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While you wait for the email to arrive, here are eight tips for leveraging NLP more effectively in the workplace.
1. NLP ISN’T THE END-ALL BE-ALL!
If you ever come across anybody that tells you that NLP is the ultimate solution to all of your problems, turn around and run the other way. Don't get caught up in the NLP religion, and don't learn NLP from people who belong to it or are trying to enroll you in it.
NLP is like a programming language, such as C++ or Java, for the mind. Notice I didn't say THE programming language for the mind. It's just one option. NLP offers us a code we can use to find out what's in the mind (ours or someone else's) and change that programming as appropriate.
I find it effective. Others might not. After all there are millions of happy, successful people in the world who have never heard of NLP, and their information and processing of the world is already quite effective.
2. CHANGE YOUR OUTCOME BY CHANGING YOUR LANGUAGE
Do you think you would get a different response if you say:
"Try to contact the client by 6pm tomorrow"
than if you said:
"You must contact the client by 6pm tomorrow"?
You better believe you will!
Pay attention to the words you use. They alter the meaning you want to convey.
3. GET DETAILS
Make sure you understand specifically what people mean when they use words. Here is an example I use in my seminars and speeches. I tell the audience:
"Think of a dog..."
I let them think for 5 seconds, and then I ask:
"Who here saw a german shepherd?"
Some people raise their hand.
"Who here saw a poodle?"
Some people raise their hand.
"Who here saw a bigger dog, like a pit bull or a rottweiler?"
More people raise their hand.
There are even some people who see a drawn dog, like Pluto or Snoopy.
Clearly, the word "dog" doesn't mean the same thing to everybody.
If the word "dog" is so ambiguous, imagine a word like "technology..."
The key is to ask "What technology specifically?" That way, the person speaking can clarify what they mean and remove all ambiguity.
4. WHO IS MOVING TOWARDS SOMETHING AND WHO IS GETTING AWAY FROM SOMETHING?
When your co-workers say that something has to be done, pay attention to what is motivating their desire for movement. Do they want to do something to move towards an outcome that they want, or to get away or avoid something that they don't want?
What's causing their action?
For instance, one of your colleagues might want to go to an offsite course to "get away from the office," while another's motivation would be to "learn something new."
5. FIND OUT WHAT DRIVES PEOPLE
Ask your colleagues what's most important to them in life. If one says "career and money" and the other one says "family," you'll have to use different approaches to sell ideas to each one.
The first one will respond to words like "sales," "profit," "success," "six-figures," and so forth.
The second will respond to "time with your loved ones," "family duties," "children," "husband," "wife" and so forth.
As the old adage says, you have to use different strokes for different folks.
You will get better results by appealing directly to what drives people in life and at work.
6. WHEN YOU CAN'T, SHIFT THE TALK TO HOW YOU COULD
If you and your team are stuck, and it seems that you CAN'T do something, shift the conversation to how you COULD do it.
Something along these lines...
"Our sales goal for the month is $895,000! We just can't make it!"
"We really can't... But if there were a way, how COULD we do it?"
That simple change in words will give your brain a chance to open up new possibilities that you may not have taken into account.
Shift your possibilities by shifting your mindset. Shift your mindset by shifting your language.
7. “CAN’T” USUALLY MEANS “WON’T”
When your co-workers say that they can't do something, in most cases what they really mean is that they won't do it.
Since "won't" is a decision not to do something, it changes your understanding of what is really going on.
The true meaning of "I can't" is that "I'm incapable or unable to do it." In most cases, that's false.
8. ADD A SIMPLE WORD TO CHANGE MEANING
If things aren't working out and your team is discouraged, simply add the word "yet" at the end of a sentence to transform your teammates' mindset.
Imagine a meeting where frustration is running high because you haven't been able to close a client.
Shift things instantly by saying "We haven't been able to close her yet."
Notice the difference?
One slams the door in your face. The other opens up possibilities.
Couple this with the tip above and follow with:
"What else COULD we do to close them?"
The "yet" presupposes that it will happen one day, so it keeps looking for the path to the outcome.
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