Research NLP Training
seems there are strong feelings within the NLP community about
what is "good" NLP training and what is "bad" NLP training. I'd
like to share my thoughts.
think that there are many opportunities for people to get excellent
training in NLP, and yet some people base their decision of where
to go on geographical location or convenient time frame, assuming
that all NLP Practitioner Trainings are created equal (after all,
they all have the same name). This can be a big mistake!! There
is such a wide assortment of quality and course content in this
field, so taking a training based upon location or time is a bad
move. It's best to decide on the training you want, THEN figure
out what you need to do to get there.
are diverse philosophical differences and a variety of values
and beliefs surrounding NLP training. An important distinction
is to first realize that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to
"do" NLP, it's just that some NLP centers get different results
than others. The results that the trainer gets is what is important.
The quality of the students they produce is the measurement
of a trainer. Not time in business. Not how many people attend
the program. Not how much money they make. Not how slick their
website looks. Not how many articles or books they've written.
matters is the results the people who attend the seminars are
getting. People should be looking for NLP training that is "right"
for them because each training is suited for different types of
individuals. All it takes is a few phone calls, a few reference
checks, maybe some web surfing and you will be able to find the
training that's right for you.
have put together a list of things people may want to consider
when looking for NLP Training. I welcome your suggestions, ideas,
discussions, additions, etc.
First, clarify your outcome for taking the training. What are
you hoping to achieve? Be honest with yourself. Do you want to
have power? Do you want to help people? Do you want to make some
personal changes? Do you want to have a certificate? Do you want
to have better communication skills to get ahead in your career?
Does your wife/husband tell you to need to change? Do you have
therapy issues that may be better solved through one-on-one therapy?
Do you want to influence others? Do you want to be more motivated?
Do NOT spend all your hard earned money on an NLP training before
researching thoroughly at least 3 or 4 training institutes.
Consider posting a referral request to alt.psychology.nlp. This
newsgroup can get pretty raunchy at times, like many newsgroups.
I invite you to ignore the negative stuff and just look for the
gems (your first NLP lesson!). Post a note asking people for advice
on who's training you should go to and for what reason. Read your
replies and then begin researching those institutes. This is not
an end-all, but a good way to start anyway.
Surf the web for NLP web sites. Read entire web sites if you have
the time, especially the sections "about us" or "our philosophy".
Notice which web site "speaks" to you and your reasons for attending
the training. Do not look at location or dates until you have
selected a training institute. Making a decision based on dates
or location alone is sure to get you an inferior or mediocre training.
Just think about it -- not only will you be investing a great
deal of money and time, you will be spending 4-20 days with very
influential people -- what kind of people do you want influencing
you? These people will help you shape the way you think about
NLP, about making changes, about interacting with others... we'll
get into this deeper a little later in this article.
CALL THE INSTITUTE during their office hours. Talk to a human
being on the phone. If you must leave a message, how quickly do
they return your call? Send an e-mail. How quickly and how politely
do you get a reply (to be sure they received it, send two)? Size
them up. Do they respond to your questions with politeness? Do
you like their attitude? Do you feel excited to attend? Do they
use NLP to sell you? If so, do you like the approach? Do you feel
like you are being "sold" or do you feel like they are considering
your needs and fitting you to the correct program? Are they high
energy or low energy? These questions help you judge basic customer
service skills. If you are not getting good customer service over
the phone, then you will not get good customer service at the
workshop. Most often, the same people who talk to you on the phone
control the seminar logistics. That means if they are sloppy or
hurried on the phone or do not return your call, that will be
the same service you get at the seminar. TELL the institute WHY
you want to take NLP training (from question 1). This is very
important! They should be able to clearly let you know if you
will be able to achieve this outcome or not during the training.
If they cannot accommodate your requests, ask them if any other
NLP institute that they know of specializes in this area.
What about the number of days the course takes? There are practitioner
training programs out there that range from 4 days to 28 days!
Wow! Here are some guidelines to help: Generally speaking, the
longest programs are more "chunked down", meaning chunked into
smaller pieces and dished out at a slower pace. Longer DOES NOT
mean that you'll learn more material. The other extreme are the
short programs (less than 5 days) -- these are the most obvious
-- there is a basic set of practitioner skills that couldn't possibly
be covered properly in that short amount of time. Balance is the
key. Consider quality before quantity of training time. Also consider
class hours, but only briefly, because it really is not that important.
