NLP has a lot to offer. Yet I also think as a community of people practicing and applying NLP we also have much further we can go.
I've been learning and practicing NLP for nearly 14 years, have had the pleasure of connecting with hundreds of thousands of people through the NLP Times blog, videos and products and one peculiar thing I noticed that marks this field out more so than most other training related fields I've been involved with is a unique groupie mindset and over emphasis on the guru trainer.
Many in the community seem to value higher titles over results. Certificates over skills. Concepts and worldviews over simplification and practical applications.
I get that different trainers and different schools of NLP resonate differently for different people. And many trainers are exceptional but not becuase they were born "perfected" with awesome skillset in working and helping people or applying and using NLP with themselves and others.
Any one who has spent time watching, hearing or reading about the "early chapters" of NLP will know that not even Richard or John were a fraction as skillful then as they have since become. Yet in their own ways both have continued to develop their skills and what is possible with the technology.
The Dangerous Consequence Of The Groupie Mind
Some people are die hard fans of Richard Bandler, others of John Grinder or Tony Robbins. Or other well known trainers like Michael Breen, John LaValle, Paul Mckenna, Owen Fitzpatrick, Gabe Gurrero, Robert Dilts, Michael Hall, to name a few more. And the list doesn't end there. There are many others that could be named.
For the ones I've personally worked with or studied from I can say each of them are great trainers and do a superb job teaching the toolset of NLP.
The bit that I find curious is when people over focus and hype up the seemingly spell binding skills or life of any trainer. The problem with this; is it usually restricts their growth. They create false ideas about what the technology can do (without, when required, consistent effort and commitment to get good) and believe NLP is a magic pill or one stop wonder.
The common context I hear is often from a novice and even highly experienced students who believe just becuase a trainer is a X level, been "successful" or is well known that they must have the perfect life life, never have anything go wrong, be happy all the time, slim, fit, wealthy and know how to solve every problem.
This thinking for the most part is usually the creation of mental fantasies.
Left unchecked the trainer is placed firmly on a Guru pedestal and each training can become more like a sermon.
From there the student typically only focuses on how brilliant they are rather than wondering how quickly can they apply what they have learned or feel poor about themselves if they don't produce similar result.
This approach is a strategy on how NOT to get progressively better.
If you are comparing yourself constantly to any other trainer or NLP practitioner and put them on a mega pedestal you are almost certainly inhibiting the development of your own skills.
Why? Because if you are spell bound by the magic your focus won't be on how they are producing that result.
Learning NLP is first primarily about you and your life and then, if you so decide using it to benefit others.
It's not about becoming a Guru trainer or having a Mega Master Delta Level - training certificate that says you are "in the club".
Certificates these days primarily have a business and product function. Having a certificate shouldn't make it so you think you really know NLP. Being really good with NLP is never about how many certificates or titles you own.
(And for the record, while it is human nature to like having your work liked, fanned and acknowledged I'm not proposing that the trainers listed above were or are seeking a "Guru" following or are Gurus in any kind of pejorative term. The Guru-ism where it was/is in our own thoughts. The people on that list that I know promote the complete opposite approach.)
The Truth About Top Trainers & People In Every Profession
Every performer you've ever seen do something exceptionally well and be able to do that thing consistently (for example evoke rapid trance, change beliefs, hold an audiences attention for hours, solve highly complex problems, put the ball in the top corner of the goal) did so as a result of putting the time in.
They are that good for good reason.
So seeing someone be really good is not a time for "I'll never be that good" or "It's easy for them… they are a mega master Guru". Instead of this kind of thinking… hear yourself say "mmm, I wonder how they did that and how I could do that?"… if that something is what you really want.
What research indicates and what your own experience will likely support is consistent excellence is not a magical end result that just was born. Rather it is the result of a specific set of behavioral patterns repeated over and over until they form well worn habits of excellence.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, defines the number of hours needed to reach high level of success in any domain as 10,000 hours. The actual requirement will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but most people agree a lot of practice is required.
Every person is really good at producing some specific results.
The folks who are really good and exceptional in any profession are so as a result of them absorbing, processing, outputting and refining what they have learnt. NLP is no differently. The trainer and "experts" we admire have done this over and over again, in which some type of feedback; either by themselves or via an external person plays a big role.
So when you see someone who is exceptional, applause their commitment to their craft. Celebrate it - becuase it is awesome.
Then if you want to, focus on what you need to learn to produce a similar result.
Every great trainer will be very appreciate of a student who wants to really learn.
And remember - contemplation and ongoing assessment of your own performance in any domain is key.
The stars of any field didn't accept their first results - they used feedback to get better and better and better, until now it seems to a lesser experienced eye like a kind of magic. And for someone who doesn't yet have that skill it is.
The take away is, for the most part if you really want to become very good you can.
If you are looking to become dramatically better with NLP, in a progressive fashion then the Platinum Audio News Club is a great resource to help.
Where Do You Want To Take Your NLP Skills Today?
Many years ago I once asked Richard Bandler where did he think NLP was going? His response was
NLP isn’t going anywhere. That’s a nominalization. The question where the rest of the NLP people are going? I have no idea. Me? I’m just going down the road trying to get things done faster and quicker and to have more fun doing them.
It was a great response and full of insight on many levels.
So my question for you is where do you want to take your NLP skills today?
Got a question or comment? Leave it below I'd love to hear your feedback.