By: Patricia V. Scott, Ph.D.
Can you remember a time when you heard someone speak with such precision, force and resonance that you have never forgotten their message? Rudyard Kipling once said, “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.” I remember hearing Mark Victor Hansen (co-author of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series) speak at an American Board of Hypnotherapy convention in the early 1990's. I walked out of the room with about 400 other people, feeling like I was floating on a cloud several feet above the ground. What was it about him, his words, his delivery, or his message that so touched me? Thinking back, I get a feeling that tells me his message was much more powerful than the words he spoke.
How are you affected by the way in which you communicate with your own unconscious mind? Do you always produce the result you want in your behaviors, your health, your performance, and your choices? It is said that words are only 7% of our communication, with voice tonality being 38%, and body language making up the remaining 55%. If the actual words you say are the least important element of your message, how can you be certain that you are conveying the intended message? It is my belief and experience that the science of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) holds the key to effective communication with self and others.
The meaning of the communication is in the response that you get! This is one of the main teaching principles of NLP. In “Frogs into Princes”, Richard Bandler and John Grinder (the originators of NLP) point out that you really only require three things to be an exquisite communicator:
1. Know your desired outcome
2. Be flexible in your behavior
3. Have the sensory acuity to notice when you get the desired response
Most people have an idea of the outcome they want in any communication, whether it’s a sales presentation, a negotiation with a spouse, a job interview, or an internal dialogue for weight-loss. Where they are lacking is in their flexibility to be able to generate enough different behaviors to elicit a variety of responses, or they have inadequate sensory acuity skills to recognize the meaning of the response.
The map is not the territory! The words, images and ideas that we use to describe objects and experiences in life aren’t the actual objects or experiences. They are our personal representation of those things, and vary from person to person based on how we communicate with our self. This is sometimes where communication breaks down, because we assume that everyone perceives the world as we do.
You can change your history! Even your very own past isn’t accurate in your memories. It’s based on the state you were in at the time the event happened and changes with each episode of recall, colored by the state you are in every time you recall the memory. With NLP you can learn to change your state on purpose and use various techniques to recall the event in that state, thereby changing your experience and emotions regarding the event. Imagine a memory from your past that has always caused you anger, or fear, or any other negative emotion being transformed into a neutral memory that allows you to remain positive, powerful, and in control.
Sound fantastic? It is not only fantastic, it is transformational. NLP offers powerful tools for personal change and growth, as well as therapeutic tools for anyone doing counseling or coaching. It teaches how to model excellence, control emotions and states, and overcome resistance and blocks to success. I have found NLP to be an indispensable tool in my hypnotherapy practice and it has propelled my personal and financial growth into new dimensions.