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NLP business training and why it means better business

If you want different results next year to this then it requires you to take a different approach.

In 2005 I was asked by a Housing Association to put together a training programme for their training staff. They wanted something different and for it to be based around NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and for it to provide an all round set of high quality business skills. I had met the director while she was attending an NLP Practitioner training in London, she had immediately recognized the value of NLP for personal development and wanted her people to experience what it had done for her but with a more business focus. She wanted an NLP Business Practitioner training.

I think of the NLP process of development, whether for an individual, a team or an organization in simple terms, it’s like finding the recipe for an amazingly delicious cake and learning how to consistently bake it well and then adding your own secret ingredients to it to make it your signature dish. This process is known as modeling. There are simple steps to follow, simple when you learn how to do it.

  • Step 1 - Firstly identify what you want to create (what cake you want) what are your desired outcomes.

  • Step 2 – Check you have the ingredients to hand; work out where you are now (your present state) this includes identifying what’s not working for you and needs to stop and what is already working for you. Tidy up the kitchen and get things organized.

  • Step 3 – Find an expert cake maker and get their recipe. They will have a strategy or sequence that makes their outcomes consistently predictable and amazing.

  • Step 4 – Practice using their strategies, testing to see the results you get until you consistently achieve your desired results.

  • Step 5 – This Is the level of mastery, this is where you go beyond the expert, you either optimise their recipe by removing steps which aren’t needed or you add in your own steps including your own secret magic and create something even better and test it.

NLP is simply “the study of how we do what we do”, we model excellent strategies and learn to implement them into our own behaviours, we borrow from geniuses, specialist and experts so we can reproduce their results in a fraction of the time it took them to learn them and we enhance them.

Two of the keys to successful modeling are to model those who achieve results (not just talk a good talk) and implement what you learn, otherwise it’s just theory and nothing changes/

I needed to first find out what desired outcomes (which cakes) did my clients team want. So I put together a short survey asking her team

“What do you want to know more about, that would improve your business performance?” although not in so few words.

At the same time I was running an executive coaching programme for an International bank and asked their Managing Director if he would be willing to invite his team to complete the same survey, he was happy to do so and went a huge step further. Every quarter they mailed out a newsletter to corporate clients, they included an article about the benefits of employing a professional business coach and added my short survey to their publication, inviting their business customers to tell me what would improve their business performance. We received back over 3000 replies.

The replies contained common themes of interest, as you would expect.

As a business coach and trainer I am always interested in asking what clients want, an easy trap for a novice trainer / coach to fall into is to train what they think people want rather then find out what they really want and need. The sign of great training is being able to adapt delivery and content where possible to meet those wants and then to over deliver by giving people what they need. The feedback showed 4 key areas of demand and interest.

  • Better Emotional Management - (stress management, positivity, confidence)

  • Improved Persuasion and Influence skills - (selling, negotiation, customer service)

  • Enhanced Presentation Skills - (how to pitch present an idea, engage, inform and influence)

  • Strategies to be more Efficient & Effective - (time management, developing mission plans, values, vision and turning plans into actions that get results).

If you are a coach trainer or responsible for implementing training in your company you will never know ahead of time the degree of impact great training can have on an individual, a slight nudge can positively change the trajectory of someone’s life in pleasantly surprising ways. One of my favourite feedbacks came from an attendee on a Business Practitioner in 2007. He was a salesman for an olive oil company is Spain. He used the presentation and persuasion and influence techniques he had been taught to pitch for two contracts both of which he won and ended up supplying olive oil to both the US and Iranian military.

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