My journey into NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)

I’m thrilled to inform you that I recently completed my NLP (Neurolinguistic programming) certification. I am now a NLP certified practitioner. Yayyy.. feels surreal to even say that!!! It’s been on my bucket list since the last 6yrs.

And it was a strangely transformative experience for me. It was a classroom program spread over 3 months (which I loved) and to just be part of a cohort, gain energy from others and the entire group dynamics was so refreshing (after being home-bound for so long).

This has been something I have always wanted to do but never found the time to. So now that I was doing my coaching certification, I thought maybe it will be good to do it simultaneously; to apply its concepts in my coaching practice.

Now what the hell is this new Programming Language?

At the heart of NLP is modelling (not models!!… stop picturing models!!! You can’t can you? 😊). NLP was developed by studying successful people (role models) and developing strategies and frameworks to replicate excellence.   

So the word “programming” represents certain methods and processes that can be applied to enable people to make changes to their thoughts, behaviors and emotions to gain the desired outcomes.

My facilitator, from the institute where I did my certification, explained it beautifully. It’s about effectively using our different intelligences and bringing about a holistic change in the individual:

IQ (intellectual quotient): the mind and our language patterns which we have for ourselves and others.

EQ (emotional quotient): Emotions and how they impact our results

PQ (physical quotient): Physiology/ body and how our body plays an active role (sometimes without us realising) when we are in a particular state of mind or to get into one.

SQ (spiritual quotient): Our purpose or something bigger than ourselves

The most interesting part for me was how much the mind and body are connected. This is relevant because it was discovered in 2013, that our physical and emotional states share the same neural systems. So therefore, you can understand what emotions you are feeling simply by being aware of your physiological changes.  

An example is how athletes use some gestures to motivate themselves like a “yes action” everytime they win or score. It’s about motivating themselves (which is the state they want to be in).

How can this be used in coaching?

  • NLP enables the coach to understand what lies beneath the surface. Go into limiting beliefs, see physiological changes such as breathing pattern, tone, posture etc and identify the emotions of the individual. She can then work with the individual to make them resourceful enough to bring up certain emotional states to perform some tasks well e.g. feel confidence before the coachee goes for a presentation, empowerment when she is speaking with her husband, etc
  • She can enable the person to reframe some limiting beliefs into empowering ones such as “there is no failure only feedback” or “behind every behaviour there is a positive intention”.
  • She can help change some negative behaviors such as smoking or drinking into some positive ones. I had a surreal experience in this. For a year I have been struggling to leave meat and go vegetarian. When we were practicing this technique I took it up as something I wanted to change. And strangely after that whenever I ate meat, my body rejected it. Earlier I would feel I’m missing out when I tried to stop myself. Now I feel no emotion. It takes me back to the NLP belief – The mind and body are one.

I hope this kind of gives you a sense of what I am trying to learn and how I can use these skills to add value to my coachees. I want to partner with them on their journey towards something they desire, by equipping myself with the appropriate skills. I’m sooooo excited about this journey!

I would love to know about anything interesting you have come across in your coaching journeys or with a coach.