NLP Training

October 17, 2009

A Michelin star experience or MacDonalds

When you are considering NLP Training, it is important to get an overall feel for how the training company conducts its business. Have look at the company website. Is it professional looking, does it explain all the options? Does the site present the prices in an explicit way? The other side of the coin is a poorly designed site that lacks solid content and attempts to hide the prices or makes you register before revealing the prices. It is also a good idea to telephone the company and talk to someone there about the NLP training on offer. Does the person explain your options clearly? Speed of response is a good indicator of professionalism. Does the NLP Training company reply to your emails and phone calls in a timely fashion?

If you are new to NLP and not totally sure, an introductory course is a good place to start. Introductory NLP Training usually is packaged as a one or two day course.  By attending an introductory course you can get a sense as to whether NLP Training is for you. You also get a feel for the company and the trainer who is delivering the NLP Training.  Avoid the so-called free courses. As you are probably aware, nothing is ever free. So-called free courses will blitz you with a sales pitch or charge you a booking fee. This sales strategy is the ‘time-share’ sales approach of NLP. A hard core sales approach often masquerades a weak course. An introduction to NLP course should do exactly what it says on the tin – provide you with good introduction to NLP training giving you some practical skills and theoretical knowledge.

After your introduction to NLP, some people will take another short NLP Training course relevant to a specific area of application others will take an NLP Practitioner course.  You can of course do both.  NLP training is available in a variety of specialist courses e.g. NLP and sales, NLP and negotiation, NLP and parenting, NLP for personal development, NLP and accelerated learning. Such NLP training courses will not make you an NLP expert but will give you a hands-on experience of how to apply NLP training to a specialist area.

You can of course start your NLP training by going straight in at the NLP Practitioner level. There is no disadvantage in doing this as the material covered in an introductory course is usually covered in the first few days of an NLP Practitioner course. An NLP Practitioner course provides you with NLP training in the models and skills that John Grinder and Richard Bandler developed during their 1972 – 1979 partnership. Some NLP Practitioner courses will include the latest material from either Grinder or Bandler – so if it is newer NLP developments you are after, select a company that is affiliated with one of the co-creators of NLP.  In fact, to avoid dilution of processes and to have a more authentic experience take a course from a trainer who has studied to trainer level with one of the NLP co-creators. Of course, if you are in the UK where there is an excellent choice of NLP training, you can take a Practitioner course directly with John Grinder or Richard Bandler.

NLP Practitioner courses vary in length and content.  Some companies offer Practitioner courses that are as short as seven days. Other courses are twenty days long over weekends. A realistic time frame for NLP training at the Practitioner level is 12 days. Any shorter and there is a short cut on the experience.  Caution is urged for NLP consumers when NLP training providers suggest their short courses offer the same quality NLP Training as a longer course because the course includes home-study. Home study works OK as a complement to a live NLP training course, however if live training time is reduced and supplemented by home learning, the end result is not so good. At a high quality NLP course, the learnings occur through modelling and direct experience, home learning is a poor substitute for direct experience.

NLP patterns were modelled from superb therapists so the NLP models translated directly to coaching and change work. In the early days of NLP training, the courses delivered by Grinder and Bandler focussed mainly on change work. The very early NLP Practitioners deployed their skills in the arena of coaching. Later, business people, educators and medical professionals soon caught on to the power of NLP and sought out NLP training.  So nowadays, most NLP training skills offer general application skills and the participants on the course establish how they would like to deploy the skills they learn.

In recent years specialist NLP Practitioner courses have emerged on the scene of NLP training. Such courses teach NLP Practitioner skills for one specific area of application i.e. coaching, business, education and sports to name a few. So, you have NLP Business Practitioner courses, NLP Coaching Practitioner courses and so on. The NLP training and the following exercises on the course are specific to the area of application. Naturally such courses attract a narrow band of people who want to use their NLP training to work in a specific area. These courses are fine if you wish to specialise.

The next level of NLP training after NLP Practitioner training is a Master Practitioner course. NLP Master Practitioner courses are supposed to bring more elegance and mastery to the Practitioner level skills as well as offering advanced applications. This only happens when the trainer is highly experienced in NLP.  There is greater diversity in NLP training at the NLP Master Practitioner level, as different schools of NLP bring their own ideas and styles of NLP to the Master Practitioner level. According to both NLP co-creators of NLP, a lot of material that people claim to be NLP, simply isn’t NLP. It is highly recommended that you study NLP training at the Master Practitioner level with a well established trainer who has lots of experience in the field. Check the content of course to ensure you are studying real NLP and not some faddish material someone is attempting to pass off as NLP training. This may sound harsh ”“ but so much NLP training has been watered down it does not resemble what is really NLP. The top tip here is stay authentic.

Some people want to take their NLP training to the level of being a ‘certified NLP Trainer’. The advice here is simple, if you are going to teach NLP go the source of the material so that you know you will be delivering quality NLP training to your students based on the principles the field was founded on. As an NLP trainer, you step into the shoes of the Michelin chef, being able to deliver quality experiences tailored to the people who will be enjoying the experience. An NLP trainer can only do this if they themselves were educated with high class NLP training.

To close the metaphors; I was brought up on simple home cooking, I enjoyed basic stews, shepherd pies etc, I didn’t know any differently. At 14 I had my first MacDonalds, and I remember thinking how overrated the food was. My friends had really hyped it up.  When I was in my early 20’s I was taken to La Gavoroche restaurant, owned by Michel Roux, the Michelin Star chef. The eating experience was superb and I love to go back because the dishes are always changing.  I have since always enjoyed the experience of fine dining and often wonder why we in the field of NLP training don’t always have the same passion and wanton desire to create amazing experiences as professionals in other fields.

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