"Moving on up: An ABC guide to neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)." The Guardian (London, England) (April 24, 1999)

Ever wondered why the smell of sun cream can make you feel happy, or why you get on effortlessly with some people? NLP, the science of how our brains code experience, has some of the answers.

A. Common sense We use all five senses to develop strategies for dealing with the world. Some sounds or smells make you feel good because they conjure up excitement or relaxation whilst others can paralyse you. The very words you choose reflect inner realities you may not be aware of. NLP teaches how to recognise and harness inner programming so you can break through limitations and achieve your potential. It promotes the development of sensory acuity which can be used to pick up signals about the values of others. This helps you understand and manipulate them.

B. Attitude problems Developing this sort of awareness and control prevents previously stressful situations such as presentations, interviews, relationships or life in general being a problem. As well as an aid to personal development, NLP skills and intervention techniques are marketed as relevant to those who want to create organisational change. Understanding how what you do influences the responses of others and having insight into what motivates or blocks them is the key to modifying behaviours and attitudes. Training in effective communication, managing change, presentation skills, selling and negotiation may all be using NLP techniques. Employers who use NLP include BT and Price Waterhouse Coopers. It’s particularly useful for dealing with awkward characters.

C. Self defence If you find the idea of working for people who are that good at understanding and influencing you unsettling, get a piece of it for yourself. There’s a full list of accredited courses at http://www.anlp.org


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