NLP: FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about NLP

FAQ: What’s NLP?

The short and simple answer?

NLP is the study of human excellence

Other definitions of NLP include:

  • The science of success.
  • The study of the structure of subjective experience — how people know what they know and do what they do.
  • The Science of Programming your own brain.

Components of NLP

Take a look at the individual facets of NLP.

Neuro: The central nervous system, the mind, body, the senses, through which we acquire information.

Linguistic: Language. This includes verbal and non-verbal language. It incorporates how you ‘re-present’ external information in your mind through pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells and self-talk.

Programming: How patterns, for example, emotional and behavioural patterns—or habits—are created.

Neuro Linguistic Programming: So a fuller definition of NLP is, how the relationship between your mind and body, (Neuro) is affected by your language (Linguistic). Then how you can programme your own brain (Programming) to be more effective.

All behaviour has structure

NLP is based on the belief that all behaviour has structure. Once you understand that structure, you can transform unhelpful or destructive behaviours into useful new actions so you (or others) can be your best more often.

So that’s a pretty concise explanation—but possibly not very useful!

While all these definitions are accurate, they’re also somewhat vague and all encompassing. That’s not very useful when you’re trying to figure out if it’s something you’d like to learn more about! What you probably really want to know is How Can NLP Help Me?

Browsing the blog posts and free resources on this site will also give you specific ways that NLP might apply to you, your life and your own experiences. One thing is for sure, the more NLP you know, the more you’ll find ways to use it in the various aspects of your life.

NLP is being used in almost every human endeavour.

Since it was developed in the mid-1970s the use of NLP has expanded exponentially. The reasons for such massive growth?

It works! And there are increasing numbers of NLP Practitioners, coaches and trainers developing NLP as it becomes increasingly backed by neuroscientific research.

While many people who haven’t been exposed to NLP often think it’s a type of therapy, nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are just some of the ways NLP is currently being used


You can learn to be more influential and to have better control over your psychological and emotional states. Learn what really makes you ‘tick’ and what motivates you. Then you can replace unwanted behaviours with behaviours that reflect who you really are.


Use NLP to ‘programme’ yourself for better performance. That could involve:

NLP:FAQ - Cyclists in race

  • Creating powerful motivation to practice regularly.
  • Incorporating submodality techniques to visualise better performance.
  • Identifying and changing any negative beliefs that could be holding you back from being a top performer.

Managers and Team Leaders

You already know what a diverse bunch we are. NLP will show you how people are different, and teach you ethical ways to get the most from everyone. You’ll learn how to motivate and get optimum performance from every person in your team.

You can learn personal leadership skills, so you behave authentically and feel aligned with your purpose as well as your own and company values.


It’s frustrating when clients don’t follow through with agreed commitments. As a coach you can use NLP to find out what ‘mental blocks’ are preventing a client from achieving those commitments and gaining momentum. You can use NLP to literally remove those blocks—without doing therapy!

Learn to use language to motivate your clients, and use specific questioning techniques to uncover issues at lightening speed.

Health Professionals

Incorporate NLP into your practice by identifying unconscious processes that might be contributing to dis-ease. Some NLP techniques resolve health issues without the need for medication. NLP will add another level to your professionalism and save you diagnostic time.

Teachers and trainers

Improve your teaching or training delivery using NLP techniques which increase your training flexibility and achieve consistently superior results for your students..

Advertisers, marketers and sales professionals

Use NLP to successfully sell products and services, by building rapport and incorporating ethical language and persuasion skills.

Get the NLP Practitioner Training Guide to gain an in-depth insight into what is taught. Discover how NLP how it can enhance your career and relationships — including the one you have with yourself!

FAQ: I’ve heard NLP is a bit unconventional — is that true?

It was!

At the time NLP was first developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the early 1970s it would have been considered very unconventional—even radical! The concepts challenged people’s ways of thinking and ideas about how long change should take.

But that was a long time ago, and today you would be amazed at just how many organisations are using NLP as part of their training programmes.

You might be surprised that there are now millions of NLP Practitioners worldwide using NLP to enhance all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

NLP is an extensive body of knowledge that is continually expanding as more and more people use it and increase its potential.

