We have all heard of life changing events. More or less like magic, well, not exactly, but to the untrained eye, magic it is. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is as close to magic as we can get. NLP as defined by it’s co-founder Richard Bandler is the codification of subjective experience — it is based on the belief that all behaviour has structure. NLP is all about inter-personal communication and how certain behaviour patterns impact the success-quotient of a person. Chennai-based Harini Ramachandran and Antano Solar John have set up the School of Excellence (SOE), which aims at making domain-specific models of excellence available to every industry and to extend the reach and scope of NLP.
It all sounds gibberish till you get a hang of the idea, we confess. NLP is based on the idea that there is connection between the neurological processes, language and behavioural patterns that one learns through experience. The three models of NLP are identifying the connection between the way eyes move and what people are thinking, verbal patterning (words and tones used to communicate) and the Milton model — language-based but more about how to guide someone using verbal stimulus.
At the core of NLP is NLP modelling — professionals study a certain role model (a person who is exceptionally good at what he does), emulate the person and then codify the traits that make the person best in his/her field. Based on this code, NLP modellers then design games, exercises and other stimuli, which will help transfer the knowledge to the interested. “The genius is not completely aware of what he does to make it tick. So the challenge is to train an average person to rise to the level of a genius,” says John. The models use tools and processes like studying his breathing rhythm, analysing the words he uses, etc, to map this structure of subject experience.
You can be involved with NLP in different ways — the practitioner learns the techniques and uses them in his/her domain. Ramachandran, who is a playback singer narrates how she taught a group of foreigners who had never heard of Carnatic music to sing complex ragas in just 45 minutes. Once you are a trained practitioner, you can utilise this knowledge to help others get better at what they do and also get to a ‘genius’ state yourself.
You can also become a trainer like Ramachandran and John, who are the only two certified NLP trainers in India and teach others the nuances of NLP. To become a trainer, you have to first complete the practitioner and master practitioner courses. And you continue training to become an NLP trainer and modeller.
You need to first train yourself to codify various excellence models to replicate them elsewhere. “The know-nothing state is very essential to the process of modelling. You have to go to this altered state where you start learning without inhibitions and take in whatever you see,” explains John.
Ramachandran adds, “It is like being a child, a state when everything is new and to build on knowledge from there.” And that’s just the first part. “The second part is where the interesting stuff happens. Now, you have a reference point — yourself. You also have the person you have modelled yourself on. You wear your analytical cap and find out what is common in what the two of them do, map the pattern and transfer it to another person and see if this third person can be like the expert. At this point you have an NLP model,” adds John.
One of the prerequisites to be an NLP modeller is that, you need to have the ability to go to the know-nothing stage on demand. “For example, if you are picking up a new language, you should be able to reach a stage when you can’t see any similarities with your own language. That would be a simple test. Modelling is a challenging skill,” John explains. Having studied the trainer’s programme from the co-founder of NLP, John Grinder, Ramachandran and John are trying their hand at modelling now.
School of Excellence
The school offers training programmes to those who wish to become NLP practitioners and it works in the sectors of sales, mental health, hypnosis, motivation and leadership issues. It also offers phobia cures. “Harini and I are working with a person who is paralysed hip down and it was out of the question for this person to walk, but we have now been able to get movement in the toes,” beams John. The duo is also actively designing solutions for the problems that corporates are approaching them with. “A company that has a lot of 45-year-old employees who are unwilling to change their working styles and a low attrition rate has approached us. We have to find a strategy for them,” he laughs.
“SOE is trying to create a community of NLP practitioners and modellers so that we can create a systematic way in which this can be done for various other domains,” says Ramachandran.
A lot of industries have been studied but has that helped in training others in the same sector, I ask? “No one has taken the initiative to make it available to common people. Two of us can reach out only to so many people, we would like to partner with organisations to demonstrate that with NLP you can train twice as fast and more efficiently,” says John.
At this nascent stage the founders of SOE are in the process of becoming consistent modellers, so that they can pick any sector and master it. The NLP model can’t be structured unless the modellers become experts at the sector themselves, which is why SOE needs more committed modellers. “There are many skilled modellers around the world. Right now, the existing modellers are doing whatever they can to reach out to more people in that sector. So we plan to recruit modellers from as varied domains as possible and develop a structure around it,” says Ramachandran. SOE’s main focus is to engineer games and exercises that can be used to train people to become the ‘best’ in their fields. “This is an attempt at making modelling a financially fulfilling and an interesting career option,” says John.
The School of Excellence is organising a six-day practitioner’s training programme in November. The course fee is `45,000 and those interested can contact Ramachandran and John at email@example.com.
The path to NLP
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), co-founded by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s, originated by studying geniuses in different fields like art, music, business, sales and psychology. NLP evolved from exacting precisely the differences that distinguish a genius from an average performer in the same field. They studied Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls, therapist Virginia Satir and medical hypnotist Milton Erickson to form their first theories of NLP.
John Grinder and Carmen Bostic St Clair teamed up with Michael Carroll of the NLP Academy UK to launch the International Trainers Academy of NLP that provides coaching to those interested in becoming NLP practitioners or trainers. The next NLP Premier Practitioner course is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2012 and will go on till March 17, 2012. The course fee is £2,799 (`2,15,880 aprrox). Visit www.johngrinder.com for details.
The UK-based NLP Academy is another place you can head to for a wide range of courses related to NLP. Some of the courses available are: New Code NLP Practitioner and Coaching Certification, Business NLP Practitioner, Coaching NLP Practitioner, Hypnosis Certification, NLP Master Practitioner, NLP Premier Practitioner, NLP Trainers Training etc.
Visit www.nlpacademy.co.uk for details