Karl Nielsen: Why is NLP so important?

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Karl Nielsen

Karl Nielsen

"Positive Psychology Master Trainer, PosPsy"

In January 2016 about 30 of the 150 NLP Trainer from the NLP Leadership Summit met for 3 days in Alicante (Spain). This is a group of highly experienced NLP Master Trainer from all over the world who have more than 15 years of NLP training experience.

The book "Powered by NLP" was produced shortly after this meeting. You may find it as free download on the website of the NLP Leadership Summit.

On page 63 to 71 you may find Karl Nielsen's contribution:

The human development of the last 200 years has now reached a point of risks and chances that we never had before in history. Today we have the ability to manipulate the gens of food, animals and humans (Human Genetic Engineering) and a development of Nuclear Weapons that can erase the whole life on earth (in 2016 the Doomsday Clock is 3 Minutes to Midnight). We are middle in the Second Machine Age Revolution (Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee, 2014) where Machines are replacing Humans more and more (Industry 4.0 & Work 4.0).

Therefore communication about how more than 7 billion people can live together in peace on this planet, sharing all the resources fair and ethical, is crucial. Visions and values are crucial. Successful communication to understand each other and to find sustainable solutions is crucial. 

Successful Communication has to do with emotional inner states of awareness and mindfulness. To manage such states and to communicate successfully can be learned through Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). 

The “Wheel of NLP” shows in the following illustration how emotional inner states, as basis for all kind of communication, are connected with thoughts, feelings, and perceptional filters. 

Successful Communication depends on the accompanying thoughts, emotions, and perceptional filters. In order to communicate successfully you need to be aware and in control of your thoughts, emotions, and perceptional filters.

The development of our huge technical progress in the last 200 years has focused our attention strongly on outside factors. This was very helpful for all the benefits that technique brought us in the areas of health and survival. It allowed us to rise from under 1 billion people to more than 7 billion people. Never in history before lived more than 1 billion people. So the benefits are tremendous.

And now we need to develop the inner side of how to deal with thoughts, emotions, and perceptional filters as well, in order to manage the challenges and risks that technical progress has brought to humanity. This is crucial in order to live peacefully together on this planet, sharing all the resources fair and ethical. Planet earth has become a small village for us. Whatever happens anywhere on this planet has consequences anywhere else on this planet. So we need to communicate mindfully with each other to find peaceful, fair, and ethical solutions.

To manage the technical revolutions of the last 200 years took a lot of learning and best practice. To manage the inner states of the way we think, feel, and use perceptional filters needs a similar kind of attention, learning and best practice.

NLP has brought together the knowledge about best practice for successful communication from N: Neuro Science, L: Linguistic and P: Psychology (how our inner states are programmable). It can be used to learn how to manage negative inner believe systems (thoughts), destructive feelings (emotions) and misleading perceptional filters and how to develop healthful, caring, mindful thoughts, emotions and perceptual filters.

To manage such inner states successfully are the prerequisites for successful communication. And successful communication is the prerequisite for managing the challenges and risks the world faces today. That’s why NLP is so important today for the future of humanity and for a peaceful, caring, mindful future world for our children.

The power and potential of NLP comes from modelling the communication competency of highly successful people and from effective knowledge of Neuro Science, Linguistic and Psychology. The above “TEPA Wheel of NLP” shows exemplary for each of these 4 areas a few typical NLP interventions that can easily be used for working with problems in this area. You can for example use the NLP interventions from the “Meta Model” to detect and change limiting beliefs (Thoughts), the “Circle of Excellence” to stabilize your emotional state (Emotions), the “1.2.3. Position” to change your point of view (Perception) and the “New Behavior Generator” to mentally practice future wanted performance (Action). The 12 NLP interventions in this graphic (marked with a smily) are part of the normal basic NLP training: “NLP Practitioner, IN”. TEPA means: Thoughts (believes) produce Emotions (feelings) that determine Perceptional filter that lead to Action that confirm Thoughts… This is a kind of wheel that can establish a success loop of joyful inner communication as well as a negative vicious circle with tremendous consequences for all the actions taken on these grounds.

NLP is founded on communication Axioms. Here are 5 Axioms to illustrate the fundamental change of perspectives and successes in communication that are possible with using NLP. These 5 Axioms are from my point of view just the most basic ones. Different NLP Master Trainer use many more Axioms for successful communication. Most of these Axioms are well known in the areas of Psychology and Psychotherapy. NLP has the advantage that it uses these principles of communication as foundation for successful easy to use step by step NLP interventions.

The here chosen 5 NLP Axioms are:

  • “The meaning of communication is the response you get.” When you communicate you have the intention to have an effect with your communication. If someone does not understand your language it makes sense to try another language. This includes the fundamental systemic NLP view, that you only know what you said when you see the response and that the other person defines what you said.
  • “The Map is not the Territory.” Everyone has his very inpidual subjective own way how he experiences his life in general and the sensory data that reaches his brain. There is no map that is objectively correct. People respond according to their subjective map of reality – not to the “objective” reality (whatever this could be). This includes that people generally operate more out of their “maps” than out of sensory experience.
  • “There is no failure, only feedback (and responsibility).” It is much easier to learn from the state of “feedback” than to learn from the emotional state of “failure”. NLP recommends to experiment with flexibility until you reach the feedback you are after. NLP does not claim with this axiom that there is no need for taking responsibility for failures that harm others. This axiom only means to help people to look at failures in a way that helps them to overcome the challenge and to take responsible action.
  • “Behind every behaviour there is a positive intention.” This is not regarded as the ultimate truth. It is the recommendation to handle behaviour in this way in order to reach goals successfully and to support effective communication. This includes that people make the best choice available to them at any given time and that every behaviour has a context.
  • “Everything is connected to everything.” If you change something somewhere it can have effects somewhere else. This is part of systemic thinking.

