In Your Face NLP VS Natural NLP

The other day and my friend asked me a question about NLP. He was concerned that a lot of practitioners or people who had trained at the practitioner training were very crude in their application of the material.

He said he had experience of the meta monsters and an “in your face” style of NLP people wanting to show off just how much they knew. He said this had put him off attending a training and did I know whether it was possible to train and practice NLP without a sense of arrogance.

I thought about this and wondered why it was so common for the feedback from non-NLPrs to have this experience.

I think there are a number of reasons; firstly some of the patterns are made explicit by the trainer out during the training, by utilising volume and inflection and also operating with an attitude. Secondly a good deal of NLP training uses power metaphors, these are sometimes translated as power over others rather than power over oneself. Thirdly some of the training is contextualised within the training room itself rather than some other natural applications beyond the training itself.

Some NLP students access state changes during the training that connect to the other material learned on the course.

I would contrast to that of the two cells of training is in-your-face NLP and naturalistic NLP.

In-your-face NLP

Natural NLP

Challenging style Pacing the other persons model of the world
Going for the position of domination and impact Going for affiliation and effectiveness
Demonstrates information rather than knowledge Deeper understanding
Dictating Communication
Crude Complexity applied simply
Sorting by self rather than the other person Neutral sorting preferences
Power over others Power through oneself
Ill fitting with the environment Best fit NLP tools to the circumstances
Fragmented knowledge Integrated with one’s own naturalistic patterns

The question therefore arises how can a training be designed so it is more likely to produce and naturalistic style of NLP rather than that of it being in-your-face.

Firstly there is no substitute for a thorough knowledge of the material and extensive practice. Recently there has been a fashion to reduce the number of training hours and the training requirements which means although NLP has become mainstream, the overall standard has fallen, due to numbers and lack of “flying time” .

Another key requirement would be to integrate any of the NLP patterns into the practitioner’s everyday environment.

The use of metaphors adopted by the training organisations likely to attract or repel certain people, the power metaphor certainly does not help. It seems strange that a field that has been developed to improve individual’s communication skills sometimes produces the opposite and simply delivers someone even more irritating than they were before.

One area of NLP that should enhance the communication between practitioner and client, or practitioner and public is the rapport model. Some trainers seem to teach this mechanistically rather than starting with the principles that underpin it. So if the practitioner is barking repeatedly at someone else is hardly surprising they failed to communicate unless they are dealing with an angry German Shepherd, and even then.

So we should have some fun when we are training but not just at other’s expense.

Curiosity and experimentation are key aspects to the attitude that goes with the good practitioner.

As Richard Bandler always says,” you go first” which means the practitioner applies the material to himself.



3 Responses to “In Your Face NLP VS Natural NLP”

  1. Great article! Hope there will be more soon.

  2. I completely agree – some of the clunky “wannabe” NLPers really only succeed in making one feel uncomfortable and wanting to leave in a hurry. They should get their training fee refunded!

  3. Thanks

    I think the time has come to skill up again and improve the skill sets of practitioners.

    If a meta monster comes your way

    “Are you really a NLPer, you sure?”

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