Does NLP affect training and development?
There are many organisations now that use NLP as part of their training and development strategy.
Here are 5 ways that companies have used it...
Within sales and the customer relationship, rapport is a key piece to making a difference in how the customer perceives the organisation. Levels of positive responsiveness have increased substantially and in some instances, companies have ended up sharing the skills learnt so that both companies benefit from the difference that they have noticed just using rapport.
One procurement department specifically focussed on a difficult relationship with a supplier. They decided to use rapport to see if they could get a different response from the supplier, who up until then had resisted any proactive price negotiation. Two managers who had received training in rapport skills attended the meeting with the two suppliers from another organisation. One manager concentrated on matching the physiology of the lead supplier in the meeting while the other manager concentrated on dealing with the specifics of the procurement process.
By changing their approach and bringing the process of rapport into the meeting, they were able to agree a substantial cost saving in their procurement which up until then had eluded them.
The company blueprint
Working out the DNA or blueprint of the company helps an organisation to clearly communicate its reason for being, identity, values, capabilities, behaviours and environmental concerns. These organisations have developed and communicated their own blue print for how they want to be seen, how they expect their staff and managers to behave, and how this relates to the overall purpose of the business.
NLP provides a very useful model called logical levels of change based on the work of Robert Dilts. This model is based in systems theory and discriminates six different levels of abstraction or thinking, from our environment at the most basic level, to our mission or purpose in life at the most abstract level. Each level has a set of questions that help individuals and organisations to think about their needs, expectations and processes. This model can be used to develop an organisational blueprint and to ensure that each of the higher levels is supported by the lower levels.
For example, an organisation that has a mission to be the largest supplier of their products nationally, will want to have managers who are clear about their role or identity, believe that their product is the best and have sufficient capabilities to deliver this. They will also demonstrate their values, i.e. what is important to them through their behaviour, which will then be supported by their environment.
Organisations that want to develop their own blueprint will link their strategy and key performance indicators to each of the logical levels, ensuring that they are in alignment with the company’s mission.
One organisation included some of the best bits of NLP in their presentation skills course for the sales team. This had a lasting effect on the team and how they relate to their customer, to the effect that individuals still talk about the course 8 years later, and continue to use the skills learnt.
Some of the specific techniques used with this organisation included helping them to get rid of negative thoughts and beliefs through chaining anchors. They also learnt skills in using the representational systems of their audience and structuring their presentations using the 4 Mat model. Perceptual positions was another skill that they learnt, which enabled them to step into the shoes of their audience before they presented information to them.
A couple of companies have used some of the imagery processes within NLP to alter how they advertise and as a result have seen a marked difference in Results from their advertising.
One of the imagery processes that has been used is submodalities, which determine how we code, order and give meaning to our experience. For example, when we think about something we like, we will often create an internal picture of it. How much more compelling is an image of a bar of chocolate in a fridge, compared to an image of an empty wrapper?
If you think of a person you like and create an internal image of them, and then make the picture smaller and further away, this will automatically affect how you feel about the person.
Visual submodalities are very powerful, and by altering these within advertising it is possible to create a more compelling picture that Results in an individual wanting to find out more about the product.
Companies that have used NLP at the heart of the coaching processes have seen rapid acceleration in the career growth and potential of their high performing individuals.
A manager in a large multinational organisation had been identified as a high potential employee and had been supported through work based coaching. Her manager had identified that she was occasionally perceived as distant and not a team player. The company clearly valued her and at the same time considered that this was a potential attribute that may affect her career progression, particularly as future roles involved substantial communication and group working across multiple layers of the organisation.
During coaching she reflected on this feedback and demonstrated a high ability to reflect on her own behaviour and how others perceived her. She was able to adapt her behaviour and also use the coaching process to formulate a clear career plan that has resulted in an exponential leap in her career within 6 months.