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  1. NLP has at its very foundations and its core the need for Modelling Projects. These projects were designed for its master practitioners to give something back to the world of NLP and further develop the field (at least that is what a properly trained Master of NLP has taken part in). Very similar to other scientific models these are theories that are developed by conducting interviews and detailed NLP assessments and analysis with people whom you want to model a behaviour or pattern from. 

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    It is believed in NLP if you can model a skill or trait in one person. And that someone else is looking to work on that skill or trait. Then you can teach the person working on it how the other person does the thing. by teaching them to not just think how the other person thinks and do what they do but also how they feel, stand etc embodying the physiology as well as pschology, you not only train them you instil the neurolinguistic program into them.  An example would be: how do you teach a nervous speaker to deliver great speeches in public? You model the behaviour, language patterns, physiology and programming of great public speakers and find out what it is that sets them apart from others. Then turn this into a trainable model for your nervous speaker. You reprogram them into thinking, behaving, talking, acting and feeling like the great speakers and away they go.

    The problem in NLP is that there are so many of these models out in the market that has become flooded by training programs and their creators have made money out of them that the results of these models have not been quantifiable or scientifically proven. In fact, some. Like the one you may have heard of that went round the schooling systems in the 90’s that; you can tell if a student is lying by where their eyes move when they are talking to you or answering questions. This has since been widely debunked, proven wrong or as in this case they are not always true all of the time for all people and baselining and calibration is required. 

    Another problem with the field is that too many people become NLP practitioners without developing their own models but instead blindly rely on those as gospel that has come before them that have been developed by others.

    And those of us whose trainers insist we do carry out a full modelling project far too often go into the field, publish their results and setup practising and teaching these models without testing them out thoroughly in a quantifiable scientific way. Thankfully though some of our master NLP trainers, like mine, are more demanding of their students than that. 

  2. The problem with NLP / neuro-linguistic programming

    The problem with NLP or neuro-linguistic programming is that it is considered by many as a fad or a pseudoscience. While at the same time being reviewed by so many others as the best set of techniques and technologies for communication with self and others that have ever been developed. 

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    As much good press you will read about it out there you will read bad and with that comes doubt and scepticism. But that is good. That is healthy. Part of the problem is that it is so unregulated around the world that practically anyone can read a few books on the matter and claim to be a Master NLP Practitioner. Some of us, though have gone through 5-6 years of rigorous training, learning, testing and understanding. 

    Before I got up the courage to go to my first training class in NLP, I had spent the best part of 4 years reading about it. Not just NLP I did read about other things to it wasn’t some weird obsession. I had read so much about it that I had become somewhat fearful of it and what the trainers could possibly do to me or worse get me to do in one of their classes that I had booked myself on and cancelled courses many times before I finally bit the bullet. 

    When does the problem of its reputation stem from? I hear you silently ask. No I am not reading your mind, just yet. 

    In the late 70’s when this set of tools, technologies and techniques were being developed the scientific world was actually getting very excited about its possibilities. The anecdotal and qualifying properties of the reports of its success were coming through thick and fast, and it looked as though it was the next big thing in psychotherapy. Field tests and controlled lab tests were no doubt the next step in verifying and testing the findings. 

    The problem was that its developers didn’t want to take it into the lab and make it a study of academia but instead they wanted to take it out to everyone, take it to the masses, to make some real money off the back of what they had developed and no doubt make a name for themselves. And that is exactly what they did. It made them millionaires so who can blame them. 

    But this decision has meant that there has been, since then, very little in quantifiable studies carried out on NLP and its levels of success, or lack there of, for it to be scientifically verified as the behavioural and social science it really is. 

    Instead, it has spawned an industry of NLP trainers that are generally unregulated and are often selling themselves as self-help guru’s, coaches and therapists for all your ailments and dreams.