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NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming): What Is It And How Can It Help Your Business?

Neuro-linguistic programming, otherwise known by the acronym, NLP, is a communication and personal development tool with great potential for use in the workplace. My name’s Thijs van Loon. I’m a trainer/manager with 20 years of experience and the founder and CEO of Betterworks Asia. As a big believer in the power of neurolinguistic programming, in this article I’d like to tell you about NLP, its use in the workplace, and how this tool can benefit both local and foreign-owned companies in Vietnam. 

NLP in business

What Is NLP?

Before getting into how neuro-linguistic programming can help your business, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. NLP was Developed in the 1970’s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. According to Medical News Today, they believed it was possible to identify the thought patterns and behaviors of successful individuals and teach them to others.  Encompassing elements of communication, psychotherapy, and personal development, NLP focuses on the relationships between how we sense (neuro), communicate (linguistic), and behave (programming). 

RELATED: Read about our Management & High Performance Coaching Services

By merging the subconscious with the conscious, people become more cognizant of their own personal neuro-linguistic programming, allowing for a greater awareness of how they act and react in various situations. This understanding leads to a host of benefits, both in the workplace and in day-to-day life.

How Can Neuro-linguistic Programming Help In The Workplace? 

Focusing on NLP in the workplace, here are a few key benefits.

1. Improve Communication

Whether you’re a new employee looking to make your mark or a manager of a business needing to lead a team, NLP can help you do both. This is because not only does NLP help you understand your own style of communication, it also helps you better grasp the effect your communication has on others. 

A good way to think about this is through the lens of the salesperson. Consider the quintessential salesperson. More often than not, you’re imagining someone who’s attentive, good at connecting to others, and with an easy way about them that gives you the impression they have all the time in the world. Essentially, they’re great communicators. NLP provides you with the toolset to learn how to become one yourself.

2. Set Better Goals

Goal setting is paramount to being effective in the workplace. Unfortunately, many still fall short when it comes to effective goal setting, which is where NLP techniques can help. However, before learning any techniques, it’s important to understand how the brain works. According to Neurosemantics, our brains work primarily from our sensory system–Remember, neuro? But that’s not all. The language we use directly affects our sensory system. This means in order to effectively set better goals, it’s imperative to language the goal in such a way that drives our brain to obtaining it. Though there’s more to the subject, a good place to begin is to formulate the goal in a positive manner.

3. Incite Behavioral Changes

The final benefit we’ll discuss has to do with inciting behavioral changes. Once again, this is useful regardless of if you’re an employee or a business manager, as, at the end of the day, everyone has the ability to affect another. 

Where behavioral change begins to actually happen then is after communication is improved and better goals are set. In a way, it’s a stream from one to the next that results in people understanding certain gaps that need to be filled. The difference with using NLP techniques is that these gaps are no longer perceived as problems.

Neuro-linguistic Programming Training In Workshops

NLP training is a major part of my workshops, but before getting into that, what are these workshops in the first place? With a focus on professional skills, they teach anything from:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Sales training
  • Time management
  • Attention management

How Is NLP Training Used In Workshops?

NLP serves as the backbone of my workshops because of how effectively they improve communication, set better goals, and incite behavioral change. To give you a clearer picture of this, here’s how a typical workshop starts.

  1. First and foremost, it’s vital for the people participating in the workshops to understand why they’re there in the first place and what they’re going to get out of the experience. 
  2. In order to figure out the why and what, NLP techniques are useful. This is as simple as asking what their goals are, and then linking those goals to the hurdles in their way.
  3. By getting participants to outline their goals and hurdles in between, it’s possible to get people to recognize the necessity for training in the first place. 
  4. At this point, the desire to learn is much stronger and motivation increases.

What Happens Next? 

While NLP training and workshops are beneficial for improving a variety of professional skills, follow-up sessions are crucial to ensure all the information is retained. 

Continued communication is helpful, ensuring goals can be revisited on a frequent basis. This allows behavior to change over time until it becomes a habit.

Is Neuro-linguistic Programming Popular in Vietnam? 

In Vietnam, the idea of how communication can impact others isn’t as mainstream as it is in places like Europe, The United States, and Australia. As a result, NLP isn’t as common in the country as a skills focused training. However, that’s not to say people in Vietnam aren’t skilled communicators. It’s actually quite the opposite. 

From my experience working in the country, I’ve noticed how there are many Vietnamese people who are naturally great communicators. Amongst this group, many use NLP techniques without even knowing they are, having picked them up in their youth or when they turned a little older.

How Can NLP Help In Vietnam?

With a plethora of great communicators, NLP can help by providing an opportunity for such people to really understand the why behind great communication. For many, it’s the first time they can find out how their communication involves them as much as it does those around them. This is beneficial for both local and foreign owned companies in Vietnam. Ultimately, NLP can also serve as the catalyst for a company going from a top-down to a bottom-up type of management. 

Besides this, NLP can also…

  • Improve Productivity

As a result of improved communication, productivity is also bolstered. This is as straightforward as it sounds: when you know how to properly communicate what goes right and wrong in a business, productivity naturally increases. 

  • Simplify Larger Tasks

Tying into the previous benefit, clearer communication on what works and what doesn’t work also simplifies larger tasks like projects and presentations. 

  • Overcome Communication Barriers

Barriers exist in business settings for a reason. For example, the barrier between a boss and an employee. However, NLP techniques can help people overcome such barriers by providing the skills and knowledge for how to properly communicate in these scenarios.

  • Overcome Cultural Barriers

Tying into the previous benefit, by understanding how to best communicate with others, it’s also possible to overcome cultural barriers. Say, the cultural barriers foreigners living working in Vietnam might experience with local colleagues. As a result, companies can more easily connect with a new marketplace or onboard a new manager. 

  • Facilitate Understanding

 Last of all, by using NLP techniques and tools like a DiSC profile, it’s also possible to facilitate a quicker and more comprehensive understanding between individuals in a company. This improves work output while making individuals happier. As a result, people stay in a company for longer. 

How I Can Help

With over 18 years of coaching & training experience, including impactful roles at Google and Apple, I, Thijs van Loon, am your Professional Skills Development Facilitator in Asia. My suite of services is meticulously designed to propel your team to new heights. 

One area of expertise is in Management and High Performance Coaching, which focuses on supporting high potentials and leaders in your company. 

By leveraging my training certifications from Google and Apple, in addition to my certifications in NLP and Psych-K, I offer tailored, practical solutions that deliver immediate results to your business. By working together, I can help you empower the individuals in your company and your business at large, whether this be in Vietnam or other locations in Southeast Asia.

For those of you interested in NLP, get in touch now.

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