These axioms are no truths - just recommendations for successful communication. This is often misunderstood. Sophisticated NLP does e.g. not claim that there is in reality “no failure only feedback.” NLP only claims, that if you look at failure as feedback, then it is much easier to learn from your failure. NLP does insist that everybody is responsible for his failure, especially when they harm other persons. But instead of wasting time with feeling bad, NLP recommends to take action to solve problems.

So far NLP developed, in my view, in the following 5 waves:

  • NLPure is the 1st wave, the original NLP. I call it “NLPure”. It started 1972 with the main topic of “Success & Enthusiasm” through Richard Bandler and John Grinder. In the next step of NLPure Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Judith Delozier and Robert Dilts joint as co-developers. Anthony Robins developed a variation of motivation seminars all over the world with really very large groups.
  • NLPt is the 2nd wave, the application of NLP in the area of psychotherapy. It is in its mature form called Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapy: NLPt. NLP & Psychotherapy started in 1989 with the main topic of “Health & Joy of Living” through Robert Dilts (“Beliefs – Pathway to Health & Well-Being”). The European Association of NLPt, the EANLPt, was founded 1995.
  • NLPeace is the 3rd wave, the application of NLP in the area of spirituality. It started in 1992 with the main topic of “Spirituality” through Robert Dilts. In the next step Richard Bolstad and Connirae Andreas made their contributions. And in 2014 the name NLPeace was used by the International Association of NLP Institutes IN. It is the main topic of on of the next NLP & Coaching World Congress of IN & ICI: 
  • NLPsy (NLPsych) is the 4th wave, with “Science & Research” of NLP. It is in its mature form called Neuro Linguistic Psychology: NLPsy (NLPsych). It started in 2006 with the Research & Recognition Project. In 2012 the name NLPsy was created on the 3rd NLP & Coaching World Congress of IN & ICI in Croatia by the International Association of NLP Institutes: 
  • NLPhil (NLPhil) could be the 5th wave It was always there, but so far never a wave. Maybe it is just starting as the 5th wave of NLP. You find my ideas about NLPhil on facebook: 

You may find this as a picture here: www.nlp-nielsen.de/NLPSY/NLP-4-waves-Nielsen.jpg

NLP has the power and potential to support successful communication, if it is used with appropriate knowledge and ethics. The only solution for a peaceful world with wise decisions about how we all can live together happily lies in understanding how the human brain works and in communicating successfully with each other.

The chances for a peaceful beautiful world are gigantic if we manage to communicate meaningfully, understand each other and work together on the grounds of fair global mutual visions and values.

Regarding successful communication NLP has to offer so much. NLP has collected everything that works in the area of communication. This starts with how the abilities of highly successful people can be used by others (modelling), touches how to achieve freedom of thinking, feeling, perceiving and acting, and goes even right up to insights about how to create a happy and meaningful life.

In this sense the 3 letters of NLP mean:

Neuro has to do with the brain activities and how people structure their inner Map of Reality, what their dominant conscious and unconscious thoughts are, how they construct their beliefs, how their thoughts trigger much more their feelings (emotions) than the outside reality, how their thoughts determine what they perceive in the outside world and how their thoughts determine their behavior. In NLP seminars you can learn “Using Your Brain FOR A CHANGE” in the meaning of using it a) at all, b) consciously goal orientated for a change instead of just reacting, c) for thinking and living from the heart, and d) for knowing on a very deep level.

Linguistic has to do with all the conscious and unconscious details people express with every sentence they say and how they express their inner “Map of Reality” in the way they structure unconsciously their sentences. This reveals as well how they limit their flexibility to cope with challenging situations. Here you learn that in communication the structure of the chosen combination of words and the way how people say them contains the main message – not the content. Other people react stronger to how someone says things than to the content he says. In NLP seminars you can learn a) how to use language consciously in order to delete or change old and to establish new beliefs, b) how to use the way you say things so that this supports the content, and c) to use deliberately the area beyond words.

Programming has to do with habits and typical inpidual stimulus-response patterns. The brain is a huge collection of mainly unconscious stimulus-response patterns that have been built up through cultural influence, upbringing, advertising and inpidual learning processes. This inpidual collection is called “Map of Reality” in NLP. It means that what we think about the world around us and what we perceive in our outer world is mainly determined through our programmed thoughts. This includes that our emotions and reactions are far more determined through our programmed inner world (Map of Reality) than through the world surrounding us. In NLP seminars you can learn a) how to program wanted future reactions for challenging situations, b) how to behave calm, conscious and centered instead of just reacting where this is better for you and others, and c) how to transform programming.

In this sense this article invites you to see the human development, our culture as world citizens and NLP as work in progress. It is an invitation to your rich inner world where you can learn to think and live from the heart, to know on a very deep level, to use deliberately the area beyond words, and to learn how to transform limiting programming. This all can contribute to: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi).

This can help you to:

Be a present for other people,
'be present in your life (mindful awareness),
be a present for yourself,
and represent all this in your communication.

In this sense one of the next steps and waves of NLP could be Neuro Linguistic Philosophy. Therefore, I invite you to discuss this on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NLPhil

All for the future of humanity and for a peaceful, caring, mindful future world for today and for our children. NLP has focused on the methods for successful communication. Therefore it is so important today.

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