A 14 day program that meets every day from 9 am - 9 pm is around
140 hours. A 28 day program that meets 9 am - 4 pm and has weekends
off will compare at approximately the same classroom hours. One
class is fast paced, one is slower.
Is it FUN??? I got a call the other day from a man that told me
his practitioner training was boring... I couldn't hardly believe
it! I know that I wouldn't want to spend all that money and time
if I was bored through the whole thing! If there is one thing
that learning NLP has done for me in my life, it was to end boredom
forever... I've added more laughs and joy in my life because of
learning to "play" and "learn like a child does" in my practitioner
training. You will learn 300 times as much if you learn how to
have fun while you are doing it.
worse... I have heard of NLP trainings where more than half of
the class time was spent attending to people who were crying and
uncovering all kinds of bad feelings. I've also heard of trainings
where the students were afraid or too intimidated to ask questions!
It seems to me that we are already skilled enough at feeling
small or unhappy, what we need is trainings that teach us how
to feel confident and full of life!! :-)
behaviors can sometimes be challenging, but it still should be
a fun experience. If NLP isn't about making the gray matter between
your ears rock and roll, then you are doing it wrong. Practitioners
should be bringing more joy and bliss into other people's and
their own lives, instead of uncovering shame, past trauma and
wounded inner children (These are serious issues and should be
handled by a professional psychologist). The training environment
should be a welcoming place where you feel safe and at home, rather
than feel fearful or intimidating. Learning NLP should be a delightful,
laughter-filled experience; one that you will remember forever.
Many training centers try to be everything to everybody. The fact
is, they all are usually better at one thing or the other. Some
are better at teaching therapists to do better therapy. Some are
better at getting people to change themselves rather than to "do"
NLP "on" someone else. Some are better at teaching people persuasive
communication for business. Some are better at techniques. Some
are better at language patterns. Some are better at the methodology.
the training center, what are you good at? What is your specialty?
Who are your trainers? Also ask about guest trainers. Do they
have a new trainer every couple of days? If so, what happens to
them, do they leave, or are they still a part of the program?
It is important to have one main trainer or group of trainers
who are present throughout the entire course. One of the reasons
this is important is so that the format of the class can be changed
in response to the groups needs. If you have a new trainer every
couple of days, the course content will be rigidly adhered to
-- more like college or a conference. If the class needs more
time in a particular area, they won't be able to change the schedule
to accommodate this. Same if the class is fast-- the trainers
won't speed through those topics, causing mass boredom. So make
sure you have one main trainer or group of trainers. An intern
who is present throughout is not good enough in my opinion because
they are not experienced enough to recognize learning patterns
accordingly in the students. You are paying for an experienced,
high quality trainer, not an intern with a few years experience.
How many people are allowed in the class? This is important to
consider because if you attend a class of 300+ people, you probably
are not going to get much personal attention, hence your learning
will be affected. What is the optimal size? (My personal opinion
is that a certification course should not be any larger than 45,
but you need to judge that for yourself.)
involved is the trainer with the students? Does the trainer "get
on stage" and do his/her speech from there and then leave at breaks?
Or does the trainer spend time with the students after class and
during the class? Can students ask questions? How are questions
handled? These are some other eye opening questions to ask the
Beware of trainers that claim they will INSTALL everything into
your head and you won't have to do anything. If that were possible,
then you would be able to learn how to drive a car by attending
a seminar where the trainer hypnotizes you and then you walk out
with the ability to drive. I wouldn't get into that car, would
hypnosis may help you to learn more quickly, it does not
replace the activity of DOING. If you hear people say, "I had
a great time, but I don't know what I learned" - this is your
first clue that they were trained by an "Installer".
other question is, "What exactly are they installing?" Did you
ever consider what the underlying messages are? If you are an
advanced student, pick up a copy of their tapes and take notes
-- what does that story s/he is telling imply about the trainer,
about the student? This question will get you more information
than any other thing you can do. Do the stories, metaphors, tales,
commands lead the student to learn and discover things on their
own, or do they serve to boost the trainers ego?
people may not want to hear this, but mastering NLP takes longer
than a 4-20 day class. It takes practice in the real world. There
is a TON of material that you will pick up and use during the
training and other things that will take some time to master.
This is a normal learning process. Training is the beginning,
not the end of learning.
will learn far more from a trainer that teaches you how to learn
things in a new way so that you will go out into the world with
a new ability to learn and absorb material. This way, you will
have developed something that will last forever, rather than a
feeling of motivation that will fade over time.
