Introduction

NLP is known as the study of the art and science of excellence, and that alone is enough reason to learn something about it.

As well as a way of thinking, NLP is also practical. It is a set of tools and techniques for thinking and acting effectively in your world. The purpose of NLP is to be useful, so as you go through this topic keep asking yourself ‘Is it useful? Does it work?’ Of course, to answer these questions, you have to try it out, and this is the real key to NLP: trial and experimentation with curiosity about what works for you, and what doesn’t.

In this topic, we have covered the basics of NLP in an accessible format for someone who has no prior knowledge of the subject. We have also presented the material in a way that makes it applicable in a business setting as opposed to other fields where NLP is also used extensively, such as therapy, health and education. It is therefore not a complete resource; indeed, given the size of the field now, it could never hope to be.

It is also not a resource you can use to really learn and understand NLP. We say that because NLP is behavioural, so you need to do it and practise it to get the results it can produce for you. You cannot learn NLP from this, or any other written resource, any more than you could learn to swim from reading about it. The learning needs to be experiential. Like swimming, NLP is both an art and a science. It’s an art because you will learn your own unique way of applying the ideas, and a science because it provides a robust framework with proven processes and techniques.

What this topic does is provide you with a wealth of material to help you with the concepts and the jargon. And unfortunately there’s lots of jargon because in NLP, as in any field of study, a language has been developed to label new concepts. We have therefore either explained these terms or, when possible, avoided them.

Reading some of this topic will give you a good start on your road to understanding NLP. You can dive in almost anywhere, but be aware that some of the material relies on other, more basic, concepts which you really need to understand in order to make practical and effective use of the techniques. If this is the case, the underpinning concept will be flagged up with a link.

Note

This topic is still being added to. We just feel that there is already enough here to be useful and worth publishing now.