Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP as it’s commonly referred to, is a powerful discipline that teaches people to tap into the potential of human communication. Tapping into this potentialenables people to think, communicate and manage themselves, and others, more effectively.
Although it might not seem like it, the name – Neuro-Linguistic Programming, explains the concept itself! NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (our programming/programs).
Neuro: Our nervous system, brain/mind and how that interacts with the body.
Linguistic: The words and language we use- keep in mind that language can be verbal and non verbal.
Programming: Is the habits of our thoughts (almost always unconscious) that lead to habits of our behavior, both good and bad. By examining andunlocking these with NLP you can then decide whether they work well for you or lead you to be unhappy and unfulfilled. This places you in a great position of CHOICE, POWER and CONTROL about whether you would like to change them.
So in simple terms, NLP is about learning how to communicate in a way that can affect a change of behavior both in ourselves, and more importantly, in others.
In a business context, NLP is used to enhance influence, persuasion and negotiation skills, particularly within the sales arena, as one of the keys to amazing sales is having brilliant communication skills and knowing how to communicate with different prospects. NLP will help you better understand your prospects’, customers’ and staffs’ needs, motivations and behaviors. This is the first step to influencing and persuading.
Types of Language
Remember that everyone has their own preferred language for how they communicate.
As sales professionals and business owners we also need to be educated about different types of communication styles because as we know our prospects, customer, suppliers and staff – all the people we deal with – are different. It is logical then to assume that everyone will have a different communication style preference. Once you are aware of a persons learning and communication style, you can tailor you own communication to get the desired results from the interaction.There are primarily 3 main communication styles we come across (there is also ‘gustatory’ which relates to taste and olfactory which relates to smell but these are less common).
The 3 communication styles are Visual (seeing), Auditory (hearing) and Kinaesthetic (feeling/touching).
VISUAL this is a style in which ideas, conversation, concepts, facts and other information are associated with imagery.
A predominantly Visual Communicator might say, “I can imagine the big picture”.
AUDITORY this is a style in which people rely heavily on the actual words spoken, including tone. They learn and communicate information primarily through their listening skills.
A predominantly Auditory Communicator might say, “Let’s tone down the discussion”.
KINAESTHETIC this is a style in which people need to ‘feel’ or have a tactile experience. They are often referred to as ‘doers’ as they need to engage physically. A predominantly Kinaesthetic Communicator might say, “I grasp that concept”.
It is important to remember that people don’t fall into only one distinct style. The majority of people communicate across all three styles but will always lean towards, or have a preference for one.
It is also important to be aware of what your communication style is the majority of the time (or at the very least when you are communicating with prospects or customers). As you can imagine, there may be times where your preferred communication style clashes with that of a prospects (for example if you are a kinaesthetic communicator how likes to touch others on the arm when speaking and your prospect is an auditory communicator who prefers just to listen to what you are saying).
The goal in this situation is not to become a master of all three styles, but to become a master at identifying all three styles by picking up on the wording and cues listed above.
NLP has many layers to it, and I cover it in greater depth in my Sales King Ultimate System.
In summary, NLP is a powerful change management tool that transforms the way people think and act to have the greatest impact. That’s why NLP is one of the most powerful skills a business owner and sales professional can learn.