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NLP and Leadership Training

A look at how NLP is influencing leadership training:

Written by Prakash Mani & Terry Elston

Over the years leadership development has become big business in the training industry with the big corporate schools preaching their own research based training to small establishments building on common theory and good facilitation skills. One of the notable absentees in the group has been the importance of the sub-conscious mind in the development of leadership skills.

A key part of most streams of leadership development is a series of self-assessment tests that identify key strengths and development areas in individuals in corporate leadership positions. There are psychometric tests like MBTI, Neo Belbin, etc. but to name a few, which help to identify facets of the individual and also of the team that form the leadership core. There is 360° feedback which also forms the core of the understanding of the qualities of the leader. A key output for most of the leadership development programs are increased self-awareness and an action plan for development of critical skills that are internalised.

NLP and LeadershipNLP has gained some traction in the corporate world with many organisations wanting to inculcate it within their teams. Yet their take up forms a small fraction of the total investment made by corporations in leadership development. This is surprising considering the plethora of research that suggests that the sub-conscious mind is a key to building a deep awareness of oneself and also addressing significant areas in leadership development. Having an understanding of your own representational system (how you view yourself internally) along with those around you goes a long way to align goals, drive teams cohesively and also achieve increased motivation and satisfaction in employees.

What about hypnotherapy, which can significantly help embed voluntary change in the subconscious mind? Too often, leadership coaching offers a direct mechanism that deals with the conscious mind to drive change. Incorporating advanced sub conscious mind techniques can increase effectiveness of the coaching and make a lasting impact. At the very least meditative techniques can help relax the individual, increase concentration and focus and get better nights sleep. Now that is not a bad starting point for a budding leader.

When we look at the hierarchy below, you can see that most corporates target the bottom three, yet, from studies carried out* the ONLY place that behavioural change can occur is the top three!


And NLP places itself to make a difference to those top three categories. You could call it ‘the control panel’. From the research into effective change techniques* it has shown that just focusing on strategies and skill sets will effect your top performers, yet not have much difference on your medium to low performers.

We aim to train people and arm them with capabilities and strategies – yet the main part of the training comes with the personal interactions/coaching that we provide. That’s why NLP & Leadership training comes with a package that includes coaching after training – because that’s what makes the difference in ‘the control panel’ of success of the people we are getting messages across to.


*From research via Trygve Roos – the book Mental Coaching


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