How Easy is it to Learn NLP?
Learning NLP or anything else for that matter, is ultimately as easy or as hard as you make it. Broadly, it depends on your purpose for learning it, the NLP trainer and how the course is conducted.
There are other factors, of course, but asking yourself three fundamental questions is crucial in determining how well you learn the subject and how much you’ll benefit from it.
1. Why do I want to learn NLP?
There are many reasons to learn NLP. It could be for a specific work or career development purpose, general self-development or perhaps even to acquire certification as an NLP trainer.
If you’re interested to learn NLP for work reasons, then there’s a certain level of motivation and ambition that would drive you to attend a course. And this motivation would help you practise diligently by applying techniques learnt, to improve yourself at work.
It gets even easier if you have a specific reason and are clear on your desired outcome. This is an ideal reason to attend an NLP course!
2. Who should I learn NLP from?
If you’re in the market to acquire a certification, it is important to learn from an NLP trainer who has integrity and practises what they teach. In other words a high level of congruence.
Check out if they have expertise in your chosen field. In addition, the NLP trainer should be able to deliver the material in a systematic, sequential and effective manner, so that you can understand it.
It is important for you to like them as a person too because this most often ends up being a long term relationship. A good NLP trainer will make the effort to keep you up-to-date and maintain a certain level of a professional relationship.
On this note, I have gone the extra mile and formed many lasting friendships with my practitioners who share the same values as me.
For certification purposes look at their credentials in terms of international certification, multi-cultural savviness and industry experience.
For further details on this aspect, check out my article on “How to Choose a Good NLP Trainer”
3. How is the course conducted?
NLP is very much an experiential practice. Therefore, a group course conducted in person would be the ideal setting. You will be able to learn from others in the group and have more opportunities to practise with a variety of people. You would also become more aware of how you operate within the group dynamic.
It is common practice for the NLP trainer to demonstrate a technique with a volunteer from the group. For those who excitedly raise their hands to volunteer, they are the ones who experience what it is like to work with an experienced NLP trainer.
Another plus point is that as a volunteer, they gain clarity and possibly even solve their issues, whilst being the benefactor of a free coaching session. Participants are encouraged to volunteer to get more bang for their buck.
Space is a big consideration on how a course is conducted. As mentioned above, NLP is a highly experiential course which requires participants to break out into groups. So there should be enough space for participants to spread out for group work.
Prior to the Covid pandemic I was very particular about venues I selected, especially for my 10-day practitioner course. It had to be spacious, bright and comfortable, conducive for learning without any distractions.
In the current scenario, I have adapted some of this program to an NLP online course with audio pre-study, book formats and last of all, face-to-face components. Being an NLP Trainer who has been trained in behavioural flexibility, I feel this blended learning format gives way to holistic learning.
In wrapping up, I would like to reinforce that the practice of NLP is a way of life. I see it in my practitioners who have assimilated what they have learnt into their lives over the years. It is immensely rewarding to see them achieve their career goals and share in their personal growth as well.
The bottom line for anyone wanting to learn NLP is to gain tools to improve some area of life, be it work or personal. The key is to apply, apply, apply. The definition of intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge. So, if you acquire knowledge on NLP and don’t apply it, you’ll only be using half your intelligence.
So how easy is it to learn NLP? A large part of the answer lies with you. Your motivation to learn NLP, your choice of NLP trainer and in turn how they conduct the course, is just the start of your journey. Once you’ve gained this solid foundation, you’ll be off to an exciting journey of transforming your life!
Sylvia Fernandes is the Founder & CEO of VIA Frontiers. She is a Master Trainer of NLP who is specialised in corporate applications. She started her business in Sydney in 2002 and has been operating in the Asia Pacific Region ever since. She is currently based in Singapore. She is also the author of Bye Bye Black Cat -- Turn Your Luck Around and Realise Opportunities. Visit VIA Frontiers for more information.