Any discussion of NLP leadership courses must be divided into two parts. One would be about neuro-linguistic programming, and the other part would be about how it applies to motivational programs and psychotherapy aimed at personality development and improving communication and leadership skills. Let’s consider the concept of NLP first, followed by the second part about its applications.
The basic concept is to model the skill sets of extraordinarily successful individuals and help others acquire them. The founders of this method Richard Bandler and John Grinder posited that specific behaviors that people are habituated to can be replaced with modeled behaviors that lead to a better and more successful personality. Obviously, the whole process is complicated and requires exceptionally talented people to help implement them.
The three main parts of this concept are subjectivity, consciousness and learning. Subjectivity refers to how each person interacts differently with the world using their senses. Someone likes the taste of a specific fruit or dish, while others don’t. Some people like listening to opera while others find it to be a snoozefest.
The point here is that these subjective responses can be modified using a modeled version acquired from someone who has a demonstrated capability for success using said responses. For example, communication skills and leadership may be improved by ridding a person of the fear of public speaking. This in turn is achieved using a model prepared from a well-known public speaker.
For the record, the consciousness component in NLP refers to the division of consciousness into responses that come from a conscious mind and those that the person is not aware of. The “learning” component is about the actual process of superimposing modeled behavioral patterns on top of the subject’s existing ones.
Now let’s consider the little matter of how this applies to leaders and leadership. There are courses and programs where a practitioner helps ordinary people become leaders. Those who are already leaders will better themselves to become great and inspirational leaders.
A huge number of tools are available to these practitioners, but let’s just take a look at a few as an example. A key part of a leader’s personality is their response to a mistake. Some will wallow in despair while others are paralyzed into inaction and unable to think properly once they make a mistake. The course will modify their response so that they are able to move on quickly to fixing the mistake, learning from it and making sure it never happens again.
Then there are the responses to emotions. Neuro-linguistic programming comes in very handy in altering and controlling emotional responses under stress. Leaders will be given models to follow that are extremely successful in dealing with stressful situations and confrontations using logic, persuasion skills and compromises, without letting their emotions get in the way.
Another critical factor that separates a leader from the masses is the ability to accelerate learning. Leaders are expected to learn about things they don’t know and quickly adapt to new circumstances outside their comfort zone. NLP leadership courses show participants how to read and retain knowledge at twice the normal speed.