what you want in life.

An attitude of mind.

Skills and techniques for designing and creating your future.

The difference that makes the difference.

As you can see, NLP can be many different things to many different people – from a science to an attitude.

Remember.eps In my experience, people who learn about NLP take what they want from the wealth of available insights and techniques. How you define NLP after you begin your journey of discovery is entirely up to you. What’s important is that you explore, experiment, and have fun while finding out what NLP can do to support you to improve your business life.

Evaluating NLP for yourself

In the many years I’ve been using NLP I’ve come across a few people who are resistant to NLP. They have preconceived ideas from things that they have heard – or indeed they may have just had a bad experience of working with an unskilled or badly trained practitioner.

Those few people I’ve met who have negative perceptions of NLP have described it as brainwashing or manipulation, pop psychology, even new age mumbo jumbo! Well, everyone is entitled to have their own map of the world (I talk more about maps of the world in Chapter 3).

My experience in working with NLP in business is that, used wisely and ethically, NLP opens up the opportunity to develop a better life and career for anyone – if that’s what they want. Try it out for yourself and then draw your own conclusions. Everyone is entitled to their own map of the world – including you!

Using NLP in Business

Over the years, the use of NLP tools and techniques has exploded around the world, in every conceivable walk of life. NLP is now applied in counselling, education, parenting, health, personal development, coaching, voluntary service, sport, and, not least, in business. New discoveries, new models, and new ways of thinking are continually emerging from the many people whose talents NLP has unleashed.

Business people now widely use NLP. Forward-thinking organisations embrace NLP because they benefit from its positive effects on individuals, teams, and overall business performance.

As you read this book you discover many ways to apply NLP to business, whether you wish to:

Get better results for yourself

Support others to achieve better results

Drive change in your business

As well as the tools, NLP is also an attitude of mind that incorporates:

An awareness of self: Noticing and understanding how you habitually think and behave.

A high sensitivity to others: Paying close attention to others and using what you observe and hear to step into their worlds.

A future outcome focus: Aspiring to make changes and achieve all that you desire.

Tip.epsYour journey through NLP is a voyage of discovery. With this book – and perhaps other books, workshops, and online resources – you can sail through the wide variety of valuable tools, techniques, and models on offer.

In this book, I introduce many aspects of NLP thinking and approaches that are employed successfully in business. Use as much or as little of this information as you please. I suggest you prioritise and use those parts of NLP that appeal to you most. Then build your skills and add more NLP gems to your tool kit as you’re ready.

Remember.eps This is a book about NLP in relation to your work, career, and business. The book does not deal with NLP as therapy. But if you’re suffering from serious personal issues, NLP can help. It has been an effective tool for curing phobias, overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder, and responding to anxiety and other major issues that affect health and happiness. I suggest you contact the Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy & Counselling Association () to locate an NLP specialist to help you with your specific issue.

The following sections address key benefits of including NLP tools and techniques in your business life: communicating, leading, and achieving the best results.

Enhancing interpersonal effectiveness

Modern-day business success demands not only good interpersonal skills but also exceptional powers to influence and persuade. The need for communication pervades all business activities:

Within the business. People need to work together, cooperate, negotiate, influence, inspire, and motivate others to get the job done.

With customers. Good customer service is critical to keeping competitive advantage. Paying close attention to customers’ wishes and communicating in ways that have meaning to customers are essential.

With the market at large. Getting your message across effectively to prospective buyers and managing communication through broadcast and online media are constant challenges.

With others. Communicating with and influencing stakeholders, including shareholders, financiers, community groups, and others, is extremely important. Good supplier relationships are also critical for success.

In their early analysis of highly effective therapists (see the sidebar, ‘The origins of NLP’), Richard Bandler and John Grinder identified a range of key underlying patterns of communication that are common to success. From this initial research, they developed models – representations of what excellent influencers were doing – that generate both personal change and highly influential communications. The models for greater interpersonal influence appear largely in Parts II and III of this book and cover the key themes of:

Developing awareness of yourself and others

Building rapport

Influencing language

Handling emotions

The following sections address the communication-based benefits of NLP.

