What is NLP ?

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming, which in turn means a way of changing someone’s thoughts and behaviors to help achieve desired outcomes for them. In short, NLP is about thoughts, words and actions.

The popularity of neuro-linguistic programming or NLP has become widespread since it started in the 1970s. Its uses include treatment of phobias and anxiety disorders and improvement of workplace performance or personal happiness.

NLP gives you more than a set of tools; it gives you a whole new way of thinking that shapes your behaviour on a day-to-day basis.

NLP Has helped organizations and famous personalities achieve greatness . Some examples :

“NLP helps me to manage audiences and motivate them. It is just amazing.”
Oprah Winfrey, the No. 1 talk show host in the world.

I built my sales career from zero to become the world’s best motivator by using NLP”
Anthony Robbins, the best-known success coach in the World.

NLP produces results and improves rapport. I want all my staff to attend the training.”
James Olson, former chairman, AT&T.

NLP is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the technology of achievement and human excellence.”
Time Magazine

NLP could be the most important synthesis of knowledge about human communication to emerge since the explosion of Humanistic Psychology in the sixties.”
Science Digest

NLP can be used for personal development, phobias, and anxiety.

NLP uses perceptual, behavioral, and communication techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions.

NLP relies on language processing but should not be confused with natural language processing, which shares the same acronym.

NLP was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who believed it was possible to identify the patterns of thoughts and behaviors of successful individuals and to teach them to others.

Despite a lack of empirical evidence to support it, Bandler and Grinder published two books, The Structure of Magic I and II, and NLP took off. Its popularity was partly due to its versatility in addressing the many diverse issues that people face.

How does it work?

The varying interpretations of NLP make it hard to define. It is founded on the idea that people operate by internal “maps” of the world that they learn through sensory experiences.

NLP tries to detect and modify unconscious biases or limitations of an individual’s map of the world.

NLP is not hypnotherapy. Instead, it operates through the conscious use of language to bring about changes in someone’s thoughts and behavior.

For example, a central feature of NLP is the idea that a person is biased towards one sensory system, known as the preferred representational system or PRS.

Therapists can detect this preference through language. Phrases such as “I see your point” may signal a visual PRS. Or “I hear your point” may signal an auditory PRS.

An NLP practitioner will identify a person’s PRS and base their therapeutic framework around it. The framework could involve rapport-building, information-gathering, and goal-setting with them.


NLP is a broad field of practice. As such, NLP practitioners use many different techniques that include the following:

One of the techniques of NLP is to attempt to remove negative thoughts and feelings linked to a past event.

  • Anchoring: Turning sensory experiences into triggers for certain emotional states.
  • Rapport: The practitioner tunes into the person by matching their physical behaviors to improve communication and response through empathy.
  • Swish pattern: Changing patterns of behavior or thought to come to a desired instead of an undesired outcome.
  • Metaprograms: These are some on the mental filters that direct what you pay attention to, how you process information and how they communicate to others.
  • Visual/kinaesthetic dissociation (VKD): Trying to remove negative thoughts and feelings associated with a past event.

Note: The above passage has been inspired by Quorans who help us all with great insights; my readings of Kain Ramsay; my NLP guru Vikram Dhar and others whom I follow