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If Someone’s P*ssing You Off With Their NLP (and didn’t mean to) – is it NLP?

June 27, 2012

(And can anyone hear you cry…..?!)

The foundation of NLP in practice is surely a fundamental emotional intelligence.

This tends to be coded at its simplest, in basic NLP terms, as rapport, calibration and state.

However, sometimes this seems to denote only a purely technical and instrumental procedure prior to committing NLP on someone!

In quantitative approaches to NLP training – i.e. training self-defined as excellent by the number of new models per day – I guess it is  efficient to consign the more self-aware, somatic, relational, interactive, collaborative and generative NLP skills to a kind of luxury category, as optional extras even.

Insert, as they say, a Victoria Wood-type foreplay joke here…

It’s (sort of) funny how often I hear that someone’s manager/ friend/ colleague/ partner etc has been on an NLP course and now they are unbearable… oh dear,…oops.

So, my point.. can you actually call what you are doing ‘NLP’, even if it is an actual NLP technique, if you personally aren’t fully awake, skilfully calibrating and experientially learning in the moment how to communicate effectively with the other person?

If you are not truly looking, listening, patterning and responding to ongoing feedback appropriately and with a sense of creating a unique, living human connection …  then, with the best intentions and the sexiest NLP technique in the universe… what is that?

Of course we can all p*ss people off and get it wrong, and it wouldn’t be any fun if we couldn’t … but then what?

Only your NLP emotional intelligence skills will get you back on track – subtle, somatic, self-aware.. attention in the present moment, connection to self and other.

“If it aint rapportfulleee… then it aint no NLPeee” 


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  1. “You may be proud of your NLPness, but you shouldn’t get it out at every opportunity and ram it down people’s throats” – is what I used to tell my NLP students

  2. Didn’t Grinder and Bandler years ago talk about how they taught the Meta Model to university students and the students went home and started alienating family members and friends? Always keep ecology in mind when using NLP techniques.

    • Hi Lou, yes you’re right and I think that’s where the idea of ‘Meta-murder’ comes from!

      The Meta model can be used in a somewhat abrupt and overly challenging way.. I don’t frame the patterns as ‘violations’ either with this in mind. For me it’s all about using these powerful tools skilfully and artfully, and as I say, with a genuineness and good-heartedness too.

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