It is a common occurrence in the NLP world to reduce an NLP principle
to a formula, or set of procedures or steps, and instruct the
person to simply follow the steps. This is a really good way to
market something and make lots of money. And it's also a great
way for a trainer to reframe all responsibility for really teaching
people something valuable - what they produce are a bunch of people
going around trying to figure out "what to do when" or "which
technique will work to fix this". Personally, I'd rather have
my students out there thinking things like "I wonder how easily
this can be accomplished?" or "How incredible can I feel today
and how contagious will this be?" or "What new, creative opportunities
will I discover here?"
training needs to be designed for mastery of the underlying principles
and ideas that NLP is founded on - modeling, models for learning,
language and attitude. Why? Because these are the things that
you miss when you try to learn NLP from a book or a tape program.
Informational learning, or learning a set of techniques can easily
be accomplished by the products on the market - and there are
lots of NLP products to go around for everyone. So why spend
your time and money on a training that is basically going to reiterate
everything you've already read about? Instead, spend your
time in class with a training institute that understands this
and creates experiences in which you will soar!
A great question to ask the certification organization is, what
happens if a person doesn't get certified, but still wants to?
Do they have to pay more money and do more training? Many training
centers just give a certificate to everyone who pays their tuition.
Find out what their standards are. Do they certify everyone? How
many people last year didn't get certified and why? The answers
will be enlightening.
Ecology is a misunderstood notion in the NLP Community. Everyone
seems to have their own idea about what it is and why it's important.
I think it's an important issue because people are in awe of the
power of the technology and can immediately see the potential
for abuse. Even though it is often mistaken as such, ecology
doesn't have anything to do with being nice. It has to do
with considering the whole system before you influence it to head
in a specific direction. It means traveling in advance.
It means that you know the result and the implications BEFORE
you go messing around inside someone's head.
once heard about a trainer who (in front of everyone) took a person
who wanted to quit smoking though a FIVE hour six-step reframe
(with a break for lunch) and the guy ended up leaving the entire
training talking about how he couldn't get the voices in his head
to shut up. The trainer told the class that he wasn't "ready"
to change!!!! This is NOT ecology. This is someone who
didn't know where she was going when she went into the forest
and then got lost (my guess, back in her own issues and agenda).
Ask the people you are talking to about ecology and find out what
BUY their tapes and compare them. If you don't want to spend a
whole lot of money, usually trainers offer a 1 or 2 cassette program
that can be purchased for under $20. If you can afford it, get
a longer program. The tapes will let you experience the trainers
style and you will know better how you will enjoy (or not enjoy)
the actual training experience.
If the training center seems satisfactory to you, take the next
step and ask for phone numbers or e-mail addresses of past customers.
CALL/WRITE them. Ask them what they liked about the training and
what they are doing differently as a result of the training. What
did they learn and how does it impact them? How long ago did they
do the training and what results are they still getting? What
do they think about the character of the trainer/s? What other
NLP trainers have they experienced? Can they compare trainers
that you are considering?
It amazes me how many people register for workshops without checking
references. Sure, some may say that the institute is not going
to give you unhappy customers as references - that's true. However,
you will notice a vast difference in the quality of references
between different institutes and this will let you know who to
train with. If an institute is reluctant or refuses to give you
references, then forget them.
check credentials of the trainer. There are "trainers" who advertise
on the internet who haven't even received an NLP training! They
studied it from books and bestowed upon themselves the title of
NLP trainer. Some will tell you they have a certificate, but when
you ask them where they were trained and by whom, they do not
have an answer. Avoid those who refuse to give you information
about where and with whom they have trained.
conclusion, I'd like to say that there are a lot of wonderful
training opportunities out there and they are all very different
and unique. Pick trainers and institutes that value learning -
that want to help you stretch and grow. Choose the one that is
best for you, your lifestyle and your outcomes for taking the
me, NLP is not about having cut and dry answers for everything
in life - its about asking better quality questions. It's artistry
- things working together in concert. A skilled practitioner is
one who is an insatiable learner, someone who never claims to
have all the answers or who touts their certificates like they
are the proof that they now know all there is to know about NLP.
NLP isn't a magic pill with six steps. "Life change" doesn't exist
because life is not stagnant; it's a process. What does exist
however, is a way of continually growing, learning and changing
every day of our lives, getting what we want along the way, while
moving in the direction we want to go. It is about being happy
and realizing we are the creators of our experience in life.
have found this interesting. Your comments are welcome.