Understanding differences between you and others

The journey to becoming an exceptional communicator starts with discovering and understanding your own patterns of thinking. These patterns drive the way you feel, act, and react. Everything you’ve experienced in your life – and the way your brain has filtered this information – determines what you think, believe, value, and feel. To find out more about the unconscious mind and its filtering process, head to Chapter 4.

Remember.eps Right now you may not be aware of many of your habitual ways of thinking, evaluating, and making decisions. But your unconscious mind is steering you. Find out how to identify your patterns from the language you use and the things you do in Chapters 5 and 7.

Guess what? Other people aren’t like you! While some people may resemble you, others don’t at all. As you can read in Chapter 3, NLP adopts the principle that all people have different maps of the world. Even when two people share an experience, they notice different things, have different responses, and store different memories.

Targeting your language

After you know how to detect patterns, you’re likely to start seeing and hearing the patterns of others – and notice those that are different to your own. You can then adapt the way you talk to people so that you make perfect sense in their maps of the world!

Becoming more flexible in how you communicate is the key to developing exceptional influencing skills. Knowing others’ patterns gives you the information you need to target your words to them, as if you’re speaking their language rather than your own.

Tip.epsTurn to Chapters 4, 5, and 7 to find out how to use words and phrases so that someone whose patterns are dissimilar to yours can understand and respond. You may be amazed by what you can achieve with some subtle shifts in your language.

Using rapport

Rapport is that natural connection between people when all conversation seems to be effortless. Discussions flow easily and everyone has a sense of respect and underlying trust.

You no doubt have some colleagues with whom you simply seem to get along well, and business conversations are just plain easy. These people are probably most like you in terms of their patterns, and rapport happens naturally. With others at work, this kind of rapport is much harder to find.

Persuading a colleague and getting him on your side is so much easier when you’re in rapport with him. Thanks to the modelling work of NLP pioneers, you can create good rapport in situations where it previously seemed difficult, and influence more effectively. Find out all about rapport in Chapter 6, including how to use body language and words to attain it.

Managing your emotions

Humans are highly emotional beings. Powerful feelings are wonderful when they work for you. In business, many emotional states can be useful: excitement, interest, calm, and confidence, to name but a few.

In contrast, strong negative feelings don’t often help you work to the best advantage. Anger, anxiety, frustration, demotivation, and stress are some of the states I come across in business people, none of which supports best performance.

You may well have worked hard to control your emotions at times. Trying to manage or suppress a strong feeling is often a battle. Yet having the capacity to choose how you feel, rather than have your feelings control your reactions and behaviour, is essential for success in:





NLP tools and techniques help you find ways to choose your feelings. When you opt to modify your emotional response to a difficult situation, you can alter how you act and react and get a far more positive outcome. Chapters 8 and 9 hold an array of approaches to changing your emotional responses to get the results you want. You can also use these techniques to coach others to change their emotional states when doing so is beneficial to them.

Leading peak performance

For business excellence, you need to get yourself and others working most effectively. This is a leadership job. Regardless of whether you have the job title of leader, you still lead people when you’re:






Good performance comes from you, your team, your colleagues, or others on whom you rely, such as suppliers. As you communicate more effectively with yourself and others, you can influence and lead excellence to achieve business success.

Leading yourself

Creating the life you want, including the kind of work and career that you desire, starts with self-leadership. Leading yourself is about taking charge of your working life to get where you want to go. When you lead yourself well, you:

Establish your personal goals or outcomes

Choose your emotions and state

Become aware of your own unconscious patterns

Build your behavioural flexibility

Reprogram your unconscious for success

Discover all the wonderful ways in which you can make this happen as you read through this book.

Inspiring and motivating

Getting people to listen to you, agree with you, or be inspired by you affects your success, whether you’re the CEO or the new kid on the team. Businesses depend on people. People need to be persuaded, motivated, and enthused to back new ideas and put their best into their jobs.

NLP models and approaches for communication in this book are particularly useful if you want to:

Gain agreement, approval, or consensus

Call others to action

Persuade people to join you in your opinions or judgements

Encourage and motivate others

Pass on information that you believe is important

Generate passion or excitement

Tip.eps If inspiring others is what inspires you, I recommend you jump straight to Chapter 10. There you can find out how to choose your words to engage others’ emotions positively.