Nowadays, NLP is commonly used to enhance performance in sports, management, leadership, advertising, business, armed forces, health, education & training, personal development and coaching. In fact in any endeavour that involves people!

The techniques are, in the main, quick and efficient, generating positive change that lasts. How would you not want to use something that has such broad application?

FAQ: How does NLP fit with coaching and mentoring

NLP fits very well with coaching and mentoring

In fact, NLP connects very well with most skills you already have, giving you a greater depth of resources. Using coaching as an example, NLP gives you extensive development tools and techniques to help you assist others.

You might use NLP to overcome any stumbling blocks or personal hang-ups, preventing a client from succeeding. For instance, although someone might dream of success, they may also fear, on a deeper level, the consequences of that success.

The result is self-sabotaging behaviour

No matter how much coaching they receive, until that fear of success is identified and dealt with, they’re unlikely to achieve their dreams. Which won’t do much for your reputation as a coach.

NLP gives you several ways of handling these kinds of issues

Similarly, what happens if a personal concern arises in a coaching session, or the client becomes upset? It may not be something that would typically be handled in a coaching situation. Yet an NLP Practitioner/coach will have many holistic, compassionate options to help the client resolve those issues—without doing therapy.

But don’t think NLP is just for overcoming issues. There are a myriad of ways NLP will enhance what you’re already doing well.

FAQ: Can NLP help me in my work or career?

The short answer is YES!

Successful NLP people
Using NLP would enhance the way most people perform in their jobs and careers. Read how some NLP Practitioners are using their skills.

How NLP will help you specifically, depends on what your job or career is, as there will be many NLP approaches that can help.

Some examples:

  • Be more confident in certain situations, such as when giving presentations.
  • Developing more influence and rapport with a critical client may be valuable to you.
  • Change a limiting belief you have about yourself or your ability, so you can live life more fully.
  • Understand how different team members process information, or how they maintain their current behaviour will enable you to coach them to better performance.

FAQ: What is anchoring?

Anchoring is a naturally occurring phenomenon which is connected to classical conditioning.

Here’s the technical version: A stimulus (trigger) in one sensory system evokes a response or state previously associated with that stimulus.

Here’s a human example: Hearing an old song (auditory system) may cause you to feel romantic (kinaesthetic system).

In NLP you can learn anchoring techniques so that you can be in control of your emotional state. Read and listen to how to create instance confidence where I’ll take you through an essential anchoring exercise to develop a state of confidence.

FAQ: What are the NLP Eye Accessing Cues?

It’s the way we access different types of informationThe NLP Eye Accessing Cues - on tablet

Eye accessing is the term used to describe how we access different types of information (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and talking to ourselves) by moving our eyes. As an observer, it lets you know the type of thinking someone is engaged in.You can learn more about Eye Accessing in this blog post,

Or check out my eBook The NLP Eye Accessing Cues.

Here’s an example

The man in the photo below is trying to remember something he’s seen before. Given that he has a pencil in his hand, it’s quite likely that he’s picturing a word he wants to remember how to spell.

Man looking up and left- NLP eye accessing

FAQ: What is a strategy in NLP?

A strategy is a way of sequencing thoughts and actions to achieve a desired outcome.

The NLP developers found ways of isolating these processes to establish how successful people do what they do. Once defined, you can use a strategy yourself, teach it to others or—if it’s not useful—change it.

The NLP spelling strategy (modelled from excellent spellers), is a simple and quickly learned strategy resulting in immediate and dramatic improvement in spelling ability.

FAQ: What’s it like on an Inside Your Mind course?

NLP:FAQ participants at an Inside Your Mind Course

It’s relaxed and fun

I do my very best to create a low key, relaxed and fun learning environment where you can feel safe to learn and grow. And judging by the feedback, I do it pretty well 😊

You’re welcome to bring a bean bag, lie on the floor and use learning aids while enjoying your learning experience. You will be challenged and supported to step outside your comfort zone in a comfortable training environment. Check the ‘Happy People’ section for feedback to get an idea of what the courses are like.

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Tags: Body language, Thinking and mindset, work and career


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