NLP for HR colleagues
Many HR & Business leaders recognise the added value that NLP brings to a variety of business activities and they also value NLP for their own professional development. HR, Learning & Development, Trainers, Recruiters, OD, Reward and Employee Relation Professionals are always on the look out for development opportunities that help them become more effective communicators, coaches, mentors, time managers, talent spotters, managers of change and people developers. What all Human Resource colleagues and Leaders have in common is their desire to better understand and support other colleagues to develop and to help them be the best they can be (and we’re all on the look out for ways to get better results, more easily or effectively for ourselves too).
What is NLP all about?
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) has been described as the art and science of personal excellence – the study of what makes the difference between the excellent and the average. ‘Neuro’ relates to how we use our mind, ‘Linguistic’, is the verbal and non-verbal language we use (communication) and ‘Programming’ our patterns of thinking and behaviour. Some describe it as a ‘practical behavioural psychology’. It looks at the way we take in and process the information from the world around us. At it’s heart is about communication, and let’s face it business is, at it’s most basic level, ultimately about interactions between 2 people and therefore how well they can communicate, interact and process information is key to success. Rapport is the basis of all communication and is an essential element when it comes to coaching, influencing and building effective relationships. NLP looks at patterns of behaviour and whether they are helpful and bring about the desired results – and if they don’t we can change things to improve success. It is a tool for modelling excellence and being able to reproduce that excellence in ourselves and share it with others. I’m currently working with a retailer who is using NLP to improve customer service, increase sales and enable leaders to understand, communicate and coach their team members more effectively – they’ve seen an increase of an average of £20 spend per customer (so the ROI on the training we delivered is fantastic).
‘where’s the proof NLP works’
There are of course sceptics – their view focuses on a lack of evidence that proves how NLP works. This argument always reminds me of the medical profession, which for years said there was no proof that fruit and vegetable intake could help prevent cancer and heart disease. Now it’s a well researched and documented fact – and we are all encouraged to eat plenty of fruit and veg.
The NLP community back in the 70’s were never obsessed with proving how what they did worked and of course since that time NLP has been developed further – but it’s focus remains on practical application (learning and teaching what works and gets results). I recall a conversation I had with a well know Neuroscientist, Amy Brann who when asked about the link between NLP and Neuro-Science agreed with me that just because science & academia has yet to prove how every NLP technique works, that is not to say that it doesn’t – it’s just that science hasn’t caught up yet (a good example of this is the NLP technique Anchoring – science has now proved how it works). As an article in Personnel Today nicely sums up the view of many in the NLP community: ‘I wonder if, in a few years’ time a bunch of ‘qualified’ academics will be announcing their ‘brilliant new findings’ about NLP, while some of us will be muttering ‘what took you so long?’’ The ‘proof’ that some people seek is found by talking to people and businesses that have used NLP to increase success, change results and deliver transformation:
“If I can recommend a course to my HR colleagues and management colleagues it’s an NLP practitioner course. I’m constantly impressed with the changes you can bring about in people and help them to be the best they can be…..”
‘I think what I’ve gained most of all from NLP is its overall ethos. One of the key messages that I have taken is that that you have choices and are responsible for them’
‘The NLP models are useful in designing training, coaching and mentoring team members, preparing for meetings and presentations, and building rapport for better relationships with stakeholders’
NLP for HR & Training Professionals
As an HR professional for 15 years, I know the pressure that many HR colleagues feel to find the ‘answer’ and provide guidance to business leaders on how they can address people challenges and help employees achieve and exceed business targets/goals. Like many departments they are asked to deliver more with less people. As professionals, we want tools that are easy to understand and apply to help us get the results we would like personally as well as wanting things we can share with the business in order to assist them – anything that helps us become better communicators, influencers, relationship builders, presenters and coaches is hugely valuable and enables us to be more effective. Below are a few examples that illustrate how NLP can help HR & Training colleagues:
- Influencing and communication. NLP teaches how we can build Rapport with anyone. Rapport skills give us the ability to get on with everyone and to establish relationships of deep trust. It enables us to become even more influential with people over whom we might have no direct authority. Learning about other people’s ‘representation systems’/ preferred ways of viewing and processing the world around us, help us communicate with others in a way that works for them – such as predicates. Enhanced listening and questioning skills are also critical and so valuable to all of us – a few well placed questions can cut down time hugely.
- Setting and Achieving Goals. Successful people set goals and how they set them is crucial to their effectiveness. Learn how to help people achieve whatever they want in their lives and careers by setting clear, specific, motivational outcomes.
- Precision questions. How to ask Key Questions that cut right to the real issue in HR situations.
- Coaching. Have a toolkit of tools and ways of thinking that can help your clients move past their obstacles, understand themselves and their teams better. Traditional coaching (the kind I used within my ILM level 7 executive coach course) helps people think around a problem – but with NLP skills you have advanced questioning and listening skills which mean you are hugely more effective.
- Meetings. Improve chairing skills with NLP. Learn to read your group closely with calibration skills and sensory acuity, provide them with information in a way they can best receive it (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and learn to handle challenges elegantly. Develop the flexibly to chunk up language and talk ‘big picture’ and chunk down into the detail as needed.
- Negotiation skills. Learn to negotiate smoothly, avoiding conflict and achieving win/win outcomes every time.
- Presenting & Training skills. Learn the difference that makes the difference – how to structure presentations that will capture all your audience, use metaphors or story telling that engages (and teaches), learn internally recognised gestures that support your message and about how to move (or not move) on your stage to aid delivery.
- Our own personal development – as HR professionals we often forget to gives ourselves opportunities to learn and grow. We all have things that hold us back personally, whether t’s beliefs we hold about ourselves that limit us, internal conflicts (e.g. part of me things ‘x’ and part of me thinks ‘y’), nerves in a given context or past experiences that hold us back – the list goes on. The NLP Practitioner course enables us to get rid of what’s holding us back, set goals for ourselves that work and align what motivates us behind our goals.
Want to know more about how NLP can help you or your organisation?
It’s always great to hear about HR colleagues who recommend NLP. If you’d like to know more about how NLP could help you (and how you could use it to help others in your role) drop us an email and let’s chat about how we might be able to help …
Unleash Your Potential run public courses and also in-house NLP courses from the introductory 2 day ‘NLP for Business Diploma‘, NLP Practitioner courses and NLP Master Practitioner courses. If you’d like to discuss how an NLP course could assist you contact us either via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02920 023311.