Coaching others

Coaching others to improve performance is considered increasingly important in business these days. The days of managers telling staff what to do, rather than coaching them to develop skills, may well be limited.

Many business leaders believe that NLP offers the most powerful coaching tool kit available today. Throughout this book you can discover insights and techniques for improved communication, as well as tools for personal change. All of these, including the specialist coaching models I present in Chapter 12, provide a wide array of approaches to incorporate in your coaching.

Giving feedback

If performance improvement is important to you, then giving and receiving quality feedback is essential. In many organisations, feedback is still sparse and too infrequent. Feedback is all too often used only when bad news needs to be delivered, while praise and encouragement for a job well done are often overlooked.

Chapter 11 outlines how to use NLP thinking to direct meaningful and actionable feedback, so that others truly understand what they’re doing well, where they need to improve, and what those improvements may look and sound like in order to increase their personal effectiveness.

Handling difficult relationships

Most people find certain situations or individuals at work challenging to handle and seriously detrimental to progress. To get the best business performance, people need to be able to work well together and overcome difficulties and differences.

Getting past the problems caused by relationships that just don’t seem to work or situations that seem complex and stuck becomes easier with NLP. The NLP models of master communicators identify what those with exceptional influencing skills do to change such relationships positively, and you can use their techniques to influence others.

Explore how to gain new insights into difficult relationships and build your flexibility to get the results you want in Chapter 13.

Improving business results

Although the early NLP models were based on the study of individual excellence, they apply equally well to achieving great results across a business. If you want to maximise business performance, this book offers many NLP tools that can serve you well.

Creating vision, values, and goals

All businesses have goals. Some have a vision. All have values, although they may not be the ones they say they have! I spend a lot of time in organisations of all sizes, and I rarely find an employee who’s bang up to date with the company vision and values, and often not even the goals. After all, the vision is so often just a bunch of words that aren’t easy to remember. Much the same can be said for the values. And the goals are a bunch of numbers that aren’t really going to change the way anyone does his job.

Applying NLP to the process of crafting vision, values, and goals brings a whole new perspective.

NLP focuses on sensory experience – what you see, hear, and feel. When a sensory description brings vision, values, and goals to life, people start to understand, anticipate, and align with them. To find out how to develop a compelling vision, meaningful values, and inspiring goals, look up Chapter 14.

The NLP model for goal setting is known as a well-formed outcome, which you can find out more about in Chapter 16. This kind of goal is far more motivating to people within a business than is a brief description of financial targets.

Effecting change

If one constant exists in business, it’s the need to make changes, small or large, in order to be competitive, generate the desired results, and adapt to the rapidly changing environment in which the business operates. Business leaders frequently find major change difficult. Changes to structure, processes and systems are often complex and slow, and many don’t achieve the hoped-for outcome.

Remember.eps Much of NLP has been modelled from successful personal transformation. These models, when used to support organisational change – which of course depends largely on individual change – are equally powerful. Using NLP to create change within a business involves:

Influencing and motivating people to make changes more effectively.

Setting well-formed outcomes and meaningful action plans that people buy into.

Developing more flexible individuals as a result of greater awareness of self and others.

Making changes at the right level of thinking.

The NLP logical levels model (more on this in Chapter 15) determines the kind of changes individuals should make in order to achieve their goal. Changing the right things is the difference that makes the difference.

Modelling best performance

Modelling is the essence of NLP. Understanding how you or someone else intuitively does something exceptionally well is a valuable skill in business.

You can model exceptional performers in any discipline to determine precisely what they do that gets great results. You can then transfer this model to other people and other areas.

Modelling is a very different approach to attempting to improve performance through standard skills training. Very often good performers aren’t aware of what they do to get results that’s different to what others do. Modelling identifies subtle thinking and behavioural processes that separate average and exceptional performances.

Think of all the things you’d like to do well if you only could. If you want to raise standards and do even more things well, find out how in Chapter 17.